Spotted – BORGEN http://www.borgenmagazine.com Humanity, Politics & You Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:30:30 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.5 Five Facts About Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Her Work http://www.borgenmagazine.com/five-facts-about-winnie-madikizela-mandela-and-her-work/ Mon, 23 Apr 2018 08:30:30 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126482 SEATTLE — On April 2, the heartbreaking news came out of South Africa that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid campaigner, had passed away at 81 years old. The family of Madikizela announced that she had passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa after battling a long illness. Madikizela-Mandela [...]

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SEATTLE — On April 2, the heartbreaking news came out of South Africa that Winnie Madikizela-Mandela, ex-wife of Nelson Mandela and anti-apartheid campaigner, had passed away at 81 years old.

The family of Madikizela announced that she had passed away at the Netcare Milpark Hospital in Johannesburg, South Africa after battling a long illness. Madikizela-Mandela had been in and out of the hospital since the beginning of the year.

Madikizela-Mandela, best known as the “Mother of the Nation”, was known for her work against white minority rule and the fight against apartheid. Apartheid was a system of institutionalized racial segregation laws in South Africa from 1948 until 1994. The laws forced all non-white citizens to live in separate areas from whites and use separate public facilities. Even though the laws were abolished in 1994, the generational effects of apartheid and oppression still continue.

In remembrance of Madikizela-Mandela and her influence, here are five facts about her and the ever-important work she did for this world.

She was married to Nelson Mandela for 38 years, including the 27 years he was imprisoned

Madikizela-Mandela has been recognized for continuing her husband’s fight against apartheid while he was jailed. She quickly became an international symbol of resistance against the laws.

“She kept the memory of her imprisoned husband alive during his years on Robben Island and helped give the struggle for justice in South Africa one of its most recognizable faces,” one statement said.

Even though the couple divorced in 1996, the work Madikizela did in collaboration with her husband and her international campaign for his release had an enormous impact. These events helped bring the world’s attention to the fight for racial equality in her country.

Madikizela-Mandela had been jailed while pregnant

The Madikizela-Mandela household was no stranger to police raids and chaos. Before Mandela was arrested, Madikizela noted that the frequent raids and her husband’s busy schedule with legal cases and trials made for a lonely married life. Even so, Madikizela found herself pregnant with her first child in July 1958.

Even while pregnant, Madikizela did not take a break from her work. In October of that same year, Madikizela took part of a mass action that mobilized women to protest against the government. During the protest, a thousand women, including Madikizela, were arrested.

The arrested women decided not to apply for immediate bail, but rather to stay imprisoned for two weeks to continue their protest. During those two weeks, a four months pregnant Madikizela saw firsthand the trauma and terrible conditions forced onto South African prisoners.

She became a link to the outside world for Mandela

Not only did Madikizela become the spokesperson for the movement while her husband was in jail, she became his public voice. While imprisoned, Madikizela would update Mandela about the changes taking place in their country and news about the movement, since Mandela was banned from reading newspapers.

Because of this, and because she became such a strong voice for her ex-husband, Madikizela was best known outside South Africa because of Mandela. However, in South Africa, she was the mouthpiece and face for the whole movement.

“She refused to be bowed by the imprisonment of her husband,” said Archbishop Desmond Tutu. “Her courageous defiance was deeply inspirational to me, and to generations of activists”.

She was kept in solitary confinement and tortured

In 1969, Madikizela was arrested under the Terrorism Act, which allowed the arrest of anyone perceived as dangerous without a warrant. She was detained for an indefinite period of time, interrogated and kept in solitary confinement without access to a lawyer or a relative.

Madikizela was kept in solitary confinement for 13 months. For the first 200 days, she had no contact with another human besides her interrogator. She was forced to stay awake for five days and five nights in an attempt to break her will. In an attempt to get information out of her, the interrogators brought in another prisoner, whom they tortured until Madikizela finally relented and told them whatever they wanted to hear.

Madikizela spent a total of 17 months in prison. Even after being released, and being sent back to prison for another five years almost immediately, Madikizela’s spirit never broke. She told the authorities “you can not intimidate people like me anymore”. Her conviction and determination only grew under the police’s ruthless torture.

She stayed a member of South Africa’s parliament up until her death

After her ex-husband was elected president, Madikizela worked closely with him and stayed within South Africa’s parliament.

