Arsenal_Football_Club
Arsenal Football Club has teamed up with Save The Children to support efforts to end extreme poverty, inequality and climate change with the #DizzyGoals Challenge.

In a video sanctioned by action/2015, another organization dedicated to these goals, two players, one coach and one mascot participated in the challenge. The athletes can be seen putting their hand on a soccer ball and running around it in a circle—similar to the dizzy bat game. Once each player completed several circles, they were to take a shot at a goal.

Each of the soccer players fell in the grass on the soccer field, making the video and challenge comical and fun-filled. Joining soccer and charity together, Save the Children and Arsenal have worked together since 2011, raising more than one million euros for the charity’s important goals.

The #DizzyGoals Challenge was created to promote awareness for the action/2015 goals and campaign, Global Goals. All organizations ask that participants share their dizzy goal in a video on social networking sites.

The power of social networks is a large part of the Global Goals campaign. Several organizations, including Save the Children and action/2015, have joined together to help end extreme and unsafe circumstances around the world. Global Goals is one campaign that asks followers to upload videos and pictures to their social media profiles.

The objective of these organizations is to raise as much awareness as possible so that these goals can be met this year. The Global Goals website said that these goals will only be accomplished if all people are clued in.

“If the goals are going to work, everyone needs to know about them. You can’t convince world leaders to do what needs to be done if you don’t know what you’re convincing them to do. If the goals are famous, they won’t be forgotten,” the website said.

Global Goals also gave motivating advice to readers and philanthropists about change and humanitarian aspirations.
“We can be the first generation to end extreme poverty, the most determined generation in history to end injustice and inequality and the last generation to be threatened by climate change,” Global Goals said.

In accordance with this notion, other athletes have stepped up to promote this cause. Gareth Bale, a professional soccer player, posted his #DizzyGoals video on Twitter. The athlete shared this tweet with his followers: “Quality time with my mates filming my #DizzyGoals for @TheGlobalGoals.”

Usain St. Leo Bolt, a famous Olympian, also shared a video of him doing the challenge on Twitter. The runner can be seen laughing in the video, promoting the challenges ultimate goal—to make people smile.

Many more athletes in all levels of play have participated in this challenge, showing that sports is one way to bring people together and to promote change.

Global Goals said that this month, Sept. 25, 193 world leaders will meet to commit to change the world by 2030. They want to end extreme poverty, tackle climate change and fix inequality and injustice to make the world a better place.

To learn more about this important cause, visit globalgoals.org. To view #DizzyGoals challenges, search the hashtag.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Global Goals, Look to the Stars, Twitter 1, Twitter 2
Photo: Pixabay

#Donate
#Donate: If the single most characteristic feature of the 21st century was chosen, social media would definitely be among the forerunners for the title. In the past decade especially, the advent of social media has taken over our lives. From MySpace to Facebook, Twitter, Instagram et cetera, the world of social media has become grown exceptionally.

The takeover by social networking sites and apps is generally taken in a negative context. There is always a never-ending stream of criticisms directed at the virtual world. The critics often propagate the notion of social media desensitizing people to the real world problems. These arguments, while not entirely untrue, completely disregard social media’s potential for positive impact, if used wisely.

Recently, the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge campaign received much media frenzy. It was also successful in raising awareness as well as donations for its cause. The “tagging” process, such as #Donate, through social media websites led to a massive campaign, which also involved many celebrities.

Popular Facebook page “Humans of New York” managed to raise $1.2 million in a campaign for an inner-city school. The catalyst-a viral photograph of an inspiring middle school boy.

A photograph of a Filipino boy doing his homework under the light of a McDonald’s restaurant posted on Facebook went viral, as it was shared almost 7,000 times. The significant number of people interested in contributing to the boy’s education led to the establishment of an online fundraising campaign. The campaign generated enough funds to cover nine-year old Daniel up till college.

These stories, and many more like these, establish the significance of social media in modern world activism. The creation of social media websites has enabled an unprecedented platform to create awareness for the issues in the world. Pages like GoFundMe or Network For Good allow for anyone and everyone to start fundraising campaigns for a cause they hold near and dear.

In the fast world of social media however, fundraising can sometimes become a challenge as well. The campaigns like the ALS fundraiser require the donor to go to a separate website and then donate. As easy as it is to type a web address and make a few simple clicks, it is still somewhat of a hassle for social media users. Mostly attuned to “liking” or commenting on statuses, the process of redirecting to other websites can be annoying for the users.

This has given rise to “slacktivism”—where “activists” on social networking websites become slackers in actual donation process. In the ALS campaign, for example, the donors were far outnumbered by the people who shared the videos.

To assist the users in donating quickly and efficiently, a Washington DC-based startup Good World has come up with an innovative idea. They partner with a network of nonprofit charities. Users need a one-time signup for Good World to contribute to any charity of their choice within their network. To donate, the users simply need a hashtag of donation and their choice of amount of contribution typed into the comments section.

The system of commenting also simplifies the process of further promoting the campaign. Instead of having to “share” their donation through separate websites, the comment can be directly viewed by the user’s friends. This also gives them a faster way to make a contribution by simply commenting on the thread. The web service also forwards tax-deductible receipts to the registered email address.

The service has certain caveats: almost five percent of the donated amount is automatically deducted to fund the technology itself. There is also a 2.2 percent processing fee associated with the service. The additional charges may serve to distance some users.

