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It’s Animals month for Jolkona’s Give Together campaign, with three animal-friendly options for our growing community’s September donations. Our first partner spotlight is on the Snow Leopard Trust, which works to protect this endangered species through research and community outreach programs.

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What’s the story behind your project?

Snow leopards are one of the least well understood of the big cats. Truly protecting them will require a deeper understanding of their needs. What food do they prefer, and how much do they need to survive? What habitat features are needed to allow mothers to successfully raise their cubs? These questions can only be answered with strong science. Snow Leopard Trust is undertaking the most in-depth scientific study to answer these questions. By carefully fitting a few snow leopards with GPS tracking collars, researchers are learning new information each year. For instance, a cat names Ariun recently expanded the largest area we thought possible for a cat to regularly monitor. And after a female named Agnes recently gave birth, we were able to witness a visit to the den site by the suspected father – an event never expected or previously recorded.

While more information is needed to protect these cats, it is not enough. The cats’ large ranges mean that they regularly interact with communities that share their mountain home. This often leads to conflict, as impoverished herding families often are driven to hunt snow leopards who threaten their livestock. The Trust works to protect snow leopards by working directly with communities. In some communities, the Trust helps women produce and sell handicrafts that can help them weather losses to their livestock. In exchange, they commit to protecting the cats.  In other communities, the Trust has helped establish insurance programs so that herders can insure their livelihoods.

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What kind of lasting change can this project have?

Solid scientific understanding will support stronger conservation of snow leopards and other high mountain carnivores throughout central asia. And the education and community programs are increasing the acceptance of snow leopards in the herding communities. In short, the Trust is working to save a species. Our hope is that the cats will recover their populations, and remain in their mountainous home for our children to appreciate.

We love stories at Jolkona. Do you have a favorite impact story you can share?

Right now, we are tracking a new mother named Agnes. Her new cub was just born in the summer. But Agnes is not a first-time mother. A previous cub, Dagina, is also wearing a GPS collar. Dagina and her cub live not far from Agnes. The fact that generations of snow leopards are helping researchers understand snow leopard activities and reproduction makes me hopeful that we’ll be able to learn enough to save this fragile species.

Another story I love is about Shonkhor, a snow leopard who ate a number of sheep and goats, then guarded his meals avidly. Instead of harming him, the herder sought the help of Trust staff. Together, they were able to get Shonkhor to leave the herder’s land, and help get the herder into a livestock insurance program. The story shows the ability of people to take a situation of conflict, and find a resolution that respects both animals and people.

In a nutshell, why should our Give Together members support your project?

Someone should give to this project if they care about wildlife and people too. This project is a wonderful mix of wildlife conservation and community development. Beautiful animals benefit, and so do people struggling to live alongside them.

This is one post in our ongoing Partner Spotlight series. When you sign up to join Give Together, you  can choose to allocate your September contribution to the Snow Leopard Trust or one of our other animal-related projects.

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Here at Jolkona, the giving doesn’t stop! We just finished up our Global Health theme for our monthly Give Together members; our featured cause for September is Animals.septheader

We often forget that we are sharing the earth with so many other living things, and that our actions — directly or indirectly — have a major impact on them. Here’s an overview of the three philanthropic projects you can support through this month’s Animals campaign:

1) Snow Leopard Trust

snow leapord 3

This organization focuses on conservation of snow leopards, an endangered species, and supporting the people who share their habitat in Central Asia. The Snow Leopard Trust believes the best way to help these big cats is through in-depth scientific research and community outreach programs. They have put tracking collars on five leopards to study where they go, how they interact with the environment around them, and what conflicts they face. In some communities, the Trust sets up herd insurance programs or helps villagers produce and sell handicrafts to make up for livestock losses, in exchange for committing to protecting these endangered predators. By choosing to support this project, you can help with both wildlife conservation of these beautiful animals and community development of the people struggling alongside them.

2) Reading with Rover

When Reading with Rover learned that 40 percent of American fourth-graders are not reading at grade level, they decided to take action. Ideally, the students would practice reading at home with their families, but many do not have age-appropriate books at home and their parents are working multiple jobs to make ends meet.

boomerreadingReading with Rover not only provides elementary schools with reading materials, but encourages and motivates literacy by bringing in friendly therapy dogs to build up the confidence of slow readers scared of being mocked at school. The children get to improve their reading skills while having fun with a nonjudgmental, unconditionally supportive dog. By choosing to support this project, you can help Seattle children learn to love both reading and animals.

