Events

The Skoll World forum, fittingly held at Oxford university, has become a stand out event in the global development calendar where academics, entrepreneurs from the profit and non profit sectors, government officials and media gather on one of the most famous sites of education in the world and share ideas.

However, while the students are tucked away in library carousels studying historical texts, attendees of the Skoll World Forum are in lecture theaters discussing the very imminent and present issues facing our world today. With this in mind, it is no wonder that Skoll World Forum founder Jeff Skoll singled out climate change as a main point of focus in his opening speech.

Jeff Skoll giving his opening remarks
Jeff Skoll giving his opening remarks

The theme of this year’s event was ‘fierce compassion’, something that he said will be a definitive element in the race to fight climate change. To explain what is meant by fierce compassion, he alluded to the great philosopher Adam Smith in saying ‘it is to join in fellowship with others, to act and intervene and be fierce in response to crisis’. The more that we read evidence of climate change, open our ears to research and engage in cross industry dialogue, the more we realize that it has been caused by a collective intense use of resources and will be reversed only by a collaborative effort.

Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and current President of the Mary Robinson Foundation for Climate Justice emphasized that it is an issue that goes far beyond the atmosphere, it is an issue of human rights. Mobilizing developing countries to be able to insulate themselves from climate change is crucial. These are the people that stand to feel the effects the fastest – food security issues, increasing drought, erosion of infrastructure.

“We need to exercise compassion and reach the furthest behind first, there is 1.3 billion people with no access to energy. We need finance and a transfer of technology to the marginalized, to enable them to make the very necessary leap into clean energy solutions”, Robinson said.

Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson
Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Mary Robinson

There was certainly an air of progress around the forum this year. Last year, people were full of ambition in what could be achieved and certainty on the developmental challenges that had to be met, however this year there was the addition of the COP21 agreement. Post-Paris, we have set specific goals and each country’s performance on them will be measured. We have set a 1.5% limit on carbon emissions with 5 year commitment periods, meaning progress of all 195 countries that signed will be tracked and evaluated.

By the second half of this century, we have pledged to have carbon emissions at 0%, a monumental goal but a firm belief that there is no alternative, we are moving in the direction of a post carbon economy.

Aside from climate change, the ongoing refugee crisis that is engulfing Europe and the Middle East was also singled out as one of our most immediate threats to society at present. Similar to climate justice, it has now become an issue of human rights. Every human has the right to live; this right is being violated by the civil unrest in the countries they are trying to flee. So when they are denied entry to a safe country as is happening in many European States, it can be argued they are being denied the basic right to life.

The narrative for many countries defending their borders has been that refugees will take advantage of their social welfare system, however, for the majority of people fleeing from Syria, peace is wealth. Jeff Skoll asked the audience to strip away all of the debate around free movement and pressure on resources and look at the moral choice – what is right and wrong, should these people be given the chance to live or die?

The closing plenary session of the Skoll World Forum
The closing plenary session of the Skoll World Forum

It is here that social entrepreneurs, like many at the forum, can play a pivotal role. The perception of refugees needs to be changed, NGO’s and social innovators can engage in creative capacity building, maximize their potential, integrate them and make them productive members of society. It is likely that these efforts will be met with the utmost energy, there is nobody more enthusiastic and innovative than someone looking for a new future, for themselves or family.

The central role of social entrepreneurs and voices of social good, like Horyou in facilitating this change was highlighted throughout the forum. However, as mentioned at the beginning, there will need to be collaboration across industry and government at every level and at scale to achieve the development goals we have set out.

Horyou values such as compassion, positivity and solidarity reverberated through the audience at the end of the closing session. The overall sense to take away from the forum, in terms of international development, was one of hope but also urgency. The Paris agreement and the recognition that the migrant crisis is the responsibility of every state gives solid ground to move forward on. However, the time for discussion is over.

With every day that passes, there is another casualty of drought in Mali or another refugee lost at sea. Climate change and the migrant crisis, the two defining developmental crises of our time, cannot be cast off as issues of the environment or finance or politics, they are issues of human rights.