Even though multiple controversies followed Madikizela, leading her to resign from politics for a few years at a time, she stayed in Parliament for the better part of her life. Even while going in and out of the hospital this year, Madikizela worked diligently in office.

Madikizela’s work transcended from South Africa and reached world news, leading her to become a very influential and important person in history. From gaining world attention when her then-husband was imprisoned, to her own imprisonment, Madikizela never strayed from her fight against apartheid.

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa praised Madikizela’s work, saying she was “a voice for the voiceless”. Madikizela was a loud, outspoken, and strong voice. Her influence is clear, her dedication inspirational and her fight everlasting.

– Marissa Wandzel

Photo: Flickr

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Queen Elizabeth II’s Impact on Poverty http://www.borgenmagazine.com/queen-elizabeth-iis-impact-on-poverty/ Thu, 19 Apr 2018 08:30:02 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126495 SEATTLE — Queen for more than 66 years, Elizabeth II holds the title of the longest-reigning ruler in the history of Britain, surpassing Queen Victoria in 2015. People from all corners of the globe know of Queen Elizabeth II, and she has been an icon for decades. While she may not have tangible political power, [...]

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SEATTLE — Queen for more than 66 years, Elizabeth II holds the title of the longest-reigning ruler in the history of Britain, surpassing Queen Victoria in 2015. People from all corners of the globe know of Queen Elizabeth II, and she has been an icon for decades. While she may not have tangible political power, the scope of her influence is undeniable. In her role as Queen, she has a variety of jobs, ranging from hosting diplomacy events to influencing trends, but one of her most important roles is that of philanthropist. She has committed her life to serving others, and her example has set a precedent for the entire royal family. Queen Elizabeth II’s impact on poverty around the world has created a legacy that will last for centuries.

Queen Elizabeth II has served as patron for more than 600 charity organizations, the majority of which she has served for more than 60 years. These organizations include the British Red Cross, Cancer Research U.K., Blind Veterans U.K. and Save the Children U.K. By serving as patron to these charities, the queen directs the public’s attention to important causes and helps them to raise more money than they could otherwise. She does this partly by making appearances at events put on by these charities. Most members of the royal family have a number of charities that they support, but the Queen and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, are patrons to the greatest number.

In 2012 alone, the queen helped these organizations raise £1.4 billion. This cements her position as one of the most impactful philanthropists in the world. In addition to this impressive track record, she also donates her own money to causes close to her heart. In 2015, she sent personal money to Nepal after hearing the news of the earthquake that devastated the country.

Many more charitable actions demonstrate Queen Elizabeth II’s impact on poverty. She hosts several garden parties at Buckingham Palace every year, raising money for various organizations that help those in need. The Queen also donated the money from her 90th birthday medal to 76 charities of her patronage. In her old age, the charities that she has assisted for decades still remain a priority.

At the end of 2016, the queen passed down 25 patronages, including patronage of Save the Children U.K., Animal Health Trust and the Institution of Civil Engineers, to other members of the royal family in order to make sure they would always have royal patrons. At 91 years old, the Queen still holds the role of patron for hundreds of different charities in Britain. Her enthusiasm and dedication have ensured that Queen Elizabeth II’s impact on poverty will serve as an example for the royal family for years to come.

– Julia McCartney

Photo: Flickr

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Top Advocates in the Entertainment Industry http://www.borgenmagazine.com/top-advocates-in-the-entertainment-industry/ Thu, 12 Apr 2018 08:30:01 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126463 An advocate is someone who fights for a cause. These six people are well known as some of the top advocates in the entertainment industry and have all worked to support a variety of causes, whether they be for people across the globe or for the environment. Six Top Advocates in the Entertainment Industry Ben [...]

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An advocate is someone who fights for a cause. These six people are well known as some of the top advocates in the entertainment industry and have all worked to support a variety of causes, whether they be for people across the globe or for the environment.

