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Groupon Jolkona campaign

Yesterday Jolkona launched a Groupon campaign to support a 10-week training fellowship for women grassroots leaders from around the world. This is a great campaign on so many levels. I decided to share my top 10 reasons why this is an awesome campaign.

10 Reasons to Support Women Grassroots Leadership Training through Jolkona

  1. According to the World Food Programme, for every dollar invested in a woman in a developing part of the globe, $0.90 of it will be spent on the woman’s family or community. So your dollars are going a long way.
  2. Women spend a lot of time with their children, setting great examples for the next generation on how to impact society.
  3. Women are proven community leaders. The training received by these women will be transferred to the rest of the community.
  4. Every one of these women is a great collaborator. Upon their return home, the impact of the training they receive in Seattle will be magnified through their collaborations with others.
  5. These women are champions of a fairer society. Your support for this campaign will lead to more just societies where these women live.
  6. After the training, these women leaders will be equipped with additional resources to grow their already high-impact programs.
  7. Through this training, women grassroots leaders will share best practices with each other. This sharing of ideas will lead to increased efficiency for each of their programs.
  8. All of Seattle will be able to learn from these leaders’ innovative approaches to solving problems in their societies, fostering deeper engagement by the Seattle community in international development
  9. This program works. Watch this video from the 2010 Women in the World Breakfast about the impact it had on a participant from last year.
  10. For every $10 donation you make to our campaign on Groupon, the Seattle International Foundation will match it, doubling your impact. Plus Groupon is covering all transaction fees, channeling 100% to go towards this cause.

If you can give a $1 for each of these reasons, then you will consider buying our Groupon deal for only $10.

BuyNow

You can read more about this unique program here to build capacity among a new generation of women grassroots leaders. With your support, these women leaders will be catalysts for positive change in their institutions and communities.

Invest in Women Grassroots Leaders

“Supporting women is one of the best ways to fight global poverty. Women grassroots leaders are on the frontlines tackling the toughest issues: hunger, violence, access to healthcare and education. By supporting their work as leaders, we can help them have greater impact and improve the lives of thousands in local communities.” — Mauricio Vivero, Executive Director of the Seattle International Foundation.

Join us as we launch a campaign in partnership with the Seattle International Foundation (SIF) and iLEAP: The Center for Critical Service, to promote and support global women’s leadership. We’re kicking off this campaign with a Groupon G-Team deal that will run today, Tuesday, July 26th until 11:59 pm on Thursday, July 28.

Groupon will be covering all transaction fees so that 100% of your donation goes towards investing in women. Plus, SIF will match every single donation made, dollar for dollar, up to $25,000!

$10 is All It Takes to Improve Women’s Equality

Starting today, you can make an investment in women’s leadership by pledging your support in increments of $10. For each $500 we raise through Groupon, we will fund one week of training for a woman leader to come to Seattle and participate in a 10-week fellowship program. The program will be implemented by iLEAP, which is an international nonprofit that builds capacity in a new generation of women grassroots leaders – creating positive change in their institutions and communities.

How to Fund Leadership Training through Groupon:

  1. Go to Jolkona’s G-Team campaign today until 11:59 pm on Thursday, July 28.
  2. Click on “BUY” and select quantity (e.g., 1 = $10, 2 = $20, etc.)
  3. Complete your order and tell your friends about your donation through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter.

Each donation made will automatically get matched by SIF and our total impact will be posted here as the campaign progresses.

BuyNow

Bonus: For everyone who makes a donation to this campaign and fills out the Jolkona survey monkey at the end, you will be eligilbe to win two tickets to the Women in the World Breakfast at the Four Seasons in November, where the 2011 fellows will be honored. (Here’s a video to last year’s Women in the World Breakfast.)

On behalf of the entire Jolkona team, thank you for your support to empower women all over the world!

