I swear, this is not what I typically spend my weekend nights doing. Really.
I swear, this is not what I typically spend my weekend nights doing. Really.
Today’s the day! It’s World Water Day, and I’m totally #PUMPED.
The water crisis issue is one that I’m extremely passionate about, probably more so than most other issues.
Because it’s not a complex issue on the surface. It’s water. Our earth is filled with it. But for some reason, nearly 900,000 million people lack access to clean, potable water. I’ve only experienced a sliver of the detriments of this lack of access, but it’s been enough for me to know that something needs to change. There is no reason for 4,000 children dying each day due to water-related illnesses. With a death toll of 3.5 million a year, the water crisis takes more lives each year through disease than any war claims through guns. It kills more young people than AIDS, measles, and malaria combined.
So we have some great organizations like Lifewater International building wells for communities and training people on how to maintain good health through sanitation. Love that.
Another organization I love, of course, is The Adventure Project. Co-founder Becky Straw was checking in on water wells in developing countries when she realized that an absurd amount were broken shortly after being built.
And so she began TAP, which has a water-focused program that doesn’t go in and build wells though; it goes in, hires local men and women, and trains them to become mechanics. Simple. One mechanic oversees 50 wells, which provides clean water to 5,000 people.
Sustainable access to clean water for these communities. No more costly and disappointing breakdowns. Just empowered men and women, healthy communities, working water.
Help support The Adventure Project in its movement towards sustainable clean water.
Between being really sick for the past 24 hours, trying to still work today, and having some valuable discussions on the IC controversy, I didn’t get around to acknowledging #IWD on the blog!
This world is filled with some really amazing women and girls doing some really amazing work with great social impact. I can’t give every individual and organization a shout out, but I do encourage people to check out the following:
The International Rescue Committee: Wake Up
As most of you know, I’ve always respected this organization and am a huge fan of their work and the integrity with which they do it. Recently, I’ve had the privilege of meeting and working with some of their staff (who aren’t even on the program side), and I can see the integrity, diligence, careful thought, and passion with which they work.
Below is a video from their Wake Up campaign, which seeks to educate people on the violence and injustice that women face around the world. I think the statistic is 1 in 3 women globally will have been raped, beaten, coerced into sex, and/or abused in her lifetime.
The Wake Up campaign was listed today in Mashable’s “5 Social Media Campaigns Rocking International Women’s Day.” Makes me glad!
The Adventure Project
Yeah, I know you all are probably sick of me always talking about TAP, but the vision that Becky Straw and Jody Landers have is incredible: to eliminate extreme poverty, not through charity but through job creation.
TAP wants to educate Americans on smart giving. Donating to an organization is a social investment, and the women of TAP believe that investing in economic empowerment programs, training programs, and job creation for women in developing countries is an investment in sustainable solutions to poverty, hunger, the water crisis, and global health issues.
This is an old video from over a year ago, but it highlights one of the projects in one of the communities that they partner with: training women mechanics in rural India to repair the broken wells in surrounding areas. Love their projects so much.
(On a side note, co-founder Becky Straw was invited to speak today at the UN on International Women’s Day and women’s empowerment through social business.)
Camfed fights poverty and HIV/AIDS in Africa by educating girls and empowering women to become leaders of change. The organization began in 1993 with a goal to improve the lives of two million children by 2013, and is currently at over 1,400,000 impacted.
“When rural girls and young women graduate from high school, they enter an adult world of massive unemployment.”
What I like about Camfed is that it doesn’t just stop at education; they continue to walk alongside young female graduates by providing seed money (microloans) to help them develop their economic skills and launch small businesses.
Okay, I think it’s time for me to pop some meds and get some rest. But let’s continue celebrating women and girls (not just on March 8th)!
It’s Valentine’s Day!
Oh. You forgot.
But they’re not just e-cards, of course (when are they ever “just” anything with The Adventure Project?) — they’re e-cards that add venture and impact lives.
Show your love online (yes, we’re green like that) by sending a simple e-card with a major impact. Just choose from one of their four cards (each one supporting one of their four projects: Health, Environment, Water, Hunger) and include a note to your special someone. And The Adventure Project will send it out to your loved one at some point today. Simple and sweet.
Your gift will arrive on time, show that you care, and change lives. Can’t get much better than that, right?
Note: I know that most of my social circles have no idea who she is. It’s okay. She’s only awesome.
So yesterday, I woke up, got ready, and hopped on an extra early train since it was my first day with Good Scout. I arrived far too early though, so I decided to loiter outside and give B a call. In the middle of telling him something, I spotted a woman walking across the cobble stone streets just down the block from where I was standing.
“I’ll call you back. Sorry.” Hung up on my own boyfriend.
Thankfully I wasn’t wearing my extra tall heels when I dashed over to her.
“Excuse me??” I said (or squealed, maybe).
The woman looked at me and replied, “Yes?”
“Are you Jacqueline Novogratz???”
I felt like a teenager who had just spotted Justin Bieber. I’m pretty sure when she said yes to that, my mouth dropped a bit and I blanked for a second. I don’t approach “celebrities” often, but when I do my communication skills (or my overall ability to form coherent thoughts) clearly flies out the door. Not a great track record so far.
