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One of the first amazing science facts I learned as a child, was that approximately 70% of the human body is water. Of course, at that age, I thought about water in a much more simplistic way, something to drink when I was thirsty, or play in when I was hot. So, thinking about it as something that is both a universal need, and a commonality among all people never really occurred to me. In the face of pollution, and unequal distribution, finding a space to truly appreciate what water means, sometimes requires remembering that it is in the core of our beings. Tomorrow is UN World Water day, part of the Year of Water Cooperation, and an opportunity to make a difference, and donate to a project, like providing clean water in Kenya.

The Importance of Water Cooperation

We are more than just dependent on water for survival; water is who we are, and something that each and every one of us shares. From this perspective, water cooperation only makes sense. The most basic of human needs, the sustainability of our environment, and economic development, even gender equality is centered on water. For many who do not have quick access to water, the tasks of travelling long distances to collect water for daily use – often contaminated by livestock, and carrying disease, falls to the women of the community, limiting their participation in activities that generate income.

As the world’s population grows, so does the demand on water.

  • Millions of people already do not have access to clean water and sanitation
  • The majority of the fresh water resources are strained by irrigation and agricultural needs of providing food for the growing population.
  • The world’s diet is shifting towards products like starch and meat that require significantly more water to produce.
  • 90% of wastewater in the world pollutes freshwater, and productive cultural regions.

Despite all of these concerns, Water can be a tool to encourage international peace, and positive global development.

  • Almost half of the terrestrial surface of the earth is covered by river basins that cross political boundaries.
  • Groundwater, another important source of freshwater, also needs to be managed by regional cooperation.
  • Hundreds of international agreements have been made on the basis of water agreements.
  • 90 of these manage shared water in Africa alone.
  • Cooperation built around water allows for more efficient and sustainable use, as well as an easier flow of information, and better living conditions

Find out more about water cooperation from UN’s World Water Day

What can you do today?

In honor of both the UN World Water Day, as well as the current Give2Girls campaign, Jolkona supports MADRE’s project of providing clean water in Kenya. This works with indigenous communities in Kenya to provide clean water collection points, water tanks near villages and schools, as well as livestock watering troughs, which reduces contamination and erosion. The impacts of clean water contribute to the UN Millennium Development Goals, of reducing diseases like Malaria, and gender inequality, and increasing environmental sustainability.

This project is especially important to women in Kenya, considering the number of other human rights issues they face. With the help of easily accessible clean water, women will have the opportunity to participate in activities that would generate income and continue to improve their quality of life. In addition, the project would contribute to invigorating the community by consulting members through the implementation process, providing training in maintaining the water systems, as well as health and hygiene.

In recognition of tomorrow’s UN World Water Day, donate as little as $45 to the clean water project in Kenya. This project is also part of the Give2Girls campaign,  as clean water is vital to empowering women.  Even though Give2Girls has been fully funded, through amazing donations, you will still make a difference and save lives. You will be contributing not only to the health of a community, but also to a trend of international cooperation in pursuit of clean water.

Find out how you can get more involved in the UN World Water Day. 

You can also be a part of this movement by helping to spread the word by liking us on Facebook, and by following us on Twitter (#give2girls), and Pinterest.

 

We interviewed Awamaki, a partner that focuses helping women in Peru become economically sustainable through education and traditional crafts, as part of the Give2Girls campaign. They hope to educate the older girls of their weaving cooperatives to become future leaders through workshops that focus on skills like computer use, and to launch a Girls Leadership Program for 2014.

What’s the story behind Awamaki?

Awamaki was formed in early 2009, to support a cooperative of 10 women weavers from Patacancha, a rural Quechua community in Peru. Awamaki’s founders, Seattle native, Kennedy Leavens and Peru native, Miguel Galdo, worked together at Awamaki’s predecessor organization with the Patacancha weaving cooperative for two years. When that organization floundered and finally collapsed, Miguel and Kennedy formed Awamaki to continue their work with the weavers. Awamaki grew rapidly its first few years. We started a health project (now independent), ran an afterschool program, and tried on a number of other hats as well. Awamaki now concentrates its work in economic empowerment, education, skills development, and sustainable community tourism.

How did you become connected with Jolkona?

I had heard of Jolkona through the UW Evans School Public Affairs, so when Nadia emailed me asking for information, I offered to come down to the office. Face-to-face meetings are so rare when you work internationally and your funders, partners and donors are spread out all over the globe.

Can you tell us more about your project’s background and why it started?

Our women’s cooperative project started in the hands of another organization, CATCCO, nearly 10 years ago. The project’s founders saw that the Quechua weaving tradition was being lost, so they offered to buy weavings from high school aged girls in order to encourage them to continue to weave and also give them support for their studies. Since then, our focus has shifted from mostly textile tradition revitalization — though that is still an important aim — to economic development through women’s access to economic opportunities and income. We have created a number of other projects towards that aim, including knitting, sewing and spinning cooperatives, as well as a homestay family association and a Spanish teachers cooperative to work with the many volunteers and travelers that come through the town where we are based. All our projects come from a need identified by the community and an opportunity identified by our international volunteers and staff, who have the ideas and expertise necessary to connect marginalized community members with the opportunities afforded by the international tourism markets.