Written by Dearbhla Gavin

Yonathan Parienti was a panellist at YouthSpeak Forum
Yonathan Parienti was a panellist at YouthSpeak Forum

Organized by AIESEC, a global youth-driven organization, the first Swiss YouthSpeak Forum happened on April 14th, in Geneva. Horyou blog participated in the event and is hereby disclosing what future entrepreneurs, leaders and innovators think about their role on shaping a better world.

The YouthSpeak Forum was a day-long event with many activities: presentations, business cases, discussion pannels and a few problem-solving workshops. Among the participants were young people from all over the world – The Netherlands, Lithuania, India, UK and Brazil were some of the nationalities that were doing good networking. The conversation was easy and fluid during the breaks, and people were really interested in each other’s stories, professional projects and concerns.

The morning sessions were dedicated to presentations. Public figures as the mayor or Geneva Esther Alder and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) director Maria Luisa Silva talked about innovation and sustainability as key elements for development. “Young people need to have their voices heard in order to ensure a future for the planet”, said Silva; she highlighted the fact that the 17 new UN Sustainable Development Goals, launched last September, have a strong focus on youth participation and benefits.

The Mayor of Geneva, Esther Alder
The Mayor of Geneva, Esther Alder

After her lecture, the attendees watched business cases from organizations like Ashoka and Bcorp Switzerland. The latter showed how the new generations value purpose-driven companies. “New business models are arising and companies that want to cause impact following social, environmental, transparency and accountability standards are better on attracting Millenials”, explained Jonathan Normand, co-founder or Bcorp.

The morning ended with the pannel “The role of youth in shaping tomorrow’s society”. Yonathan Parienti, CEO and founder of Horyou, was invited panellist and talked about how everyone from all origins, ages and backgrounds, can contribute to the development. He presented Spotlight, the first global social currency, as a way to support projects and organizations worldwide. “I feel very hopeful with the youth role on shaping better times to come. Horyou platform connects all generations for the same goal: to promote social good”, said Yonathan.

Afternoon sessions were dedicated to workshops on social entrepreneurship, innovation, design thinking and ethics for businesses. Horyou blog participated on a UNDP workshop about the Social Good Summit, that will happen in September. The attendees had to present innovative ideas to the event, using communication, content and logistic projects – being a communication and media company, we engaged in very fruitful conversations and helped the UN agency with many ideas in view of the upcoming Summit!

The YouthSpeak Forum was a very rich experience for our team. Being surrounded by the future entrepreneurs, business and political leaders and innovators inspired us to keep promoting the social good through technology and communication!

Written by Vivian Soares

Claudine Fischer, présidente de l'association en compagnie de partenaires à Porto Novo, Bénin.
Claudine Fischer, présidente de l’association, en compagnie de partenaires à Porto Novo, Bénin

Pont Universel, association suisse basée à Fribourg s’est donné deux missions: accompagner les personnes souffrant de difficultés psychosociales ainsi que participer à des actions ciblées d’aide au développement en Afrique de l’Ouest principalement au Togo et au Bénin.

L’association accompagne de manière individuelle des personnes basées en Suisse pour les aider à définir leurs compétences, identifier un projet et leur donner des clés pour le mettre en place. En parallèle, Pont Universel entreprend des projets d’aide au développement dans les pays sus-mentionnés et très régulièrement des étudiants suisses se rendent sur place pour participer à ces projets dans le cadre de travaux de master notamment.

Les projets de l’association sont principalement des projets médicaux et socioculturels comprenant par exemple des projets pour les femmes et familles ou des formations dans des domaines tels que l’agriculture ou l’éco-tourisme.

Dans le but de se faire connaître à une plus large échelle et bénéficier soutien, l’association organise deux événements à Fribourg la première semaine du mois de mars.