3) Woodland Park Zoo

The award-winning Woodland Park Zoo not only houses and exhibits a variety of species for its Seattle visitors, but helps support wildlife and their natural habitats around the world. Through its conservation and education mission, the zoo provides a window into the lives of the world’s wild animals, inspiring people from all walks of life to learn, care and act on their behalf. Last month, the zoo’s 6-year-old giraffe Olivia gave birth to a “small” (over 6 feet tall) calf.

Baby Giraffe

This is just the latest in the zoo’s recent baby boom, which includes twin sloth bears, triplet jaguar cubs and four lion cubs in the past year. The baby animals attract more visitors, but also require a lot of special care. By choosing to support this project, you will help the zoo ensure the calf has all his medical, dietary and habitat needs met for his challenging first year of life.

Now Let’s Give Together!

Now that you know something about each project, we hope you are inspired to join Jolkona’s Give Together community this month. Existing members: email your choice for this month’s contribution to givetogether@jolkona.org. By pooling our small donations, we can make a big difference!

Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Earlier this month, I wrote a blog post about the importance of vaccines (you can read it here) and how much potential they hold in terms of keeping the world healthy. After writing this, I learned about a new malaria vaccine that is showing great promise.

Scientists have yet to create an effective and accessible malaria vaccine, but recently a new vaccine protected 12 out of the 15 volunteers from malaria. This new vaccine is called  PfSPZ, and if it continues to have the success it has been having, it could very much change how malaria is treated. NPR covered this story hereDr. Anthony Fauci, who leads the National Institute of Allergies and Infectious Diseases, calls the findings “unprecedented.”

malaria-parasites_1059_600x450 2However, Dr. Fauci isn’t being naive about the fact that this study was conducted on a very small population: “It’s true to say that this is really impressive to have this degree of protection, but on the other hand you have to temper it by saying the numbers are still relatively small.” NPR further reported that this study doesn’t show how long PfSPZ protects the vaccinated person from malaria. (Image from National Geographic)

What Makes This Vaccine Different?

Making a vaccine for malaria is very difficult because malaria can change and adapt in the human body. NPR explained PfSPZ in the following statement: “PfSPZ is different from these previous vaccines because it uses whole, weakened parasites to trigger an immune response, instead of just a small part of the parasite, like a protein on its surface.” Sanaria, the company behind PfSPZ, is more than pleased with the results and is now trying to get PfSPZ tested on a larger scale. If these tests are successful, Sanaria is hoping to have a working vaccine no later than 2018.

Jolkona & Global Health

Here at Jolkona, August is Global Health month for our Give Together program, and we have three dedicated projects for this theme: helping India’s mothers and babies through Calcutta Kids; healing Bolivian children by supporting Esperanca, a medical treatment center that has helped thousands; and supplying prosthetic limbs and rehabilitation programs to amputees through BRAC: Haiti. For more information about all of these projects, read here. If you like what you read, join our Give Together community to contribute to these and other worthy causes!

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

Calcutta Kids, the second Global Health project partner in this month’s Give Together program, provides medical treatment, fights malnutrition and analyzes data to battle India’s health problems before they become unmanageable. We recently spoke with Calcutta Kids founder Noah Levinson:

What is the inspiration behind your organization?

[The inspiration for Calcutta Kids] came the summer between high school and college when I volunteered with Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying Destitutes in Kolkata. While deeply moved by Mother Teresa’s sole mission to give love to those who would otherwise die alone, I was unsettled by people dying of curable diseases. I wrestled with the question of whether more needed to be done.

The following summer, I returned to Kolkata and again worked at the Home. A young man, Sudip, was brought to the Home because he was dying of an infection on his head: a rusty nail had penetrated into the skull. I recognized Sudip from a program I had volunteered at the previous year. He was one of the kids still in line to receive treatment when medicines and bandages ran out. The following day Sudip died in my arms because of that untreated head injury. The pain and anguish I felt was excruciating…I then founded Calcutta Kids.

