Spotted – BORGEN http://www.borgenmagazine.com Humanity, Politics & You Tue, 23 Jan 2018 15:30:27 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.2 He for She Movement Changes the Narrative with IMPACT 10x10x10 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/he-for-she-movement-changes-the-narrative-with-impact-10x10x10/ Tue, 02 Jan 2018 09:30:46 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=123268 DAVOS, Switzerland — On September 20, 2014, Emma Watson, in her new role as United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, launched the campaign for her movement He for She. Watson presented a powerful speech about feminism to the United Nations in New York in which she proposed: “… when they are free, things will change for [...]

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DAVOS, Switzerland — On September 20, 2014, Emma Watson, in her new role as United Nations Women Goodwill Ambassador, launched the campaign for her movement He for She. Watson presented a powerful speech about feminism to the United Nations in New York in which she proposed:

“… when they are free, things will change for women as a natural consequence. If men don’t have to be aggressive in order to be accepted, women won’t have to be submissive. If men don’t have to control, women won’t have to be controlled. Both men and women should feel free to be sensitive and strong.”

Through her words, Watson presented a realistic future with gender equality and empowerment for all. Everyone desires acceptance and respect, which contributes to why we all are torn in such a society where the media dictates how one should act.

“It is time that we all perceive gender on a spectrum, instead of two sets of opposing ideals. If we stop defining each other by what we are not and start defining each other by who we are, we can all be freer and this is what He for She is all about,” Watson stated.

The upcoming future must be made into a world where all can be equally accepted; this equality comes not from fitting in with the crowd, but in standing out together. “If not me, who? If not now, when?” Here, Watson’s boldness shines through as she encourages her audience to believe that just by being a person, they can achieve great things.

IMPACT 10x10x10

Four months later, on January 23, 2015, Watson founded the initiative, IMPACT 10x10x10 in Davos, Switzerland at the World Economic Forum. It is a three-to-five year pilot effort to advance and ultimately achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment by engaging global leaders across three sectors: government, the private sector and academia. In Watson’s own words, “IMPACT 10x10x10 is about concrete commitments to change the visibility of these commitments and the measurability of them too.” Graciously, this movement is expanding and growing at an immense speed, and many global leaders are stepping up to the plate and facilitating its success.

One such example is those known as IMPACT champions, who are dedicated supporters of gender equality and empowerment inclined to make bold, incomparable commitments to revolutionize our world. Specifically, numerous heads of state commit to personally advocating and mobilizing a He for She campaign in their respective countries. According to the pilot initiative overview attached to the He for She official website, “To ensure effective implementation, provide transparency, and share best practices with other leaders, the IMPACT champions will annually publish a report.”

He for She and Malawi

Arthur Peter Mutharika, Republic of Malawi’s President and Head of State IMPACT Champion, declared his two main commitments in advocating and mobilizing for He for She. His tactics for empowering women begins by the implementation of the Marriage, Divorce and Family Relations Act of 2015. Presently, 1 in 2 Malawian young girls is married before her 18th birthday. To counteract this phenomenon, this act of 2015 took the important stance towards the cessation of child marriage.

In this new direction, Malawi commits to fully implementing this law over the next five years by already establishing a stead-fast task force on ending child marriage. The task force will have several key responsibilities: collect and report data on the average marriage age, escalate challenges or lagging progress, and convene stakeholders from across the country. Additionally, the government will inaugurate marriage courts at the district level to handle the cases and monitor the implementation of the act.

With the implementation of the National Action Plan on Gendered-Based Violence (GBV), especially on ending the violence against women and girls, Mutharika voiced his level of commitment to this area of concern: “I believe that gender equality, ending violence against women and girls, and the empowerment of women are key to sustainable social, political and economic development for my country.”

Malawi and Japan Working Toward Advanced Women’s Rights

Violence is a widespread but silent epidemic in Malawi today, with 1 in 5 girls and 1 in 7 boys estimated to have experienced sexual violence in their childhoods. Statistically, the majority of cases of this type of violence occur in the home and are viewed as a private family affair; this status thereby results in very few actual reported cases.