« Ces événements sont aussi l’occasion de commencer un partenariat durable avec Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe, écrivain, chanteur et parrain de l’association » nous explique Claudine Fischer, présidente de l’association. En effet, « Pont Universel a pour but d’organiser dans le futur des ateliers d’écritures ponctuels dans son centre d’accueil. Ces événements marquent donc le début d’une aventure » continue-t-elle.

Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe animera un atelier d’écriture le mercredi 2 mars de 15h à 18h à LivrEchange à Fribourg. Un endroit plein de sens aux yeux de l’association car représentant la diversité culturelle.Il est en effet possible d’y trouver des livres dans plus de 240 langues différentes afin de promouvoir la diversité linguistique et culturelle des différentes populations. La bibliothèque met aussi un accent tout particulier sur un sujet très actuel : l’intégration des migrants.

Spectacle de Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe le vendredi  4 mars.
Spectacle de Marc Alexandre Oho Bambe le vendredi 4 mars

Le vendredi 4 mars, Marc Alexandre se produira aussi sur scène à LivrEchange. Il y présentera « Le Chant des Possibles », un livre en live. De nombreux autres artistes du canton de Fribourg seront aussi présents pour l’accompagner et soutenir l’association, notamment Guy Sansonnens, troubadour fribourgeois avec de nombreuses années de métier derrière lui. L’entrée est libre mais un chapeau vous attendra à la sortie si vous souhaitez soutenir l’association dans ses projets ! Juste avant le spectacle,à 19h30, une surprise attendra les participants de l’atelier d’écriture du mercredi. Il dédicacera aussi son livre « Le Chant Des Possibles », récompensé par le Prix Paul Verlaine de l’Académie française 2015, à partir de 17h à la Librairie Payot Fribourg.

L’association espère vous voir nombreux lors de ces deux événements ! ☺

Pour plus d’informations sur le travail de Pont Universel, veuillez consulter leur page Horyou ou leur site internet.

Ecrit par Laurie Martin

«Healthy Choices for a Better Future II » training organized by the Women Wellness and Empowerment organization.
“Healthy Choices for a Better Future II” training organized by the Women Wellness and Empowerment organization.

Each day we see the wonderful work of our Members, Personalities and Organizations on the Horyou platform. They are always Ready to Act! This week, we highlight the work and actions of great Organizations from Kenya, Brazil and France.

Organization: Women Wellness and Empowerment
Location: Kenya

“Healthy Choices for a better future” training has started !

Women Wellness and Empowerment organization works with the Kenya Ministry of Health(MoH) and partners in order to implement a project addressing sexual and reproductive health needs. The organisation also tries to promote a change of behaviour among young adolescents, young women and their children. Their training “Healthy Choices for a Better Future II” for members took place from the 22th of February until the 26th. It is also the occasion to engage with the community about sensitive thematics such as sexual gender based violence. Discover this action post here.

Par Laurie Martin

O bloco infantil Muriçoquinhas que arrasta milhares de foliões
O bloco infantil Muriçoquinhas que arrasta milhares de foliões.

Organização: Casa Pequeno Davi
Localização: Brasil

Carnaval contra a exploração

A Casa Pequeno Davi é uma organização da sociedade civil sem fins econômicos que desenvolve atividades educacionais com crianças e adolescentes do Bairro Roger e adjacências do Terminal Rodoviário em João Pessoa Brasil. A Casa Pequeno Davi fez uma linda ação durante o carnaval. O bloco infantil Muriçoquinhas que arrasta milhares de foliões todos os anos do carnaval de João Pessoa tornou-se espaço de mobilização da Rede de Proteção à Criança e ao Adolescente para alertar às pessoas sobre a necessidade de estarmos atentos aos abusos e violências que aumentam significativamente neste período. Saiba mais aqui.

Por Edriana Oliveira Major

Devenez un Benevole at Home et aidez les plus nécessiteux
Devenez un Benevole at Home et aidez les plus nécessiteux.

Organisation: Benevole At Home
Lieu: France

Devenez un ange gardien!

