Providing hope, one video at a time: It Gets Better

Suicide.

It is the third leading cause of death for young people between the ages of 15 and 24 according to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.

Shocking? It should be

Being a teenager isn’t always the best thing in the world. Especially when you’re gay.

Yes, gay.

Sure enough fitting in is tough enough as it is, but it gets harder when you have a different sexuality than the rest. When there are norms and social clichés in school, there is unfortunately bound to be some sort of bullying.

Bullying can range in various forms: physical, emotional and more recently, cyber bullying. Things only get worse, when in the midst of trying to understand who one really is; one is mocked and ridiculed for being gay. It’s a dark tunnel, with infinite twists and turns, and sadly, there seems to be no hope for light at the end.

This is where the It Gets Better Project Read more…

The Girl Effect: The Most Powerful Force for Change

“Invest in a girl, and she will do the rest, but to do that, she needs your help now.”

The Girl Effect is ‘a movement driven by girl champions around the globe.’

When a girl living in poverty turns 12, her life reaches a crossroads.

One path has her marrying – one in seven marry at the age of 14 in developing parts of the world – becoming pregnant by 15, possibly contracting HIV, and possibly forced to sell her body in order to survive.

The other path is much brighter – receive an education, stay healthy, marry when she chooses and raise a healthy family.

How it all began

The Girl Effect is the brainchild of Maria Eitel , the founding president of the Nike Foundation and Jennifer Buffet, president and co-chair of the NoVo Foundation. NoVo and the Nike Foundation joined forces in 2008 and committed $90 million to The Girl Effect.

In a 2010 Read more…

Hands of Hope: Women for Women International

One year after newly re-elected President Obama announced the official end of the war in Iraq, the country is in a state of turmoil. Operation Iraqi Freedom may officially be over but violence has escalated and women are particularly affected.

40 years ago Iraqi women and men were equal under the law and women enjoyed many rights similar to those of women in the UK today. However, since the early 1990s women have seen their rights curtailed and their participation in all areas of society dramatically inhibited. There has been a sharp decline in female literacy and one year after the Iraq War women are even worse off. Today, the lack of security and policing has led to women being attacked in the streets by people with different political agendas who want to impose veiling, gender segregation and discrimination. Women are finding it more and more difficult to go out alone Read more…

SODIS: Solar Water Disinfection

3 litres of water per day.

According to the Water Encyclopedia, that’s how much the average human needs per day for survival.  This amount increases with physical activity and with temperature.  Aside from replacing our body’s water we need water for a number of purposes including agriculture, cooking sanitation and hygiene.  This amounts to 50 liters required to meet human needs.

Treatment and delivery of water costs a lot of money.  The water needs to be pumped from a source like a lake, river or well to a water treatment plant.  Depending on requirements the water can be treated in different ways.

Commonly it is filtered and then disinfected with a chemical such as chlorine.  However, the equipment to do this costs thousands of dollars.  Plants also need a building to be situated in, sensors to monitor the process, and an operator to run and maintain the system.

Costs for this are often Read more…

Inside the pages of Equal Treatment

South Africa has the largest HIV population in the world, with more than 5.6 million people living with HIV/AIDS. Because of its widespread prevalence and increasing acceptance, HIV has become a part of the everyday fabric of society.

South Africa’s AIDs history is marred by poor decisions by denialist leadership, resulting in unnecessary lost lives. Fortunately, Treatment Action Campaign, born out of system frustration, was founded in 1998.  TAC held the South African government accountable in up keeping basic tenants of the constitution, and is largely responsible for the implementation of antiretroviral treatment and mother-to-child transmission prevention programmes in South Africa. TAC is a member-based organization that advocates for increased access to treatment, care and support services for people living with HIV. For a detailed history of TAC, read the recently published Fighting for Our Lives. TAC’s vibrant history is also chronicled in the documentary TAC: Taking HAART.

Equal Treatment is the Read more…

Krochet Kids: Knitting the Fabric of a Society

Quick question: “When you buy a winter hat, where does your money go?”

Hold on to that thought and feast on the countless possibilities while you read on.

Winter is coming.

You can just tell by breathing in the morning air. And I guess I am lucky enough to be able to say that, living in St. John’s, Newfoundland, by far one of the cleanest cities in Canada. Along with winter comes the obvious shift in fashion. Out with the shorts and in with the jackets. The bandanas make way for scarves and toques.

Speaking of which…

I reached into my closet and pulled out my hat bin. You see, I’m a cap/hat/toque lover. (For those of you who think I’m talking gibberish when I keep saying the word ‘toque’, a toque is the Canadian equivalent of a knit winter hat. A beanie if you may.)

As I pulled out the storied heroes of past winters Read more…

End Poverty 2015: Once and for All (United Nations Millennium Campaign)

Procrastination.

It’s a word we all know too well. We live in a day and age where comfort overrules all – we much prefer to put goals off until we absolutely can’t anymore. However, there is one assignment we cannot afford to procrastinate any longer because the consequence is the suffering of billions of people struggling in poverty. This assignment is urgent. This assignment is timed.

This assignment is End Poverty 2015.

What is it?

Ban Ki moon speaks at the United Nations Millennium Summit

At the United Nations Millennium Summit in 2000, 189 world leaders signed the Millennium Declaration and agreed to meet the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), an “eight-point road map with measurable targets and clear deadlines for improving the lives of the world’s poorest people”.

Basically, the world leaders promised to reach milestones in making the world a better place, and the deadline to meet these goals is 2015.

Check out this amazing Read more…

Geeks Without Frontiers and A Human Right – Helping People Help Themselves by Securing Internet Access for Everyone

Imagine a normal day-in-life.

You probably wake up, get ready for work or school, you come home and do some chores around the house. Maybe you’ll hang out with friends in the evening or enjoy a night at home watching TV. As you reflect on your day, consider this—how much of your daily life somehow involves using the Internet?

Not Connected

You probably use the Internet throughout the day at work. For many it’s the first thing you do when you wake up. Now imagine your life without the Internet. Sound crazy? Well for many people—76% of the world’s population in fact—having no Internet access is a reality.

Two noteworthy organizations are hoping to change this fact. After all, the Internet has become indispensable not just in terms of making our lives easier, but for many developing countries, having Internet access can make the difference between a life of poverty and a life Read more…