What’s the story behind your project?

To prevent more unnecessary deaths like Sudip’s, we started a mobile health clinic which drove around the streets of Kolkata providing medical treatment to street children. The basic premise behind this project was to prevent street kids from dying at the Home for the Dying Destitutes.  We collected treatment data and analyzed it regularly. Through this data we found out that while children were happy that they could be treated for their illnesses free of cost, they were coming back to the clinic again and again with the same illnesses. Basically the mobile health clinic was a band-aid solution to a larger problem. The larger problem was that most of these kids were malnourished as younger children and had weak immune systems and incomplete brain development. It was clear that if we really wanted to prevent people from ending up at the Home for the Dying Destitutes, we needed to work with children under the age of three. In addition to this, we needed to  help ensure that mothers give birth to healthy children with good birth weights and that malnutrition does not plague them and retard their development.  We therefore decided to start the Maternal and Young Child Health Initiative.

CalcuttaKids1

Let’s say Give Together raises $250 for your project by the end of August. What’s our impact?

The adoption of a pregnant woman/child pair. With that money, Calcutta Kids provides: pregnancy counseling in the home once a month for the pregnant woman by a qualified Community Health Worker, a minimum of three antenatal check ups with our qualified female doctor for the pregnant woman, a minimum of 2 tetanus toxoid inoculations for the pregnant woman, and access to folic acid, iron, calcium and vitamin A to the pregnant woman and mother through lactation. In addition to this, the mother would receive daily access to a free clinic for the pregnant women and receive free medicines, access to a delivery savings scheme in which Calcutta Kids matches the patient party’s savings up to half the cost of a normal delivery ensuring that the child’s birth is facility-based, the required immunizations and micronutrients for the child, and monthly check-ups for child to monitor growth. If it is found that the child is not growing normally, the child will be invited to participate in the Calcutta Kids sponsored daily feeding program. The mother will also be provided with counseling in the home once a month and access to 24 hour emergency care for child at the local clinic.

In a nutshell, why should Give Together members choose your project this month?

If you care about pregnant women and young children, evidence-based interventions,  using effective and tested behavioral change communication to ensure lasting positive change, and believe that empowered community health workers can be change agents to improve their communities… then please join the Calcutta Kids family by supporting our work.

This is one post in our ongoing Partner Spotlight series. Throughout the month of August, you can sign up to join Give Together and choose Calcutta Kids or two other global health projects. Keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

If you are between the ages of 15 and 24, log onto Facebook, update your Twitter, and post a selfie on your Instagram because today is International Youth Day #InternationalYouthDay #Celebrate #NoFilter. Every August 12 is International Youth day, a day meant to celebrate the accomplishments of the young people of the world. The UN chose this years theme to be “Youth Migration: Moving Development Forward.”

Benefits of Youth Migration

The Pew Research Center described Millennials as, “confident, self-expressive, liberal, and open to change.”  These characteristics, paired with relatively cheap transportation costs, make international travel a viable option for many young people who don’t have strong ties at home, or who are just adventurous in general. Many young people (th

Holding Hands Around the World 2

e majority being young women) migrate to another country to learn another language, to gain new experiences and to look  for work. The United World Project recently talked about youth migration stating, “They can provide financial as well as social remittances, including innovative ideas, practices, identities, and social capital.” Although it seems like both sides of the equation are equal and mutually beneficial, some young people who migrate aren’t always welcomed with open arms. (Photo by: UofL International Student & Scholar Services).

Risks of Migration

The same United World Project article described a number of risks that young migrants may face: “Pre-departure through in-transit, post-arrival and return and reintegration to their own society.” The article goes on to say that migrants are “often misguided and susceptible to abuse and exploitation.”  This is an unfortunate reality because some young migrants don’t know their rights, or didn’t do their research. “Information is power,” says Jo Rispoli of the International Organization for Migration. If someone is misinformed, it may cost them dearly, especially if they are far away from home.

What Should Be Done

The familiar picture of stick figures holding hands around a world is supposed to signify  camaraderie, tolerance, and a global community that stands together. However, this is not even remotely the case. Migrants being taken advantage and being misinformed about the place they are traveling to is the norm, and this is a big enough problem that the UN made it a topic for an international holiday. Migrants should read up-to-date guidebooks and always do their research on places and jobs they have accepted.  Doing this could mean the difference between a positive life changing experience, or a very dark one.

