Have you ever written a check for a charity and wondered, “Where is this money going? Is it really doing anything?” GlobalGiving takes the mystery out of international philanthropy by connecting donors with high-impact projects all around the world. Donors visit GlobalGiving’s website and choose from among a variety of pre-screened charity projects. The leaders of the projects submit updates, so donors can see how their money is making a difference. As an online marketplace for legitimate charity projects, GlobalGiving has been dubbed the “eBay of international philanthropy.” One of the people who helps keep this marketplace operating is Saima Zaman, 29, a Program Officer at GlobalGiving.
Many community-based organizations strive arduously to promote social and economic justice and empower disadvantaged groups such as the poor and the disabled. At the end of the day, though, creating a social-change revolution takes money. And in the Boston region, one nonprofit organization, the Boston Women’s Fund, is in the business of doling out dollars to “fund the revolution.” BWF raises money from donors and awards grants to area organizations that work with women and girls to promote social change. It also has a few programs of its own, including Young Sisters for Justice in Philanthropy, which teaches young women about social justice and philanthropy, and is organized by Melissa Cariño, 29, the young women’s program coordinator at the Boston Women’s Fund. Learn more about Melissa and BWF in this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
Domestic violence against women is an unfortunate reality in South Asian immigrant communities. Often, it can be a taboo subject shrouded in silence. Since 1989, however, the organization Sakhi for South Asian Women has been working to end violence against women of South Asian heritage, particularly those who reside in the New York metropolitan area. It offers a safe place for support and provides women with culturally sensitive information, services, and advocacy in multiple languages. The organization also strives to inform and mobilize
Like many college students, Andrew Gordon participated in a study abroad program. The experience changed his life and led him to create Diversity Abroad. Diversity Abroad is a non-profit that is aimed at increasing minority, and low income, student participation in Study Abroad. Andrew believes that in a world that is becoming more global every day, it is imperative for students to have an understanding of different cultures. He works on a daily basis to bring Diversity Abroad programs to schools so that minority and low income students can learn more about going abroad as well as how to finance their trip. To learn more about Diversity Abroad please read on in this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
Many publications in the United States target adults of specific ethnic groups. But surprisingly, until recently no publication targeted children of a specific ethnic group. Three years ago, though, Kahani magazine became a one-of-a-kind publication by offering contemporary stories, features, and illustrations especially for children of South Asian heritage. The quarterly magazine aims to entertain, educate, and empower children ages 6 to 11 with content that speaks to their day-to-day experiences. Additionally, kids can feel less isolated in knowing that other kids share their life experiences. The magazine is printed on thick, glossy paper with brilliant colors. It contains no advertising, in keeping with the belief that kids don’t need to be exposed to even more ads than they already are, and none of the staff or contributors are paid. Kahani just won a Parents’ Choice Award, the ultimate seal of approval for children’s media, so learn more about the magazine in this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
Nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize in 2005, Neema Mgana is a true humanitarian. She grew up in Tanzania and has since dedicated her life to helping the people of Africa. She has Founded or Co-Founded five different non-profit groups aimed at providing health and education in different regions of Africa. More recently she started the African Women of Distinction project, a peace and justice project that highlights the leadership role of women in Africa. The project also works with over 180 men and women in Africa to build and nurture their leadership skills. Neema’s inspiration came from reading about people such as Gandhi, Grace Machel and Martin Luther King Jr. They dedicated their lives to others and so has
she. To read more about the work Neema has done in Africa read on in this week’s Non-Profit spotlight.
When Jason Scott Park, 28, was in college, he led a student organization and was exposed to many community projects. Through those experiences, he developed a passion for building and strengthening communities. That enthusiasm has today led him to be President of Asian Professional Exchange (APEX). APEX focuses on professional development, community service, and cultural awareness, as they pertain to the Asian Pacific American community. Its programs and events include a mentoring program for college students and young professionals, a day-long career fair, a networking reception for community leaders, and a youth Olympics that promotes leadership through team-building games. Jason’s responsibilities as president include managing APEX’s board, fundraising, and strengthening relationships with the city of Los Angeles and the state of California, where the organization is based. To learn more about APEX and Jason’s leadership, check out this week’s Young & Professional Profile.
At age 21, Michelle Landin is making her life count. She’s part of a team at Project Cuddle, an organization that provides pregnant women in crisis help, advice, encouragement, and a friend. The goal of the organization is stop baby abandonment, and it does this through its various awareness programs. Michelle started at Project Cuddle as part of a volunteer assignment for school. She fell in love with the group and even after she completed her assignment she wanted to continue to do more. Michelle’s desire to be a part of such an organization comes from her upbringing and specifically some wise words from her mother “leave things better than how you found them.” To read more about Michelle and Project Cuddle read on in this week’s Non-Profit spotlight
Ali Chaudhry works to mobilize Pakistani-Americans and foster constructive dialogue about Pakistan on Capitol Hill. As Executive Director of the Pakistani American Leadership Center (PAL-C), 25-year-old Chaudhry, leads an organization that strives to build stronger ties with U.S. Congress and get Pakistani-Americans more politically active. Since its founding in May 2004, PAL-C has helped create the bipartisan Congressional Pakistan Caucus, which today has 67 members of Congress in it. The caucus aims to improve bilateral ties between the United States and Pakistan, and to promote dialogue between Pakistani-Americans and their representatives in Congress. In 2005 and 2006, PAL-C worked with the caucus to draw Congress’s attention to the October 8, 2005, earthquake in Pakistan. It also mobilized Pakistani-Americans to petition their members of Congress for earthquake relief aid. As the 2008 elections approach, PAL-C is striving to get its members involved with voter registration and informational drives. To learn more about Ali and the work of PAL-C, check out this week’s Nonprofit Spotlight.
“I have, therefore we have,” is the concept that drives 35-year-old Jacques Bahati. He is a Policy Analyst for the Africa Faith and Justice Network (AFJN), which brings the concerns of the people of Africa, especially the impoverished majority, to policy makers. AFJN is a member of the Executive Committee of Congo Global Action Coalition, an organization that is especially important to Jacques because he grew up in the Democratic Republic of Congo. His involvement in DR Congo goes beyond AFJN; he has also Co-Founded Healthy Congo, INC, an organization that
strives to bring HIV awareness in the rural Congo. In addition he works with his home parish in the DR Congo to improve education and health. Jacques involvement in all these organizations comes from his strong desire to help others. He guides his life by the principles of the Bible and holds a masters degree in theology. To learn more about Jacques and the many organizations he is involved in, read on in this week’s Non-Profit Spotlight.