To revolutionize this reality on violence, the government of Malawi created objectives increasing the number of reported cases of gender-based-violence via the creation of a system within the National Action Plan to spotlight and elevate this issue. In addition, a Chief’s Committee will be established to merge systematic bylaws and implement and promote positive norms around gender, violence and sexuality.

In parallel, Shinzo Abe, Prime Minister of Japan and Head of State IMPACT Champion, voiced his full commitment to this initiative: “Creation of ‘a society in which all women shine’ is one of the foremost elements of my administration’s policies. I am determined to strengthen cooperation with the international community on this issue.”

Specifically, Japan is a faithful benefactor of and partner to UN Women. From 2013 onwards, Japan’s contributions to UN Women have increased greatly, and this year a new country office opened in Tokyo. This will cause Japan to become one of UN Women’s leading contributors — a status that further strengthens the advancement of gender equality and women’s empowerment. Japan will work closely with the UN Women Japan Liaison Office to promote UN Women efforts in Japan and encourage other leaders to become HeForShe and UN Women supporters.

Prime Minister Abe gave his address to the UN General Assembly in September 2014, stating that Japan’s intention and commitment would be to make this century the end to human rights breaches against women. Japan will develop a National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325. Moving forward, Japan will also advocate and mobilize this issue abroad, working closely with U.N. Peacekeeping Operations (PKOs) to protect women in conflict, and accentuate the focal point of gender equality in its intergovernmental negotiation of the post-2015 development agenda.

Next Steps

With these examples from two heads of state and their commitment to both the He for She movement and the IMPACT 10x10x10 initiative, it has proven substantial the impression that Emma Watson left with both campaigns. In her 2015 IMPACT press release, she stated:

“…the ground is fertile. It is my belief that there is a greater understanding than ever that women need to be equal participants in our homes, in our societies, in our governments, and in our workplaces. They know the world is being held back in every way because they are not. Women share this planet 50/50 and they are under-represented: their potential astonishingly untapped.”

Currently, there are 10 heads of state beginning their advocacies and mobilizations, which leads to a great progression in terms of women obtaining their voices in government. The simple notion that they will be included in the important decisions of their country is a global step forward in the right direction.

For many centuries, women have been cast aside because of the ever-present patriarchy that wouldn’t allow them to think for themselves and act accordingly. With the political climate being what it is, our world needs more female leaders who are empowered to articulate their perspectives and create their own movements against existing injustices. Men and women working together for a uniting movement is remarkable: IMPACT 10x10x10 must continue its growth and give the next generation the opportunity to live in a world where true equality exists and is the norm.

– Nicole Suarez
Photo: Flickr

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Alicia Keys and Keep a Child Alive Work to End Childhood AIDS http://www.borgenmagazine.com/alicia-keys-keep-a-child-alive/ Wed, 20 Dec 2017 09:30:48 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=123030 SEATTLE — Founded in 2003 by AIDS activist Leigh Blake and singer Alicia Keys, Keep a Child Alive’s mission is realizing the end of AIDS for children and their families by combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV. The organization seeks to fight for the end of HIV/AIDS by providing clinical care, a [...]

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SEATTLE — Founded in 2003 by AIDS activist Leigh Blake and singer Alicia Keys, Keep a Child Alive’s mission is realizing the end of AIDS for children and their families by combating the physical, social and economic impacts of HIV. The organization seeks to fight for the end of HIV/AIDS by providing clinical care, a nutritious diet and psychosocial support. Keep A Child Alive’s approach is “We don’t just treat the disease, we treat the person.”

With their services reaching approximately 70,000 people annually, Keep A Child Alive provides support to seven grassroots organizations in South Africa, Rwanda, India and Uganda. One of these organizations is Operation Bobbi Bear, located in Durban, South Africa. Operation Bobbi Bear aims to help children who have been sexually abused reduce their risk of contracting HIV when rescued, ensure their overall wellbeing and bring their offenders to justice. Most of the members of Operation Bobbi Bear are survivors of sexual abuse themselves.

The other organizations supported by Keep a Child Alive are Alive Medical Services, WE-ACTx for Hope, Family Care Clinic, Blue Roof Wellness Centre and The Ikageng Itireleng AIDS Ministry, located in the African countries of Rwanda, Uganda and South Africa, as well as the Bhavishya Project, located in Pune, India.

