2014 Changemaker Nomination: Wild Gift

Congratulations to Wild Giftwildgift.org, nominated by a Chocolate Lover like you!

Here’s what Carrie has to say about this fearless organization:

“We are a nonprofit organization that uses wilderness to empower better world entrepreneurs. These leaders are making big impacts around the globe using creative business models of success. From starting wholistic education models in Nepal to growing rooftop greenhouses on top of Whole Foods, our entrepreneurs are finding ways to make make a difference, one project at a time.”

A little more info:

01_WildGift“We achieve our mission by supporting our Fellows with:

  • A deep wilderness experience (unplug) designed to inspire personal vision and perspective
  • Experienced mentors to assist project development and execution
  • Seed funding for better world projects
  • An annual forum to strategize for continuing success of better world projects
  • An active network of collaborative social entrepreneurs

Our Core Values

  1. Wilderness: Deep wilderness provides the inspiration for Fellows to unplug and envision a better world.
  2. Urgency: Humanity is on an unstable path and rapid change is essential to achieve a healthy world and continuity of our species.
  3. Leadership: A dynamic network of social entrepreneurs will ultimately create solutions for today’s global challenges.
  4. Innovation: Creative ideas are essential for positive change.
  5. Accountability: Measureable results magnify the Wild Gift impact.”

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Changemaker Nomination: ECHO

It’s our final 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to ECHO: echonet.org

Here’s what Heide has to say about this fearless organization:

“Echo’s purpose is to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in sustainably producing enough to feed their families and their communities. These solutions promote sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies for the region of the world where hunger exists.”

A little more info:

50_ECHO“For the 870 million people who are hungry today, the world is a challenging place, both in the cities and in the countryside. The urban poor face high prices and low incomes, making nutritious food unattainable. Rural families are often malnourished because of a lack of diverse nutrients in their diets, if they have enough to eat at all. In both cases, children suffer the most.

ECHO is an information hub for development practitioners around the world. We gather solutions from around the world that are solving hunger problems and disseminate them to our active network. These solutions promote sustainable farming techniques, nutritional plants, and appropriate technologies. They are well tested and proven to be successful over and over again.

Our purpose is to help those who are teaching farmers around the world know how to be more effective in producing enough to meet the needs of their families and their communities. They in turn teach others and the ECHO effect continues!

In 32 years of assisting development workers around the world, ECHO has become the “go-to” organization for challenges faced by individuals and organizations.

Since all of our funds come from caring individuals like you, we work very hard to keep our expenses low. Thanks to our efficient management and model, Charity Navigator gave us a Four Star rating.

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Changemaker Nomination: Rainbird Foundation

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Rainbird Foundationwww.rainbirdfoundation.org

Here’s what Charlotte has to say about this fearless organization:

“They’re a truly fearless group. Their goal is to end child abuse—not prevent it, but put an end to it all together. They provide financial support to help take children out of dangerous situations, take action to support projects and legislation that protect children, and do everything they can to highlight how dire the danger is that many children face on a daily basis. The organization accomplishes a huge amount on a shoestring budget. Currently they’re working on building a new website to make it easier for their change makers to connect and get to work. I know a donation would help enormously with this effort, so I’m nominating them. Thank you!

A little more info:

49_RainbirdFoundation“Vision: Rainbird is committed to the end of child abuse for all children everywhere.

Mission: Our mission is to build a global movement for the end of child abuse, mobilize people around the world, and develop partnerships to unify people and organizations for the end of child abuse.

Hanna Roth worked in business management for 30 years. She is a writer, editor, and the founder of Rainbird. Hanna comes from severe child abuse. Many people knew about the abuse but no one did anything to save her or her brother and sisters. Rainbird’s purpose is to teach, empower, and activate individuals, groups, and organizations to successfully demand the eradication of any act of abuse happening to a child. With leaders in 5 countries currently, Hanna is building our community organizing platform. Her mission is to create a global movement for the end of child abuse and give the public — our greatest untapped resource — a powerful, organized, effective way to demand and achieve changes to save our children’s lives.

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Changemaker Nomination: Jessie Sawyers

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Jessie Sawyerswww.jessiesawyers.com

Here’s what Laurie has to say about this fearless individual:

“I have known Jessie for many years and she is an amazing person; focused on building community, sharing her art, and is now creating a book series in the self help/motivational genre. Jessie has experienced physical challenges throughout her life and has pushed through so many obstacles. She brings inspiration, hope, and much love to the lives she touches.

Here is how Jessie describes her writing endeavor:

‘In my 27 years of life, I’ve had over 20 reconstructive surgeries to correct birth defects. I live every single day of my life in full awareness of my differences — of the things I cannot change about myself, even if I wanted to. But you know what? I LOVE myself — exactly as I am, even though I must constantly practice acceptance. Every day, I wake up, choose to be okay, choose Love, and then I carry on with my ceaseless mission to create art, music, and writings that will uplift others and bring people together. Withinspiration is one of these offerings. It is also my first foray into book publishing.’ ”

A little more info:

48_JessieSawyers“Jessie Sawyers began tap dancing at the age of 11 under the guidance of Cheryl Johnson and Anthony Peters in Seattle, as well as at festivals with the late tap greats Cholly Atkins, Harold Cromer, Gregory Hines, Fayard Nicholas, LaVaughn Robinson, Jimmy Slyde, Prince Spencer.

