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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Changemaker Nomination: DASH Sports Education

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

Congratulations to DASH Sports Educationdashcamp.org

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

“Because they are helpers! They live with diabetes, and they give back to the diabetes community through sports programs, empowering diabetes education and love. Their work is located in low income neighborhoods suffering from diabetes. In affluent areas (Menlo Park) they are building a relationship with suffering poor communities (East Palo) Health clinics to transport a diverse range of youth living with both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Their goal is to build a family around diabetes to reinforce positive identities built through sports.”

A little more info:

“Through the pedagogy of sports and shared experience we seek to empower, support and sustain positive diabetes identities in youth, their friends/family members and the general population of diverse communities. People living with diabetes must overcome the anxiety of potential seizures, constant planning and discrimination when playing sports. To live with diabetes one has to be a work horse, and playing sports you have to work even harder, which is why DASH provides a safe environment, athletic role models and years of expert experience that creates a loving family around individuals, families and communities living with diabetes so they can DASH to success!”

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Changemaker Nomination: Save America’s Forests

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

Congratulations to Save America’s Forestssaveamericasforests.org

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

“Save America’s Forests brings to Congress and citizens a scientific understanding of our global need to protect forests — for water quality, air quality, habitat and indigenous rights.

From protecting the California redwoods to documenting risks of development in Ecuador and Peru — Save Americas Forests provides effective leadership and support to forest activists and tribal communities in key regions world wide. Also important, is the ongoing long term effort to further legislation that would stop the clear-cutting and protect special areas of America’s National Forests.”

A little more info:

42_SaveAmericasForests“Save America’s Forests is the nationwide campaign to protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests.

Citizen involvement is how our laws are made. Help shape U.S. forest protection policy.
Become an activist, a group or business member, or an individual supporter.
Together, we can protect and restore America’s wild and natural forests!”

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Changemaker Nomination: Mark Hecker, LICSW

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

Congratulations to Mark Hecker, LICSW: www.reachincorporated.org

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

“Mark Hecker has created an extraordinary model for addressing a significant literacy challenge among the students of the District of Columbia’s Public Schools. 85% of the city’s students do not read at grade level when they enter 9th grade, a problem that develops as early as 3rd grade for most students. Mark’s nonprofit, Reach Incorporated, uses a highly creative approach to addressing these issues. He trains low-performing adolescents to create lesson plans grounded in the principles of literacy development and to serve as tutors for low-performing elementary students in their neighborhoods. The teens gain proficiency in reading skills without being made to feel inadequate, and the elementary students gain both a cherished, cool mentor and a literacy instructor in the process. Both students benefit enormously from this very special relationship. This early stage social venture has the potential to change thousands of young lives. Mark and Reach Incorporated are worthy of support.”

A little more info:

41_ReachInc“85% of DC public school students do not read at grade level when they enter 9th grade. These problems develop early; proficiency by 3rd grade is critically important.

You may see two challenges. We see one solution.

Reach Incorporated uses an innovative, three-pronged model:

Training: Two days each week, teachers guide our adolescent tutors in preparing lesson plans grounded in the core components of literacy development.

Tutoring: On two alternating days, our tutors provide reading instruction to elementary school students in need of support.

Compensation: Our tutors are paid for program participation and can earn raises based on performance in and after school.

Reach Incorporated is a 2011 winner of the prestigious Echoing Green Fellowship, an honor bestowed upon the most promising early-stage social innovations in the world. The organization was also recently highlighted as a 2012 Social Innovation Rockstar.”

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Changemaker Nomination: Tashmica Torok, The Firecracker Foundation

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

Congratulations to Tashmica Torok, The Firecracker Foundationthefirecrackerfoundation.org

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

“I have recently come in contact with the most amazing foundation headed up by one fearless woman. Her name is Tashmica Torok and she has started The Firecracker Foundation, dedicated to honoring the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma with a community invested in the healing of their whole being. Through mentoring, yoga, art, and community; Tashmica is finding ways to help heal and encourage people of all ages who have been victimized as children. She is one fearless Changemaker!”

40_FirecrackerFoundationA little more info:

“Mission Statement: Honoring the bravery of children who have survived sexual trauma with a community invested in the healing of their whole being.

Vision Statements:

  • We believe in the healing power of quality therapy that is rooted in consistency, faithfulness and deep trust.
  • We believe in fostering a community committed to learning how to protect their children and sharing that knowledge with others.
  • We believe that delving into the arts can provide a healing outlet that supports the work done in therapy.
  • We believe that physical exercise helps children reconnect their hearts to their body while building confidence in their abilities.
  • We believe that through the collaboration of our community resources, we can provide families with the resources they need to break the cycle of abuse in our generation.
  • We believe that the adult survivors in our community are uniquely qualified to mentor, serve and advocate for children on their path to healing.”