What kind of lasting change does the project hope to engender?

We aim to give women the skills and market access they need to directly improve their incomes. We believe that income in the hands of women is the most effective way to lift rural families and communities out of poverty. We hope to create cooperatives that are models of self-sufficiency and financial sustainability, allowing women to be empowered agents of change, investing in the health, education and well being of their families and their communities.

We also aim to create cooperative business models that respect and revitalize local traditions and ways of life.

 So say I make a contribution to the project, can you explain a little further the impact that is achieved?

Awamaki’s projects allow the women we work with to access economic opportunities and earn a significant income that they then invest in their families and communities.

Our donors and supporters play a crucial role in our work. As a successful social enterprise, 78% of our funding comes from earned program income–sales of fair trade products, income from our sustainable tourism program, and volunteer and service travel program donations. This income covers our core operating expenses entirely.

Since we are devoted to working with the most marginalized women and communities in the area, however, the success of our programs–and the improved income and well-being of our women–rests on the extensive administrative support, skills trainings and capacity-building workshops we provide to the 150 women and families with whom we work. We leverage 100% of donations to provide this support and to fund program start-up and expansion, such as organizing and training new cooperatives that become self-sustaining after our initial investment

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

Graciela is 17. She lives in the remote high Andean community of Patacancha. When she was 13, she became pregnant. Girls don’t usually finish school in Patacancha; girls who are mothers definitely don’t finish school. Graciela’s parents were upset by her early pregnancy, but they enrolled her in Awamaki’s weaving cooperative program, then just starting. Income from the Awamaki project allowed her to support the child while she and the child’s father — only barely older than Graciela — finished school. Last year, he graduated from high school, and they moved into a one-room adobe home that they built near her parent’s home. Graciela continues to support her young family with income from the Awamaki project. Though only 17, she is one of our most skilled weavers. Her son, Rolando, is a healthy, energetic four-year-old.

In a nutshell, why should someone give to this project?

Donations are the crucial link between the enterprise and the social part of what we do. We multiply your donation many times over by creating self-sustaining solutions to poverty.

Double your impact through the Give2Girls campaign, and donate to Awamaki today.

You can also be a part of the Give2Girls movement by helping to spread the word by liking us on Facebook, and by following us on Twitter (#give2girls), and Pinterest.

 

MADRE is a partner with many projects involved in the Give2Girls Campaign. Given the many essential services they provide for women internationally, as well as the many opportunities for donation, we wanted to feature their background and work. We interviewed them about their past work, and what they hope to accomplish.

What’s the story behind MADRE?

Almost thirty years ago, MADRE was created to meet the immediate needs of women and address the underlying causes of the crises they face. In 1983, at the height of a war in Nicaragua, women there extended an invitation to a small group of women in the United States to witness and discuss the atrocities committed by the U.S. funded, contra militia. What they saw horrified and angered them. They were shown entire communities – day care centers, schools, and hospitals – destroyed by bombs. Upon their return to the United States, the women, led by Founding Director Kathy Engel, began MADRE to aid the women and children of Nicaragua’s Atlantic coast. Grounded in the concrete work of collecting humanitarian aid for Nicaragua, MADRE offered ways for people to join together to demand alternatives to destructive policies, at home and abroad.

Although created to address this specific crisis, the leaders of MADRE recognized the necessity of focusing on the universality of women’s roles and oppression as a key to building lasting partnerships between women from different communities. To this day, they continue their commitment to international women’s rights and welfare, and have provided 30 million dollars-worth of material support to their sister organizations worldwide.

Today, MADRE works in partnership with grassroots women’s groups in Afghanistan, Colombia, Guatemala, Haiti, Iraq, Jordan, Kenya, Nicaragua, Palestine, Peru and Sudan to advance women’s human rights by meeting urgent needs in communities and build long-term solutions to the crises women face. They support three overarching program areas: Peace Building; Women’s Health/Combating Violence against Women; and Economic and Environmental Justice. They work towards a world in which all people enjoy the fullest range of individual and collective human rights; in which resources are shared equitably and sustainably; in which women participate effectively in all aspects of society; and in which all people have a meaningful say in policies that affect their lives.

So how did you become connected with Jolkona?

We came across Jolkona in a search for additional fundraising opportunities for our programs with women and families worldwide, and jumped at the chance to participate. Our partnership began in 2009. Now, we have eight active projects on Jolkona.

One of your projects is providing health kits to women and children in Gaza. Can you tell us a bit more about the project and how it’s going currently?

After the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, MADRE and our local Palestinian partner organization responded by bringing urgent medical care to injured civilians, particularly women and children. Thanks to donor support, MADRE was able to send two disbursements of funds to the Palestinian Medical Relief Society. In Gaza, PMRS operates four clinics, four mobile clinics, two physiotherapy centers, one assistive device center and individual relief services. During the recent escalation of violence in Gaza, all PMRS centers and teams were equipped to offer emergency health services and disburse medication. Their local positioning and knowhow allowed them to deliver emergency care to vulnerable neighborhoods in Gaza where the need is greatest. PMRS also held psychosocial support sessions for children traumatized by the recent violence. Sessions were held in schools and activities include therapeutic games and coloring.

