Written by Team Mentor Kamrie Yeung irv Irvington High School’s NGC team has been thriving for many years now, and this school year has been no different. Their success is stemmed from their meticulous time management and organized events. The team leaders had designated the first semester to be focused on fundraising for their global project of the year, The Greenhouse Project. Out of the two to three they had planned, they had already held a joint-restaurant fundraiser in November of 2013. The team has plans to expand beyond service for the Greenhouse Project and on to soup-kitchen volunteering. In this way, team members would get a chance to encounter poverty in their own community and to help their neighbors with it. Yet another side project, the team will also do a Coins for Change Project, a coin fundraiser held at three to four local elementary and middle schools. The CCP would fulfill the community education part of NGC’s fundraising, advocating, and community education (FACE) mission statement. Because this project is held at elementary and middle schools, it helps with grassroots education, which would eventually accumulate as the youth group matures.

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GC Hangout: Huma Zafar

SOURCE: One World Children's Fund

SOURCE: One World Children’s Fund

This post was written by NGC Program Coordinator, Maggie Broderick.

After weeks of tech run-throughs, last week I successfully held our first Global Citizen Hangout on Skype with Huma Zafar, a Champion for NGC Global Project Mubarika Campus in Pakistan. Due to some unforeseen technology problems, our conversation was not recorded. Thankfully, Huma generously agreed to participate in another GC Hangout in a few weeks, which will soon thereafter be posted to NGC’s YouTube Channel. Stay tuned.

For now, I want to share some of what I learned with the NGC Community. Huma returned to her native Pakistan after a decade of attending university and working in the United States. Huma was drawn to Mubarika Campus’ work because of its innovative approach to universal education in her native country. Mubarika Campus is a sustainable, impactful organization that now educates 1400-1500 children in rural Pakistan every year.

The Mubarika Campus staff has proven successful because of their ability to identify and overcome barriers to education in this area. For example, students initially did not have access to water on Campus, which meant that they would have to either purchase water before school or go without water completely when temps exceeded 100° F. (Can you imagine focusing on a lesson in such conditions, with no air conditioning and without water?) After discovering this problem, staff raised funds and installed a water pump. The Mubarika Campus staff aims to have no reason that students could not excel at their schools.

Huma and her colleagues at Mubarika Campus believe that “poor children should get a rich [in quality] education”. All teachers at Mubarika Campus have at least a Bachelor’s education degree, which is different from other schools in Pakistan where anyone can hold a teaching position. By speaking with Huma for a short time, it was clear to me that Mubarika Campus will continue to educate thousands of youth for years to come. Mubarika Campus is a phenomenal example of locally-led solutions to some of the world’s greatest challenges.

To stay up to date on Mubarika Campus’ work, like their Facebook Page. If you are interested in watching Global Citizen Hangouts with experts from around the world, subscribe to NGC’s YouTube Channel.

World Water Day 2014

This post was written by New Global Citizens intern Linnea Bennett.
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Water is one of the world’s most precious and fascinating resources. It composes 71% of the Earth’s surface and is a vital resource for life on Earth.  It is also something that we in first-world countries take for granted every day. We use it without thinking; washing dishes, taking showers, watering our plants, sprinkling our lawns and golf courses, irrigating crops, even turning the faucet on to a drizzle to let our kittens take a drink.
Though we have the luxury of using water without any second-thoughts, much of the world fights to find and use this resource every day. In Africa alone, 345 million people lack access to clean water. Globally, that number climbs to 783 million people without access to clean water and 2.5 billion people without access to adequate sanitation. People, mostly women, walk miles a day to find water and carry it home to their villages and families. Many girls are taken out of school to complete this task. Furthermore, 3.4 million people die from water-related diseases every year. Can you imagine how many lives could be saved or improved if even half of those people had consistent access to clean water?
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There are other issues to consider on today’s World Water Day. Of all the water in the world, 96.5% is held in our world’s oceans. But our oceans are constantly in danger with the threat of oil spills, pollution, climate change, acidification, and dead zones forming from fertilizer runoff. We also can’t forget the effects of the 46,000 pieces of plastic that litter every square mile of the ocean.
These statistics are staggering — but with help from committed, empowered, Global Citizens like you, we can make a difference. NGC works with a number of grassroots organizations who help bring clean water into communities all around the world. We also support a number of organizations committed to environmental conservation and saving important ecosystems like our oceans, rivers, and streams. We encourage you to look into these organizations, get involved, educate your community, or fundraise for a group that especially speaks to you!
Happy World Water Day, from the NGC staff to you.