Six Top Advocates in the Entertainment Industry

  1. Ben Affleck
    Ben Affleck is not only one of the top advocates among actors, but is also the founder of the Eastern Congo Initiative. The goal of this initiative is to help people living the eastern Congo, and it firmly believes that local and community-based approaches are essential to improving the region’s communities and people. The Eastern Congo Initiative has also partnered with Starbucks, Theo Chocolate and Falcon Coffees to support farmers in the region.
  2. George Clooney
    George Clooney has been in many notable films such as Ocean’s Eleven, Up in the Air and The Descendants. His advocacy, such as helping the victims of the 2010 Haiti earthquake, finding a resolution for the Darfur conflict, Armenian genocide recognition and aiding 9/11 victims may even be more notable. Clooney has also taken part in documentaries; one in particular, Sand and Sorrow, was created to raise awareness about international crises.
  3. Matt Damon
    Matt Damon has acted in movies such as the Jason Bourne series, Good Will Hunting and Interstellar but he also can be considered one of film’s top advocates. In 2013, he was awarded the Environmental Media Award by the Environmental Media Association, and in 2014, he received the Crystal Award from the World Economic Forum for all of his work done through Water.org. Water.org was founded by Damon and Gary White, and strives to bring safe water and sanitation to all the people of the world through small and affordable loans. Water.org currently works in 13 countries in Africa, Latin America and Asia.
  4. Leonardo DiCaprio
    DiCaprio founded the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation (LDF) in 1998, which has helped 50 countries, donated $80.1 million, funded more than 200 projects and supported 132 organizations. LDF is working to promote the long-term health and well-being of every living being and habitat on Earth, including people, animals, oceans and land. In 2014, DiCaprio was designated as the United Nations Messenger of Peace for Climate Change and received the 2014 Clinton Global Citizen Award. He also is on the board of the World Wildlife Fund, the Natural Resources Defense Council, National Geographic’s Pristine Seas, Oceans 5 and the International Fund for Animal Welfare.
  5. Elton John
    Singer and pianist Elton John is considered one of the top advocates in music. John is also the founder of the Elton John AIDS Foundation, which works towards ensuring an AIDS-free future. The primary goal of the foundation is to fight discrimination against those with HIV/AIDS, as well as bringing an end to HIV infections and deaths from AIDS. So far, the foundation has donated more than $118 million and supported 1,409 projects.
  6. Angelina Jolie
    Angelina Jolie is known both for her movies such as Mr. & Mrs. Smith, Salt and Maleficent and her advocacy work. Jolie was appointed a Special Envoy by UNHCR in 2012; between 2001 and 2012 she was a Goodwill Ambassador for UNHCR and carried out about 60 field missions during that time. In 2005, she started the National Center for Refugee and Immigrant Children, which helps children who are fleeing persecution and coming to the U.S. alone obtain services from lawyers free of charge. In 2013, she also opened an all-girls school in Afghanistan.

All of these people have done outstanding work to advocate for individuals who do not have a voice, as well as for the planet itself. Every step they take is working to end preventable diseases, aiding those in need and helping the Earth as a whole. While only six are listed here, many other people are great advocates that are successfully fighting for people, animals and the environment.

– Amber Duffus

Photo: Flickr

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Manny Pacquiao Builds Homes for Poor Filipinos http://www.borgenmagazine.com/manny-pacquiao-builds-homes/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 14:30:29 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126391 SEATTLE — It is not uncommon to see celebrities and athletes donating their earnings to a charity. In the case of Manny Pacquiao, he decided to spread his goodwill by providing shelter for those who need it most in his native land. World champion boxer and Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao has revealed that he has [...]

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SEATTLE — It is not uncommon to see celebrities and athletes donating their earnings to a charity. In the case of Manny Pacquiao, he decided to spread his goodwill by providing shelter for those who need it most in his native land.

World champion boxer and Philippines senator Manny Pacquiao has revealed that he has been spending his earnings from his illustrious career on building homes for the poor of his homeland. Pacquiao has been buying hectares of land, building two-bedroom houses in Sarangani and General Santos City and giving them to the poor for free.

According to Pacquiao, this remarkable act of generosity has benefitted thousands of people. The apartments in question are made out of concrete and have kitchens, electricity and water connections. The housing program continues to be in effect, but Pacquiao has yet to decide where to set up the next sites. Currently, Pacquiao is has set his sights on either Laguna or Batangas, but neither has been confirmed.

“I’m so happy giving these houses free to my constituents in the Sarangani Province from my own pocket – more than [one] thousand families are the beneficiaries,” he posted on Facebook.