Here at Jolkona, we are all about positive life changing experiences, and give you the opportunity to change someone’s life. This month is Global Health month, and through our Give-Together campaign, your micro donations can make a real impact on a global scale. Check out this month’s projects here, and donate!

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

 

Whenever a Miss America contestant is asked a question about how she would change the world if she wins the crown, her answer will sound something like, “I will try to attain world peace, end poverty, improve health worldwide, and teach little children how to read.”  As overly ambitious and cliché this answer is, the world has made strides in the area of global health with the help of vaccines.

Needle by Dr. Shepard

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there are twenty eight Vaccine-Preventable Diseases that have vaccines fighting against them including:  Hepatitis A and B, Measles, Lyme Disease, and the H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) and many more. These vaccines have prevented the spread of disease, and improved the quality of life of all who have been vaccinated. However, vaccinations aren’t always readily available, and when supply is short, the consequences could be disastrous.

It was reported just earlier this month that a measles epidemic hit Pakistan, and this epidemic has already claimed 500 children’s lives (the full article can be read here). Measles is preventable with a vaccine, but not all have access to said vaccine. Dr. Zahid, Medical Superintendent of Mayo Hospital (one of the many hospitals seeing many of the patients with measles) said, “About 80 percent of patients were not vaccinated.”  The power of vaccinations is incredible, and their importance shouldn’t be underestimated. More vaccines could have saved 500 children.

This past month at Jolkona was education month, and we are grateful for the generosity of our readers.  I would like to officially announce that Jolkona will focus on the topic of global health for the month of August. Global health is an issue that many in our office feel passionate about, so dedicating three projects to improving global health was a no-brainer. Please stay tuned for more information coming soon.

By partnering with Jolkona, you get to choose how you impact the world. Join our Give Together program today!

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

In my last blog (it can be read here), I talked about how one study claimed that the current education programs training teachers were not adequately preparing teachers for their classroom. Teachers are being taught outdated methods, and consequently, their students aren’t learning as well as they could be.  I would like to discuss one more issue that is just as important as teacher training, and that is access to educational tools. I have written about the Technology Access Foundation (TAF) before, and I very much believe in their vision: get the necessary tools to the low income students who can’t afford them. The most important tool that every student needs in our modern classrooms is a laptop.

Laptop

 

I’m a blogger, meaning that I’m on my computer a good 16 hours a day. I must type my stories out, research, input my work into WordPress, and keep up to date about everything in the nonprofit world.  I then go home and use my computer for entertainment purposes: Netflix, Facebook, Twitter, and the list goes on. While I was a student (I just graduated from the University of Washington) all of my readings and essays had to be accessed and turned in online. A computer is no longer a luxury item, but an irreplaceable educational tool.

 

 

Why Laptops Are a Necessary Tool In the Classroom

1. If one doesn’t have a laptop, one is confined to a space where a computer can be accessed.

During my senior of college, I bought a new laptop because I had been using the same PC for six years (pictured above), and it was time for an upgrade. Within three weeks of buying the laptop, the hard drive crashed, and I was forced to go to the library to do my homework.  This meant that I couldn’t go to a coffee shop and do homework with my classmates. It also meant that I had to show up early to the library to make sure I got a computer, and had to fight off others who tried to use it when I stepped away to use the bathroom. Finally, being confined to one space always impeded my creative flow. I didn’t realize moving locations was a luxury until I couldn’t do it anymore.

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2. Not having constant access to the Internet.

I will admit that I may be an Internet addict. About 4 months ago, the power went out of my apartment, and being forcibly unplugged was not a fun experience. Not having a constant Internet connection means that you are not updated on everything that is happening around you.  Not being in the know means you are behind, and that is never good. One never knows when breaking news will hit, when your professor will cancel class, or when two of your friends become Facebook official. Information is power.

