China's Journey from Beneficiary to Benefactor

Friday, July 9th, 2010

Chinese Money

As the world economy changes, it is important to celebrate growth and development. The United Kingdom announced recently that they would join the host of developed nations that are no longer providing economic aid to China. Normally it’s regrettable when a government stops paying aid to a country in peacetime. However, China has ceased to need the aid that these countries were supplying it. Here’s a quote from global

Following the lead of other Western nations, Britain’s Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell said in June that the 40 million pounds (60.6 million U.S. dollars) that his government sends annually in China—home to the world’s fastest growing, and soon to be second largest, economy—would be better spent elsewhere.

Not only are the Chinese people far less poor on a per-capita basis, but their government has actually become intensely and actively involved in sending economic aid and volunteers to developing areas of the world. These kind of benchmark moments should be the end-goal of economic aid, and this step represents a significant global, diplomatic, economic, and human achievement.

[Development: China Moves from Aid Recipient to Aid Donor via Global Issues]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by kevindooley via Flickr

Stopping the Next African Food Crisis Before It Starts

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

Watering Hole

Benjamin Franklin—the incredibly quotable founding father of the United States—was once quoted as saying, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In the arid regions of West Africa, climatologists and agricultural specialists have identified the potential for a massive food crisis in the coming years—one that could starve up to 10 million people.

There is no single factor that can be leveraged to neutralize the devastation of a drought or famine condition. However, like the common cold, it is possible to treat the symptoms of the crisis and reduce its overall damage to the region. Through the importation of key technology, food, aid, water, and cash, the horrific effects of hunger can be mitigated and the lives of millions can be spared. For more information about ways to help, click the link for the cited article below. We’ll keep you posted on further developments or ways that you can help as we become aware of them.

[HOW TO: Prevent the Sahel's next food crisis via IRIN]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by gbaku via Flickr

Inspiring Story of Goal Setting, Goalkeeping in Ghana

Wednesday, July 7th, 2010


Global aid group 1GOAL released a video this morning about Stephen Odai—an aspiring goalkeeper from the nation of Ghana. Ghana had an amazing run at the World Cup this year, but this video gives a fascinating and heartbreaking insight as to the types of conditions a Ghanan must overcome just to survive.

1GOAL is a fantastic organization whose simple, singular goal is “education for all”. With the support of globally recognized celebrities and people like you, 1GOAL is making progress toward that goal every day. If you’re inspired by Stephen’s story, be sure to visit 1GOAL’s website where you can sign-up to join the effort toward their goal.

Action: Join 1GOAL

[Stephen's Story via YouTube]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by Heri Rakotomalala via Flickr

Educational Innovation Grows in Unusual Places

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010


Many people view education as a fundamental human right like freedom. However, like freedom, the cost of facilitating it can be tremendously steep. But what do you do if the people you’re trying to educate don’t feel like education is something that they need? In this TED talk, Charles Leadbeater does a phenomenal job at describing some of the most innovative approaches to education in third-world slums—specifically in Brazil and Kenya. The following is an excerpt from his talk:

“So time and again, I found people like this. This is an amazing guy, Sebastiao Rocha, in Belo Horizonte, in the third largest city in Brazil. He’s invented more than 200 games to teach virtually any subject under the sun. In the schools and communities that Taio works in, the day always starts in a circle and always starts from a question. Imagine an education system that started from questions, not from knowledge to be imparted, or started from game, not from a lesson, or started from the premise that you have to engage people first before you can possibly teach them. Our education systems, you do all that stuff afterward, if you’re lucky, sport, drama, music. These things, they teach through. They attract people to learning because it’s really a dance project or a circus project or, the best example of all—El Sistema in Venezuela—it’s a music project. And so you attract people through that into learning, not adding that on after all the learning has been done and you’ve eaten your cognitive greens.”

For those of you not familiar with TED—which stands for Technology, Entertainment, and Design—it is an organization whose members collaborate across the globe to pool intellectual resources and share inspiring ideas that fuel the creation of positive outcomes around the world. In a given TED talk, an expert in a field is given 18 minutes to talk about whatever idea or development is most interesting to them in their area of expertise. There are over 700 TED talks on their site, and they are growing every week.