L’ONG Benevole At Home, qui se décrit comme le « Tinder de l’humanitaire » propose une application permettant à des centaines de bénévoles d’offrir des produits de première nécessité à des personnes dans des situations précaires, associations ou services sociaux. Vous aussi vous pouvez devenir un de ces anges gardiens en vous rendant sur www.benevoleathome.org ! En 3 mois, ce sont déjà plus de 600 bénévoles qui se sont inscrits dans une vingtaine de villes en France! Le mouvement prend de l’ampleur et des bénévoles se sont aussi inscrits en Suisse, Belgique, Allemagne ou encore Espagne. Découvrez cette action ici.

Par Laurie Martin

Horyou_voix_libres

The Horyou Team spent a great day at the premises of Voix Libres on October 29th. Voix Libres is an international humanitarian association operating in Bolivia. It offers alternatives to child labor in mines, fields, garbage dumps and streets. Once trained and educated, the young people direct their own projects.

The team was involved in helping the organization with goods that arrived from Bolivia. With their hard work and remarkable involvement of volunteers from Bolivia, Switzerland, France and Belgium, 10,000 children are no longer sleeping hungry and 202 housing projects have been built or renovated. They also work on training young people and guiding them to take a different path, which ensures long-term development. The founder of Voix Libres, Marianne Sébastien, was one of the keynote speakers at the Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF 2014).

Horyou_voix_libres

The Horyou Team arrived in the morning and was welcomed with a breakfast by the organization. Voix Libres’ staff and volunteers entertained the crowd with songs. During the fun and entertainment, some trucks arrived with boxes filled with quinoa, scarfs, scented candles and a few small purses. The quinoa, which was grown from grain crop for its edible seeds, is stocked in their premises and eventually will be sold. The profits will be returned to the foundation.

Horyou_voix_libres

The volunteers and the Horyou Team jumped into action and formed a long chain that stretched from the truck to a cave. The process was quite smooth and quick, as there were a good number of volunteers helping out. Once the trucks were unloaded, it went for a second trip to bring the remaining items. In the meantime, the team spent quality time with the staff and learned more about Voix Libres while a small part of the team was arranging and segregating candles that were to be put in a different truck. Once the trucks returned with more goods, the chain was formed again and they were all back in action moving boxes into the cave.

The lunch at Voix Libres included a big spread of delicious sandwiches, salads, fresh pizzas and desserts. After the meal, the volunteers swung back into action by forming the chain, and all the boxes were unloaded and delivered to the cave while some were loaded back into the trucks to be delivered to another location. The volunteers who came from different parts of Geneva and the Horyou team enjoyed a fulfilling and productive day at Voix Libres by helping this organization for a good cause. At the end of the day, everyone returned with a smile on their face and promised to meet again to help Voix Libres for more enriching experiences.

Meet Voix Libres on Horyou

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If you read the blog post about it, you’re aware that the Horyou Team was about to take part in “The Meal.” This very concrete initiative had several goals. On a local scale, it allowed the different organizations to meet and exchange ideas. A was kind of a cocktail party for non-profits with a real coherence. The event occurred in 54 cities the same day.

Michel Baumann is the founder of this initiative, and the Horyou Team Geneva had the opportunity to meet him while volunteering at the event. What a guy! “Thanks Life” was his favorite phrase when it came to speak about the happy coincidence of his meeting us. An interview of Mr. Baumann will be available online soon – stay tuned.

The Horyou Team volunteered from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and it was a great pleasure to build our team that way. Meeting all those various local organizations in person, instead of speaking only through email or by phone, was also refreshing.

In Yaoundé, our dear Blaise-Pascal Tanguy took over the participation of Horyou and recruited several members of the Cameroon contingent. In Paris, several members of our team participated as well. The common impression about the event was that it was truly interesting It comprised making lot of contacts and many talks, and it provided a better understanding of who’s doing what and where.

This is reflected on the Horyou platform, which familiarizes understanding of the non-profit sector and facilitates contact between non-profits.

Next step for Horyou Team: SIGEF 2014. Can’t wait!

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