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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!

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.

 

As we’re now getting into Global Health Month (a.k.a. July) I thought I would get everyone excited about our matching campaign starting on Monday! But you may be thinking ‘Global Health is such a huge topic, how can I make a difference?’ Well, we at Jolkona will tell you ‘One drop of water at a time.’

Speaking of drops of water, increasing access to sanitation and drinking water is a major solution that addresses 7 out of the 8 Millennium Development Goals. While we’ve made great progress in this area, much more still needs to be done. Jolkona has multiple projects that further this solution, such as this one.

This infographic provides a snapshot of how far we’ve come, and how the situation stands right now.

If you’re interested in supporting solutions such as this one, get excited for our upcoming matching campaign and Global Health Month!

You can learn more about the campaign and keep up with us and all that’s going on at Jolkona on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

In case you missed it, Jolkona featured as a case study in the Millennial Impact Report 2012, an extensive study of more than 6,500 millennials (defined as people born between the early 80s and the early 2000s) on how they learn about, connect with, and give to non-profits. The results demonstrated the exponential improvement in giving that could be achieved if:

  1. Donations could be made online.
  2. Miro-giving was an option.
  3. There was proof of impact.

If you know anything about Jolkona, then you’ll know we are stellar on all three of those fronts.

One of the other significant findings from the report was that 79% of smartphone owners said they have connected with a nonprofit via smartphone. So here’s another front we’re going stellar on!

Enter Change by Jolkona, the new Windows Phone app.

Change yourself and the world in 21 days

Change by Jolkona is a Windows Phone app that allows you to track and share personal goals while making an impact in the world. Research shows if you can repeat an activity for 21 days it will become a habit. Change by Jolkona lets you easily set, track and share personal goals. Along the way we will motivate you by showing how you can also create positive change in the world.

How does it work?

1) Create or choose a personal goal:

 2) Choose a Jolkona project  which tackles a specific Millennium Development Goal:

 3) Update and track your personal goal:

 4) Check in with your global goal:

And in 21 days we’ll show you how you can engender change on a personal and a global scale.

Download Jolkona Change here. Find out more on our Change Facebook page here. Connect with Jolkona in a way you’ve never been able to before – on your smartphone!

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.

 

To bring a little light to the recent June Gloom, we would like to take a moment to recognize Nancy Xu as this month’s featured volunteer. Nancy is a program manager at Microsoft for the Widows Design Studio and first got involved with Jolkona through the giving campaign events we planned at Microsoft in 2010. She has been a volunteer ever since. Over the years, Nancy has worked on several projects for Jolkona, including partner trip coordination and creative storytelling. However, most recently, Nancy has been working tirelessly with two other stellar volunteers: Punit Java, and Pavan Potaraju on building our first Windows phone app called Change by Jolkona – an innovative mobile app that lets you track the progress of a habit you wish to change while making a positive impact in the world through Jolkona’s diverse range of partner projects. Nancy was in charge of the app design and some of the management behind it. The app will be going live shortly so stay tuned!

Before working on the design for the Windows mobile app, Nancy volunteered on several video projects for Jolkona, including our most recent production for our Hulu PSA. Prior to that, she also helped produce and direct our Kids Give Back video and our short video Why Give. Nancy is a tremendous example of how young professionals can use their passion and professional skill set to give back. By pursuing her passion of storytelling, over the years she has helped Jolkona tell our story and those of our partners. She embodies what volunteering should be about: aligning your skills and passions to make a positive impact and further an organization’s mission.

Here’s what some of our volunteers have said about working with Nancy:

“Nancy is a wonderful volunteer for Jolkona. She has so much passion for her work and has helped develop amazing media campaigns, such as spearheading the new Jolkona PSA spot for Hulu. Despite having a full-time job at Microsoft, she pledges much of her time actively volunteering and participating in so many events and partner visits. Nancy is an indispensible asset and Jolkona is lucky to have her on the team.”
Rekha Ravindran

“Nancy is a priceless asset to Jolkona. She has boundless passion for Jolkona and we have always been able to count on her to get the job done – and how! She is a big reason for our successful partner visits in East Africa and South America in the last 2 years – it would not have been possible without her! Her significant contribution to our Hulu video, other video editing projects, and the case study (in business club style) she did with the students at Generation Rwanda in December 2010 exemplify her extraordinary ability to take on a challenge and do it well!
Working with Nancy over the past 2+ years has been an incredible experience. We are lucky to have her as part of Jolkona!”
Pavan Potaraju

“Nancy is super passionate about her video/media work for Jolkona. I had the opportunity to travel with Nancy to South America, especially in Peru where it was just the two of us. She is deeply understanding and respectful of other cultures, as well as compassionate. She is also delightfully friendly and blissfully easy to get along with. When we interacted with a Partner in Peru, Nancy was exceptionally well-prepared, exploring all angles of their work with her intelligent and well-thought out questions – I was most impressed!”
Chi Do

One of the things I’ve come to admire and respect most about Nancy over the years is her fastidious organization and supreme ability to execute on projects, which I’m sure she’s garnered from her Program Manager position at Microsoft. These skills have been clearly demonstrated on all the Jolkona projects she has volunteered with. Jolkona is remarkably fortunate to have the dedication and support of so many amazing volunteers, and Nancy is no exception. Thank you, Nancy, for being one of our rockstar volunteers and a stalwart advocate for Jolkona.