What kind of lasting change does the project hope to engender?

The support of donors provides emergency medicines and supplies during this crisis, which has saved lives. Providing care now will better equip Palestinians to weather the crisis and rebuild their communities in the future.

To create lasting peace in the region, we need to demand an end to Israel’s blockade of Gaza, the occupation of Palestinian land, and safety from armed attacks for all people in the region. We’re committed to pushing the Obama administration for a human rights-based policy in the Middle East. But in times of crisis, the most urgent thing is to heal people’s suffering.

So say I give $10 to the project, can you explain a little further the impact that is achieved? 

During times of violence, your gift will bring urgent care to wounded and traumatized children and families in Gaza, who have no other source of help. Continued support of this project will better equip Palestinians to effectively manage crises as they arise and rebuild their communities in the future.

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

In the wake of the most recent period of violence between Israel and Palestine, MADRE received a letter from our sister organization, K’inal Antsetik A.C. (Land of Women), in Chiapas, Mexico. They heard about our work in Gaza and decided to help in whatever way they could. Their letter expressed solidarity with women and their families affected by violence in Gaza. Remembering the support they had previously received from MADRE, the women of K’inal Antsetik A.C. offered words of kindness as well as money they had personally collected to aid us in our work. This embodies the spirit of MADRE – grassroots organizations from around the world coming together to ensure that that all women receive the resources they need to thrive in the most trying of circumstances.

In a nutshell, why should someone give to this project?

When you give to MADRE, you can be sure you’re making a concrete difference in the life of a woman who is struggling to build a better future for herself and her family. Whether you’re helping build a clinic, feed a child or deliver emergency aid after a disaster, you can feel confident that your gift will be used in a smart, efficient way. At MADRE, a full 88 cents of every dollar you give go towards our lifesaving programs with women and families.

Now is your chance to double your impact through the Give2Girls Campaign, and donate to MADRE’s project in Palestine.

You can also be a part of the Give2Girls movement by helping to spread the word by liking us on Facebook, and by following us on Twitter (#give2girls), and Pinterest.

To celebrate and participate in Women’s History Month, we’re proud to be launching our third Give2Girls matching campaign, running through the rest of March – starting today! We’re dedicating twenty four days to improving the lives of thousands of women and girls around the globe. This year we’re partnering with our local champions of change, the Seattle International Foundation.

How does the campaign work?

Give to any of our 30+ projects related to women or girls, and we will match your donation, dollar for dollar, up to $250 per donor! Even better than that, though, we will double your proof! So donate $15 to provide workshops and other business opportunities for Peruvian women, and we’ll not only match your donation, but we’ll send you two impact reports. The campaign is being matched up to a total of $2,500.

Why this campaign?

Here are just some of the reasons:

  • Out of the world’s 130 million out-of-school youth, 70 percent are girls.
  • An extra year of primary school boosts girls’ eventual wages by 10 to 20 percent. An extra year of secondary school: 15 to 25 percent.
  • When a girl in the developing world receives seven or more years of education, she marries four years later and has 2.2 fewer children.
  • When women and girls earn income, they reinvest 90 percent of it into their families, as compared to only 30 to 40 percent for a man.
  • The total global population of girls ages 10 to 24 – already the largest in history – is expected to peak in the next decade.
  • One-quarter to one-half of girls in developing countries become mothers before age 18; 14 million girls aged 15 to 19 give birth in developing countries each year.
  • Medical complications from pregnancy are the leading cause of death among girls ages 15 to 19 worldwide. Compared with women ages 20 to 24, girls ages 10 to 14 are five times more likely to die from childbirth, and girls 15 to 19 are up to twice as likely, worldwide.
  • Approximately one-quarter of girls in developing countries are not in school.

(statistics taken from girleffect.org)

I’ve said this many a time, and I won’t apologize for saying it again: at Jolkona it is necessary that we talk about statistics, of course. Statistics give us the overarching picture. But what fuels the fire that drives us is the story behind each statistic – the individual. And this is what we want you to see. This is why we give you, the philanthropist, not just the chance to change statistics, but to actually glimpse into the life of the individual behind the statistic by seeing exactly how your donation makes an impact.

Our Give2girls campaign is not about changing statistics; it’s about changing people’s lives. So let’s do that.

Here are 4 ways for you to take action today:

  1. Make an investment in women and girls. Choose from over 30 different projects that support women and girls and give to girls today
  2. Get Educated. Learn about the history of Women’s History Month and then learn about investing in women for poverty alleviation. We like the Girl Effect and UN’s womenwatch
  3. Watch the film Girl Rising made by the inspiring 10×10. Find a screening here.
  4. Spread the word. Support this movement by sharing the importance of investing in girls for poverty alleviation and share our campaign. Tweet using #Give2girls.
You can also help spread the word by liking us on Facebook, and by following us on Twitter, and Pinterest.

Before January ends, and before we all begin to anticipate (with great excitement!) the move away from the winter months, I wanted to take the chance to look back at December and our Holiday Giving Campaign, our 10 Days of Giving.

A big part of the Holiday Campaign is for us at Jolkona to come together and work as a team (as the vast majority of us are volunteers with 9-5 jobs elsewhere, this isn’t always easy!) It’s also great opportunity for us to – quite literally – put our money where our mouths are, and to practice what we preach. Whilst it also means getting comfy with someone putting a camcorder in your face for your campaign video!