Cheers,

Nadia Mahmud
CEO & Co-Founder

Here at Jolkona, we like to talk about how our projects line up with the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). But we haven’t talked much about what the MDGs are and why they are important.

What are the Millennium Development Goals?

The United Nations MDGs are the most current and probably most important multi-lateral development effort in the world to date. While “development” is a somewhat nebulous term, in this case it refers to any effort by governments or nonprofits to improve, among other things, the living conditions, health or education of a country or people group. This could range from small rural medical clinics to massive infrastructure projects such as new dams or highways.

Before the MDGs, development work was mostly done piecemeal, with organizations and governments determining their own goals and metrics for success. The MDGs represent the first time every member country of the UN — along with a number of nongovernmental organizations — agreed to the same development objectives, committing to see eight specific and measurable goals achieved by 2015.

History of the Millennium Development Goals

In 1996, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development began working on a framework for what the goals and strategies of development in the 21st century would look like. The Millennium Development Goals are the combination of that framework and the Millennium Declaration, a document signed by all United Nations member countries after the September 2000 UN Millennium Summit. Since that time the MDGs have been the main framework for doing global development work.

Eight goals for development

There are eight goals identified by the MDGs, the first seven of which are measurable and the eighth which is more of an ideal than a goal:

  1. Eradicate extreme poverty and hunger
  2. Achieve universal primary education
  3. Promote gender equality and empower women
  4. Reduce child mortality rates
  5. Improve maternal health
  6. Combat HIV/AIDs, malaria and other diseases
  7. Ensure environmental stability
  8. Develop a global partnership for development

Why Jolkona uses the Millennium Development Goals

Though Jolkona does not pick projects based on their connection to the MDGs, all of our projects align with them. Connecting our projects to the MDGs allows Jolkona and donors to track how our work is contributing to key development metrics. Not only can you see your donation’s impact on a micro level — through the feedback you receive from our partners in the form of school grades, photos or field reports — but you can also see how your gifts are making a difference on a macro level as countries achieve the various goals. Your funding one child’s education, for example, also moves the country that child is in closer to achieving universal primary education, the second MDG.

How to get involved

Now that you have a better understanding of what the MDGs are, take a look here on the Impact page of the Jolkona site to sort projects by the specific MDG they work toward. On each project page you can also see which MDGs that project aligns with (note the colored bars on the right in the image below).

For the most up-to-date information and statistics on progress toward the goals, take a look at the UN’s MDG homepage.

You can also keep an eye on our blog — in the coming weeks, we’ll drill down on each of the goals, talking more about what they hope to achieve and highlighting Jolkona projects that work toward them.

Post written by Jolkona intern Almudena Rodriguez

Mechai Viravaidya at Seattle Town Hall
Mechai Viravaidya at Seattle Town Hall. Photo by Tom Paulson of Humanosphere Blog.

I had the pleasure to represent Jolkona at How To Be A Changemaker: Combating HIV/AIDS and Eradicating Poverty through Social Enterprise, A Conversation with Thailand’s “Mr. Condom” on June 9, an event hosted by the World Affairs Council.

Known as Mr. Condom for his humorous and unorthodox approach to family planning, Mechai Viravaidya founded the Population and Community Development Association (PDA) in 1974 to address unsustainable population growth in Thailand. The talk he gave at TEDxChange explains some of the innovative methods PDA used to promote family planning and condom use in Thailand — efforts that helped reduce Thai family size from 7 children per family in 1974 to only 1.5 children per family in 2003.

Mechai’s World Affairs Council talk focused on the Village Development Partnership (VDP), a rural anti-poverty project in Thailand for which he won the 2007 Gates Global Health Award and the 2008 Skoll Foundation Award for Social Entrepreneurship. The VDP model empowers local communities to improve their quality of life by articulating their needs and aspirations and creating a tailored development plan. Sponsoring companies and organizations provide funds for communities’ development projects in exchange for tree planting. This unique partnership between the private sector and the communities they sponsor has proven successful and sustainable for more than 22 years.

