Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Two Wheels To A Better Life

This story was featured in a Sunday magazine, Wheels of Change.  The mission statement says,
"Wheels of Change International was established to help the people of Africa gain access to mobility and create a better life for all in their communities.  As an organization WOC International’s mission is to help form the foundation for change in Africa, driven by the simple belief that a bicycle can make a difference."

Facts from the WOC website:
When a bicycle is donated, the possibilities are endless and the math becomes simple.  In the hands of a healthcare worker, they can cover four times the ground than otherwise on foot. This translates into four times the number of patient visits and four times the number of medication disbursements.  Wheels of Change helps fulfill a basic need: to provide a distribution vehicle for improved healthcare for those too remote from formalized healthcare facilities.  But it doesn’t stop there.  Why bikes?
  • A healthcare worker visits 3 to 4 times the number of clients with a bicycle compared to walking.
  • Girls are 70 percent more likely to attend school if their household owns a bicycle.
  • 5km on foot = 1 hour / 5km by bicycle = 20 minutes.
  • A bicycle carries up to 5 times the load compared with a person walking

Monday, November 28, 2011

Volunteers Continue Building In Earthquake Destroyed Peruvian Region

In 2007 a devastating  7.9 magnitude earthquake along the Pisco region of Peru, left thousands of families without homes and community resources.  One year later, Pisco Sin Fronteras (PSF), a  Peruvian organization formed  to launch sustainable reconstruction--one without a pullout date.

"Our vision is of a Pisco with adequate housing, sanitation and education for all, in which everyone has the opportunity to shape their own future," notes the website.

"PSF works directly with families and communities in the region of Pisco, improving their lives through construction projects, community initiatives and education. From short term disaster relief to sustainable long term solutions, PSF empowers local people and volunteers from all over the world to build a stronger Pisco."

Saturday, November 26, 2011

First Ecoregion Map of the World

Scientists and conservationists from nearly every corner of planet Earth contributed to create Freshwater Ecoregions of the World, (FEOW), a new global biogeographic regionalization of the Earth's freshwater biodiversity.  Covering virtually all freshwater habitats on Earth, this first-ever ecoregion map, together with associated species data, is a useful tool for underpinning global and regional conservation planning efforts, particularly to identify outstanding and imperiled freshwater systems; for serving as a logical framework for large-scale conservation strategies; and for providing a global-scale knowledge base for increasing freshwater biogeographic literacy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Culturally Diverse Program For Young Women in Crisis

"The Center for Young Women's Development (CYWD) is one of the first non-profits in the United States run and led entirely by young women. From the beginning, we have organized young women who were the most marginalized in San Francisco — those in the street economies and the juvenile justice system — to design and deliver peer-to-peer education and support."

The mission: Our mission is to empower and inspire young women who have been involved with the juvenile justice system and/or the underground street economy to create positive change in their lives and communities.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

From Halloween Fear to Feeding Hungry Families

New Mexico Vietnam Veterans Deliver food and gift cards to teen homeless shelter.
 Last October a "Halloween geek"  and a host of volunteers created "the best haunted house in the world," in Santa Fe, New Mexico, which this week (beginning Nov. 21), benefited the For Kid’s Sake Project, St. Elizabeth’s homeless shelter, Casa Familia and the Agua Fria Teen Shelter, according to an Albuquerque Journal report.

The haunted house volunteers from Vietnam Vets of America/ Northern New Mexico Chapter 996 and The Santa Fe VIP.COM, presented  gift certificates and boxes of food to homeless teens, this week.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Dance Moves Empower Survivors

Professional dancers from Gibney Dance For Community Action in New York, donate time to help teach dance moves to victims of domestic violence.    A program designed to work with domestic violence survivors  has been developed that can be used in other communities.

The program offers free movement workshops for lower income women in domestic violence shelters.  Currently 100 free workshops operate in New York City that offer safe, supportive and empowering moves to help explore physical ease and expression.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Brigades of Peace Activism

Since it's beginnings in 1981, Peace Brigades International (PBI) "...has helped hundreds of communities and thousands of people in 11 countries by protecting human rights defenders who tirelessly work in pursuit of justice for the victims and survivors of violence, displacement and repression."