She has been working in the entertainment industry for 14 years, the first seven of which were filled with commercials and appearances as the Seattle seafood chain Ivar’s tap dancing clam mascot. Jessie has had the pleasure of working with Savion Glover, Mark Mendonca, Travis Knights, Seattle-based band The Teaching, and as an assistant to Dianne Walker. She has been on faculty at the Vancouver International Tap Dance Festival, where she was also commissioned to direct and create choreography for a concert during the 2012 Festival.

Jessie received an education in business at the University of Washington, with which she has produced 5 full-length shows and numerous jams, manages her own graphic and web design, and heads the Seattle Tap Collective, The VIMM Project, DIG Dance Instigators Group, and LuvBcuz. This year, Jessie is based in Austin, TX, performing with Tapestry Dance Company for their 25th Anniversary.

Currently, Jessie is making plans to produce a VIMM music concert in Seattle in 2014 that will correspond with the launch of her first publication – book one of an illustrated series in the genres of motivation and self-growth.

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Changemaker Nomination: Save the Rhino

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Save the Rhinowww.savetherhino.org

Here’s what Maxine has to say about this fearless organization:

“They raise awareness and are involved with stopping the poaching of rhinos.”

A little more info:

47_SaveTheRhinoMission statement: Save the Rhino International works to conserve viable populations of critically endangered rhinos in Africa and Asia. We recognise that the future of wildlife is inextricably linked to the communities that share its habitat. By funding field projects and through education, our goal is to deliver material, long-lasting and widespread benefits to rhinos and other endangered species, ecosystems and to the people living in these areas.

Aims:

  • To increase the number of rhinos in genetically viable populations in the wild
  • To enhance the integrity of ecosystems
  • To ensure that local communities benefit from conservation activities

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Changemaker Nomination: Summer Search

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Summer Searchwww.summersearch.org

Here’s what Chris has to say about this fearless organization:

“Summer Search is an amazingly effective organization at helping low-income high school aged students who easily get lost in the shuffle become outstanding leaders in their communities.  They send them on life changing summer experiences during their last two years of high school and then mentor them year round offering them a support network to help them excel in life.  These are young people who are rarely afforded opportunities, but are nominated by partners within the school systems for the program based on their resilience, altruism, and determination.  These students have gone on to become successful leaders, with their positive influence permeating every aspect of their communities… socially, environmentally, etc…  Summer Search invests heavily in the future of our world: the next generation… and does so successfully!”

A little more info:

46_SummerSearch“Summer Search is a national youth development non-profit. We work with low-income high school students to transform what they believe is possible for themselves. We help students in seven cities across the country develop the skills and character traits they need to become college-educated leaders who give back to their families and communities.

Since 1990, we’ve partnered with high schools to identify students short on opportunity and long on resilience, altruism, determination—character traits that hold the seeds for success in school and in life. We make a long-term investment in these students (at least five years, from high school through college).

Our character-based program is a unique combination of relationships and opportunities that helps them build the skills they need to thrive. We partner each student with a professional mentor and build a circle of relationships around them. Then, we offer them experiential opportunities that crack open their view of the world and ultimately reveal what they’re capable of.

Summer Search alumni, often the first in their families to earn a college degree, are beacons of change who give back to their families and communities.”

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Changemaker Nomination: Girl-Up Initiative Uganda

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Girl-Up Initiative Ugandawww.girlupuganda.org

Here’s what Hilary has to say about this fearless organization:

“Working in marginalized communities in the slums of Uganda, Girl Up Initiative Uganda is empowering young women and girls with holistic life skills training to ensure they grow into self-sufficient and confident women leaders. Their model utilizes community leaders and mentors to conduct trainings and activities that equip young women with the skills and knowledge to know their human rights and to become economically self-reliant. All projects are managed by a team of young local Ugandans who intimately know the challenges of girls in the community. Funding would contribute directly to their training programs, that range from sexual and reproductive health to entrepreneurship, and to the establishment and upkeep of a Girls’ Space as a safe space for girls to hang out and access tutoring and counseling. In a place where girls are more likely to experience sexual violence than finish secondary school, Girl Up Initiative Uganda is an ideal candidate to be supported by Fearless Chocolate as a Changemaker.”

A little more info:

45_GirlUpUganda“Girl Up Initiative Uganda (GUIU) was formed in 2012 by Monica (Executive Director), Kim (Deputy Executive Director), and Sayid (Finance and Administration Director) in response to the lack of sexual and reproductive health and rights education in the slums of Kampala. Each staff member has extensive knowledge and experience working in women’s rights organizations and implementing programs to promote women’s rights.

GUIU is registered in Uganda as a Non Profit Company Limited by Guarantee without Capital Shares.