As one of the founders of the organization, Alicia Keys has done a significant amount of humanitarian work for Keep a Child Alive. One of the projects she has been involved in is Keep A Child Alive with Alicia Keys, which details the experiences of five Americans who won the chance to travel to South Africa with the singer as she visited Keep a Child Alive-funded sites in South Africa. Each winner uploaded a short video to YouTube describing their journey with Keys.

“We got to see with our own eyes what most of us have previously only learned about on the news, or in a magazine or even maybe through studies in school. We saw the faces of HIV and AIDS up close and personal,” said Rachel Hathaway in her video testimonial. “You would think people living with such extreme challenges in life would have given up a long time ago, but no matter how bad anyone’s situation was, I never heard a woe is me story.”

In addition, Keys regularly attends and performs at the annual Keep a Child Alive Black Ball with celebrity guests, which have included Beyoncé, Chance the Rapper and A$AP Rocky. This past year, the event was streamed on TIDAL. In a release sent to Billboard, Keys stated she was excited about the partnership with TIDAL, as it would give many people the chance to fight against AIDS. Keep a Child Alive’s Black Ball has raised over $28.7 million for those affected by HIV.

There is still more work to be done when it comes to the fight against HIV/AIDS. Currently, there are approximately 37 million people living with HIV, and 50 percent of HIV-infected children do not have access to treatment. With organizations like Keep a Child Alive and the advocacy work of celebrities like Alicia Keys, hopefully one day HIV and AIDS will no longer be taking any more lives.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Flickr

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Four Incredible Philanthropic Royal Women http://www.borgenmagazine.com/philanthropic-royal-women/ Wed, 13 Dec 2017 09:30:44 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=122688 SEATTLE — On November 27, the news of the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle led many to discover Markle’s acting background as well as her extensive philanthropic involvement. Following the couple’s declaration, Markle made an announcement of her own: after moving to London to officially join the British royal family, Markle will [...]

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SEATTLE — On November 27, the news of the engagement of Prince Harry and actress Meghan Markle led many to discover Markle’s acting background as well as her extensive philanthropic involvement. Following the couple’s declaration, Markle made an announcement of her own: after moving to London to officially join the British royal family, Markle will leave acting and commit herself to humanitarian efforts full-time. This will put her among the ranks of many philanthropic royal women around the world.

From writing letters in support of gender equality to then-First Lady Hillary Clinton at age 11, to working alongside Clinton’s team as a women’s advocate for the United Nations in 2014, Markle has a long history of humanitarian accomplishments. However, the royal-to-be will become one of many duchesses and princesses dedicated to humanitarianism. Here are four other philanthropic royal women whose efforts have had incredible impacts in the last few years.

Former Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia
Princess Ameerah Al-Taweel of Saudi Arabia, one of the most internationally recognized women on the list, is a dedicated philanthropist and activist. Princess Ameerah joined the royal family of Saudi Arabia through her marriage to Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal al Saud in 2008. Before and after the termination of their marriage in 2013, Ameerah was very driven in her activism for women’s rights and vulnerable Arab populations.

Ameerah participated in interviews with news sources such as NPR, CNN and the Huffington Post to advocate for women by protesting laws such as the driving ban and unequal rights in the workforce based on gender. In an interview with Piers Morgan for CNN, Ameerah announced the launch of Up 4 Unity, an initiative that aims to create jobs and reduce unemployment among Arab youth by creating “ladders of opportunity” in farming and agriculture.

Ameerah has received numerous humanitarian awards and ranked fourth in the CEO Middle East 100 most powerful women list in 2012. While she made the decision to step out of the spotlight following her divorce, her humanitarian efforts and projects continue.

Princess Lalla Salma of Morocco
Princess Salma, the wife of King Mohammed VI, is the first consort to receive a royal title, making her the most public Moroccan princess in history. Salma uses her unprecedented time in the spotlight to support humanitarian efforts that are close to her heart.

In 2005, Salma founded the Lalla Salma Foundation for Cancer Prevention, an organization that focuses on cancer treatment and prevention in Morocco. The organization was successful in improving access to care for cancer patients, and this year, the World Health Organization awarded Salma with the WHO gold medal for her organization’s accomplishments. Salma hopes to create a specialized plan that will improve cancer outcomes throughout the continent of Africa.