Apparently, Pacquiao said he did not initially announce his plans to the public because it is not in his nature to brag about his humanitarian efforts. “Give thanks to God for what you have received today. It’s a gift from Him,” said Pacquiao. “He’s just using me to help you. Take good care of this property and don’t sell it.”

In 2015, Pacquiao faced boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. in what was dubbed the “Fight of the Century”. Although Pacquiao lost the fight, he received more than $100 million, most of which was used to fund his housing program.

Born into poverty, Pacquiao understands the struggles that many people face on a daily basis. After the fight with Mayweather, Pacquiao felt inspired to give back to his hometown. “I will never forget where I came from. I thank God for allowing me to help other people,” he wrote on Twitter.

Pacquiao’s generosity comes at an opportune time for those benefitting from the program. According to official government statistics, in early 2015, around 26 million Filipinos were poor, 12 million of whom were considered to be living in extreme poverty. In a country of around 103 million people, the amount living in poverty is quite substantial.

As admirable as Pacquiao’s philanthropic efforts are, they are nothing new. In 2015, Forbes Asia recognized Manny Pacquiao as one of the “Heroes of Philanthropy,” a list that compiles the most generous and noteworthy donors in Asia.

As of 2015, Pacquiao’s foundation gave more than 200 scholarships and more than $400,000 in medical assistance to those in need. Moreover, the boxing legend also spends an additional $400,000 per year to cover college costs for more than 1,000 students.

Helping those who cannot help themselves seems like a sentiment that many should follow, but few do. As Manny Pacquiao continues to provide for the less fortunate, one can hope that other celebrities or people in positions of power can follow in his footstep.

– Brandon Cerda

Photo: Flickr

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Child Activists Fighting Poverty and Making a Difference http://www.borgenmagazine.com/child-activists-making-difference/ Tue, 10 Apr 2018 08:30:04 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126374 SEATTLE — The media often focuses on celebrities and political figures who have become activists. Aside from actors, musicians and representatives, there are many people who are not celebrities that are doing a world of good. Child activists and volunteers have increased in number in recent years, and they deserve just as much of a [...]

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SEATTLE — The media often focuses on celebrities and political figures who have become activists. Aside from actors, musicians and representatives, there are many people who are not celebrities that are doing a world of good. Child activists and volunteers have increased in number in recent years, and they deserve just as much of a spotlight as their celebrity counterparts.

Sophie Cruz

Sophie Cruz, a passionate seven-year-old, was only five when she started to advocate for better immigration laws in the United States. Coming from a family of undocumented immigrants, Sophie has a dream of creating new immigration laws to help refugees who are fleeing war, poverty and economic hardship in their native countries.

Afraid that her parents would eventually be deported, Sophie decided to meet with the Pope during his visit. She wrote a letter to the Pope, and he gladly took it upon himself to meet with the young girl and listen to her story and the stories of her family. Sophie is now being called “The Face for Immigration Reform”, which is quite a feat for such a young girl.

Payal Jangid

Payal Jangid is from Rajasthan, India, a poverty-stricken village where girls are often sold into marriage at a young age. Payal, who was only 12 when she became an activist for her village, met with Barack Obama in 2015 to discuss the problems facing Rajasthan. Payal herself was a victim of slavery before making her escape with two other child slaves.

Payal was voted Leader of Child Parliament in Rajasthan, where she fights to change the stigma surrounding girls and women in India. She is an active member of The World Children’s Prize organization, where she has been given the title of “Honorary Adult Friend”. Payal meets with parents of children and girls to explain why education is such an important part of a child’s life and discuss how child slavery and marriage can be avoided. Payal is already a role model for future generations of child activists.

Salvador Gòmez Colòn

When Salvador’s home of Conando, Puerto Rico was struck by Hurricane Maria in the fall of 2017, many of the affected families were facing hardships. Aside from the millions of people that had lost their homes, the homes that remained were without electricity or running water. Hurricane Maria caused many people to find themselves stuck in poverty, with little to no resources or jobs.

Salvador, who could not stand to see his hometown in such distress, came up with a plan: he would start a Generosity campaign to raise money for solar lamps, hand-operated washing machines and any other supplies that were needed. In just four days, Salvador raised $36,000, and has exceeded his $100,000 goal by more than $30,000.