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Changemaker Nomination: Kirsten Wilson of Motus Theater

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Kirsten Wilson of Motus Theater: www.one-action.org

Here’s what Kimberly has to say about this fearless individual and organization:

“Kirsten fearlessly researches and brings to the stage local history to help others begin to realize why there are inequities in the present. She empowers people to share their stories so others can have compassion and choose to take action for a more inclusive and equitable community. She seeks community collaborations and loves chocolate.”

A little more info:

The Inspiration: Many Boulder locals know Chief Niwot from the curse attributed to him: “People seeing the beauty of this valley will want to stay, and their staying will be the undoing of the beauty.” What many Boulder residents don’t know is that Chief Niwot worked tirelessly to show white settlers that they could live in peace with the Arapahoe: he risked his life to return white hostages; attempted to vote in elections; regularly went to the Rocky Mountain News to protest the way the Arapahoe were depicted, and even jumped up on stage after a theatrical performance in Denver to speak with the white audience about the peaceful intentions of his people. Another aspect of our history many Boulder residents don’t know is that chief Niwot, against the protests and positions of U.S. soldiers like Major Edward Wynkoop and Captain Silas Soule, was ultimately killed by some of the very founders of Boulder that he once protected.

The Arrow: The arrow motif is a figure of intention. A profound teaching comes out of Buddhist philosophy (something familiar to many Boulder residents) which likens one’s life to a stick, or an arrow. Those who treat their lives as a stick may toss it up randomly, letting it fall as it may. The teaching urges us instead to add intention and skill to the act of daily living, to treat our life as an arrow, directing it always toward more and more skillfulness. The arrow may not reach its target within our lifetime, the teaching says, but with continual skill and intention, it will reach its target.

The Aim — A Community ModelOne Action – One Boulder County (or Niwot’s Arrow), a community conversation project, aims for a vision of dignified choices in the understanding and acceptance of history, no matter the reality: To stand both within the parts worth celebrating and within the more painful moments; to resist defensiveness and guilt, replacing them with strength and courage as we make inequities visible for reflection, engagement and education; to ask profound questions of ourselves, our communities and our nation, examining our worst moments so we might avoid repeating them. In this way, Niwot’s Arrow will encourage Boulder County to become a model for how communities investigate and claim their history, whatever it might hold, in a strategic move to explore roads not taken and to move toward a more equitable future.

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Changemaker Nomination: Orang Utan Republik Foundation

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Orang Utan Republik Foundation: www.orangutanrepublik.org

Here’s what Gary has to say about this fearless organization:

“OURF has been actively working in Indonesia to inspire young conservation educators to work with small holders to reduce conflict between farmers and orangutans, educating the local people and providing alternative methods for village improvements that are not destructive. They are helping to better understand the local chocolate (cacao) farmers so we might be able to move them to organic and sustainable high value cacao. OURF is also a member of the RSPO working with other environmental NGOs to give wildlife a voice on the policy front.”

A little more info:

44_OrangUtanRepublik“Founded in October 2004 as the Orang Utan Republik Education Initiative (OUREI), the mission of the Orang Utan Republik Foundation (OURF) has remained true to its founding principles; to save the orangutans of Indonesia through conservation education, outreach initiatives and innovative collaborative programs that inspire and call people to action.

OUR Vision

The founders of OUREI and OURF have always believed that saving orangutan’s means saving their forest home, the rainforests of Borneo and Sumatra, and that the protection of this habitat can only be ensured by the people of Indonesia and Malaysia.

Working under the ethos ‘Free to be Wild’, the vision of OURF, and OUREI before it, is a time when the people of Indonesia accept that orangutans, and all other species that inhabit their rainforests, have a right to live, and their forests can be shared and utilized sustainably, for the benefit of animals and people.

The problems facing orangutans are immense, but by educating local people about their plight, the importance of their tropical rainforests and by supporting sustainable development initiatives, OURF and its partners believe the orangutan and the great forests of Indonesia and Malaysia can survive.”

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Changemaker Nomination: Dame Daphne Sheldrick, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust

It’s the next 2013 Changemaker Nomination suggested by a chocolate lover like you! 

Congratulations to Dame Daphne Sheldrick, David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: www.sheldrickwildlifetrust.org

Here’s what Joan has to say about this fearless individual and organization:

“Dame Sheldrick and the Trust are working tirelessly to save and nurture baby and young elephants and rhinos orphaned by poachers, returning them to the wild, and educating local people and others worldwide about these mammals to save them from extinction. Elephants have been on earth for millions of years, and are a keystone species that contributes enormously to the health of the ecosystem. The Trust is working against time and needs all the help it can get.”

A little more info:

“For over 25 years Kenya-born Daphne Sheldrick lived and worked alongside her husband David, during which time they raised and successfully rehabilitated many wild species. Daphne Sheldrick’s involvement with wildlife has spanned a lifetime, and she is now a recognised International authority on the rearing of wild creatures and is the first person to have perfected the milk formula and necessary husbandry for infant milk-dependent Elephants and Rhinos.

Since the death of her husband, Daphne and her family have lived and worked in the Nairobi National Park, where they have built the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust and its pioneering Orphans Project, into the global force for wildlife conservation that is today.”

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