 

The impact

But at the heart of the Campaign is how the holiday season is not only about giving gifts to friends and family but about giving the gift of impact. And in the same way, one of the best things about the holiday season is seeing what gifts people get, so is it with the Holiday Campaign. So without further ado, here is the impact raised:

  • 8 children saved from diarrhea in India
  • 23 families provided with emergency medical kits in Palestine
  • 5 children’s annual school fees paid for in rural Benin
  • 3 safe birth kits for mothers in Palestine
  • 45 complete outfits for orphaned children in Kenya
  • 6 students’ monthly fees paid for at the School of Life program in America
  • 1 hygienic toilet built in rural India
  • 6 months of computer training for 9 students in rural Guatemala

As ever, thanks to everyone who gave back, who gave the gift of impact!

Start your own campaign!

Starting your own campaign is immensely simple:

Click on this link
Select a project
Give it a name
Set your campaign target
Tell your friends and family!

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

 

The three of us who make up the writing and editing team, and many if not all of us at Jolkona, were brought into the world safely without any major set backs.

However, this is not the case for many women and children across the globe. One of our partners is hosting a project which assists those who face problems within the labor process in Palestine, and in honor of them and our 10 Days of Giving, the writing and editing team would like to highlight and support their cause.

The Scoop

Because of recent conflict that still continues today, the Israeli military has placed heavy restrictions on free movement. Due to several road closures in the West Bank, women in labor have been having difficulty traveling to hospitals safely. The United Nations estimates that around 2500 women face fatal or life-threatening complications while en route to receive assistance with labor. Consequently, the number of women who give birth without any proper medical attention has increased at the same time.

What We’re Doing About It

The writing and editing team here at Jolkona has created a campaign to help mothers and their children, while reducing these numbers. Lucky enough to have experienced safe births, the team is ready to help other mothers undergo healthy, successful deliveries while ensuring their children’s safety in the process.

The goal for the campaign is to raise $300 and provide six mothers and their children with these safe birth kits in an effort to support them in this difficult time.

Check out the video explaining what the campaign is all about:

How You Can Help

Support Safe Births in Palestine: Our partner, MADRE, has created a project to assist these women and children. Donations to the campaign start at $5, however, with your gift of just $50 you can provide a complete safe birth kit to a mother and child. As proof of who your donation has been helping, you will receive the mother and child’s name, as well.

MADRE, a partner of ours since 2009, is an international women’s human rights organization that works with community-based women’s organizations worldwide. Since the organization began in 1983, it has provided women in various countries around the globe with more than $25 million.

Support the Cause

Women and children in Palestine are in great need of our help with facilitating easier labor and deliveries. We invite you to join MADRE and us at Jolkona, with special help from the blogging and editing team, in supporting women and children in Palestine through our new campaign. Just in time for our 10 Days of Giving, a donation to the campaign is a great way to give back to the global community this holiday season.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter , and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

As a recent college graduate, I understand how important proper employment training is. The US economy has created a dog-eat-dog competition style in the job market where every ounce of experience and knowledge is incredibly valuable.

That’s why I have created a campaign with the goal of assisting at least 10 students in getting a month’s worth of various employment education classes in order to help increase their chances of getting a job after graduation.

Students are constantly being reminded about how tough the job market will be for them after graduation by the press, educators, peers and parents. Action needs to be taken now to support students and lift them up in an economy threatening to tear them down.

What You Can Do

Prepare Kids in USA to Become Employable Adults–The poor job market and status of the United States’ economy is a highly debated topic that is not likely to disappear anytime soon. Regardless of one’s opinion on how to best turn the economy around, it is clear that too many Americans are out of work.

Soccer in the Streets, who has partnered with Jolkona since 2010, conducts a project titled School of Life, which teaches the country’s youth about resume building, employment preparation, community service and much more.

The organization started in 1989 and has since positively influenced the lives of over 125,000 people. It is a member of the United Soccer Collaborative in the United States, and streetfootballworld internationally.

By giving a gift of just $25 to Soccer in the Streets School of Life program, you will help one student gain the skills needed to become employable upon graduation. A month’s worth of supplies will be provided to the School of Life program in order to help teach these skills.

Do Even More

For $150, you can provide a student with six months of life skill training programs and empower their future.

To help further, your gift of $300 will be used to sponsor a student in life skills training programs for an entire year, after which you will receive a video from the student describing all of their successes.

Let’s make good jobs a reality in our youths’ futures, not a dream.

The Bigger Picture

Although there seems to be nothing more important to some Americans than landing a good job during this time of economic disarray, this project contributes to a larger cause: achieving the United Nation’s goal of eradicating hunger and poverty by 2015.

With your small gift, you can help the UN reach this huge end by making sure our youth has the means to support themselves in the future, while influencing younger generations to give back to their communities.

Learn more about Soccer in the Streets by checking out its website, following them on Twitter, or liking them on Facebook.

By learning and teaching others about this amazing program, we can work to lower future unemployment rates–without relying on empty campaign promises. Take action for tomorrow today, right now.