Lesson of VDP’s success that can be applied to Jolkona are summarized in the following diagram:

Even though this model was designed for the Thai population that VDP worked with, it can be applied to other countries and modified accordingly. Portions of this model are already part of Jolkona’s vision.

For example, we support grassroots organizations that collaborate with the communities they serve to develop solutions to local problems. In Sudan, Jolkona partner MADRE works with a local organization to provide seeds, supplies and training to women farmers who have traditionally been denied access to farm aid and credit. Our donors can also support several projects that help low-income people become entrepreneurs, such as a program to teach business skills to low-income people in the US and an initiative to prepare the most disadvantaged Haitian women to receive microcredit. Similar to the VDP model, our donors are empowering the communities served by our nonprofit partners to determine their own destiny.

Jolkona at World Affairs Council
Laura Kimball, Emily Williamson, and Almudena Rodriguez of Jolkona tabling at the World Affairs Council Global Leadership Series with Mechai Viravaidya. Photo by Alabastro Photography.

Almudena Rodriguez is Jolkona’s 
Marketing Coordinator Intern. Originally from Spain, Almu is a firm believer in the need for marketing and communications for any business or nonprofit to reach its full potential. She has an MBA from La Coruña in Spain and a degree in Marketing from the marketing Institute of Ireland. In October 2010, she relocated to Seattle. In her free time she likes skiing, hiking, cycling and staying in touch with her friends spread all over the world. Follow Almudena on Twitter @Mayona80.


Leaving Kenya

International travel always has unexpected twists and turns as our last night in Dago, Kenya proved. As we watched the TV with our host family, the headlines flashed the news of a bomb explosion on a bus that was part of the Kampala Coach line. This was the same bus which we were all supposed to board in just a few short days. This incident sparked off a discussion among us and we were contemplating if we should even make the journey to the Uganda.

On the road to Uganda

After much deliberation, we decided to take a private shuttle instead of the Kampala Coach and continue our journey to Uganda. At the border, we were presented with an unexpected three hour delay, providing an opportunity to collect our thoughts and connect with others. During those three hours, I was engaged in a discussion with a nine year old boy who was selling bananas. In the process of our conversation, the young boy told me that he was working to save money to buy a football. The little boy was a curious young fellow who asked me different questions about what I do and where I was from. Our conversation drifted from politics to sports and to physics. I must admit that these varied subjects of conversation did surprise me. I was amazed the knowledge he had and our little chat was definitely one of my best on the trip.

Arriving at Children of Uganda

On Christmas Eve, we arrived at Kampala, Uganda to spend time with one of the Jolkona partners – Children of Uganda. The kids welcomed us with drums, dance and various other local instruments. This was the best welcome ever!

We were all excited about celebrating Christmas with these kids. We spent most of the day with them doing various activities – drawing, photo frame designing and crafts followed by lunch, cake and, who can forget, some basketball! It was such a pleasure to experience the kids interacting with us all, displaying who they were and expressing themselves in such a creative and innovative way.

The day ended with a grand performance from the kids with various instruments and an amazing dance. Later they tried teaching us some dance moves and how to play some of the musical instruments. This will surely remain as one of the best Christmas I’ve ever experienced and hopefully the same was felt by the many others who were with me.

Deciding to take the risk and proceed with our plan to go to Uganda was probably one of the best decisions the team made. We all got to see the impact Jolkona has made with this project, and spending Christmas with these kids was truly an amazing experience.

How you can help

For as little as $25 you can provide meals for 5 children for a week. Every donation goes a long way in supporting the kids at Children of Uganda.

Pavan Kumar Potaraju spends his days at Microsoft and volunteers with Jolkona on the Events team and with the Microsoft Giving Campaign. In April, he was our featured volunteer, you can read more about Pavan, here. This story is part of a series of blog posts from the Jolkona team’s trip to East Africa in late-December 2010.

GET INVOLVED!