For today’s give a little, consider adopting a dog through your local shelter — especially if you’re already considering purchasing one at a store or through a breeder. Freddie Mercury came to us as a nervous, homeless paraplegic and now he’s just nervous. We were really happy with Austin Pets Alive.
God has not called me to be successful; He has called me to be faithful.
Today is World Water Day! The theme of my giving and thinking recently has been STOP building, memorializing, solving and try learning, investing and being humble. It’s easy to fund a well — the excitement, the newness, your part in the solution. But something like 30% of water wells in Africa are broken, useless. This world water day, invest in a solution that WORKS. Literally. Invest with The Adventure Project in the training of water well mechanics in India. It creates a job AND it protects the investment of a water well. It might not be as exciting as breaking ground on a well, but it’s needed to keep water flowing. Let’s be sustainable on world water day!
Give a little is about simple solutions. Unfortunately, in developing countries, the simplest thing can keep girls behind in school for awhile and then forever — PERIODS. Yes, I said it. In Kenya alone, girls will miss 3.5 million learning days in school a month while on their periods because they can’t afford the simplest of solutions. Zana Africa lets you donate $10 to get a Kenyan girl sanitary pads for ONE YEAR. The best thing about this? They are locally made (creating jobs! keeping money where it should be!) and environmentally sustainable.
This allows girls to go to school on those days a month and keep learning alongside their classmates. And it costs you so very little. Buy a pad. Help keep a girl in school.
Here’s the thing about giving — it’s better to consistently support a program that works than jump around from one hot issue to the next. Small, steady investments allow nonprofits to grow intentionally and help them to fine tune their mission and methods. And if something works, it should hopefully continue to work. KIVA got super popular around the time I was in grad school (I wrote my first memo about it) and really helped jumpstart the microlending trend and make it easy for Americans to get involved. Thing is, KIVA is still giving loans to entrepreneurs all over the world, even if it’s become less popular or isn’t as new and shiny. You give only $25 and then you GET YOUR MONEY BACK.
I’ve given 12 loans since 2006 and I’ve either re-invested my money or gotten it back. You could not give a littler amount than nothing — give just a little and then get it back.
New blog feature! What I learned. So that I focus more on what I’m learning instead of which opinion I’m stubbornly sticking to. Last week I went to hear Rachel Lloyd of GEMS in New York and the book Girls Like Us. She’s great. She’s been doing aftercare with trafficked girls for 15 years and has lots of wisdom:
- Don’t use PIMP. Why do we say that’s pimp to describe something cool/awesome? It’s not cool. It’s nto awesome.
- Don’t use PROSTITUTE to describe anyone under the age of 18. If no money changed hands with a girl under 18, it would be statutory rape and the guy goes to jail. If money changes hands, the girl is called a prostitute and she goes to jail. Girls under 18 CANNOT consent to sex legally and this loophole should be closed in every state.
- Their program phases are victim -> survivor -> survivor leader. They don’t just stop at survivor, they try to empower their women to seek change for themselves and others.
- Trafficking might be a popular issue now, but there used to be popular movements of domestic violence and sexual assault. We should recognize all of these and systematic gender-based violence and work together to make it all stop. They are all interconnected.
- It’s not about rescuing girls or giving them a home (we don’t save them), we give them space to transform and grow.
- The programs she believes in are trauma-informed and strengths-based for women, meaning it follows the guidance of survivors and focuses on inherent assets, strengths and value of each girl.
The White Savior Industrial Complex is not about justice. It is about having a big emotional experience that validates privilege.
Today is International Women’s Day. Give to the empowerment, healing, enrichment, education and future of a girl.
- Support a sister in a conflict zone through Women for Women International.
- Read Half the Sky.
- Help a woman repair her fistula and get on with her life.
- Support a woman in business. Buy her wares or give her a loan.
- Volunteer to help girls with STEM (science, technology, engineering and math).
- Do whatever you already know, what you’re already doing. Just do something!