Zuriel Oduwole

A 14-year-old filmmaker, Zuriel Oduwole has made it her mission to show the public the fun side of Africa. Zuriel creates films that document aspects of African cultures, such as dancing, music and beautiful sights. The young filmmaker and activist was born in California to a father from Nigeria and a mother from Mauritania. Zuriel has traveled to 11 different countries to meet with presidents and world leaders, while making speeches to young children about the importance of education and poverty prevention.

Her second documentary, Educating and Healing Africa Out of Poverty, documented the development of the African Union in 1963. Zuriel aided in founding the Dream Up, Speak Up, Stand Up foundation, which advocates for access to education for all children around the world. Zuriel is empowering children and gaining a following of other child activists.

Vivienne Harr

In 2012, 8-year-old Vivienne Harr saw a picture of two Nepalese brothers carrying heavy stones. Disturbed by the photo, she then learned that the two boys had been sold into child slavery. Vivienne took it upon herself to start Make A Stand, which began as a lemonade stand in her local neighborhood to raise funds to help end child slavery. She erected the stand every day for a year and raised more than $1 million to help fight child slavery.

Through social media and internet news outlets, future generations can more easily become child activists by seeing what is going on in other areas of the world. A child or teen who is advocating for a better future not only gains experience in advocacy, but creates an opening for others to follow in their footsteps.

– Rebecca Lee

Photo: Flickr

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Beyoncé’s Plan to Build Wells in Burundi for World Water Day http://www.borgenmagazine.com/beyonces-plan-to-build-wells-in-burundi/ Tue, 03 Apr 2018 08:30:23 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126298 SEATTLE — On March 22, the news of Beyoncé’s plan to build wells in Burundi for World Water Day was announced worldwide. This announcement helped raise awareness of World Water Day and the need to recognize the world’s need for clean water. Approximately 40 percent of Burundi’s population does not have access to safe and [...]

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SEATTLE — On March 22, the news of Beyoncé’s plan to build wells in Burundi for World Water Day was announced worldwide. This announcement helped raise awareness of World Water Day and the need to recognize the world’s need for clean water.

Approximately 40 percent of Burundi’s population does not have access to safe and clean drinking water, putting their health at risk. In fact, the leading cause of death in children under the age of five is water and sanitation-related diseases. Even if these diseases do not lead to death, they still affect the growth rate and health of children, as 29.2 percent of children under five suffer from malnutrition.

Burundi’s water supply endured years of destruction during the country’s civil war. During this time, several kilometers of water pipes were sabotaged, denying thousands of people access to water.

Burundi’s drinking water is also limited by the country’s rapid population growth. The current population of 10.5 million people is growing at an annual rate of more than 2.9 percent, putting further strain on the limited water supply. About 2.2 million people spend more than 30 minutes a day collecting water, most of whom are women and children.

Beyoncé, after recognizing Burundi’s dire need for water, began her program BeyGOOD4BURUNDI in July 2017, a multi-year initiative to improve water sanitation and basic hygiene practices in the country. Beyoncé’s plan to build wells in Burundi for World Water Day was the second phase of the initiative, with 85 additional wells to aid more than half a million women and children.

Many schools and hospitals throughout Burundi lack access to any water at all. Since girls require water for sanitation during their menstrual cycle, they are unable to attend school when they have their period, putting their education at risk.

March 22 was not only World Water Day, but also marked the closing of Women’s History Month. The announcement of Beyoncé’s plan to build wells in Burundi for World Water Day will also send a message of empowerment and affirmation to all women around the world through this mission in Burundi.

BeyGOOD does much more than simply donating money; it remains committed to actually putting in the work and monitoring the progress to make it all a reality. The organization believes that a relationship on the ground with the people is more vital than mere donations.

In 2017, 35 wells were installed, giving nearly 100,000 residents access to clean water. The additional 85 wells will allow close to half a million people to be serviced in new locations where these people are walking furthest for water. With the new wells, Beyoncé has set the goal to provide clean water access to more than 366,000 women and children by the year 2020.

However, in order to allow everyone clean water access in Burundi, the project requires an additional $13 million to complete this goal. BeyGOOD is planning on partnering with multiple organizations in order to hopefully end the water crisis in Burundi.