Expanding Worlds: Fostering Innovation in Youth

Currently circulating the NGC office is an amazing story about a Sierra Leone boy, Kelvin, who reversed engineered wires/tools to create an FM radio in his country. We definitely found ourselves with tears because Kelvin is one young student who epitomizes NGC’s vision: young people fostering their ability to be leaders. In this case, Kelvin fostered such an ability under conditions that many would have seen as impossible.

WATCH HERE:

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Through NGC, students in the US can help global peers in achieving their dreams, from helping women in Afghanistan achieve their education or help children orphaned by epidemics to have equal access to education, nutrition, and more. LEARN MORE on how you and your peers can be involved. 

New Global Citizens: Westwood HS & Tolleson HS

Post written by Team Mentor Ahmad Abujbarah

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The second semester is in full swing for NGC teams all over the country, and, as usual, teams are trying to develop interesting ways to educate and raise funds for their global partner.

Hopefully, all teams are able to find strategies to raise awareness as well as simply have fun by knowing they are making a lasting change. Two teams, the Tolleson Union High School tram and Westwood High School team, have been able to fundraise while creatively teach their school on the Millennium Development Goals they and their global charity continue to tackle.

Tolleson Union High School’s NGC team ended their first semester with the wildly popular Poetry Night, where students perform musical pieces or recite poetry while the team raises money by selling merchandise, snacks, and charging a small admission fee. The Winter 2013 Poetry Night saw the highest turnout since the event’s creation in 2010 as over 80 students and teachers appeared to learn more about the Nirvanavan Foundation in India while also watching their peers on stage. Moving on from the success of their first semester, Tolleson NGC rang in the new semester with an Awareness Week to collect donations as well as further educate on the many issues the Nirvanavan Foundation combats while also telling students how their small donations and time spent listening helps create solutions for the children. Most recently, the team held a book sale to also raise funds, where students donated used books to be sold. By the looks of things, Tolleson NGC is having an excellent start so far, and the team is anticipating even more success, especially with their second Poetry Night and an Indian Culture Night.

Westwood High School’s NGC team is also doing well for itself. The team concluded the first semester educating and raising funds by hosting donut sales ever Wednesday and Thursday for about a month, which has been the team’s most successful strategy to fundraise as well as get students to walk up to their NGC table to learn more about the Millennium Development Goals and how they can be achieved. The team also sold Westwood High School themed Christmas ornaments, which was particularly creative because the team was able to tie in school spirit while also raising awareness for their cause! Plus, while doing these fundraisers, the team passes out flyers and posts posters all over the school to educate the students on the issues plaguing the world, as well encourage them to go to the NGC meeting to learn how change can be made. In the second semester, the team sold chocolate roses to raise even more funds and they aim to continue the donut sales throughout the rest of the semester. Even more astonishing, the team is planning a partnership with Westwood’s Junior Optimist Octagon International (JOOI), the world’s most dynamic coalition of youth volunteers, to help educate on the issues in today’s society as well as show students how their small contributions can make a huge difference.

Hopefully, all NGC teams are able to move forward this semester with new ideas that will call people’s attention to the concerns in the world. These teams show what hard work and dedication can create, and perhaps Tolleson NGC and Westwood NGC could inspire other NGC teams all over the country to find engaging new ways raise funds and educate their schools and communities!

As always, I hope for the best for all New Global Citizens teams!