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July 2012

July 26, 2012

Givology: Learn to Give and Give to Learn

by Hannah Jang, Chief Blogger

"It just doesn’t seem like my small contribution could make a difference." This is an all too often used phrase when it comes to giving donations to a cause or an organization. Some may even argue that the idea, "every little bit counts", has an obvious appeal but it cannot possibly carry the same weight as the contribution from one large donor. Givology couldn't disagree more.

As a 100% driven volunteer organization, Givology's success relies on the collective power of small Givology impact donations. Givology is founded on the principle that "donors should always have the right to not only choose their cause, but to also have a proactive involvement in the tracking of their contribution, no matter the size of their contribution." Joyce Meng, Founder of Givology, has created a model that leverages small donations to make a big difference.

"At Givology, it's not just about making a donation, but rather, engaging on a personal level and making giving an active act," says Meng. "We truly care about the community aspect - of blogging, messaging, writing letters, tracking your impact, and participating in an ongoing dialogue on creative ways to empower children throughout the world."

Givology is an Internet online marketplace that allows donors to connect with students and communities in need of educational assistance. Through Givology's messaging system, donors have the ability to facilitate one-to-one connections with the students and send them direct letters of encouragement to help them overcome the challenges they face. To further increase awareness and funding for the students and community-based education projects, Givology partners with leading grassroot non-profit organizations, local communities and schools. Once a student or project is fully funded, Givology then sends a check to the partner organization, which is then responsible for dispersing the funds to its recipient.

Within three years of operation, Givology has raised over $300,000 to support over 2,875 students in 23 different countries through 44 grassroots partners. However, these are just statistics. The real impact comes through the individual stories that form the heart of Givology. Upon hearing "countless stories of passion, triumph against all odds, and innovation, we felt compelled to start the Spirit of Giving campaign, shares Meng. "Just as our philosophy is “Give to Learn, Learn to Give”, every person has a responsibility to the world and has something powerful to offer."

What do YOU have the power to give?

Take these small steps to help make a BIG difference:

1) Join the Givology Facebook Group

2) Get daily updates on Givology's Twitter page

3) Become a Volunteer

4) Register as a Givology Donor

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July 20, 2012

Empowering Young Women to LEAD and Succeed

by Hannah Jang, Chief Blogger

Women in Nepal face significant challenges in accessing education, healthcare and economic opportunities. To address the root cause of some of these problems, Claire Charamnac co-founded Women Lead, a leadership development organization for young women in Kathmandu. One of their core programs is a two-week, intensive leadership course called The Leadership Institute. Learn how you can help advance women's leadership development in Nepal.

What inspired you to start Women LEAD?

In 2010, I co-founded Women LEAD at the age of 20 with my close friend and fellow university student, Claire Naylor. We founded Women LEAD, a leadership development organization for young women in Nepal, because we both strongly believe that the lack of female leaders around the world is one of the biggest inequalities of the 21st century.

Women in Nepal face overwhelming challenges: 1/3 of girls aged 15 to 19 are married and 60% of women are illiterate. My co-founder Claire grew up in Nepal, witnessing the discrimination Nepalese women and girls were facing but also their resilience, strength and compassion. When we first started our programs in 2010, we saw that young women had the passion, vision and solutions to create change in their communities, but they simply lacked the resources and support to do so. We saw an opportunity for women at this pivotal time in Nepal’s history, where democracy is bringing in changes in women's rights. Our organization was thus born from the belief that given the tools to succeed, young women can be powerful agents for change.

Can you share your company's mission and programs with us?

Women LEAD empowers these young women to take leadership positions alongside men in Nepal by providing them with the skills to pursue their vision for change. Our girls come from diverse backgrounds but share a passion for building a more equal and inclusive Nepal. We provide them with academic, career and leadership skills and opportunities to support them as they become brilliant leaders in their schools and communities. Many of our participants had never written a resume or spoken up in public before attending our programs. The skills and resources we provide them with will enable them to access and leverage leadership positions. This new generation of qualified female leaders will work with men to transform Nepal's unjust structures, building a culture valuing women's leadership in their schools, communities and nation.