Salma is also recognized for dedicating her royal philanthropic efforts to HIV/AIDS and is considered a key player in Morocco’s “exemplary” AIDS efforts. Salma met with UNAIDS Executive Director Michel Sidibé on numerous occasions to discuss ways to reduce HIV/AIDS in high-risk populations. UNAIDS also describes Salma as a “leading voice” for the women and children of Morocco.

Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn of Thailand
The daughter of King Bhumibol and Queen Sikrit of Thailand has many impressive qualities, including her mastery of six languages, but she is beloved by Thailand for her philanthropic efforts. Impressively, Sirindhorn has served as Executive Vice President of the Thai Red Cross Society since 1977, which provides various medical services, facilitates blood and organ donations and provides medical training to aspiring nurses.

Sirindhorn is certainly a people’s princess, heading projects to improve nutrition and tech developments to assist people with disabilities, as well as promoting childhood education in rural areas. However, what separates Sirindhorn from other royal philanthropists is her active presence at project sites. It is not unusual to spot the princess in rural Thailand interacting with children and families.

Sirindhorn has such a fantastic reputation for philanthropy that she receives offers and funding from numerous organizations and countries to implement their projects. As a result, she created a charity fund in her name: the H.R.H. Princess Maha Chakri Sirindhorn Charity Fund.

Princess Mabel van Oranje of the Netherlands
The last of the philanthropic royal women on this list is recognized as a champion for human rights both within and beyond the Netherlands. After obtaining degrees in economics and political science, Princes Mabel applied herself to numerous humanitarian efforts, earning the title of “Young World Leader” from the World Economic Forum in 2005.

In 1995, Mabel co-founded War Child Netherlands, an organization that serves the needs of children who were raised in war-torn environments. The organization works with children from many areas, including the Israel and Palestine territories, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone and Sudan. The organization, along with the U.K. and Canadian branches, draws support from international celebrities and global leaders.

One of Mabel’s most notable accomplishments is her time as CEO of The Elders from 2008 to 2012. Former President of South Africa Nelson Mandela formed the group in 2007 in an attempt to resolve some of the world’s biggest problems and conflicts such as poverty, war and HIV/AIDS. Given her extensive humanitarianism, it is no surprise that Princess Mabel was chosen to sit among presidents and Nobel peace prize laureates. She also involves herself in the organization Girls Not Brides, which aims to end child marriage.

As Markle stated about her efforts for gender equality “To me, it’s less of a question of how can you do this, and more a question of how can you not?” and in spring 2018, she will join the ranks of many other impactful, philanthropic royal women.

– Danielle Poindexter

Photo: Flickr

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How Artist Freddy Sam Helped The Poor http://www.borgenmagazine.com/freddy-sam-helped-the-poor/ Thu, 07 Dec 2017 09:30:21 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=121153 SEATTLE — Those in extreme poverty need more than bread and water to live; they also need a reason to keep on living. The Borgen Project previously discussed how art programs give impoverished children opportunities for success and platforms for advocacy. But bestowing art is not a one-way street in terms of benefits. When artists [...]

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SEATTLE — Those in extreme poverty need more than bread and water to live; they also need a reason to keep on living. The Borgen Project previously discussed how art programs give impoverished children opportunities for success and platforms for advocacy. But bestowing art is not a one-way street in terms of benefits. When artists donate their time to the needy, they are enriching their own lives. This is the story of how Freddy Sam helped the poor through his murals and thereby enriched his own life.

Freddy Sam, the alias of Ricky-Lee Gordon, began an ambitious project in 2011. He wanted to transform the Cape Town suburb of Woodstock, South Africa, into a haven for inspirational murals. Sam grew up in Cape Town and drew inspiration from the city. From a young age, he wanted his art to not just change the world, but be a part of the community it was changing.

Sam hoped to give young Woodstock creatives a chance for expression. He also thought his work would attract artists to a suburb with cheap rent. He was aware of how local art rejuvenates local businesses. “…I can influence the gentrification for the better, with art, with sensitivity, with communication between communities,” stated Sam in 2011.

