A child in the developing world dies every three seconds because of a lack of basic access to health care and medicines. Public health systems in many developing countries are critically underfunded, understocked, and understaffed. However, one organization is taking an idea from the Avon Lady to help solve this problem.
The tragedy in Nepal has been devastating, and the road to recovery will be long. Through this, it is important to share some of the country’s many successes. As a country that many endangered species call home, Nepal has officially declared a second full 365-day cycle of zero poaching. From February 2013 to February 2014, not a single elephant, rhino or tiger was illegally killed. In 2011 they also officially declared that not a single rhino was illegally killed. This is a huge accomplishment, as the country boasts many animals that are commonly hunted, and illegally killed, for horns, tusks and pelts that sell for large sums in Asian markets.
Mobile Vaani, launched in 2011, has brought social networking to rural India and resulted in an innovation in communication across the country. Created by Gram Vaani, which means “voice of the village”, it builds technology to induce marginalized communities to voice their news, concerns and demands. Circumventing problems of interpret access and literacy, the vocally-based program works through rudimentary cell phones.
A new class of wealthy individuals are emerging in many low and middle income countries, and these individuals are increasingly donating to local foundations and organizations that address issues in their own countries. This has led to a growing trend of local philanthropy in developing nations.
In the Indian state of Kerala, Dr. Suresh Kumar has devised a community-led solution to the problem of inadequate palliative care. He founded the Neighbourhood Network for Palliative Care (NNPC), an organization with a goal of developing a cost-effective approach to making these services accessible to even the poorest members of society.
Ron Finley lives in South Central Los Angeles, a place he says is a food desert, where “the drive-thrus are killing more people than the drive-bys.” He founded L.A. Green Grounds, a grassroots volunteer group that brings people together to turn residential front lawns and vacant spaces into edible gardens that can be shared with the neighbourhood.
A new initiative in Northern Canada aims to develop housing for Aboriginal residents that are not only significantly more energy efficient than current buildings, but are also designed with cultural traditions in mind. The project, dubbed the “Northern Sustainable House” is being piloted in Arviat, Nunavut, with similar initiatives underway in Dawson City, Yukon, and Whitehorse, Northwest Territories.
Since 2010, more than 1,300 cooperative farmers in southwest Haiti have been defining what participatory development means, and are transforming their community on their own terms. With support from Crossroads (CCCI) and Productive Cooperatives Haiti (PCH), Coopérative des Planteurs de Gorgette was established in the community of Duchity four years ago.