Are you in interested in volunteering? Do you want to use your passions and skills to help build a new generation of philanthropists? Find out more information by emailing us at contact@jolkona.org. You can also keep up with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

 

 

I was born in Morocco near the Algerian border in the small city of Oujda. It was an unassuming city, dusty and tourist free (for good reason). I was the last of six children. The location of my birth was in my oldest brother’s bedroom, which also served as our classroom – and now a maternity ward. I was born around 3.30pm, just in time for afternoon tea. The people present were my Mum and my Dad.

Knowing my birth was imminent, my father had taken my unruly siblings to the park with our visiting grandmother. My delivery was quick and problem free. So quick, in fact, that my meant-to-be midwife, an American neighbor of ours, was my first visitor. Dad rushed back to the park in our bright, beat-up orange VW van and, so the story goes, turned up triumphantly exclaiming, “It’s a boy!” Upon realization that she was still the only girl amongst her siblings, my sister cried. I have since forgiven her for that. (And clearly from the way she’s clutching me in the photo below, she got over her disappointment without much difficulty).

When I reflect on the story of my birth, I feel a certain simplicity and sacredness –  just my parents and I, alone together in a small bedroom in a faraway place. I feel immensely fortunate. Fortunate that both mother and child were safe. It helped that my parents were doctors and knew what they were doing. Fortunate that I was loved and protected. I had siblings that doted on me, a father who worked hard to keep a roof over us with food on the table, and a mother who cherished and adored me.

Story vs. statistics

But why am I writing this? I’m writing this because with Mother’s Day approaching this Sunday May 13th, we want to emphasize the importance of story, especially individual story. 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. 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.

Mother’s Day projects

We have over fifteen projects at Jolkona that support mothers globally by improving maternal health and reducing child mortality. One such project is run by our partner MADRE. MADRE works with groups of Palestinian and Israeli midwives to help women safely deliver their babies in the West Bank and Gaza. Your gift of $50 provides a safe birth kit containing medical supplies for delivering newborns. With $50 another statistic is reversed and a story is changed.

The story of my birth is a happy one. Sadly, though, there are so many mothers – millions globally – whose stories of motherhood are weighed down with profound uncertainty and fear, or worse, mired in tragedy and grief. Help us change that.

For Mother’s Day give the gift of impact; change one story:

  1. Go to our project page here
  2. Filter your search by selecting Improve Maternal Health or Reduce Child Mortality
  3. Choose a project
  4. Give
  5. See how you changed a life

 

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.

 

At Jolkona we believe online philanthropy is the future of giving. Our online model has been at the heart of what we’re about since we began. It’s important to us not just because it’s hip (though it is that as well), but because online giving is incredibly effective and powerful. Our ultimate goal is impact – more of it. Going on online and making philanthropy more accessible and more transparent, we believe, is the best way to see this impact achieved.

This week we’re highlighting two great events in our calender: Seattle Foundation’s GiveBig (blog post to follow tomorrow) and World Give Day. To encourage giving to these two campaigns, we wanted to present to you the raw facts about how successful online and social giving truly is.

This infographic was created by the brilliant Blackbuad, a software and services provider to nonprofits:

[click to enlarge infographic]

In the world of philanthropy, World Give Day is a relatively new kid on the block compared to many of the other celebrated days of awareness. As a non-profit in our infant days ourselves, development is something we can relate to, which is why World Give Day gets our vote!

This year, World Give Day turns 2 and will be celebrating its third annual event. Friday May 4th is World Give Day 2012.

World Give Day came about when GiveForward co-founder realized that while there were a few days set aside in the philanthropic calendar to encourage people to volunteer (last week’s National Volunteer Week being one of them), there weren’t any devoted specifically to encourage people to give. She decided to fill that void, and thus World Give Day was born.

What is it about?

The idea is wonderfully simple: creating unexpected joy by giving. And similar to Earth Day, there aren’t any rules or regulations about what and how you give. You can give your time volunteering, you can give your money by donating to a project, you can even give someone a smile or a hug. It truly doesn’t matter. At its epicenter, it is about getting more people to become actively involved in their community to raise awareness about their favorite cause. If there’s something you’re passionate about, then give in that name and show how a small gift can make a big impact.