(Photo credit: The Australian)

3. The simplest tasks become harder.

I remember writing one of my first research papers in the third grade about birds, and having to check out one of the Encyclopedia Britannica’s books to take home and read. Carrying around an encyclopedia was annoying, and it hurt my back. In addition to this, I don’t miss writing out all of my essays by hand. Typing is easier. Laptops make research, writing, reading, communication, collaboration, and presentations easier. I couldn’t imagine my education without one.

Here at Jolkona, we realize the importance of laptops and technology, and have made it easy for you to support organizations like TAF in their efforts to provide students with the appropriate educational tools. You can read about our other projects we are supporting here, and can donate to these causes here.

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

I’m not trying to be flashy with my headline, I truly believe that today’s teachers aren’t adequately prepared for their future classrooms; and The National Council on Teacher Quality feels the same way.

Classroom

The NCTQ assessed the quality of a number of educational programs around the nation, and the results weren’t great:

“Through an exhaustive and unprecedented examination of how these schools operate, the review finds they have become an industry of mediocrity, churning out first-year teachers with classroom management skills and content knowledge inadequate to thrive in classrooms” (The full Seattle Times article about the NCTQ report can be read here).

These were hard words to swallow for educational programs involved. American Federation of Teachers president Randi Weingarten quickly responded to the NCTQ’s accusations by stating that the review was a “gimmick,” and further stated, “it would be more productive to focus on developing a consistent, systemic approach to lifting the teaching profession instead of resorting to attention-grabbing consumer alerts based on incomplete standards.” Although Weingarten agrees that teachers could always be more prepared, she believes that the level of scrutiny the educational programs received was unwarranted.  (Photo by Canadian2006)

What’s The Truth?

The NCTQ discovered two disturbing facts in their research:

  • *3-out-of-4 teacher training programs do not train potential educators how to teach reading based on the latest research. Instead, future teachers are left to develop their own methods.
  • *Only 7 percent of programs ensure student teachers are partnered with effective classroom teachers. Most often, a student teacher is placed into a classroom where a teacher is willing to have them, regardless of experience.

If I signed up for a computer programming class at my university and saw that the computers were still running Windows 98, I would demand my tuition money back because Windows 98 is out of date. This is exactly what is happening in some educational schools. Teachers are being taught strategies that are outdated, and therefore not as effective as they could be. Teaching old strategies should never be in a lesson plan.  Similarly, not pairing up student teachers (or even first year teachers) with a proven teacher leads to improper training and higher rates of first year teachers burning out. The NCTQ stated that, “A vast majority of teacher preparation programs do not give aspiring teachers adequate return on their investment of time and tuition dollars.”

 Making the Top TenTeacher and Sudents

I want to make clear what I’m claiming in this piece: I’m not saying that all teachers are bad teachers; what I’m saying is that teachers aren’t being trained as well as they could be, and students are suffering from it. In the world rankings of education, America doesn’t even make the top ten. It is time to invest into our teachers, because not doing so will put the nail in the coffin of our make our already failing system. However, this is just one study’s opinion. If your experiences tell you differently, please write in the comments below why you agree or disagree with this study. Every experience matters in educational studies.  (Photo by connectedclass)

What Jolkona is Doing for Education

Since its education month at Jolkona, we have spot lighted three educational themed projects that need your support. The three projects are highlighted here, and include empowering women to become better teachers and getting technology to students who don’t have access to it. If you want to support these projects, please visit our Give Together page, and donate.

You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

 

*The full Seattle Times article can be found here.

Sugata Mitra in February of this year gave a powerful TED Talk explaining that building a school in the cloud is not only a plausible option, but an option that could potentially make access to education a problem of the past. 

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Mitra started his TED Talk by sharing a story about how many wealthier parents in India bragged about their sons and daughters great computer skills. Parents believing their children are the best at everything is nothing new, but Mitra wouldn’t have been surprised if these children had a high computer IQ. Through their parents, these children had opportunity and access to a great education. However, Mitra wanted to know if these children of wealthy parents were actually brilliant, or if given the opportunity, could children with no access to any computers or wealth could be just as great. To test his theory, he put a computer in a hole in the wall 300 miles inland from his office, and then told children they could use the computer.  The results will surprise you.