– Adrienne Tauscheck

Photo: Flickr

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10 Facts About Pope Francis’s Childhood http://www.borgenmagazine.com/pope-franciss-childhood/ Sat, 31 Mar 2018 14:30:05 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126184 SEATTLE — The first Latin American head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is one of the world’s biggest humanitarians and one of the most powerful individuals on Earth. He has garnered widespread attention for his work with refugees, environmental advocacy, promoting social equality and other poverty alleviation efforts. Before rising to the highest and [...]

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SEATTLE — The first Latin American head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis is one of the world’s biggest humanitarians and one of the most powerful individuals on Earth. He has garnered widespread attention for his work with refugees, environmental advocacy, promoting social equality and other poverty alleviation efforts.

Before rising to the highest and most prestigious rank of the Church, Pope Francis was the archbishop of Buenos Aires from 1998 to 2013.  He was also cardinal of the Roman Catholic Church in Argentina from 2001 to 2013, and president of the Bishop’s Conference of Argentina between 2005 and 2011.

Pope Francis’s childhood played a pivotal role in paving the way for many of the successes he achieved later in life. Consequently, the following facts chronicle the early life and experiences of the 266th Pope.

10 Facts About Pope Francis’s Childhood

  1. Born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936, Pope Francis was the oldest of five children and was born in the neighborhood of Flores in Buenos Aires to a family of Italian origin.
  2. Pope Francis’s childhood was heavily influenced by his upbringing in Buenos Aires as well as his Italian heritage. His father, an immigrant from Piedmont, arrived in the 1920s, while his mother was born in Argentina but was the daughter of Italian immigrants from Piedmont. During his childhood, he became fluent in both Italian and Spanish.
  3. Leading a reasonably modest and humble lifestyle himself, Bergoglio understood the plight of different social groups and was socially conscious from a very young age due to his environment and upbringing.
  4. From an early age, Bergoglio’s parents imparted good values to their children, such as discipline. For instance, Bergoglio and his siblings always had to clean their plates at dinner time and try their best to avoid wasting food.
  5. Through a variety of experiences, Bergoglio grew familiar with different walks of life in Argentina. He worked as a student, as a bouncer at a club, as a janitor and even as a laboratory technician after receiving his diploma.
  6. Given the political atmosphere of Argentina at the time, the young Bergoglio was captivated by Juan and Eva Peron and the rise of Peronism in Argentina. These ideals had a profound impact on an impressionable Bergoglio. Peronism contributed to a majority of the social and political reform Argentina witnessed at that time, particularly the advancement and empowerment of many working-class individuals and rural sectors, as well as successes in redistribution of income.
  7. The true picture of Pope Francis’s childhood is embedded in the cultural wave he experienced growing up in Argentina as a young boy. There was a major revival in society as social classes grew more unified and the working classes triumphed in a new and renewed economic atmosphere. Consequently, Bergoglio was fascinated by the Jewish community around him and loved literature and watching local plays in his town.
  8. According to his sister, Bergoglio was a natural born scholar and always loved to study. As a result, he was interested in a wide array of subjects, from philosophy and psychology to the natural sciences. His life philosophy revolved around moderation, as he never allowed himself to indulge too much, but was still willing to keep an open mind to pursue new endeavors and new experiences.
  9. As a major part of Pope Francis’s childhood was also largely influenced by his love of science, he learned to view ideas with more rationality and objectivity. Upon graduation, he decided to pursue a master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Buenos Aires, and a degree in philosophy from the Catholic University of Buenos Aires.
  10. After an epiphanic moment, Bergoglio was inspired to take up seminary studies at Villa Devoto in Buenos Aires at the age of 21. Yet, he was only ordained much later, at age 33 in 1969. Shortly after this, he paid a short visit to Jerusalem for a pilgrimage.

Overall, Pope Francis’s childhood enabled him to take on many of the challenges he pursued later in his life and was a fitting precursor to his ascension in the ranks of the Catholic Church. The initial parts of his remarkable journey will continue to remain a very vital part of his legacy.

– Shivani Ekkanath

Photo: Flickr

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Roger Federer and the Match For Africa http://www.borgenmagazine.com/roger-federer-and-the-match-for-africa/ Wed, 28 Mar 2018 08:30:53 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=126094 SEATTLE — On March 5, 2017, Roger Federer, the Association of Tennis Players (ATP) World Number One, hosted a Match for Africa in San Jose, California to raise money for his philanthropic organization, the Roger Federer Foundation. The match raised more than $2.5 million for the foundation. The match was played with fellow ATP tour [...]