Spread the word: Crowdfunding

One of the best things you can do to participate in World Give Day is simply by telling people about World Give Day. Start a conversation with a friend, like the World Give Day Facebook page, follow World Give Day on Twitter and tweet using the #giveday hasthtag. When people start talking, things start happening. And when things start happening, then crowdfunding happens.

What is crowdfunding? It is the collective effort of people who network and pool their money and other resources together, usually via the internet, to support efforts initiated by other people or organizations. These supported efforts can be anything from disaster relief and non-profit support to political campaigns or startup companies seeking fundraising. Crowdfunding has preserved communities, saved lives, and transformed our capacity to give entirely with our hearts and visibly see the effect of our giving directly.

We like crowdfunding at Jolkona. It epitomizes what we’re about – people making small donations that make a big impact. And every small donation, like a drop of water, collects to make that ocean of difference.

With over 120+ projects you can be the difference and we will show the change. Be the difference, see the change here. Participate in World Give Day.

 

 

While it seems every week is volunteer week at Jolkona, we couldn’t let this week go without a BIG shoutout to our AMAZING volunteers since it is National Volunteer Week. At Jolkona, we have over 40 committed volunteers who support our work, helping with anything and everything to support our mission, including things like writing for our blog, running our social media, PR, building mobile apps, conducting surveys, graphic design, event planning and more! In addition, we have an incredible volunteer board and advisory board who help provide guidance and support to Jolkona and who we can’t thank enough.

In case you didn’t know, National Volunteer Week has been around since 1974 and is all about inspiring, recognizing, and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their communities—and what better way than by volunteering, right?  This week is about demonstrating to the nation that by working together, in unison, we have the fortitude to meet our challenges and accomplish our goals.

National Volunteer Week is also about taking action, encouraging individuals and their respective communities to be at the center of social change—discovering and actively demonstrating their collective power to foster positive transformation.

We feature volunteers on a monthly basis at Jolkona as well as at the end of the year, not only to recognize them for their efforts and contribution to Jolkona and society, but also to help inspire others to volunteer as well. I truly believe that often times by volunteering the volunteers get more out of it then they’d imagine.  So many friendships have been formed through our volunteers and I think volunteering with anything you feel passionate about adds more purpose and substance to your life.

We started our volunteer program out of necessity because of our limited budget to hire people.  And what we found was that there are so many people who want to volunteer more than just their time, but they really want to offer their skills to make a difference.  So at Jolkona our volunteer program is all skilled-based and lines up with people’s skills and interests.  I hope to continue to see Jolkona work with such passionate volunteers and that volunteerism grows more and more every day.

What sort of volunteer work do you enjoy?  If you volunteer with Jolkona, what do you enjoy the most about it?

Check out some of our past featured volunteer posts for more reasons why you should get involved in volunteering in your community.

Happy National Volunteer Week everyone!  And a special THANK YOU to all the Jolkona volunteers – past and present – that have supported us over the years.  We truly would not be here today without your support!

 

We all know it, “awesome” is one of the most exhaustively misused words in the English language. A video on the internet of a man falling off a chair goes viral, racking up 1 million hits in a day. This is, apparently, awesome. No, this is not awesome. If something is awesome, it is supposed to inspire awe. It should elicit a reaction of overwhelming admiration. Chances are, if something is truly awesome, you might find yourself speechless, which is why it took me one hour to find the opening line to begin this post. The Give2Girls campaign was awesome.

To celebrate and participate in Women’s History Month, we launched our second Give2Girls campaign, which ran for the full 31 days of March. Our aim was to empower girls and women the world over. We wanted to write our own chapter in the story of women’s history. This year, with the invaluable help of CRAVE and Women@Google, we had a bountiful matching fund of $6,000. Our goal was to raise $12,000. It is with much excitement – and awe – that I can announce that the total raised was:

$25,061

We are so thankful to everyone who participated – everyone. To those who donated, to those who blogged, to those who tweeted and re-tweeted, and to those who gave up their time and energy. A very special thanks must be reserved for Zanoon Nissar and Jessan Hutchison-Quillian for their munificent contribution to the matching funds. The awareness you’ve created and the impact you’ve made has been monumental. So to all of you: way to be feminists!

