Foundations

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The Horyou community embraces more than 1,000 organisations and 220,000 users from more than 180 countries.

Most organizations involved in social good and humanitarian projects have experienced the challenge of finding capital to promote impactful actions within their communities. In this area, like in many others, we see money flowing from big companies and foundations to big NGOs and associations – and they are surely doing a good job – but we also see small and medium sized organizations who are tireless in their efforts to make a difference in the world through their humanitarian projects with lesser support and funding.

This unevenness has been of major concern to Horyou since its inception, when it begun building its social network for social good.

Horyou has since grown to embrace 180 countries with a community of 1,000 organizations and 220,000 users around the world, becoming an expression of the diversity of civil society at a global level. Horyou now has enough experience and means to take its mission to the next level by creating Spotlight, the First Global Social Currency.

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Engaged and active organisations on Horyou platform will increase their chances to receive Spotlights from Horyou proprietary algorithm.

In a world where social disparities are widening due to speculation and greed, technology is a powerful tool of citizen empowerment. Spotlight intends to bring inclusiveness to the ones who are bringing positive change to the world by reconciling capital and social media. Our goal is to connect great companies and people who want to leave a legacy to the world through positive actions with associations who are, in real life, doing good.

With the Global Social Currency, the first of its kind, Horyou’s goal is to connect innovative and CSR corporations with people and organizations who make great efforts to leave a positive legacy to the world through their involvement in social good.

In the past few years, we have seen a significant development of the concept of crowdfunding, whereby single contributions, however small, are important to the edifice under construction. Horyou’s aim is to go even further in the process of inclusive access to capital.

By connecting its members with committed organizations on its social network platform, Horyou seeks to broaden funding opportunities for social good.

Spotlight will be funded by Horyou’s individual members as well as by its partners: firms, corporate foundations, institutions and innovative start ups. Each Horyou member can provide and/or get support from any other member in the form of one or more Spotlights. The platform will include a proprietary algorithm that is set to redistribute a significant share of the capital received from Horyou’s partners to the most active users and organizations.

Associations and social actors can – and should – use the Horyou community at their own benefit, by communicating their projects and actions and sharing each other’s causes. Social media engagement and activity are keys to receive Spotlights from Horyou’s community members and algorithm.

Connect for good with Spotlight!

Contributions from the Horyou Team. Compiled by Vivian Soares.

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Britta Holmberg is project director for The World Childhood Foundation. Located in Germany, Brazil, Sweden and the USA, the foundation’s goal is to prevent exploitation and abuse of Children. Over 100 projects across the world are implemented and supported by the foundation because every child has the right to safety, happiness, playfulness and curiosity in life. Mrs. Holmberg is involved in various projects worldwide; here she tells us about some of the success stories, and what to dream, inspire and act means in changing a child’s world one project at a time. — by Amma Aburam

Have you always wanted to be an advocate for Children’s rights? How did it come about?

For me, the interest and awareness about children’s rights has developed step-by-step. My first contact with children in vulnerable situations was when I worked at summer camps for children from the Chernobyl area, some of whom were living in institutions because of their hearing deficiencies. I remember visiting an institution in Belarus where deaf children were supposed to practice “hearing” and how so much of their education was led by teachers who did not know sign- language. Visits at several orphanages in Eastern Europe in the nineties made it very clear to me that these children were deprived of their childhood and that better options needed to be developed.

What are some of the key ongoing projects at the World Childhood Foundation? What is their impact?

Childhood supports around 100 projects around the world, all of which are important for the communities where they are implemented. I am especially proud when we take a risk and fund something that we believe in but where we cannot know from the start how it will turn out. There are many key projects that have had an impact also on national level, for example a program for HIV-positive mothers in Russia which led to a complete change in approach from the local authorities that could give the mothers better support and information which resulted in less children being abandoned at birth. We are also supporting a cluster of programs in Siem Rep in Cambodia that together not only can identify children who have been sexually abused at an early stage but also provide them and their families with qualified support. We have funded a number of parenting programs in South Africa, which have given thousands of children a safer and more loving childhood but also contributed to shed the light on locally developed low-cost programs.

Play is an integral part of the projects the World Childhood Foundation supports
Play is an integral part of the projects the World Childhood Foundation supports

What are your best/favorite success stories of the impact the foundation has had on the lives of children?