By 2013, Sam’s artwork had been featured by the BBC and National Geographic. Freddy Sam helped the poor by beautifying their communities and was rewarded with international recognition.

Sam has led several creative initiatives, such as A Word of Art and The Colour Project, since 2011. He also worked with the Percy Bartley orphanage to teach young boys the power of art. “[Art] teaches self-awareness, sensitivity, expression, discipline and the ability to create something from nothing,” said Sam in an interview with one.org.

Sam’s revitalization mission succeeded past 2011. An editorial from AllAfrica noted Woodstock’s successes even while discussing the negative effects of gentrification. Cape Town will develop affordable housing in several suburbs as of November 2017. Sam hoped that his art would connect communities, and AllAfrica confirms that “Woodstock is already very diverse and possibly one of the most integrated neighborhoods in the city.” Moreover, the editorial argues for affordable housing in Woodstock, as both private and public developments have emerged rapidly in the suburb.

The risks of gentrification, like displacement and segregation, are still concerns. But in 2011, CNN described Woodstock as “run-down.” In 2017, AllAfrica described Woodstock as a great place to invest in helping the poor.

Freddy Sam helped the poor not just for their benefit, but for his own sense of purpose. In 2000, at the age of 16, Sam decided that he did not want to be as entitled and jaded as his peers. Through art, he found a way to better himself and better the people around him. Sam’s love of art gave residents of Woodstock a chance to love life in difficult circumstances. Or, as the artist himself puts it, “showing someone that you believe in turn makes them believe.”

– Nick Edinger
Photo: Flickr

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Three Times Zendaya Donated to Charity on Her Birthday http://www.borgenmagazine.com/zendaya-donated-to-charity/ Wed, 06 Dec 2017 09:30:29 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=121045 SEATTLE — Many millennials would probably want to spend their birthdays partying with friends and celebrating themselves. Eschewing this tradition, now-21-year-old Hollywood star Zendaya donated to charity consistently for her 18th, 19th and 20th birthdays. Zendaya’s first altruistic birthday effort, on her 18th birthday, was to host a fundraiser to feed more than 100 malnourished children in [...]

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SEATTLE — Many millennials would probably want to spend their birthdays partying with friends and celebrating themselves. Eschewing this tradition, now-21-year-old Hollywood star Zendaya donated to charity consistently for her 18th, 19th and 20th birthdays.

Zendaya’s first altruistic birthday effort, on her 18th birthday, was to host a fundraiser to feed more than 100 malnourished children in Haiti, Tanzania and the Philippines in alliance with the organization feedONE, an initiative of the Convoy of Hope.

“Too many kids will go back to school hungry this year, but we can do something about that,” Zendaya said to the Convoy of Hope. “My generation has the opportunity to change the world. With Convoy of Hope, I’ve raised my voice and am using it to give people hope.”

Launched in 1994, faith-based philanthropic relief organization Convoy of Hope aids those who lack the resources for food around the world. FeedONE now provides food to more than 160,000 children in 11 countries and encourages assistance from high-profile celebrities such as Zendaya to help feed the thousands of children living in hunger.

Zendaya has been an advocate for Convoy of Hope since the Hurricane Sandy disaster in 2012. Putting her talents to use, she covered John Legend’s “All of Me” in support of the relief, with proceeds going to Convoy of Hope.

For her 19th birthday, Zendaya held a fundraiser with CrowdRise after a visit to South Africa with the UNAIDS Foundation, where she had the opportunity to meet a family of three boys. After seeing their living conditions and hearing that the boys’ parents died from AIDS, Zendaya launched the fundraiser.

CrowdRise is an emerging online program created solely for charitable fundraising. The program has been used by charities and companies as well as artists and athletes who have used their status to influence and raise money in support of positive social missions.

For her 20th birthday, Zendaya once again teamed up with Convoy of Hope to host a campaign and raise $50,000 in support of its Women’s Empowerment Initiative. “I want to help raise money for women who are impoverished,” Zendaya said to her supporters. “This program helps them take care of themselves and their families, breaking the cycle of poverty.”