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SEATTLE — On March 5, 2017, Roger Federer, the Association of Tennis Players (ATP) World Number One, hosted a Match for Africa in San Jose, California to raise money for his philanthropic organization, the Roger Federer Foundation. The match raised more than $2.5 million for the foundation.

The match was played with fellow ATP tour player Jack Sock, Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and NBC Today Show co-host Savannah Guthrie. All the players participated in the match in order to raise money for Federer’s foundation.

This was the fifth round of the match series. All the previous matches Federer hosted also raised money for the foundation. At the fourth match in the series in April 2017, Federer raised $2 million and was teamed up with Bill Gates.

At the fifth round of the Match for Africa, Federer and Gates teamed up again to battle it out against new opponents, Sock and Guthrie. Federer and Gates won the match six games to three. The Federer and Gates team is now up two matches; they have not lost as a team.

The Roger Federer Foundation

“I believe in the power of people. They might only need some initial empowerment.” – Roger Federer

Federer believes in empowering children to excel at school and take control of their future. For 15 years, the Roger Federer Foundation has provided this opportunity for a good education, impacting the prospects for each child. The organization hopes to reach a million children by 2018 in Zambia, Botswana, Malawi, Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa.

Nolonwabo Batini, a 15-year-old girl from South Africa, eloquently stated, “I am tomorrow’s future.” Her statement became the central theme and mission of the organization. Promoting the education of every child is indicative of the successful prospects of the world’s future.

In the foundation’s served countries, access to primary education has increased; however, there are still problems with low performance in the classroom, poor attendance, high numbers of dropouts and low school completion rates. The foundation assists the already existing but insufficient support systems for children in school.

The foundation selectively chooses local organizations in the served communities for long-term partnerships. The organization does not deliver direct supplies to individuals but supports the use of local resources to access and sustain education. The organization follows this ideal because it believes this is the only way to “achieve sustainable systemic change and resultant improvement of the situation.”

Match for Africa and World Philanthropy

The CEO of the Roger Federer Foundation, Janine Handel, described the Match for Africa evenings as excellent events for the organization to raise money but also to raise awareness for the cause. She explained that many children are living in poverty and education is a necessary tool to overcome poverty.

In the development of the organization, Roger Federer enjoys learning and working with Bill Gates. Handel stated, “Bill is among the most important philanthropists in the world and Roger feels so privileged to exchange with him on an ongoing basis.” By collaborating on ideas with Bill Gates, Federer works to better the foundation and implement successful data collection techniques in the organization, mirroring The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

The Match for Africa was a highly promoted fundraising event to assist in funding the Roger Federer Foundation projects. In successfully promoting the education of youth in Africa, Roger combined philanthropic interests with work interests and skills to create an evening of raising money.

– Andrea Quade

Photo: Flickr

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Humans of New York’s Brandon Stanton Helps Rohingya Refugees http://www.borgenmagazine.com/brandon-stanton-helps-rohingya-refugees/ Tue, 20 Mar 2018 08:30:18 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=125890 SEATTLE — Located in the country of Myanmar, the western coastal state of Rakhine is home to the world’s most persecuted minority, the Rohingya people. Their persecution has caused the world to take notice and take action, in particular one spectacular person by the name of Brandon Stanton. Founder of the photo blog Humans of [...]

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SEATTLE — Located in the country of Myanmar, the western coastal state of Rakhine is home to the world’s most persecuted minority, the Rohingya people. Their persecution has caused the world to take notice and take action, in particular one spectacular person by the name of Brandon Stanton.

Founder of the photo blog Humans of New York, Brandon Stanton started a project to build houses for Rohingya refugees through the money he raised on a GoFundMe page, raising more than $1 million in the span of four days. Stanton made history on GoFundMe, with his campaign being the fastest to raise that amount of money in such a brief period of time.

However, it is important to know why the Rohingya people are in such dire need of homes and how Stanton became aware of this desperate situation.

The Rohingya people currently live in Myanmar, with a total population of 1.1 million inhabiting the country. However, since Myanmar’s independence in 1948, they have been denied citizenship because they are not considered one of the country’s official ethnic groups. Strict laws passed during the time of military rule effectively rendered the Rohingya stateless. This resulted in dramatic increases in persecution and violence against the Rohingya people.