There are so many stories! Childhood has a very close contact with the partners that we support on the ground and we visit each project twice a year. We often meet with beneficiaries as well and each of them has their unique story. One meeting that made a strong impression on me was with a number of fathers in South Africa whose sons participated in a program for high-risk youth – who were on the edge of being removed from their families and/or expelled from school. Part of the program is working with the parents and making an effort to find at least one positive father-figure for the boys. The way these fathers described the transformation from being a distant, quite authoritarian father to one that actually starts to listen to their child and show affection and how much the loving relationship with their child now means to them was such a wonderful experience – not the least since absent and violent father are one of the key problems in South Africa – and loving, present fathers one of the key factors for change. There are also so many stories of resilience. I remember one 15 year old girl in Thailand that used to work on the streets – begging and scavenging – to support her uncle and aunt that she lived with as well as her siblings. With help from our partner organization she could return to school, the aunt got help to start a small business and the girl was now receiving vocational training to contribute to the family’s income. She had such dignity and strength despite a very difficult situation.

What in your opinion are the three building blocks in implementing children’s rights within communities?

One is simply to see and treat children as human beings! That might seem evident but in my experience it is far from being the case. In so many situations we treat children as a separate category that we do not listen to or scream at or humiliate in a way that we would never do with adults. Number two is being humble, starting with trying to understand the challenges and possibilities in each community – not thinking that we can come in from the outside and provide the solutions. Support the local capacity and local solutions. Number three is skipping the idea of quick fixes. Change takes time. If you want to get to the roots of problems, you will need to have a holistic approach and long-term perspective.

Early childhood development project in South Africa
Early childhood development project in South Africa

What are some of the challenges you face while working for Children’s rights and how do you address them?

One challenge that we struggle with is well-meaning people who want to “rescue” children, often with a charity approach that puts the helper in focus rather than the child or the family they claim they want to help. I am so sad to see that so much resources, energy and personal investments are spent on the wrong types of projects that sometimes are even harmful to children. One example is orphanage tourism and volunteerism where children are turned into tourist attractions and are easy targets for people who want to exploit them. Since people love funding orphanages it means that in some areas that is the only option available for poor families who cannot afford to put their child in school. Skewed funding leads to children being separated from the families that would actually be able to take care of them if some support was available that did not require that the child is placed in an orphanage. There are plenty of good intentions related to children at risk – but if you do not combine that with knowledge you will at best not contribute to any sustainable change but at worst actually make the situation worse.

Where do you see yourself in the next 5 to 10 years? Any ideals?

I have a wonderful job and am happy to continue doing what I am doing for quite some time. If I get tired of travelling as much as I do I would love to focus on research and maybe evaluations of programs.

What does our mantra Dream, Act and Inspire mean to you personally and professionally?

For me, the mantra Dream, Act and Inspire means that we all have an important role to play to raise awareness about children’s rights and that we need to step up and do things that we might not really dare to do, but need to do anyway.

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Horyou gathers over 800 nonprofit organizations on its platform. They are from 50+ countries and embody the beauty of diversity of social good. This global community that connects for good consists of like-minded individuals and institutions advocating social good. They also share ideas, projects and meaningful experiences. For some of the NGOs, Horyou serves as their main communication channel whenever they do not have the capacity to manage their own website – Horyou represents the ideal online social platform where they can share their work.

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It’s important to comment, light and share online news, ideas, visions and experiences, but nothing beats real life interaction and, even better, nothing beats a real life interaction preceded by an online exchange. This is the reason why our Social Innovation and Global Ethics Forum (SIGEF) aims to facilitate the interaction online and offline among these organizations at an international level – being Geneva the perfect placed for hosting these organizations. SIGEF’s goal is to gather in Geneva more than 50 organizations from diverse locations and backgrounds that are active on the platform. These nonprofits are at the core of what we at Horyou embody, which is why SIGEF is granting them a dedicated area where they can interact and share with each other as well as with the Forum’s participants and attendees, and thus offering them a unique opportunity to put forth their work and actions in an international forum.

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Additionally, they will be interviewed and aired on the Horyou TV YouTube channel, and also have the opportunity to present on stage what they advocate. Ultimately, the connections that these organizations will establish and create during SIGEF are invaluable.

SIGEF 2014 facilitated real connections and allowed some real partnerships to flourish, and we’re all eager to see what the 2015 edition will bring. Our most enthusiastic and most actively involved organizations on the platform are currently receiving their invitations to attend. Below are a few of the ones you can expect to meet this year. Discover their Horyou profiles and find more information about them and the forum on the SIGEF 2015 website.

Action Enfance Association Humanitaire Enfants d’Ongandi Association pour la promotion des bibliothèques rurales (ASPROBIR) Brasil in Move Etre Afrique Fondation Moi pour Toit La Vie Nomade MOCICA On passe à l’acte Pont Universel Saek Thmey International Sholutions Social Business Models Tourism for Help Fondation Kemi Malaika Movement France Educapeace

Stay tuned for a new post with more organizations that will be attending.

By Amma Aburam

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