The fundraiser aided women living in El Salvador, Tanzania, Kenya, the Philippines and Nicaragua. “We are so grateful for Zendaya’s heart to help women in need,” said Hal Donaldson, co-founder and president of Convoy of Hope. “She is enabling us to bring strength and dignity to people throughout the world.”

— Jalil Perry
Photo: Flickr

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BTS’s Love Myself Campaign with UNICEF Protects World Youth http://www.borgenmagazine.com/bts-love-campaign-unicef-aims-protect-world-youth/ Wed, 29 Nov 2017 09:30:01 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=120602 SEATTLE — On October 31, 2017, the K-pop boy band BTS announced its partnership with UNICEF in a campaign to end violence against children. BTS’ LOVE MYSELF campaign is a complementary offshoot of UNICEF’s #ENDViolence campaign, which began in September 2013. The shared goal of LOVE MYSELF and #ENDViolence is to protect the world’s children [...]

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SEATTLE — On October 31, 2017, the K-pop boy band BTS announced its partnership with UNICEF in a campaign to end violence against children. BTS’ LOVE MYSELF campaign is a complementary offshoot of UNICEF’s #ENDViolence campaign, which began in September 2013. The shared goal of LOVE MYSELF and #ENDViolence is to protect the world’s children from violence, exploitation and abuse.

Violence against children is a global epidemic. It occurs in every country, but evidence shows it is more rampant in impoverished regions, where the stress of low socio-economic status tends to breed violence. In these areas, violence occurs in children’s homes, schools and other institutions. According to data collected by UNICEF, between 20 and 65 percent of school-age children in the developing world report being abused in school.

Trafficking, child labor and coerced recruitment into combat are some of the most well known affronts to the rights of children. UNICEF’s ENDViolence initiative attempts to address not only these acts of publicized violence against children, but also less-recognized violence. In many countries, corporal punishment for children as well as cultural practices that cause bodily harm are legally supported. UNICEF has attempted to eliminate institutionally sustained violence against children by encouraging states around the world to ratify the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. This document is essentially a promise made by nations to protect their youth against various types of abuse.

As part of the LOVE MYSELF campaign, BTS has pledged to donate nearly $500,000 to UNICEF’s ENDViolence initiative. In addition to this generous donation, BTS will also contribute three percent of its album sales and 100 percent of its Love Myself merchandise profits to UNICEF over the next two years. These funds will facilitate the creation of UNICEF-supported programs like the Be a Champion for Children Campaign in Kenya, which provides support hotlines for abused children, as well as other resources to prevent violence against children.

BTS’ LOVE MYSELF campaign is a philanthropic exploration of the group’s artistic message. Many of its songs revolve around the struggles of youth and seek to inspire and empower young fans, also known as ARMYs (Adorable Representative M.C. for Youth). The campaign’s name even coordinates with the title of BTS’s newest album, “Love Yourself: Her.”

BTS has an impressive digital following. This November, the group reached 10 million Twitter followers and, in May, it was awarded the Top Social Artist Award at the Billboard Music Awards. BTS’s platform provides the ability to reach millions of people worldwide. It is commendable that the group is using its digital influence to educate people about violence against children and raise awareness about UNICEF’s pursuit to end it.

– Mary Efird
Photo: Flickr

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Ed Sheeran Fights AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa http://www.borgenmagazine.com/ed-sheeran-fights-aids/ Tue, 28 Nov 2017 09:30:12 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=120585 SEATTLE — Global superstar and Grammy award winner Ed Sheeran is teaming up with (RED) and Omaze to fight back against the spread of AIDS. Ed Sheeran recently traveled to West Africa earlier this year for a Comic Relief trip and was deeply moved by the suffering he witnessed, describing his trip as “life-changing.” Recognizing [...]

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SEATTLE — Global superstar and Grammy award winner Ed Sheeran is teaming up with (RED) and Omaze to fight back against the spread of AIDS. Ed Sheeran recently traveled to West Africa earlier this year for a Comic Relief trip and was deeply moved by the suffering he witnessed, describing his trip as “life-changing.” Recognizing the struggles of impoverished countries, Ed Sheeran has since become a strong advocate for relief efforts, even writing his own magazine article to raise awareness about the suffering of children in Africa and urging others to help as well.

