Month: November 2014

Charities Working to Improve the World

With the holiday season quickly approaching, The Huffington Post recently completed an article to provide a charitable gift guide, which included several nonprofit organizations that are very transparent in how they employ their cash and time donations. The organizations listed also have a global focus, as they work to make the world a better place with every dollar donated.

Tostan Charity

The first organization mentioned is entitled Tostan, founded by Molly Melching, with an emphasis on ending female genital mutilation, otherwise known as FGM. Melching started with a simple approach—providing courses in her backyard to spread the travesties of those who have suffered from FGM. Through this small town approach, Melching realized that aggressiveness did not lead to effectiveness; she made it her goal to help her participants become activists. As this transformation occurred, her message spread from village to village, leading the organization to become a global effort. Since 1991, seven thousand communities have pledged against child marriage. Three million people have sworn against FGM and nineteen thousand women have managed to enter a leadership position within their community.

Esther’s Aid
Esther’s Aid is an organization that was started by Clare Effiong, with the sheer purpose of helping New York’s children in need. However, after Effiong took a trip to Rwanda in 2000, she altered her goal, addressing those affected by the Rwandan Genocide. The organization seeks to invest in the education of children in need and, through this goal, has shown the power and potential of those previously neglected children. Last Mile Health is mentioned next, an organization rooted in the belief that a lack of healthcare is a matter of inequality. Raj Panjabi, the organization’s founder, has long served on the frontlines of the Ebola crisis. Through this battle, Panjabi has managed to revolutionize how healthcare is delivered to these struggling communities. He has been so successful as to earn Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf’s complete faith; Sirleaf has appointed Panjabi as the leader of the fight against Ebola. But his efforts are not only based in Ebola; Panjabi has worked to train healthcare workers within the rural villages that need it most. In the process, the individuals are able to help beyond health crises, and create sustainable impact.

Born Free Africa
The goal of the organization is neat and clean—end early childhood HIV infections by 2015. Superficially, the goal should be an easy one to obtain; most cases are completely preventable through the use of one daily pill. However, many organizations have tried and failed in the past. Fortunately, that appears to not be the case for Born Free Africa; in the time the nonprofit has been working towards their goal, the number of new HIV infections is already decreased by forty percent.

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MVP Leading Player

University of Kentucky LogoThe term leader is typically applied to business applications, often indicating the position of Chief Executive Officer in a successful company. However, all leaders must start somewhere. In the case of Jennifer O’Neill, that start comes in the form of the leading player on the University of Kentucky’s basketball team, according to an article recently completed for the Kentucky Kernel. O’Neill was a crucial component of the team for the 2013-2014 season. She led the team in scoring with 12.6 points per game and 3-point field goals. She was the team’s offensive game plan, leading UK to a 19-4 record on the season. O’Neill even managed a double-figure scoring game. All of these achievements combined earned her the title of most valuable player for the season.

What’s even more impressive is when her size is considered. Standing at five feet six inches, O’Neill is actually considered short for her sport of choice. However, despite her lack of height, O’Neill has a commanding presence, fulfilling the requirements of a leader for a sports team. In sports, a leader is often a player who is dedicated to working towards the team’s ultimate goal. The team’s leader is a figure that other players look up to for guidance outside of their coaches. A leader is usually assumed to be a dominating player that controls not only the locker room, but also the opponents on the field or court. O’Neill does just that, serving as support for her teammates when they need it. In addition, she has often been spotted arguing with Matthew Mitchell, head coach for the team; in the process, she followed her heart and said what she felt needed to be said. As a result, she not only earned the respect of her teammates, but her coach as well.

O’Neill will continue to be a valued member of the team for the 2014-2015 season. She serves as one of four seniors playing on the team; however, it is suspect that she and Bria Goss will be the two seniors seeing the most playtime in the season. It is the hope that O’Neill will contribute just as she did last season, leading the team to their sixth consecutive NCAA Tournament appearance.

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