Help my campaign, Jolkona and the UN accomplish our goals of creating a better future by giving to our youth.

Like Jolkona on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and check us out on Pinterest to keep up with all of our ongoing projects.

We’re fortunate at Jolkona to have a group of stellar volunteers. They’re a mixed bunch coming from all over. But they all have one thing in common: they’re passionate about engendering change – for the good. Meet one such volunteer: Takuhiro Kodani. Takuhiro is 22 and comes from Tottori, a small village in the south west of Japan. He’s a regular at the Jolkona office and just started his own Jolkona campaign. Check it out here. I caught up with him and asked him a few questions about his time here and a little more about the campaign and the project he’s supporting.

So Takuhiro, what brings you to Seattle?
I came here to study International Business. I’m currently taking an International Business program at Bellevue College.

Are you enjoying your time here?
Yes, absolutely. I’m really enjoying Seattle life – beautiful days and great food!

Are you looking forward to going back to Japan or will you be sad to leave Seattle?
Actually, I will be sad. Obviously life is very different in Japan. I think I like the lifestyle and culture better here in Seattle; it suits me!

How long have you been interning here at Jolkona?
Since May. So a little over three months.

Why did you decide to get involved with Jolkona?
For two reasons: for a long time now I’ve been interested in non-profit operations and management. The culture of non-profits in Japan is very different from those in the US. So I wanted to experience and learn those differences. Secondly, I am also interested in empowerment projects, especially in developing countries. Last year I stayed in Bangladesh for three months and what I experienced there had a big impact on me. I realized that I wanted to do something to empower those less fortunate than myself. Then I found out about Jolkona. I saw what it was doing and it really appealed to me.

Is this your first time working with a non-profit?
Yes it is.

How has the experience been so far?
It’s been great. I’ve learned so much from Jolkona and its members, a lot of which I could never learn from studying.

Tell us a bit about the volunteer work you do and the projects you’re involved with.
Mainly I’m in charge of promoting Jolkona’s Japenese projects. There are 6 Japanese projects, so I promote them through social media like Facebook and Twitter. In addition to that, I supported Jolkona’s co-founder, Adnan Mahmud, when he came to Japan to give a series of talks in four cities. I helped promote his events through a Japanese Web magazine and by putting him in touch with other non-profit social entrepreneurs.

So you’re running your own campaign. Why did you decide to do this?
When I came to Seattle I met and talked to lots of people. Many times I was asked about Fukushima and the Tohoku region which was devastated by the Tsunami in April of 2011. The only thing I was ever really able to say was that current situation was still bad and that a lot more help was needed to complete the rebuilding. I myself then began wondering what I could do. I knew Jolkona had several Japanese projects which supported the rebuilding of Tohoku, so I decided to get involved myself and support Japan from Seattle. So that’s why I’m running this campaign.

Can you tell us a bit more about the campaign?
This campaign supports ETIC, a Japanese non-profit organization which helps young leaders who are trying to rebuild the Tohoku region by giving them technical assistance and leadership training. You can support their work by making a donation from as small as $5. My goal is to fund 5 EITC leaders. My campaign started today!

What do you hope to show people by doing this campaign?
I want people to understand that, although the disaster happened over a year ago, there are still many challenges in the rebuilding the Tohoku region. The work is not finished and I don’t want it to be forgotten.

What would your advice be to young people who want to get involved in philanthropy?
First, I think it’s important to pay attention to what is going around you. If there is a problem that you can resolve, then take action. But there are so many resources available to us. The internet and online giving platforms, like Jolkona, are great examples of this.

Finally, are you confident you will hit your campaign target?
Yes, I am confident I’ll hit my target for the campaign. It’s a great project, and I really hope a lot of people will see that and help me fund it.

Check out Takuhiro’s campaign page and help him help others.

Want to start your own campaign for a project you’re passionate about? It’s easy! Click here to find out just how easy it really is!

July 9th saw the start of our Give Health matching campaign designed to coincide with July’s Global Health month here in Seattle.  The match was a generous $3500 and finished fully funded!

We want to thank everyone who participated: the sponsors, the donors, the volunteers, and also S4SC for throwing us a great party and showing us how to socialize for social change!

The final amount raised was:

$9569!

And here’s the impact you’ve made:

  • 2 prosthetics provided in Bangladesh
  • 49 children saved from diarrhea in India
  • 4 booklets about improved mental health distributed in Japan
  • 12 children received complete dental care in Bolivia
  • 12 participants in Kenyan soccer tournament sponsored
  • 60 children fed for a week in Uganda
  • 2 families of 6 people fed for three weeks in Somalia
  • 20 people received healthcare in Mali
  • 2 dogs vaccinated in Nepal
  • 8 weeks of medical supplies provide in Bangladesh
  • 2 homes fumigated in Bolivia
  • 10 children received complete dental care in Bolivia
  • 4 weeks of health screenings provided in Bangladesh
  • 70 health kits provided in Somalia
  • 2 children’s dental visit sponsored in Bolivia
  • 4 water construction tools provided in Kenya
  • 20 people received oral rehydration salts in Somalia
  • 2 children received vitamins and medicine in Sierra Leone
  • 2 children’s medical needs supported in Cambodia
  • 2 malnourished children saved in Nepal
  • 2 weeks of care provided for a mother and her baby in Guatemala
  • 2 bags of seeds provided in Nicaragua
  • 2 children sponsored for a dental visit in Bolivia
  • 7 women health workers supported in Peru

Thank you everyone!