In honor of World AIDS Day on December 1, the (RED) organization and fundraising platform Omaze are giving fans an opportunity to meet Ed Sheeran. Anyone who donates at least $10 to the cause will be entered to win a trip to Los Angeles to receive a personal serenade and pizza party with Ed Sheeran. The funds raised will be donated to the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, a partnership organization that has saved 22 million lives. They will be able to provide life-saving medication for HIV-positive mothers in Ghana, Kenya, Lesotho, Rwanda, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania and Zambia.

The medication Ed Sheeran is raising money to provide will prevent babies whose mothers are infected with HIV from being born with the virus, as well as keeping the mothers healthy and allowing them to live longer lives. The medication only costs 30 cents a day, but makes a world of difference in the lives of those affected by AIDS. Every day, 400 babies are born with HIV. The Sub-Saharan African countries that will be receiving the medication are home to the majority of all HIV cases in the world, with 1 in every 25 people affected. These efforts from Ed Sheeran will make sure that more mothers in Africa will have access to life-saving medication for their children and themselves.

– Jenae Atwell
Photo: Flickr

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Kate Hudson and Operation Smile http://www.borgenmagazine.com/kate-hudson-and-operation-smile/ Tue, 21 Nov 2017 09:30:39 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=120507 Located in Virginia Beach, VA, Operation Smile has provided life-saving reconstructive cleft surgeries worldwide for the past 35 years. The organization believes that children with cleft lip or cleft palate deserve the best possible surgical care and is constantly making efforts to raise money along with motivating people around the world for the cause. Founded [...]

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Located in Virginia Beach, VA, Operation Smile has provided life-saving reconstructive cleft surgeries worldwide for the past 35 years. The organization believes that children with cleft lip or cleft palate deserve the best possible surgical care and is constantly making efforts to raise money along with motivating people around the world for the cause.

Founded in 1982 by plastic surgeon Dr. William P. Magee, Jr, and his wife, Kathy, a nurse and clinical social worker, Operation Smile came to be from the pair’s trip to the Philippines to help children with cleft lips and palates. When they arrived in Naga City, approximately 300 families were begging the Magees to help. They were only able to treat 40 children, but William and Kathy promised they would come back to help more.

“Even if I think I know the answer, I don’t raise my hand,” said Marceline, a patient of Operation Smile. “I don’t want to be called on.” Kids like Marceline deal with numerous difficulties because of having cleft lip or palate including hunger and thirst, social stigma and a speech impediment. Thanks to Operation Smile, Marceline received surgery and is back in school, feeling more confident than she ever has with her classmates telling her she looks beautiful.

As of 2015, the organization has performed over 15,000 surgeries worldwide, went on 161 medical missions across 112 sites in 29 different countries, has over 3,000 medical volunteers and has 364,932 total documented volunteer hours. Operation Smile has also provided over 17,000 dental procedures to patients and transported 131,753 pounds of medical equipment to hospitals globally.

Operation Smile received over $95 million in revenue for the year 2015, mostly through contributions. Like other humanitarian organizations, Operation Smile benefits from the support of celebrity advocacy and endorsements who help raise money.

Known for her ability to light up a room and make everyone around her smile, Oscar-nominated actress Kate Hudson is a notable advocate for Operation Smile. The “Almost Famous” star was honored for her work with the organization last year at the 2016 Operation Smile Gala.

“Operation Smile was my first experience witnessing how we can effect change,” Hudson said at the event. “I was about 16 or 17 and my mother held an Operation Smile event in our backyard, and I’ll never forget meeting incredible doctors.” Hudson’s mother, fellow actress Goldie Hawn, shows that support for the organization runs in the family.

Through organizations like Operation Smile and the humanitarian efforts of celebrities like Kate Hudson, more and more children all around the world are finding their smile.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Flickr

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The Heartwarming Reason Why J.K. Rowling Is No Longer A Billionaire http://www.borgenmagazine.com/the-heartwarming-reason-why-j-k-rowling-is-no-longer-a-billionaire/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:30:08 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=120451 SEATTLE — J.K. Rowling made headlines in 2012, though it wasn’t for one of her books. Forbes reported that J.K. Rowling is no longer a billionaire due to her charitable giving. In tandem with paying high British taxes, the author gave the U.S. equivalent of $160 million to charity in 2011 alone. Such high donations [...]

