The Affero Blog
Dear Fellow Affangelists,
What an exciting month! We broke the $700 mark in funds being given away, and now have 122 Affero members from 3 different countries! We’re growing and fast approaching the $1000 mark.
Our $704 dollars this month went to our WINNER – “Lifesong for Orphans”, helping Lifesong feed and educate 150 orphan children in Zambia for a whole year. Take a moment to visit Lifesong’s website www.lifesongfororphans.org, they do much more than just feed and educate orphan children. You’ll find a wealth of information on adoption including grants and loans they offer to people in the process of adoption.
August is out last month of voting on this cycle (we operate on a yearly cycle)- so we only have one category left! SEPTEMBER will see us reset with all 12 categories up for voting with new projects and organizations doing the most amazing work all around the world. Voting will be fun and competitive, but we all know that eventually throughout the year EVERY category will get funded… that’s the beautiful thing about Affero. TOGETHER we are able to do more, GIVE more and CHANGE the world in ways never possible by ourselves.
I want to thank you for joining us as one of the very first members of Affero. We dream of the day when WE’RE giving away $1 million dollars a month, but not everyone will be able to say “remember when we were small?”. We have some huge and exciting website developments on the way this next year that will make the Affero Experience like no other. More details to come in a few days, but needless to say we have a very clear plan to get to to the point where we’re giving away $1 million dollars a month.
Thanks for joining us in this dream. Together we’re changing the world!
The votes have been tallied and this month’s category winner is…Human trafficking.
Human trafficking is the illegal trade in human beings for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation or forced labor: a modern-day form of slavery. It is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world, tied with the illegal arms industry as the second largest, after the drug-trade. Our partner organization, The Home Foundation deals domestically with the issue here in the USA where some estimates state that between 100,000 and 300,000 people are trafficked within our own borders every year. This is staggering and a very vocal reminder that much needs to be done to combat human trafficking both locally and internationally.
Our funds this month will go towards helping four shelters across the USA, housing and restoring trafficked victims who have been brutalized by this industry. Your gift allows us to support these shelters, giving new life to the rescued women and children.
Another way you can support this cause right away is to SIGN UP for the 31 days of freedom with The Home Foundation. Visit www.thehomefoundation.net/31days and join now.
We are excited to announce our May winner… Lifewater International from our Clean Water category!
If you haven’t already, go and visit http://afferoproject.com/organizations/lifewater-international/ and view their profile page, check out their video and learn more about where our funds will be going. Because of your generous support we’re able to contribute $396 to helping build 14 wells in communities surrounding the city of Lira in Uganda.
In mid-June, Marc and Lucas will be traveling to Lira Uganda to visit Lifewater and the projects we’re helping to fund. We’ll be shooting lots of video and photos of all the amazing work we’ve contributed to, and will be posting updates on the blog from June 13-28th (pending internet connectivity).
So a HUGE ‘thank you’ to everyone in our community! Together we are able to do remarkable things and truly change the world. If you’ve not yet joined us, visit http://afferoproject.com/ and decide how much you can give each month, then learn about our categories by clicking on the category images and cast your vote. Every month we’ll have a new winner and the combined funds for that month will be released.
The Affero Team
I hear this question repeatedly when I attempt to explain what the Affero Project is doing. I often get so wrapped up in what we’re doing that I gloss right over what the name actually means.
I think we forget sometimes how important names can be. I’m sure if you ask your parents there is some story that explains why you were named what you were named. Maybe it connects you back to a family member or friend of the family, rooting you in tradition or hoping that the individual’s noblest of traits become a part of your character.
Perhaps you hate your name and the whole idea of being connected back to your heritage makes your skin crawl and because of this, you make up a story. Perhaps you like to imagine that in traffic riddled drive to the hospital your future parents were struggling against the wave of cars to bring you into this world in a delivery room and not a taxi cab. Perhaps two cars over, former astronaut Randall Freewater* sees your perilous plight and decides to use his engineering skills and charming personality to direct traffic in order for your parents to clearly navigate towards their destination. Because of this scenario your parents have named you Randall. This story makes you feel much more at peace with your name than the story where they named you after your dad’s cousin Randy whom he had recently been on a fishing trip with and caught the largest bass of his life.
This is all to say that a name carries a lot of weight to it, whether you are naming your intramural softball team or your car, you want a name that means something and connects you to an idea that is bigger than yourself. Affero is no different in this respect; the name was not chosen just because it sounded cool or would look good on a bumper sticker or t-shirt. (Although all of those things happen to be true)
In a nutshell Affero means; to contribute, to bring about change, to proclaim, to empower. That seems like a lot of work for such a little word, but that’s exactly why it fits the projects ideas. Too many times I think we feel as if we are too small to overcome injustice in our world, that we are essentially powerless and tiny.
When we join together though, we can leave behind our inferiority and sense of smallness. We can bring about real change and empower people who need our help. When you contribute whatever you can, and that’s added to your dad’s cousin Randy contributing whatever he can, and that’s added to former astronaut Randall Freewater contributing whatever he can, it starts to add up. And that’s what the word Affero means.
To be honest I had no clue what the word affero meant until I did a little research. However, once I found out I knew I needed to share it. Words exploded out of me and onto my laptop screen. That’s just kind of how my brain works, I love to dive into things I don’t know about, find out everything I can about them and share it all with others. I’m hoping that future posts find me exploring ideas, people, places and the world that I don’t know, and coming back here to share it with all of you. I look forward to getting to know all of you.