Good thing Jacqueline is incredibly nice and down to earth, and was able to overlook my bright-eyed idiocy (seriously, when did I get that way?)
I started telling her how I loved her work and how I loved Acumen Fund. I also added that I literally was just reading her book The Blue Sweater a few minutes ago on the train. I considered pulling it out and showing her, but remembered all the junk in my bag…and pictured everything spilling out in a tangled mess as I attempted to show her that I really was carrying her book…and thought about the awkwardness of bending down in my heels and trying to pick up everything off the ground while doing a juggling act…and became utterly horrified at the potential of such embarrassment…and so I decided not to pull it out. (This entire image and decision happened in less than a split second.)
She kindly searched through her bag for a business card as she recommended that I check out the New York chapter since the Acumen office/Google building was right down the block from my office. (Glad I didn’t try to take that book out. I don’t think they let spazes join their meetings.)
Anyways, since I had the honor of speaking with Jacqueline for a brief moment, I decided that I should share one of her TED Talks. Below is one called, “Inspiring A Life Of Immersion.” It was the first one I had seen of her, though I think it’s the most recent one she’s done.
Check out more TED Talks from her too.
Also, she tweeted me back and wished me good luck! Nice people rock.
Who said getting coal in your stocking is a bad thing?
This holiday season, The Adventure Project is bringing out the coal again in order to improve the livelihoods of people in Haiti. Currently over half a million people are still living in tents in Haiti, cooking over open fires and breathing in heavy smoke.
But clean stoves can change that. They cook food faster, use half as much charcoal as open fires, and drastically reduce toxic emissions. Learn more about it in the video below.
If you’ve ever cooked over an open fire, especially in an enclosed home, you know it’s not fun. I was lucky that my eyes didn’t burn/sting as much or get as bloodshot as the other women cooking, but my lungs definitely had trouble breathing.
With a clean stove, families not only have improved health, but they have more time, more food, more money, and the ability to increase income and human capital (i.e. sending kids to school).
It only takes $20 to give a stove.
Or you can purchase a box of coal to give to your friends and family as funny stocking stuffers, and provide 5 stoves to women in Haiti. Naughty or nice, this gift has you covered — plus it’s like giving 6 gifts in one.
Learn more and give: The Adventure Project.
1) I meant to write a blog post back in February or March on Warby Parker and other socially conscious glasses companies. I never did, so I guess this is my compensation in the mean time, until I actually write that post.
2) I know, I’ve been posting too many videos lately.
So the below is a video that Lane Wood of WP put together recently. Love it.
Check it out and see why I wear my Warbies happily pretty much every day.
It’s official. The Adventure Project is having a Cocktail Party next week in Soho, and it looks like it’s going to be awesome. The crowd expected to attend will be mostly young leaders and entrepreneurs in the tech, media, socent, and international nonprofit industries, amazing supporters, and folks who just like a good party.
Complimentary cocktail drinks + time to hear from Becky Straw and Jody Landers, two incredible women working on making a lasting impact. They’ll be sharing about the work being done with entrepreneurs in Haiti, India, Kenya, and Uganda.
Details of the party:
When: Wednesday, September 21, 2011 — 7pm to 9pm
Where: 1534 (20 Prince Street, between Elizabeth and Mott)
Why: Support entrepreneurs in developing countries
Honestly, complimentary drinks + doing good? Not a bad combo for an evening.
I had posted this TED Talk a while back on my previous blog but recently came across is again. I think it’s great, and Jacqueline, as I had said in that old post, is an amazing woman.
The video is a bit lengthy but it’s really great, I assure you. Among the many inspiring stories she tells is one of a little girl during the United States’ early stages of desegregation (around 14:25 in the clip), which is a favorite for me.
Jacqueline Novogratz is the author of The Blue Sweater and the founder of Acumen Fund.
In line with such festivities, my mom and I recently joined The Adventure Project in their most recent campaign for revolutionized health care in Africa.
It began with Jody Landers’ story about her youngest twins, adopted from West Africa, and her ambition to raise $170,000 — to honor the 170,000 mothers in Africa who die each year in childbirth because of a lack of proper health care.
To partner with her in this cause, my mom and I set out to raise $5,000 that will go towards The Adventure Project’s total goal. We figured that five is a significant number — the number of people in our family as well as the total number of hours my mother was in labor for also (true story; that woman is like a pro baby popper). My mom didn’t lose her mother at birth but early enough to understand first hand how no child should have to grow up that way. She also worked in maternal health and family planning, and knows the value of proper education and care for expectant and post-natal mothers in raising newborns and young children.
The Adventure Project is partnering with Living Goods, an organization that trains women in Uganda to become Community Health Promoters who in turn make home visits, meet with expectant and new mothers, and care for 700 people each in their communities. Best of all, there’s a social entrepreneurial aspect to it all. CHPs earn an income by providing extremely affordable (and accessible) health products to people. The goal within the next five years is to train and employ up to 5,000 CHPs, serving approximately 3 million people throughout different countries.
The money raised in this campaign will go towards making sure that that goal gets reached.
What better way to celebrate World Humanitarian Day than to highlight the women helping to bring revolutionized health care to their communities in need?
Don’t know about you, but I certainly love it.