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SEATTLE — J.K. Rowling made headlines in 2012, though it wasn’t for one of her books. Forbes reported that J.K. Rowling is no longer a billionaire due to her charitable giving. In tandem with paying high British taxes, the author gave the U.S. equivalent of $160 million to charity in 2011 alone.

Such high donations can be common among the rich, but remain uncommon among artists. Rowling herself is the first billionaire female novelist — did she only begin donating when she had wealth to spare, or did she help save the world even before she found worldwide success?

Before establishing her own charity (Lumos) and visiting the poor in Eastern Europe, Rowling spent her 20s working for Christian Aid and Amnesty International. At a 2008 commencement address for Harvard University, J.K. Rowling discussed how her job at Amnesty International inspired her later fiction successes. Rowling took on the work to pay rent, but the political prisoners and refugees from totalitarian regimes she met changed her life forever.

“Every day of my working week in my early 20s I was reminded how incredibly fortunate I was, to live in a country with a democratically elected government…” said Rowling in the Harvard address.

Rowling was inspired to help kids worldwide from her own experience teaching special-needs children. Lumos — her organization designed to rescue orphans from unsafe living conditions — cut the number of Moldavian children living in institutions by 63 percent by 2013.

The author’s charity work, even when she was a single mother on welfare, drew from her own sense of empathy.

“I remember 20 years ago not eating so my daughter would eat. I remember nights when there was literally no money. I would have done anything to work and I took as much work as I could,” said Rowling in 2013. “I am now able to give.”

But one doesn’t need to be a billionaire, or even a millionaire, to give. As Rowling once said in an interview, “You have a moral responsibility when you’ve been given far more than you need, to do wise things with it and give intelligently.” In short, the reason why J.K. Rowling is no longer a billionaire comes from her innate sense of empathy, and her knowledge of what one truly needs to live a fulfilling life.

– Nick Edinger
Photo: Flickr

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Chris Pratt Collaborates with the Organization “Malaria No More” http://www.borgenmagazine.com/malaria-no-more/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 09:30:04 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=120143 SEATTLE — Funded by 21st Century Fox, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and ExxonMobil’s Malaria No More aims to make the world a place where “no one dies from a mosquito bite.” Malaria No More was founded in 2006 during the White House event that established the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. The organization seeks [...]

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SEATTLE — Funded by 21st Century Fox, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s and ExxonMobil’s Malaria No More aims to make the world a place where “no one dies from a mosquito bite.”

Malaria No More was founded in 2006 during the White House event that established the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative. The organization seeks to gain political commitment and funding to end the fight against malaria. Constantly working with old and new partners, Malaria No More identifies and creates methods to further worldwide progress against this deadly disease.

Celebrity Support

Along with gaining the support and mobilization of political and business entities, Malaria No More also benefits from the advocacy of numerous celebrities, including actor Chris Pratt. Back in 2012, the “Guardians of the Galaxy” star took part in a comedy series called Malarious, which is a joint product by Malaria No More and CollegeHumor.

Malarious features different celebrities in each of its video and along with Pratt, the celebrities that took part in the series include Elizabeth Banks, Ed Helms, Ellie Kemper, Brooklyn Decker and Aubrey Plaza among others. A donation of one dollar allows anyone to watch these videos.

“Malarious is quite simply one of the coolest things we’ve ever done. It sits at the intersection of talent, production and technology,” said the president of original content at CollegeHumor Media, Sam Reich.

“Malaria No More has been a great partner, and it’s moving to see so many stars come out to do crazy things for this cause.”

In addition to Malarious, Malaria No More has created other campaigns in the organization’s efforts to eliminate the disease. The Power of One campaign utilizes the latest e-commerce technologies to mobilize people worldwide to close malaria testing and treatment gaps in Africa. With the donation of just one dollar, anyone can help support the lifesaving treatment of a child with malaria.

According to Malaria No More’s website, 21 countries are on track to eliminate malaria by the year 2020. With the global support that the organization receives from businesses, political allies and celebrities like Chris Pratt, hopefully many more countries will be able to end their fight against malaria.

– Blake Chambers
Photo: Flickr

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