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest and keep up to date with all we’re doing and the impact you are making.

Before you read on, go check this website out. No, actually, click that link and take a look.

No Controversy is a site designed to facilitate awareness and dialogue about women who lack access to modern contraceptives. It was implemented with the fundamental goal of separating the use of contraceptives from abortion, and focusing on the benefits of family planning. It was also designed to generate hype for the London Family Planning Summit.

On July 11th, hundreds of delegates from 69 countries, NGOs and the UN gathered in London for the Family Planning Summit, an event aiming to revitalize support for family planning initiatives. In recent years, family planning has been pushed out of the global spotlight by issues such as HIV/AIDS, or by ideological arguments making it a sticky subject. The summit, hosted by Melinda Gates and Britain’s Department for International Development (DID), was put on to galvanize discussion about and support for family planning. The summit brought donor countries and groups in contact with governments of developing countries, who have created plans to increase education and access to contraception.

Prime Minister David Cameron and Melinda Gates speak with youth at the Summit

Why is this Important?

 

As stated in a recent Guardian article, Millennium development goal (MDG) 5 universal access to reproductive health, which is measured principally by access to family planning is the MDG least likely to be met by the 2015 deadline. But increasing access to contraceptives can drop maternal deaths by up to a third, because it means less high risk births such as births before the age of 18 and births spaced too closely. More than 220 million sexually active women say they do not want children but have no access to contraceptives. The need is there.

Increasing contraceptive use is a two-fold battle.

  • On one end, ideological arguments lock up aid by claiming that contraceptives will increase sexual promiscuity, or by linking it with abortion or population control.
  • On the other end, there is often misinformation about contraceptive use, so even if they are available, they might go unused. It is not enough just to provide access; women also need to be educated about the many options available to them, their side effects, and so on.

Sisters Brenda and Atupele (aged 16 and 18) both dropped out of school when they became pregnant, severely limiting their potential and putting their lives at risk

What are the Benefits?

 

The goal reached by the London Summit is to provide access to roughly half of the 220 million women lacking it by 2020, and organizers estimate this will cost 4 billion U.S. dollars in addition to what is already provided for. However, the benefits far outweigh the costs.

  • The statistics: “By 2020, the collective efforts announced at the summit will result in 200,000 fewer women dying in pregnancy and childbirth, more than 110 million fewer unintended pregnancies, over 50 million fewer abortions, and nearly three million fewer babies dying in their first year of life.” (London Family Planning Summit)
  • Beyond statistics: Planning when to have children empowers women to become more educated, and to earn more money. It also allows families to decide how many children they will have, meaning they can provide them with a better quality of life. Countries which are trending towards smaller family sizes have seen increases in education, prosperity, and GDP. Melinda Gates sums this up well in her TED talk.
  • Multi-faceted impact: Much like improved sanitation, family planning helps nearly all the MDGs, especially those relating to maternal and child mortality, which are notoriously difficult to change.

What Can I Do?

You can have meaningful impact in three simple ways.

  1. Perhaps you already have, but take the pledge on www.no-controversy.com. Show your support for this cause.
  2. Donate to our projects aimed at improving access to contraception! Project 92 funds contraceptives directly, and Project 200 gives women the ability to educate their communities about health issues.
  3. Share this blog post. Start a discussion about contraceptives. Raise awareness and dispel misinformation.

Stay in touch with Jolkona on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. If you are passionate about this subject, attend the #S4SC event and donate to Supporting Women Health Workers!

My brother almost died when he was a new-born. Though healthy at birth, it soon became apparent that he was having serious problems. Increasingly emaciated and severely dehydrated, he was suffering from chronic diarrhea. As a result, lactose – the one thing he relied on almost more than anything – could not be digested. The diarrhea got worse and worse; he grew thinner and thinner.

Biologically speaking, this is what was happening to him: diarrhea is brought about when the mechanism controlling fluid balance in the intestine is disturbed. The most common causes of this are toxins secreted by bacteria, or damage to the lining of the bowel by bacteria. My brother was experiencing the latter due to a bout of gastroenteritis. As a result, his body was releasing excessive amounts of essential fluids – water and electrolytes. The loss of these fluids was literally draining the life out of him. The electrolyte imbalance could well have begun to damage his kidneys and cause his heart to beat irregularly. Untreated this would have killed him.

For a while my parents weren’t sure if he would live. We were living in Morocco at the time, where healthcare is nowhere near the quality most of us have access to. However, in the end, they were able to diagnose the problem and treat it with a simple fluid replacement program. My brother’s life was saved. He now lives in Leicester in the UK, is married, and is training to become a doctor. He also happens to be one of my best friends and one of the kindest and most gentle people you’ll ever meet.

My brother lived. Millions of other children don’t. UNICEF estimates that number to be around 1.5 million annually.

Diarrhea is the second leading cause of death for children under 5 globally.