A number of children stared at the computer, and began to teach other how to browse the Internet. This may sound trivial, but these children didn’t speak English. In order to even begin to use the computer, they had to learn English. After two months of using the computer, Mitra returned to the computer, and the children asked him, “Can you bring a better mouse and faster processor please?”  Mitra installed another computer under a tree, and even more children learned how to browse, improved their English, and most were computer literate within months of having access to a computer.

Mitra’s obvious next step was to find teachers to help these low-income students. However, finding teachers to volunteer their time over a webcam to very young children proved difficult. Mitra overcame this obstacle by employing grandmothers. This may sound strange, but any good grandmother knows the best way to encourage a child is to ask questions: “How did you do that? How did you get to this screen? Can you explain to me what you did?” The grandmothers also gave words of encouragement: “I could never do that at your age. You are really smart. You learn so quickly!”  This encouragement and interaction with the grandmothers only boosted the childrens computer literacy intelligence.

computer in wall

 A New Approach

Seeing such great success has caused Mitra to look at our education system in a new way:

“My [Mitra] wish is to help design the future of learning by supporting children all over the world to tap into their innate sense of wonder and work together. Help me build the School in the Cloud, a learning lab in India, where children can embark on intellectual adventures by engaging and connecting with information and mentoring online. I also invite you, wherever you are, to create your own miniature child-driven learning environments and share your discoveries.”

Building a school in the cloud will give more students all around the world access and the opportunity to a great education (you can watch the entire TED Talk here).

It is education month here at Jolkona, and we have three featured projects that need your help. A donation to our Give Together campaign will do one of three things: help close the technological gap in the U.S. through the Technology Access Foundation (TAF), provide play-powered lanterns for rural students in Ghana, or help support women teachers in Burmese. Donate today!

 You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram.

 

 

Let’s start off this post with a cartoon:

educational-system-comic

This cartoon brilliantly illustrates two points about the American Educational System:

1) Treating every student the same does not create an equal playing field,

and

2) bridging the Opportunity Gap doesn’t require a change from students, but a change from the educational system itself.

The Penguin and the Fish

Expecting a penguin and a fish to climb a tree is just as a preposterous as thinking that treating every child the same creates equal opportunity. Fun fact: it doesn’t, it actually does the opposite. Treating every student the same doesn’t factor in the amount of Cultural Capital every child brings into the classroom. Bluntly stated, if you don’t help the children who are already behind, you are subscribing to a front row seat to their failure. Students who aren’t given the extra help they need will most likely fall behind, while their counterparts will succeed because they can keep up with the material that is being taught. Treating every student the same will only reinforce the already unequal education practices the U.S. already has in place.

What Needs to Change?

On that grim note, there is hope. In order for real change to occur in our biased and unequal education system, change needs to come from the top. The educational institution itself must change in order for all students to have the same opportunities as their neighbor.  Although I fully recognize that what I’m stating is much easier said than done, if America wants to truly offer the American dream to every American, our educational institution has to change.

If you want to help students who are behind in school both in the U.S. and abroad, check out these two projects:  TAF (Technology Access Foundation) is helping close the digital divide for students who don’t have access to computers and the internet. If you want to help globally, check out our project that is helping students in India get an education they deserve. If you want to support any other of Jolkona’s projects, check out Give Together.

 You can keep up with everything Jolkona by following us on FacebookTwitterPinterest, and Instagram!

 

 

 

 

 

Today is re-launch day at Jolkona, and we are ecstatic to share our new website and new program Give Together.  If you don’t know already, Give Together is our new giving campaign that encourages you and your friends to “give together.”

Let’s Give Together

Give Together is a program that connects you and your friends to trusted organizations and projects that you can support.  The best way you can support the organizations and projects that you love is to subscribe to a monthly donation. These monthly donations start at just 10 dollars, and Jolkona will send you updates on how exactly your donation has made a difference. With these updates, we hope you will share with your community how your small donation has made a difference, encouraging others to donate as well. If you want learn more about Give Together, please read the details here.

Give Together’s new campaign will not affect any of the current projects going on in our project list. If a monthly donation isn’t an option for you, a one time micro-donation to one of our over 50 projects are still a great way to help those in need. Whether that is donating money to help provide meals for a rural High School in Ecuador, or donating to help get  Education to Girls in Liberia, any donation will have lasting effects. Donate today!

Want to Party?