See the impact for yourself:

Underwrite 2 Day of Training & Counseling in Haiti
Transportation for 2 Midwives in Palestine
Training for 8 women in bio-intensive farming methods in Kenya
Training for 8 Young Woman Trainers in Nepal
Training for 6 Girls in Pakistan
Diarrhea Treatment for 2 Girls in India
2 Girls to attend Day School in China
1 Field Trip in Tanzania
1 Year of Education in Liberia
The Rescue of 6 Girls in Nepal
Transportation to Meet with 8 Weavers in Peru
School Uniforms to 3 Girls in Liberia
School Supplies to 52 Girls in Liberia
School Supplies for 4 School-aged Weavers in Peru
Oral Rehydration Salts to 20 People in Somalia
One Year of Schooling to 2 Girls in Liberia
20 Woman Access to Clothing in Seattle, WA
6 Technology Classes in USA
7 Semesters of Education in Liberia
8 Life Skills Class in USA
Medical Supplies for 15 Weeks in Bangladesh
Lower Level Literacy Education for 26 Women in Afghanistan
Health and Hygiene Training for 3 Women in Kenya
Food for 10 Weeks in Uganda
25 Health Kits in Somalia
Farm Training to 8 Women in Sudan
Clean Water to 8 Families in Guatemala
13 Water Construction Tools in Kenya
A Stipend  for 1 Week in USA
156 Months of Oral Contraceptives in Nepal
22 Week of Health Screening in Bangladesh
5 weeks of care for a mother and her baby in Guatemala
1 Stove to 2 Families in Nepal
16 Solar Lamps in Tanzania
28 Personal Hygiene Kit in Tanzania
1 Month of Transportation in Tanzania
9 Hygiene Kits in Tanzania
6 Bag of Seeds in Nicaragua
10 “Safe Birth” Kits in Palestine
20 Fruit Trees in Tanzania
1-on-1 Care to three Woman in USA
10 Girls 1 Year of Public School Education in Pakistan
Funding for a Skills Workshop for 11 Weavers for 1 Year in Peru
Food for 3 Families of 6 People for 3 Weeks in Somalia
1 Week of a Cook’s Salary in Tanzania
3 Built Stoves in Nepal
Adoption of 3 Mothers in India



 

Well known is the fact that the vast majority of the water you “drink” comes from what you eat. The amount of water it takes to produce food, however, is less well known.

Today is UN’s World Water Day. On Tuesday we prefaced this event by posting an infographic about water wastage. This year the UN are highlighting this problem as connected not just to the amount of water we are frittering away down our drains, but to the kinds of food we are consuming.

Here’s why: for example, to produce one potato requires 25 liters of water. On the other hand, to produce a hamburger requires a swimmy 2400 liters of water. A little shy of one hundred times the amount. This means the production of food relies overwhelmingly on the consumption of water. Indeed:

90% of water consumption is used to produce today’s food.

Put another way, food = water. That means wasted food = wasted water. And when it’s calculated that 1/3 of the world’s food production goes to waste, the situation becomes alarmingly critical.

With the world’s mushrooming population and fresh water already in scant supply, to ignore this issue is folly. Worse, it’s tragic. This is a serious ethical problem as the people it unjustly devastates are those in developing countries.

The UN have set out some simple guidelines for the privileged, like you and I, to follow in order to reduce this appalling waste, and therefore to leave greater supplies for those whose lives depend on it:

  • Choose a healthier, sustainable diet – food of better quality with less water
  • Consume less water-intensive products
  • Reduce your food wastage

At Jolkona we support a Clean Water project for women in Kenya. The project provides essential tools for building water construction systems. The aim is to help bring clean water and a sustainable water system to communities, as well as to empower local women to participate in income-generating activities. The project is also featured in our Give2Girls campaign. So far we have reached $13,000. Help us achieve our goal of $15,000 before the end of this Women’s History Month and donate to this project here.The world is thirsty because we are hungry. Quench that thirst. Impact here.

Spread the news and bring awareness to others: –

– Share this post with the people you know

– Tweet using the #WorldWaterDay hashtag

– Follow us on Facebook

For more information and resources about World Water Day go to the UN’s website here.

The Give2Girls campaign has been fully matched and we have raised an incredible figure just shy of $13,000! But although the matching part of the campaign is over, the campaign isn’t! We still have 10 days remaining for Women’s History Month and our goal is to reach $15,000. And with UN’s World Water Day coming up this Thursday, March 22nd, we wanted to highlight our Give2Girls Clean Water project run by MADRE.

Your donation provides essential tools for building water construction systems for women in Kenya. In doing so, you help bring clean water and a sustainable water system to the community, as well as empowering local women to participate in income-generating activities.

Give to the Clean Water project here, provide a community with the source of life, and help us reach our campaign goal.

Know your facts on water? Here’s an excellent infographic about why we must stop wasting water. Water, water everywhere, and not a drop to drink.


Infographic by Seametrics, a manufacturer of water flow meters that measure and conserve water.

Give to the Clean Water project here. Empower women, Give2Girls.

GET INVOLVED!