Bringing the Global to the Personal

If you follow my posts for Jolkona, you’ll know I have a penchant for telling personal anecdotes. I do this for a reason. Statistics are harrowing, yes. 1.5 million children is as incomprehensible as it is sickening. But I’m of the mind that you cannot measure suffering on the scale of figures. Suffering is suffering, for 1.5 million mothers as it is for one. So I share these parts of my life with you because I want you to understand that it’s the people behind the statistic who matter. It is they who suffer, who die, who mourn.

At Jolkona we want to invite you into the stories behind the statistics. So today I’m inviting you into the stories of children in India. Give $10 to save one child from diarrhea and we’ll send you the discharge certificate of the child whose treatment you provided. Even better, this month we’re running our Give Health matching campaign so we’ll double your donation and send you a second discharge certificate.

For the price of less than a movie ticket you save two lives. Two families spared from tragedy and suffering. Two stories you become a part of. It is a beautiful thing.

I care about this project because I am thankful that my family had access to the simple medical care that saved my brother’s life, and because I believe it is a terrible injustice that a child should die of something so banal, something so easily treatable as diarrhea. Give to this project. Give Health today.

You can also support this project by coming to our Socializing For Social Change event on Thursday July 26th. Tickets costs $10, the total of which goes to one of three global health projects of your choice. Saving a child from diarrhea is one of them.

Follow our campaign and its impact via our Give Health campaign page, Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter. Tweet using the #givehealth hashtag.

 

Imagine a woman working at a marketplace in the US . She needs to use the restroom, so she walks three minutes around the corner, grumbles about the line that has formed, but then uses the toilet and gets back to work.

Now imagine that woman living in the Shivaji Nagar slum in Mumbai. She has held it all day to avoid this moment, but she desperately needs to go. She walks 20 minutes just to reach the nearest women’s restroom to find it filthy, stained, and disgustingly odorous. After she finishes, the male attendant asks her to pay. “But I only urinated,” she protests. “How should I know?” he replies, still barring her exit. She hands over four rupees, about 1/6th of her daily earnings, and then is allowed to leave.

The above scenario happens daily for thousands of women in India as highlighted by these two New York Times articles. The lack of access to improved sanitation is a huge problem in India. In New Delhi alone, the national capital, there are 1,534 men’s toilets to just 132 for women. The situation is so dire that often women purposefully don’t drink water just so that they will not have to use the restroom, leading to further health problems than poor sanitation. Worldwide, around 2.6 billion people (36% of the world’s population) do not have access to improved sanitation facilities, and access is not increasing at the rate it needs to in order to meet the UN’s Millennium Development Goal (MDG) deadline of 23% in 2015.

While this data seems grim, in reality this lack of progress can be attributed to aid not going to the right places.

  • Drinking water and Sanitation often get lumped together into one aid category, but aid is often allotted to the first and not the second. By 2015, access to drinkable water will have far surpassed the MDG target.
  • Furthermore, as reported by the 2012 GLAAS Report, “only half of development aid for sanitation and drinking-water is targeted to the MDG regions of sub-Saharan Africa, Southern Asia and South-eastern Asia where 70% of the global unserved live.”
  • Lastly, most of this aid is directed to urban areas, but urban residents represent less than 1/3 of people lacking improved sanitation.

While building toilets might be less attractive than building wells, improved sanitation has an enormous benefit to the people who have access to it. It reduces disease, child mortality, and helps practically all the MDGs. It increases dignity within a community, can help raise education, end the poverty cycle, and even increase GDP.

For example: Improved Sanitation addresses the Gender Equality MDG in many ways. More toilets increases women’s mobility, dignity, and ability to work, and lessens incidences of assault or rape. In addition, the 2012 GLAAS Report that showed that improved sanitation in schools lead to better attendance. For example, if schools worked to improve menstrual hygiene they could encourage girls who often miss class when menstruating to attend. This in turn helps close the education gap.

What is Jolkona doing about it?

We’re running the Give Health matching campaign, and Jolkona has three projects (Project 67, Project 76, and Project 95) that address the sanitation situation. Two of them build sustainable latrines in rural Southern Asia, and the other builds either temporary or permanent latrines in Haiti. If you support one of these projects, you will receive a photo of the latrine you provided, and information about the family you are supporting. Donate this month and make double the impact!

Keep up with us and the Give Health Campaign on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. Also check out the #S4SC Event!

Charts from: WHO and UNICEF (2010) Progress on Sanitation and Drinking Water; 2010 update. Joint Monitoring Programme for Water Supply and Sanitation. [http://www.unicef.org/media/files/JMP-2010Final.pdf]

 

When we start talking about Global Health, there’s always the risk of creating an impression of generality. We can easily succumb to the idea of a vast plethora of ‘worldwide issues’ clumped together, one indistinguishable from the other. Needless to say, this is not the reality. So this month, Seattle’s Global Health month, Jolkona is bringing the Global to the personal. Today we’re thrilled to launch the Give Health matching campaign. By donating to any one of our Global Health projects we’ll directly show you the impact your donation makes in the lives of those the project supports. Even better: we’ll match your donation, double the impact, double your proof. The match will be up to $3,500, which has been generously provided by a group of anonymous donors.

What is Global Health?