*Former astronaut Randall Freewater may or may not exist solely for the purpose of this post.
Today I stumbled across this blog www.uncultured.com and wanted to share about it. One man, doing what he can, to change the world.
Shawn Ahmed was an ordinary Canadian student.. and in his words – “In 2005, I got a scholarship to pursue a Masters & PhD in Sociology at Notre Dame University. One day, in September of 2006, Notre Dame closed all of its classes so that students could learn more about the important issue of global health and global poverty. Among the scholars Notre Dame invited to speak to us was Dr. Jeffrey Sachs (author of the book “The End of Poverty”).
Note – Reading any of Dr. Jeffrey Sachs books or hearing him speak is a good way to begin your journey of truly understanding the world of poverty and how we can change it. He iterates that It doesn’t require us to have a dramatic revolution or for all become like Mother Theresa. Simple and small changes in our global, political, and personal priorities can make a huge difference in the world”. This is true and part of the reason we started Affero.
Shawn started blogging and encouraging the conversation about global poverty and moved himself to Bangladesh to immerse himself with life on the ground and finding out the good, the bad and the ugly of development work first hand. Take some time and check out his blog and website. Also if you know of others doing similar things, let us know by commenting below.
“We can end extreme poverty – but I have to tell the students the bad news: it’s your homework” - Dr. Jeffrey Sachs
We are very excited to announce The Affero Project’s very first monthly winner! (Drum roll) With a total of 172 votes over the 6 weeks since launch, the winner is…….. Education! The Doulos Discovery School will be receiving a check of $586 in the coming weeks to go towards the building of four brand new classrooms.
The Dominican Republic has the lowest investment in education in Latin America and the Caribbean with only 1.9 percent of its GDP invested in public education. Only 50 percent of children that enroll in primary education complete the first four years; 22 percent finish the full eight-year primary education program, and just 10 percent finish high school.
Thanks to you, we’re able to help combat this devastating cycle of poverty by empowering and growing student leaders through the Dominican’s most remarkable education program. Be sure to visit www.doulosdiscovery.org and learn more about the school and other ways you can help.
Receiving an education is vital to the eradication of poverty worldwide and crucial in rebuilding devastated countries and economies. Much work has been done in this area in the past 10 years but more needs to be done. In South-Asia the adult literacy rate is 63 percent, nearly 20 percent lower than the global rate, while only 43 percent of females are likely to attend secondary school. In some African countries like Burkina Faso, the adult literacy rate is only 23.6%. Access to primary education and schools for all children is a vital need to combat this major global problem.
Get Ready, Set…..
In a few months we officially launch the “I’m In Campaign”. Already, we have Christian Recording artists like, Brandon Heath, Natalie Grant, 10th Ave North, Britt Nicole, The Glorious Unseen, The Ember Days, Audrey Assad and Philip LaRue joining together to give voice to the community. The campaign is a simple, a united declaration that WE, (you and I) stand for and join the fight against global poverty and injustice. Its a declaration that we aren’t afraid to tackle some of the greatest humanitarian issues in the world and that we are willing to do something about it.
We’ll be releasing a series of videos with music artists, celebrities, film stars, sports figures and more who join with us in this declaration… and even more importantly, you’ll have the opportunity to submit your own video’s declaring that you’re in. We’ll have t-shirts, hats, stickers and heaps more for you to wear with pride as you declare loud that ‘Your In’. More on this to come… stay tuned.
Wow, we’ve had an exciting week!
We will be giving over $500 away in April! Not bad for being just over 2 weeks old! If you follow us on Twitter or are a fan on Facebook, you heard that last week David Hasselhoff wrote a blog post and Tweeted about us being the “Next Big Thing”. We were greatly honored and quite frankly stoked that The Hoff himself would give props to us! We have over 800 facebook fans and our site www.afferoproject.com went international with donors from Australia and New Zealand! Wow!
For now though, help us reach our goal of giving away $1000 a month by telling your friends and family about The Affero Project and get them to join us. Remember, the power is in community – “its not one person doing something GREAT, its ALL of us doing small things with great love.” (Mother Theresa)
You Give + You Vote + You Decide
The Affero Team
We wanted to share what people are saying about The Affero Project so far! Visit www.afferoproject.com/community to leave your comments and read others. Be inspired! Ordinary People, doing Extraordinary Things!
This is pretty darn exciting! I am getting so much joy out of this community. 32 members and $168 already – pretty darn good. Can’t imagine what it will look like when Affero really catches fire with all of the people in our world who want to do good for others.
After I voted for Human Trafficking, I was reading how they need $100,000 to build restoration houses in the US. I realized how sweet it was to think that we could be giving $100,000 a month to them. That’s insane!
I can be a bit cynical when it comes to giving, but this is definitely something I can get behind. Let’s keep it going!
Let’s do this. Activate.
I wanted to give a quick update on our launch and happenings in the last 15hours.
Its official, Afferoproject.com has gone live and people are beginning to sign up, we’re close to reaching our first milestone of giving away $100 a month – I know its not much, but its a start and we’re growing. The more people who join us, the more we are able to give away!
We’ve had 4 organization submissions already… this is wonderful! Your suggestions will help us fill each category. We want to hear your thoughts on the site, ideas, suggestions, tell us about other non-profits doing amazing work around the world.
We want to continue spreading the word about The Affero Project, so feel free to post links and our video on your facebook, blog etc, if you want to make a presentation at your church or ministry contact us and we’ll help you and give you all the tools you’ll need.
Thanks for joining us… now lets change the world!