In spite of the challenges, Good World is a valuable innovation in ensuring our technology remains up to speed with our generosity.

– Atifah Safi

Sources: Good World, Wall Street Journal, Daily Mail, PBS, Washington Business Journal
Photo: The Guardian

UNICEF In association with the FIFA Women’s World Cup Canada 2015, Canadian and U.S. celebrities are participating in the #HighFiveIt campaign for UNICEF with the universal high-five gesture.

According to UNICEF, almost one thousand children die every day worldwide because of the lack of clean water. Conditions are worsened for those without proper nutrition, immunizations, safety and infant health.

The #HighFiveIt campaign raises money to develop strategies to solve these issues as well as implement the plans created. UNICEF will also help to educate the areas that suffer from these problems with techniques that continue to improve upon the tactics that UNICEF will put in place.

In Canada, Karina LeBlanc, the Canadian Women’s National Team goalkeeper and UNICEF ambassador, helped start the campaign by high-fiving Christine Sinclair, the captain of Canada’s team.
UNICEF asks that supporters take part in #HighFiveIt by posting a photo or video of a high-five during a sporting match, tagging five friends in the post and donating to UNICEF.

Among the supporters are many celebrities who have pledged to help save lives of children in poor areas. Disney Channel stars Calum Worthy, Raini Rodriguez and Laura Marano are giving their high-fives for UNICEF, and so are Rico Rodriguez from “Modern Family” and Peter Mooney, Missy Peregrym, Priscilla Faia and Erin Karpluck from “Rookie Blue.”

In addition, several other Canadian and American politicians, athletes and celebrities are pledging to #HighFiveIt to save citizens in poor areas.

UNICEF Canada’s Chief Development Officer, Sharon Avery, said that she is very pleased with the support from these celebrities as their backing will draw a lot of attention to the cause.

“It’s wonderful to see our homegrown talent, along with several American celebrities, taking part in this campaign to save lives,” Avery said. “I’ve seen the impact of UNICEF’s work with children in Honduras and Dominica and am excited to have my passions — soccer and reaching children through UNICEF — come together with #HighFiveIt.”

Though their involvement was very important, celebrities were not the only people taking part in #HighFiveIt. 7,238 UNICEF fans took part in the Guinness World Record for the greatest number of people simultaneously giving a high-five. This event broke the previous record by 2,542 people.

With such a large number of supporters giving high-fives, UNICEF hopes to reach their goals. The organization’s website offers five different life-saving options to donate to, the first being “greatest gift.” If the donator chooses to give to “greatest gift,” the money will be presented to areas that need change the most.

“Children living in conflict and vulnerable situations will benefit from your generosity,” UNICEF said.

By selecting “infant health,” the donator will fund the implementation of baby-friendly hospitals, training of health-care workers and breastfeeding education for mothers. If the supporter chooses “vaccines,” the donation will be used to provide vital vaccinations for tetanus, polio, measles and other life-threatening diseases. By clicking on “nutrition,” the funding will go to efforts to end starvation and malnutrition, and with the selection of “water,” the donation will be used to create water-catchment devices for a better opportunity to provide clean water to developing areas.

Because UNICEF presents the chance of choosing to give directly to causes that the supporter prefers, the organization has created a more personal donation experience. That being said, each dollar the supporter gives to their choice source will be matched by UNICEF, up to two million dollars.

Celebrities and fans of UNICEF can potentially raise more than four million dollars with this promise. To join the cause and help save the lives of people in need, go to unicef.ca or search #HighFiveIt.

Fallon Lineberger

Sources: Look to the Stars, UNICEF 1, UNICEF 2, UNICEF 3
Photo: Newswire

all_in
It takes only 30 seconds for another person between the ages of 10-19 to be diagnosed with HIV. In total, 2.1 million adolescents are currently living with the disease. While work is being done to combat HIV/AIDS for all ages, many people do not know that a particularly vulnerable population it affects is adolescents.

Globally, only 20 percent of girls and 29 percent of boys ages 15-19 fully understand all the ways the disease can be transmitted. That is why President of Kenya Uhuru Kenyatta and big organizations like NAIDS; UNICEF; UNFPA; WHO; PEPFAR; the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria; the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the HIV Young Leaders Fund on behalf of the PACT and Y+ are “all in” on a new campaign meant to lower the HIV/AIDS rate in the youth population—called “All In.”

Those involved with “All In” have several motivations for this initiative. AIDS is not only the leading cause of death among adolescents in Africa, but the second leading cause of death globally, which Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS, referred to as a “moral injustice.” In addition, only one in four people under 15 have access to any kind of treatment for HIV.

“All In” hopes awareness will spread by creating hashtags: #AllIn and #EndAdolescentAIDS. Hashtags are typically used by adolescents themselves, so it could very well be teenagers helping out their fellow teenagers around the globe.

“We need to reach the adolescents we are missing and engage all young people in the effort to end adolescent AIDS,” said UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake. “In fact, we cannot achieve the goal of an AIDS-free generation without them.” So far, youths have shown they are on board: 200 young people from various organizations were present at the official launch of “All In.”

The ultimate goal for “All In” is to eradicate adolescent HIV/AIDS diagnoses entirely by 2030. They plan to do this by increasing prevention and treatment and, of course, getting the information out. Whether it is through trips around the globe or a simple tweet, lives can change by merely speaking up.

Melissa Binns

Sources: All In, UNAIDS
Photo: U.N.