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Changemaker Nomination: Purrfect Pals

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

Congratulations to Purrfect Palspurrfectpals.org

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

“I’m writing to ask you to consider helping a remarkable no-kill shelter and sanctuary for cats, the largest of its kind in the Pacific Northwest. At Purrfect Pals, no limits are put on what constitutes an “adoptable” animal; we’ve found homes for blind cats, three-legged ones, cats as old as 20, feral kittens that require months in foster homes to learn to trust, and more.

We’re a regional rescue group, not only taking in unwanted cats around Puget Sound, but also working hard to lower the high euthanasia rates at other shelters in our state, rescuing over a thousand cats a year from these groups and adopting them out to loving families. Many of the cats we take in from other shelters are ill or injured and require months of care from our volunteers before they can be put up for adoption. We believe those cats deserve to find happy homes every bit as much as healthy cats do, and for them, every penny truly counts!

Thank you so much for your consideration.

>^..^< ”

A little more info:

39_PurrfectPals“Purrfect Pals was born from the tireless dedication of a woman who has committed her life to cats: Kathy Centala. Kathy founded Purrfect Pals in 1988, originally as a boarding facility for cats which also helped the occasional homeless cat. Quickly Kathy found herself taking in more and more orphaned cats, overwhelming her small Brier, Washington home.

In the early 1990s Kathy moved Purrfect Pals to a spacious 5 acre spread in rural Arlington, Washington. By converting her new home into a shelter, Kathy was able to provide a comfortable sanctuary to hundreds of cats. And best of all for Kathy, she gets to sleep with 20 cats every night!

Because of our rural location, Purrfect Pals has pioneered off-site adoption events and placement of cats in partner pet stores. In the early years we placed just a few dozen cats every year, but now we’ve grown to the point where we place more than 2,500 cats every year through our shelter and more than 20 off-site locations across Puget Sound.

The Purrfect Pals sanctuaries have become one of the most important cat resources in all of North America. Our comfortable sanctuary spaces for feral cats, cats with Leukemia, cats with FIV, and cats with behavioral issues set a standard for cat comfort and care.

In the late 1990s we opened the Purrfect Pals Cat Hospital on our campus to provide top-quality care for our shelter cats and also to provide free and low-cost spay and neuter surgeries to low-income families, as well as free surgeries for feral cats. Annually our veterinarians perform more than 2,000 surgeries.

Purrfect Pals has become well-known for our two signature events: the Black Cat Ball and the Average Joe Cat Show. The Black Cat Ball is held the final Sunday in October. A gala auction and gourmet dinner, the Black Cat Ball raises money for the shelter. The Average Joe Cat Show is a fun cat show for family cats. The Average Joe Cat Show is held every year in Spring.

Purrfect Pals is currently the northwest’s largest cat-only adoption organization and sanctuary.”

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Changemaker Nomination: Julie Adelman

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

Congratulations to Julie Adelmanwww.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/julie-adelman-gktw/wdwmarathonweekend2014

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

“Quotes from Julie’s page:

‘For those who know me, know I am a dedicated mother to three wonderful young men. Being a single mother, I know what it is like to balance a career, children, children’s school work, and scouting efforts, but I am also actively serving our country in the United States Air Force Reserves. Add into the mix a training schedule that has me preparing for a new and amazing adventure…..

In January of 2014, I will be running the Walt Disney World® Marathon/Half Marathon as part of the Run GKTW (Give Kids the World) Team… Additionally, I am dedicating this run to my father, who passed in August 2012, and my friend, David, who died May 8th, 2013, of cancer. My goal is to raise $3,000 for Give Kids The World, a non-profit that exists solely to fulfill the wishes of children with life-threatening illnesses and their families. These deserving families are treated to week long fantasy vacations to Central Florida where accommodations, attraction tickets, entertainment, meals and more are all provided at no cost.’

There is so much to say about what Julie is trying to accomplish and why…she is only 57% of the way to her goal as of today and your help would mean the world to her.

Thank you for considering a donation to her cause :-)”

A little more info:

38_GiveTheKidsTheWorldAbout Give Kids The World:  The most magical sound in the world is that of a child’s laughter. That is what fills the air at Give Kids The World Village (GKTW), a fanciful, carefree retreat for children with life-threatening illnesses and their deserving families.

GKTW is a 70-acre, nonprofit “storybook” resort located near Central Florida’s most beloved attractions. While at the Village children and their families are treated to weeklong cost-free fantasy vacations, complete with accommodations in whimsical villas, transportation, donated attractions tickets, meals and much more. These children learn that dreams really do come true as they and their families and immersed in joy, love and hope for a few unforgettable happy days- a most welcomed escape from the weight of their challenging circumstances.

Since 1986, GKTW has hosted families from all 50 states and more than 70 countries. The extraordinary, life-changing experience that GKTW offers is a gift made possible only thorough the generosity of countless corporations and individuals like you.

About Julie: Dedicated to running my first half marathon with Karen Bonk. For many reasons. To celebrate our upcoming 40th bdays. To give back to GKTW for their role in Patricks life. To remind self that life is short. In memory of my father & friend, David.”

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