Reports of rape, torture, arson and murder by the Myanmar security forces have forced hundreds of thousands of Rohingya to flee to neighboring countries over the course of the past few decades. Since the late 1970s, approximately one million Rohingya have become refugees in neighboring countries to avoid these inhuman acts of violence.

Brandon Stanton became a witness to this persecution when he visited some of the Rohingya camps on a trip to Bangladesh and became inspired to create a project in order to raise awareness about the plight of the Rohingya. Starting in mid-January, when Stanton visited the camps, he has featured a Rohingya refugee on the Humans of New York blog every day in order to create not only awareness, but also action towards helping this minority.

In addition, Stanton has helped to build houses for Rohingya refugees that are specially designed to withstand the upcoming monsoon season. The houses are built of bamboo, hold up to a family of six and cost approximately $630 each. In order to build the most homes for the Rohingya people, Stanton partnered with Love Army, a collaborative charity organization made up of celebrities that has raised an additional $2 million for the housing project.

This power partnership has also collaborated with the American Refugee Committee to ensure that every dollar raised is spent efficiently and that 100 percent of the donations will go directly to the construction of the houses. In fact, the houses are actually being built by the refugees to ensure the labor costs are brought back into the community. The project has provided more than 1,500 homes for those in need.

Brandon Stanton has continued to support the Rohingya refugees through his Humans of New York blog and hopes to inspire others to take action towards helping these persecuted people.

– Adrienne Tauscheck

Photo: Flickr

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Connie Britton and the ONE Campaign Address Sexism and Poverty http://www.borgenmagazine.com/connie-britton-and-the-one-campaign/ Sun, 18 Mar 2018 08:30:19 +0000 http://www.borgenmagazine.com/?p=125759 SEATTLE — To address the correlation between sexism and poverty, actress Connie Britton wore a sweater that read “Poverty Is Sexist” to the Golden Globes earlier this year. Britton wore the sweater to bring awareness to the fact that women and girls who live in poverty-stricken areas are hit the hardest, and that giving women [...]

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SEATTLE — To address the correlation between sexism and poverty, actress Connie Britton wore a sweater that read “Poverty Is Sexist” to the Golden Globes earlier this year. Britton wore the sweater to bring awareness to the fact that women and girls who live in poverty-stricken areas are hit the hardest, and that giving women opportunities to thrive is key to fighting global poverty.

Connie Britton and the ONE Campaign were looking to bring attention to their cause by using a strong public platform. The “Nashville” star is a notable advocate of the ONE Campaign, which is a nonprofit organization that seeks to end extreme poverty and preventable disease worldwide, with a focus on Africa. The ONE Campaign has more than nine million members around the world, and its message is “we believe the fight against poverty isn’t about charity, but about justice and equality.” The organization has branches in Washington D.C., New York, London, Brussels, Paris, Ottawa, Berlin and Johannesburg.

The ONE Campaign has been very successful in its advocacy. The organization has supported development assistance, which has increased globally by $35.7 billion between 2005 and 2014. The ONE Campaign has also been instrumental in securing $37.5 billion for health initiatives as well as advocating for legislation that helps fight corruption and ensures more money from gas and oil revenues in Africa is used to help alleviate poverty.

In an article she wrote for Entertainment Weekly, Britton mentioned that the ONE Campaign has reported that educating every girl in sub-Saharan Africa to secondary school levels would be able to help save the lives of 1.2 million children. Connie Britton and the ONE Campaign believe that quality education is crucial to helping fight poverty because educated countries are more stable and wealthier. The piece serves as a call to action, urging the president along with other world leaders to invest in girls’ education on a global level.

In addition, Britton, along with fellow actress Robin Wright, delivered ONE’s open letter seeking action from the United Nations on addressing the global problem of the lack of education of girls. She also took part in ONE’s PSA calling for action on the Ebola crisis and collaborated with Jessica Williams and Phoebe Robinson of “2 Dope Queens” in ONE’s #GirlsCount video petition.

This year’s Golden Globes served as a major platform for activism. Connie Britton and the ONE Campaign addressing sexism and poverty was at the forefront alongside the Time’s Up movement. The message that many of the celebrities, including Britton, were sending that night is equality, which will lead to the betterment of the world.

– Blake Chambers

Photo: Flickr

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