The Acumen Fund, a non-profit venture fund, believes that entrepreneurial spirit can lift people out of poverty. The fund invests in entrepreneurial organizations that can deliver affordable goods and services—including housing, water and health care—to communities in India, Pakistan, Egypt, South Africa, Tanzania, and Kenya. The Web site provides detailed information about specific Acumen projects, including an assessment of the problem, the innovation used to resolve it, and improvements made, complete with hard numbers to quantify the group’s success. Visit the Our Community page and click the “View our community” link to see a list of Acumen Fund partners. Interested innovators and investors can subscribe to the organization’s newsletter to keep abreast of its activities.
Evolving out of German student initiatives in international development of the 1960s, ASA has considerable experience in supporting young people in the work of becoming effective agents for sustainable global development. Socially engaged people between 18 and 30 can apply to ASA’s program of training, fieldwork and project synthesis, knowing that the organization’s aim is to foster awareness and leadership on global issues in young Europeans while creating cultural and economic connections between the global South and North. Local partner businesses and organizations offer ASA students work on the development projects that will hopefully be the foundation of important future relationships and will at the very least introduce them to a different world.
Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation - Global Health
Along his wife Melinda, the famous software tycoon Bill Gates has undertaken a project that is amazingly ambitious in scope: tackling inequities in global health, education, and technology. Based on the guiding principle that every human life has equal value, the Gates personally manage their $28 billion dollar foundation which acts as catalyst by giving grants to organizations (governments, private sector and non-profits) that aim to create positive long term change. The Foundation’s Global Health initiative not only offers grants, it identifies and prioritizes chronic health situations around the world, targets its aid to medical research and then supports the delivery and follow-up of the health aid. It’s hard to believe the scale and vision of this enterprise, but the modest-yet-focused tone of the Foundation’s web site helps us believe that this work could be as profoundly influential Microsoft has been.
Empower a woman to lift herself out of poverty, CARE believes, and that woman can help her family—and her local community—build a better future. CARE works side-by-side with women in the poorest areas of the world to improve education, sanitation, and economic opportunity, as well as to prevent the spread of HIV. CARE also offers emergency aid to survivors of war and natural disasters. Visit the site’s Web Features section to view photo and video galleries, where you can get a glimpse into the lives of real people who are overcoming poverty, hunger, and other hardships. For a truly interactive experience, embark on a virtual field trip, where you can “travel” with a CARE group by reading volunteer journal entries and viewing photos of their trip.
Center for Human Rights Leadership
Southern California’s Claremont McKenna College, long known as a classic liberal arts university, is home to the Center for Human Rights Leadership, a program that seeks to instill superior leadership skills into the next generation of human rights defenders. Bringing its students together with scholars, activists, advocates, business and political leaders who are involved with the cause of human rights in all its iterations, the CHRL provides a number of fellowships to insure that future leaders gain necessary experience “in the field”.