While TED is a great resource for ideas, ShareNow is fanatical about realizing some of the ideas shared by TED members and other innovators. If you have a favorite TED talk, don’t be afraid to post it in the comments. And be sure to stay tuned as ShareNow unveils new products designed to efficiently and quickly deliver vital supplies—including educational supplies—to areas of the world that need it most!

[Charles Leadbeater: Education innovation in the slums via TED]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by Xin Li 88 via Flickr

Aiding Haiti: Oxfam's Helping Hand

Monday, July 5th, 2010

Haitian Cathedral

Oxfam released a video on their website today commemorating the death of the 230,000 people who were tragically killed by a massive earthquake in Haiti earlier this year. However, the video also celebrates the 420,000 people that Oxfam has been able to help through their efforts. It’s an uplifting angle on a story that has been—and will likely remain for awhile—a tragic tale.

For more information on what you can do to help the efforts in Haiti—or to donate to Oxfam International—click the action link below.

Action: Donate to Oxfam International

[Haiti earthquake response: Thank You! via OXFAM]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by United Nations Photo via Flickr

Will Free Markets in East Africa Ignite an Economic Engine?

Saturday, July 3rd, 2010

African Street

One of the least-hyped solutions to the problems that Africa faces is actually surprisingly simple: build the economy. Now, you can’t just expect an economy to organize itself out of nothing, and it’s vital that the world continues to contribute to the beleaguered regions of the continent. However, five African nations are organizing themselves into a coherent trade bloc in an attempt to increase the economic benefits to their inhabitants. These five nations include Kenya, Uganda, Burundi, Tanzania, and Rwanda.

Trade between the nations will be much improved through organized market protocols, lighter and more standard duty restrictions, and decreased customs requirements between the nations. Though the smaller nations in the bloc feel there may be some threat to their labor market—most significantly from Kenya, the largest economy of the five—there is a lot of consensus and momentum regarding the union.

Non-profits and government aid organizations are great, but they only go so far. Ultimately, nations need to find the resources and organization to sufficiently provide for themselves and their citizens. ShareNow is committed to finding solutions for nations and people around the world who are committed to building strong societies and communities. Stay tuned for an exciting new product called Share[A]Pack that ShareNow is building to do just that!

[East Africa's Common Market Begins via BBC News]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by erikandlynnmiller via Flickr

Delivering Food to Dangerous Places

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

Danger Sign

The United Nations World Food Programme (UNWFP) posted an intriguing article on their website describing some of the challenges that go into getting vital resources into the hands of the helpless when the live in hostile or war-torn areas of the world. Between the bribes and the physical danger, it’s amazing that any resources get through at all.

The UNWFP has been a powerful ally in the effort to end world hunger. Their success and access in these dangerous areas highlights the importance of government collaboration with companies, non-profits, and private individuals.

For more information about the UNWFP or to donate, click the Action link below. For highlights in the ongoing battle to build collaboration between players on the world stage, subscribe to the ShareNow news feed.

Action: Donate to the UN WFP

[The Challenge Of Feeding Hungry People In Hostile Environments via UN WFP]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by chego101 via Flickr

Kyrgyzstan: WFP Delivers Food To Displaced Civilians

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

WFP has distributed food to thousands of people affected by the humanitarian crisis in Kyrgyzstan and over the weekend flew in a first consignment of high energy biscuits to help ease the situation over the border in Uzbekistan.

Originally posted from Kyrgyzstan: WFP Delivers Food To Displaced Civilians

Liberians Have Something To Smile About

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Liberian Woman Smiling

This week, the International Monetary Fund, in conjunction with the World Bank’s International Development Association, have agreed to relieve $4.6 billion in Liberian debt owed to various commercial and government creditors. The decision is part of an Enhanced Heavily Indebted Countries initiative through the IMF.

All of us know how good it feels to have a debt relieved. Programs like these put resources in the hands of the governments they are helping, and those governments are obligated, in turn, to help their impoverished citizens. While these large-scale efforts are a piece of the puzzle in terms of helping people in need around the world, its just a start.

Inspired by IMF generosity? You might consider donating to your favorite African charity to celebrate with the Liberians. Or, contact ShareNow to learn about exciting new opportunities for meeting the most vital needs of people living in poverty in Africa and elsewhere around the world.

[IMF and World Bank Announce US$4.6 Billion Debt Relief for Liberia via International Monetary Fund]

Contributed by Michael Utz, Staff Editor // Photos by gbaku via Flickr