blog > Posts tagged "charity"

To Kony – or Not to Kony 2012? – Now it’s Your problem by Misha Lyuve

Mar 11, 2012

In a week the Kony 2012 project swirled the world into madness. The sleek, inspirational, easy-to-action campaign ignited interest of many people really fast and brought back as strong of a wave of criticism.

The question now is not whether Kony 2012 campaign is good or bad – but how to translate what it stirred into a real possibility. At the end of the day, it has started a very important conversation about Uganda and Africa and the spotlight of this conversation creates a world of opportunities.

Whether you are a Kony 2012 supporter, its critic or someone who is in between – there is an action to consider.

If you believe that the movie oversimplified the story of the war in Uganda or that the work of local organizations wasn’t properly represented: for once the world is listening, tell the story. People are dying to get educated and to understand how they can make a difference.

If you think that Jason Russel is self-centered ego driven narcissist manipulated by the hidden agenda of U.S. Christian right – don’t support his organization. Create your own and make it as clean and pure as you can – but don’t forget that most impactful things in the world, both good and bad, are accomplished by people with strong passion, egos and beliefs.

Some criticize Invisible Children for spending more than 60% of their funds on promoting awareness and only a third on directly contributing to Ugandans – keep in mind that for an organization with a big vision, whether it is a business or a non-profit, it’s a very reasonable strategy at the time of expansion and in this case the one that probably paid off. But if you really appalled by that, contribute and volunteer with other organizations.

The sensationalism of nowadays journalism and not always rational outcomes of social media campaigns – is the reality of today. Not everything will be aligned with your vision, but there is always an opportunity. In other words: Don’t be just a critic – offer alternatives. Don’t be paralyzed by contradictory opinions, find what works.

After all, Kony might actually be caught this year. And there is still tons of things to be done in the world. #getoffyourass2012

From Haiti: the world of discovering self by Dr. Jane Aronson

Jan 29, 2011

Dr. Jane Aronson, a renowned pediatric infectious disease and adoption medicine specialist.  World Wide Orphan Foundation, the organization she started with the vision to transform the lives of orphaned children around the world, has been making a difference with children in Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Kenya, Serbia and Vietnam. To donate to WWO click here.

I’m writing this journal on early Friday and I get to go home soon to the two feet of snow in Maplewood, New Jersey. My children, whom I miss, are for sure sleeping and dreaming of the fun that they had in the snow on Wednesday. I just popped up at 4:25 am thinking about the fact that the children I met this week in Haiti have no music in their lives… nothing creative in their lives. There were no mirrors in the orphanages so they can’t see themselves and if someone takes a photo of them, they see it perhaps for a moment, and then it isn’t for them. It is for us so we can show people how much they need and want, how cute they are, how sad they are, and how tragic their lives are. But we steal the photo and take it away with us and they don’t see themselves. They can’t watch themselves grow up. We touch them and love them for a moment and that is fine, but then we leave. We ask them questions and find out about their deepest feelings of loss and we know that they have these feelings. We film them because they need to tell their stories. So they tell me their stories and I see them, really see them, and they are real for me. I know their names and I take away their memories of dead mamas and papas. I think about how WWO can help kids have better mental health. I begin to dream about how we can use music, art, dance, theater, and soccer to help kids express themselves and feel better and feel stronger. We do this in other countries…no brainer. I am going away and I am leaving them now; I will be back, but they don’t know this. I feel badly and I am sorry that I opened their wounds without healing with them. I am so sorry Djempsy, Fryzhelly, Watson, Jean, Christophe — all of you. They are “paper thin”…and so am I.

One of the best moments this week was when I filmed the kids singing a song about the history of Haiti (something about Haiti being mountains surrounded by water) on my iPhone and then showed them the film of themselves. They couldn’t get close enough to the little screen on my iPhone and they laughed at themselves. Their big smiles, white teeth and velvety black skin were so close to me. I was loving their joy so much that I almost fell off a cement platform that had been poured the week before as part of the construction of a new bathroom. There I was seated in a child’s straw chair an inch away from the edge and the kids were laughing and pointing to themselves as they watched the film. I didn’t fall off, but if I had, I would have laughed and had the satisfaction of the power of their excursion into a new world…the world of discovery of self. (read the whole article @ Journal #3)