Global health refers to health problems that transcend national borders or have global political and economic impact. This includes not just problems such as infectious and insect-borne diseases which can spread from one country to another, but also health problems that are of such magnitude that they have a global political and economic impact, such as the HIV/AIDS epidemic and malaria.

Why Global Health?

Because health is one of central foundations of a good and just society – and we passionately believe that. Because Global Health indirectly and directly impacts all of us: the spread of a crippling disease in another country, while confined to its borders, can still have major economic and political repercussions in your country. Furthermore, an uncontrolled disease that transcends a country’s borders obviously has the potential to wreak havoc on a truly global.

But we care most about Global Health because we know what it means be in good health and, more importantly, because we know what it means to have the support of healthcare facilities and medications when we are not. The tragedy is that there are billions of people worldwide who do not have access to the most basic healthcare. It is devastatingly unjust – almost unthinkable to us – that a mother should lose her child because of something as mundane as diarrhea.

Bring the Global to the Personal

During this campaign we want to show you that you can make a difference by showing you how you make a difference. So give to any one of our 30+ Global Health projects and we’ll match your donation, whilst you see double the proof of impact. For example, give $10 to save a child in India from diarrhea, we’ll donate an additional $10, and we’ll send you copies of both the discharge certificates for the children whose treatment you provided. You are the person who makes the difference, and you see the difference made in the person’s life. This is how we’re making Global Health a personal issue.

Go to our campaign page to view our Global Health projects. Find one you care about. Donate.

Giving Health, socializing for change

As part of the campaign, our friends at Socializing 4 Social Change (S4SC) are throwing us a party to help draw awareness to three of our Global Health projects. The evening will be replete with giveaways, music, food and drinks, as well as a silent auction. Buy a ticket for the event and the full amount will go to one of the three projects of your choice. The event is on the evening of July 26 and you can get your tickets here. At $10 a pop, how could you not?

Give Health and make Global Health a personal issue.

Keep up with us on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

 

In 1962 Seattle hosted the World Fair at its brand-new and futuristic Seattle Center. It was an event that essentially put the city on the modern map, giving it world-wide recognition. Back in April this now iconic heart of the city started celebrating its 50 year anniversary. As part of its Next 50 festivities, the Seattle Center is running a six month-long celebration, with each month focusing on different areas of regional leadership and development. The month of July is Global Health – and we at Jolkona are very excited about that, as you might expect!

Aerial of World's Fair grounds, 1962

Bringing awareness to – and tackling – Global Health issues is something we’re deeply passionate about. So to participate in that celebration we’ll be announcing a new matching campaign. The campaign will kick off on July 9th and run until the end of the month.

A matching campaign?

You heard that right, folks, it is a matching campaign! As always, that means you’ll have the chance to double your impact. The match will apply to any of our Global Health projects. In a nutshell: we’ll double your donation and you’ll see double the proof of impact.

As part of the campaign, our friends at Socializing 4 Social Change (S4SC) are throwing us a party to help draw awareness to three of our Global Health projects. The evening will be replete with giveaways, music, food and drinks, as well as a silent auction. Buy a ticket for the event and the full amount will go to one of the three projects of your choice. The event is on the evening of July 26 and you can get your tickets here. At $10 a pop, how could you not?

I want to make a difference!

So if you’re passionate about Global Health, then get involved. If you know nothing about Global Health, still get involved. If you want to join us in building a new generation of philanthropists, changing the world one drop of water – one person -at a time, then get involved.

Sit tight for much more info about the campaign coming soon!

You can keep up with us and all that’s going on at Jolkona on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

 

The Seattle Foundation is launching its annual GiveBig campaign today, and over these next 24 hours you can have your chance to make an impact – and increase it! The campaign is supporting over 1,300 nonprofit organizations by enlarging donations made to each of those organizations today. Needless to say, we’re delighted to be one of them!

The stretch

Give to Jolkona through the Seattle Foundation’s webpage between midnight and 11.59pm (Pacific Time) today, May 2 2012, and you will receive a pro-rated portion of the matching funds from their “stretch pool”. The amount of “stretch” depends on the size of the stretch pool and how much is raised in total donations on GiveBig day. For example, if Jolkona receives 3% of the total donations during GiveBig, then it will receive 3% percent of the stretch pool.

Put more simply: the more you give to Jolkona, the more the Seattle foundation will match.

The Kona fund: help us help others

We have over 120 projects at Jolkona. And today we’re asking you to support one of our very own, the Kona fund. By giving to Jolkona via the Seattle Foundation you enable us to continue our mission: to reach out to and connect a new generation of philanthropists with our global partners and their projects through our innovative microgiving online platform.

Give Back. GiveBig

Here’s your chance to help us help others. Give to Jolkona via the Seattle Foundation webpage and watch your donation stretch. To do so, follow the very simple instructions:

  1. Go to Jolkona’page on The Seattle Foundation website today between 12am and 11.59pm (PT). (To be eligible for stretch funds, your donation must be made through The Seattle Foundation website).
  2. Click on ‘Donate Now”. Donations can only be made by credit card. Give a little – or a lot – and watch it stretch!
  3. Tell others about your donation through Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Encourage your friends to GiveBIG to Jolkona.

Stretch your donation; enlarge the love. GiveBig.

 

GET INVOLVED!