Jolkona will be having a launch party, celebrating the coming of “Give Together.” We are throwing this party with our close friends at Socializing for Social Change, at the South Lake Union Discovery Center on June 21st. Tickets are $15 pre-purchased, or $20 at the door. You can check out the official Facebook page, and  follow the event on Twitter, #GiveTogether. Make sure to look at the new layout of our website!

If you want to learn more about Jolkona, please feel free to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

Google has taken a break from mapping the world, making cars drive themselves, and creating glasses which capture of every. This time to support a good cause: helping nonprofits connect with potential donors. Google created One Today, a groundbreaking app that allows users to donate a single dollar to their favorite nonprofit. One Today’s slogan is, “Do a little, Change a lot.”

One Today Google

How One Today Changes Everything

One Today is groundbreaking in two ways:

1. It makes users aware of more projects going on around the world.

2. It makes donating social. (We have already written about the importance of giving socially. Read about it here).

This app brings to light more projects than ever before, because any user can access the app from their cell phone. The app has a feature that allows the user to learn about a new cause everyday. Knowing about more causes can result in more donations.

Probably the best part about One Today is that you can match your friends dollar donation with a push of a button. This added feature gives further incentive for one to share with their friends where they have donated money, in order to get more donations toward their favorite nonprofit. In addition to these two great features, One Today informs the user upfront exactly where the donation will go to. If the user knows this information, they are not only more likely to donate on the spot, but more likely to donate again in the future.

The App Itself

As of today, the app has been reviewed 270 times and has been rated 4.9 out of 5.0 stars from the users. The app can be downloaded to your favorite Android device here. Most of the feedback has been positive:

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(This screenshot comes from the Google Play Website)

At Jolkona, we love any company that gives back. In the same spirit as One Today, Jolkona also has a project list where any user can give daily. If you are interested, please look through our project list. We have over fifty projects world wide, differing from planting trees in Honduras, to providing clean water for people in Kenya. Like One Today, Jolkona believes in the power of small donations from a number of inspired people.

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“I wouldn’t change a thing, because that would change everything,” are the iconic lyrics that the Black Stax’s hit single “I love my life,” preach to their R&B and Soul audience. The song speaks of someone overcoming the obstacles put in front of them, and coming out on top because of the struggles in their life. If you want to help children overcome the challenge that is poverty, attend the STEM+ART as a Social Catalyst event, put on by the Technology Access Foundation (TAF).

STEM+ARTThe STEM+ART as a Social Catalyst event will take place tomorrow, May 23rd, at 7:30pm, at The Triple Door in Seattle, WA (216 Union St. Seattle, WA 98101). Tickets can be bought at Tripledoor: $10 for students, $20 for non-students. Black Stax will be performing, and there will be an art gallery displaying the incredible artwork of Tony Taj, alongside the artwork of some TAF students. All proceeds will go to the Technology Access Foundation.

The Story Behind TAF

TAF’s major goal is to, “[Equip] students of color for success in college and life through the power of STEM education.” Equipping students means giving students laptops, flash drives, or anything else a student needs to succeed while in school. The buzzword that most educators use to talk about the problems with the American education system is the “Achievement Gap.” However, the people at TAF believe the gap the education system should be trying to close is the “Opportunity Gap.” TAF believes that if all students received the same opportunities, all would be successful. They created TAF to not only prove this statement right, but to help students meet the high expectations of the classroom, develop relationships with their teachers and classmates, as well as provide the tools necessary to succeed in school. A list of their full goals can be found here.

The Power of TAF

Matt Sauri, (a TAF Corporate Partner ) stated in a promotional Youtube video that, “[Washington state] is the number one state in producing STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) jobs, but were embarrassingly low on the list in terms of producing stem skill sets.” He hopes that TAF can change this statistic. TAF served 32 students in its first year, but now serves over 750 students a year by giving the tools and support necessary for each individual student to succeed in school.

Join Jolkona at the Event!

If you still aren’t convinced to attend the event, knowing that Jolkona will be there tabling should push your “not sure” answer to a “definitely going.” Please come say hello to our table, and enjoy the great music and art. For more information about The STEM+ART as a Social Catalyst event, check out #TAFStax or their Facebook page.

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