Posted by: Carel | October 17, 2006

(RED), ONE & 7 are making a difference…

Apple’s recent launch of the iPod Nano (PRODUCT) RED triggered this blog entry. Technology makes our lives much easier and more productive, but technology can also make a huge difference in less advantaged people’s lives in the rest of the world. In the follow paragraphs I list a number of interesting and worthwhile projects aimed at making the world a better place. Some of them leverage the best technology in the world to accomplish this. Some charities worthy of support…

  • (PRODUCT) Red — Bono & kie is behind this again. They are convincing iconic companies/brands like Gap, Apple and Converse to sell (RED) products and to contribute a percentage of the proceeds of the sales of (RED) products to the Global Fund to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria in Africa. It seems to be catching on. They are even on mySPACE.com and Flickr.com. Bono recently launched (RED) in the US on Oprah. Buy some (RED) products!
  • ONE – Make Poverty History! — Bono is also behind this initiative. It is a way for everyone to show their support to fight AIDS and poverty globally and specifically in Africa. Register and show your support.
  • What are we doing about Africa? — “I think our age will be remembered for three things — the digital revolution, the war against terror, and what we did, or did not do to put out the fires in Africa. Some say we can’t afford to, I say we can’t afford not to.”Bono   If you want to learn more about Africa then you can find good info on Wikipedia. The CIA World Factbook is always a good source of information. South Africa has a number of websites with great information. I prefer: South Africa – Alive with Possibility. You may also use a site like GivenGain to contribute to a charity of your choice.
  • One laptop per Child — WOW, now this is daring! One of the founders of MIT Media Labs,  Nicholas Negroponte announced an initiative in January 2005 to develop a $100 laptop and give it to 100 million children in the first year of the project. Security is a huge concern and is currently getting a lot of media attention. The OS is Linux and it includes cool software like the Squeak based graphical environment eToys. Smalltalk is finally available for the masses — smile!Negroponte’s mantra is: “It’s an education project, not a laptop project.” I really…really hope this project is successful.
  • International Justice Mission — Did you know that 27 million men, women and children are still held in bonded slavery TODAY! I cannot! These guys are doing something about it. They go into some of the worst places in the world and physically rescue victims.  They are lawyers and use their knowledge to do all the legal paperwork to free numerous men, women and children. They make a difference.

Closer to home (if you live in Atlanta, Georgia) you can get directly involved with the following organizations. They do powerful work to make a difference in the lives of the last, lost, and the least.

  • Seven Bridges to Recovery — 7 (Seven) Wells is an unique individual. You will not be the same after meeting him. He goes under the bridges of Atlanta and rescues the homeless…the forgotten… He encourages them to go through spiritual recovery and ultimately to become contributing members of society again. I know of at least 70 homeless men and women that are now living in their own home, earning a wage and making a difference in others lives. You can too. To get involved in this organization you can call Seven directly: (404) 644-6976.
  • City of Refuge — Their mission is: “City of Refuge offers both life saving resources and life building tools to individuals and families in Atlanta who are living on the margin. We understand the need for programs that span multiple areas of need – from food, clothing, and shelter, to job training, placement, housing, life skills, and transportation. Our goal is to provide the best possible opportunities for success to those who are willing to work hard to change their lives.” City of Refuge makes a difference.

Now it is up to you. 

Life is too short to just live for yourself. 

You can make a difference…get involved!

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