What are the different ways in which people can get involved? 


If you're in NYC, we invite you to join us:

                     for a very special Collaborative Art Exhibit & Fundraiser Event!                                                                                     by                                                                                             art Nonjudgmental & Women LEAD                                                                                        Thursday, July 26, 2012                                                           Local 138 Lounge, 138 Ludlow Street, Lower East Side, NYC                   6:00 pm - 10:00 pm, with a speech by Co-Founder Claire Charamnac at 8 PM 


We invite you to attend this INSPIRING collaborative event where we will be selling beautiful photo portraits of the girls we work with in Nepal to fund-raise for our Leadership Institute.

Your generous support of the Women LEAD Leadership Institute will help us empower 30 female high school students in Kathmandu, Nepal to become leaders. Through the two-week Leadership Institute, each young woman will gain new knowledge, skills and confidence to become a leader in her school and community.

Your contribution will empower young women like Sharmila, a 2011 participant, who told us that “before the LEAD program, I never felt like I could lead things, but now I feel like I can lead anything at any time. I believe in myself much more than I could ever imagine. After Women LEAD, everything changed.”

Thank you for supporting our cause! See you soon!

Please RSVP here.

If you're outside of NYC, we're looking for volunteers to raise awareness and funds for Women LEAD in every city! Please check out our volunteer descriptions on Idealist.


About Claire Charamnac

Claire Charamnac is the co-founder of Women LEAD, a leadership development organization
for young women in Kathmandu, Nepal. Women LEAD was founded in 2010 when Claire was a junior at Georgetown University. Women LEAD equips young women with the skills, resources, mentoring, and leadership opportunities to become catalysts for social change. To date, 200 promising leaders have graduated from our programs. Women LEAD was selected as Women Deliver’s Top 50 Solutions Delivering for Women and Girls in 2012.



July 11, 2012

Summer Reading List


Half-the-sky-cover1Half the Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide

Nicholas Kristof and his wife, Sheryl WuDunn, argue that the oppression of women worldwide is "the paramount moral challenge" of the present era, much as the fight against slavery was in the past. Half the Sky focuses on sex trafficking, maternal mortality, sexual violence, microfinance and girls' education.




How_to_change_the_world_lrg  How to Change the World: Social Entrepreneurs and the Power of New Ideas

This book is considered the Bible for social entrepreneurship. It profiles men and women from around the world who have found innovative solutions to a wide variety of social and economic problems.




250px-ThreeCupsOfTea_BookCoverThree Cups of Tea: One Man's Mission to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time

Three Cups of Tea describes Greg Mortenson's transition from a registered nurse and mountain-climber to a humanitarian committed to reducing poverty and promoting education for girls in Pakistan and Afghanistan. 

The book's title comes from a Balti proverb: "The first time you share tea with a Balti, you are a stranger. The second time you take tea, you are an honored guest. The third time you share a cup of tea, you become family..."



The Power of Unreasonable People: How Social Entrepreneurs Create Markets That Change the World

Through vivid stories, authors John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan identify the highly unconventional entrepreneurs who are solving some of the world's most pressing economic, social, and environmental problems. They also show how these pioneers are disrupting existing industries, value chains, and business models - and in the process creating fast-growing markets around the world.



Banker to the poor

Banker to the Poor: Micro-Lending and the Battle Against World Poverty

Banker to the Poor is an autobiography of 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Grameen Bank founder Muhammad Yunus. It details how Yunus developed the idea of Microcredit that he employed in the Grameen Bank.




Goodtogreat_300Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't 

Good to Great is a management book by James C. Collins that aims to describe how companies transition from being average companies to great companies and how companies can fail to make the transition.





SwitchBookCover-202x300Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard

Why is it so hard to make lasting changes in our companies, in our communities, and in our own lives?

Authors Chip and Dan Heath show how everyday people can effect transformative change. Switch shows that successful changes follow a pattern, a pattern you can use to make the changes that matter to you, whether your interest is in changing the world or changing your waistline.