PBI sends  international volunteers to areas of conflict, providing protective accompaniment to human rights defenders threatened by political violence,  and  PBI facilitates other peace-building initiatives.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Peaceful Passings for Animal Friends

As  our pets age we are faced with hard decisions as to their well being.  Today's prism of light I found through Facebook, it's called Peaceful Passings, Inc..

The website states,
Peaceful Passings is a home-based animal rescue, located in Fluvanna County in Central Virginia. Our vision is a world where no animal has to be euthanized because of age or medical challenge, where a quality of life remains.
The goal of animal hospice is to provide comfort, dignity, and a sense of peace to animals reaching the end of their natural lives. The focus of care is on sustaining
the highest quality of life for whatever time remains.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scholarships for Young Women Honor Generous Hero

 Viola’s Huge Heart Foundation is a charity founded by the Barrios family of San Antonio, TX, that...awards one full time scholarship to a student at Incarnate Word High School...This scholarship will support a young lady who might not have been given the opportunity to pursue a high-quality education due to financial constraints.

The foundation, according to its website,  supports causes in San Antonio as well as in Bustamante, Mexico. "The foundation will also support Les Dames d’Escoffier scholarship, a scholarship that encourages women to pursue careers in the culinary arts..."

The nonprofit was formed after the violent murder of a San Antonio matriarch, restaurateur and community volunteer, Viola Barrios.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Penny Power Benefits Hospitalized Kids

A young girl with a hospitalized brother proves the power of a penny through Pennies of Love.

 She explains from her website:

 "Brianna's Pennies of Love" collects money and art supplies for childern with medical needs.  I use the money to buy art and craft supplies on wish lists at hospitals and clinics and to make art bags for children in isolation.  They need large easels, painting smocks, drying racks, and other art supplies.  The children use the art supplies to keep them busy while they are receiving extended medical treatment.  This includes the Children's Blood and Cancer Center, Children's Dialysis Clinic, other infusion centers, and Dell Children's Hospital's playrooms and art bags for children in isolation

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Restoring, Protecting Costa Rican Rainforests

The Hacienda Rio Coté Project (HRC) has been established to restore and protect rainforest land adjacent to the Rio Coté National Protected Areas in Costa Rica.

HRC’s mission is to reforest and preserve land that is contiguous with existing protected areas of the Rio Coté National Forest and in effect to increase the size of a pristine rainforest environment. HRC’s goal is to maintain and extend natural biodiversity, preserve watersheds, reduce erosion and river degradation, protect animal and insect habitats, and preserve the primordial beauty of the tropical rain forests for future generations.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

"Wrap With Care, Save A Polar Bear"

“Wrap with care, save the polar bear,” reads a condom packet.  “Wear a condom now, save the spotted owl,” says another.

The Center for Biological Diversity is one of the first environmental groups to address human over population by giving away "endangered species condoms" with messages like the above.

A recent New York Times article notes:

Major American environmental groups have dodged the subject of population control for decades, wary of getting caught up in the bruising politics of reproductive health.

Yet, virtually alone, the Center for Biological Diversity is breaking the taboo by directly tying population growth to environmental problems through efforts like giving away condoms in colorful packages depicting endangered animals. The idea is to start a debate about how overpopulation crowds out species and hastens climate change — just when the world is welcoming Baby No. 7 Billion.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Worldwide Effort To Correct Birth Defect

"Clubfoot, which affects about 200,000 infants a year, is a horribly disabling birth defect, one that can doom a child born in a poor country to a marginal life. In the condition, one or both feet are turned inward and down, forcing afflicted people to walk clumsily on the sides of their feet," writes Barry Meier for The New York Times.

