Good Purpose


goodpurpose Goodies: Weekly Inspiration From Around the Web



By Amanda Mooney

Ned Breslin: Fixing the Water Crisis

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“‘Is water still running?’ is perhaps the most important question when considering water initiatives worldwide, concludes Water for People CEO Ned Breslin. He’s tired of seeing broken hand pumps and taps litter Africa, Asia, and Latin America. These signs of failed projects underscore the critical need to overhaul water aid for real impact.”

Water is Life

Photograph by Thomas Havisham

“A seller of clean well water—ten cents a bag—has no problem finding a buyer in a slum in Luanda, Angola. In 2006 the prevalence of contaminated water in the city led to one of Africa’s worst cholera epidemics, with 80,000 Angolans sickened.”

The New Bottom Billion: What If Most of the World’s Poor Live in Middle-Income Countries?

“Most of the world’s poor no longer live in low-income countries. An estimated 960 million poor people—a new bottom billion—live in middle-income countries, a result of the graduation of several populous countries from low-income status… Donors will have to change the way they think about poverty alleviation.”

It’s In Your Hands

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“It’s In Your Hands, filmed and directed by Andrew Hinton at Pilgrim Films, recently made this short piece in India that won a YouTube nonprofit video award on Saturday and has subsequently been viewed over 100,000 times, highlighting a very worthy cause in the process.”

Digital Africa

“There are already 84m internet-enabled mobiles in Africa. It is predicted that 69% of mobiles in Africa will have internet access by 2014. A week’s worth of data can be had for $3. That’s still too much for the majority of Africans, who earn less than $2 a day, but it seems a miracle to those who were shelling out $1,500 for a sim card in 1998. And the mobile web is a more potent communication tool than anything else in African history, because it is interactive, participatory, and to some degree democratic and anonymous. On the internet you can doubt, you can challenge, you can be openly gay, join the opposition or find fellow believers, and most of all you can be entertained and informed in those long hours in traffic jams or evenings in crowded rooms lit by a single bulb…

African cultures are among the most oral in the world. Storytelling under the tree is still commonplace. Speaking is still preferred to writing and Africa happens to have timed its digital age to coincide with new voice-activated technologies. The generation gap between those who were trained to guide a fountain pen with their fingers, those whose kinetic memory is dominated by their thumbs, and those even younger who are used to the sweeping movements of the touchscreen, will give way to the return of voice—Africa’s voice.”

Technology for the People: Notes from the ONE Africa Symposium

“On February 15, ONE hosted the first ONE Africa Symposium in Johannesburg, South Africa. The symposium was designed to highlight novel technology and innovation unleashing Africa’s economic potential and promoting sustainable development. The 300 attendees were a cross-section of innovators, policymakers, students, academics and creatives.”

Americans under age 40 are as likely to donate to Japan disaster relief through electronic means as traditional means

“In a striking shift in charitable donations methods, Americans under age 40 are now just as likely to give donations to disaster relief through digital means as they are through traditional means like the phone or postal mail.”

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