The Ponseti International Association was formed to create "a world free of clubfoot."  Their mission includes, "To prevent disability, ill health, and poverty in children born with clubfoot by globally implementing comprehensive programs of Ponseti training, ongoing support, and public awareness. "

Clubfoot Birth Defect
Corrected Birth Defect

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Generous Lower-Income Brits

From the Third Sector:

People earning less than £32,000 give on average more than 1 per cent of their income to charity, whereas those on more than £52,000 typically give only 0.8 per cent, according to research by the Charities Aid Foundation and the National Council for Voluntary Organisations.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Busting World Poverty With Innovation

A California couple recently donated $150 million to Stanford Graduate School of Business in an effort to sideline world wide poverty  through  enabling entrepreneurs, managers, and leaders to alleviate poverty in developing economies.  The program is  Institute for Innovation in Developing Ecnomies, also known as SEED.

A university press release notes:

To amplify its impact on the more than one billion people in the world who live on less than $1.25 a day, SEED will partner with organizations such as Endeavor, which mentors and accelerates the work of high-impact entrepreneurs; Omidyar Network, a philanthropic investment firm that helps scale innovative organizations that catalyze economic, social, and political change; Skoll Foundation, which drives change by investing in social entrepreneurs; and global social enterprise investor Acumen Fund. All have established operations abroad.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Editor's Note:  We joined a CSF and are amazed at how much we learned about our local fish and feel good about supporting our local industry.  Also, it is the best fish ever, other than catching your own. is an online network that links consumers to community supported fisheries (CSFs).
The network seeks to increase the visibility of CSFs and it aims to provide assistance to individuals and organizations that need support envisioning, designing, and implementing locally-relevant businesses that work towards a triple bottom line.

Though each CSF is designed to fit its local context, several core elements tie them together. CSFs:
  • Establish a transparent chain-of-custody from boat to fork;
  • Increase access to premium, locally caught seafood;
  • Ensure fishers receive a fair price for their catch that reflects the value of their work;
  • Engage fishers and community members in more robust, viable, local food systems;
  • Provide a framework through which fishers and customers alike can creatively steward our marine resources.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Four Events To Help Others

Four local events listed in today's news with a holiday flavor to help others:

1) Coats for Christmas Day Drive: Raising funds to purchase coast for the homeless.

2) Holiday poinsettia sales to benefit mental health providers for less fortunate.

3) "Be a Santa to a Senior" program featuring ornaments that list names of seniors and their gift requests.

4) Horsemen's Club Toy Ride: Collecting toys for disadvantaged children.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

China's Orphans' Life Improvement Program

In 1996, Jenny. Bowen and her husband adopted a 20-month-old girl from China who couldn’t walk or talk but grew into a healthy child. Two years later, Ms. Bowen started Half the Sky to change the way China cares for its orphans. Since then, the charity has grown to operate programs in 51 Chinese cities, improving conditions for more than 60,000 children. In the next five years, the organization will help train 110,000 child-care workers and watch as the Chinese government invests $300-million in building 300 model orphanages. Ms. Bowen will ask donors to match the prize money and pay for a national effort in China to train workers who care for orphans.

Source:  Philanthropy Today

Monday, November 7, 2011

Rockers Promise End To "Teenage Wasteland" For Cancer Patients

For more than a decade rock legends from the band the Who, Roger Daltry and Pete Townshend, have supported England's Teenage Cancer Trust--19 cancer units for teenagers across the U.K, reports Rolling Stone.

The report notes, "On Friday, (Roger Daltry)  was joined in Los Angeles by Robert Plant of Led Zeppelin to announce the launch of the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program, in hopes of changing a medical culture that categorizes patients as either adults or children, with few special considerations for teens."

A UCLA news release explains, "The vision of the UCLA Daltrey/Townshend Teen & Young Adult Cancer Program is to ensure that every young person receives the best possible care and professional support to help them meet the physical and emotional challenges of a cancer diagnosis. The belief is that teenagers and young adults shouldn't stop enjoying their youth just because they have cancer."

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Daily Prism Blog Writer Busy With Life

The Daily Prism's poster is suddenly busy with life.

Our next post will return Sunday, Nov. 7.

Keep you light beaming!