The word mara—meaning spotted in the Maasai language—describes the landscape of short, bushy trees dotting the Maasai Mara Reserve in western Kenya. While this region is marveled for its rich ecosystem and revered as the cradle of civilization, the way of life for inhabitants of the great Kenyan savanna is under threat from pressures including poaching, human-wildlife conflict, habitat degradation and loss, and now COVID-19. When the pandemic-induced shutdown crippled the tourism industry in early 2020, the primary income for the Maasai community living and working on the reserve abruptly ended.
The consequences of unsustainable global economic growth manifest in countless ways, one of the most obvious being the endless amount of solid waste littering our landscapes and washing up on our shores. In the case of a small village on the central coast of British Columbia in Canada, a community is thinking globally through its local actions and having an outsized impact through its example.
In the small Caribbean nation of Belize, with a population of under a half-million, 150 to 175 people undergo amputations each year as a result of disease, accidents, or violence. A lack of resources, services, and expertise makes acquiring and maintaining prostheses exceedingly difficult for amputees, particularly in rural areas. Fortunately for many affected Belizeans, foreign NGOs are delivering this life-changing healthcare service through their medical missions.
The Initiative for Equal Rights (TIERs), a Nigerian nonprofit established in 2005, is a leading advocacy organization challenging the government’s discriminatory policies. TIERs works to build a society where human rights are guaranteed to all, regardless of status, identity, orientation, or affiliation.
Mental health problems affect nearly every person on earth at some point in their life. They negatively impact our cognitive, emotional, and behavioral well-being and can lead to isolation, depression, and suicide. Despite the near-universal prevalence of such issues, an alarming amount of people decline to ever seek help. In some damning statistics, suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, has risen by 11% in the last year in the UK, and the second leading cause of death for people between the ages of 15-29 worldwide.
In Uganda, as few as 1-in-3 girls attend secondary school. This statistic becomes even starker taking only women living in rural areas into account. Without some degree of higher education, many of these girls will work physical labour and eventually be married off for their families gain. To avoid such a fate in a male-dominated society, education is absolutely critical to give girls a leg-up and shift the gender balance. With one of the highest population growth rates in the world, Uganda has more girls & women with more to lose than ever before.
What does art mean to you? For some, art is an escape. To others, it is the purest form of human self expression. And for some, art is simply an abstract concept – a forgettable school course. Whether you know it or not, art plays a role in your life every day. It is in our fashion, our advertisements, our architecture. Art is an integral part of our cultural identity and acts as a manifestation of the zeitgeist. By drawing in young people to experience art and engage in art-focused forums , the ICA nurtures the next generation of artists and gives them a holistic platform to grow and to hone their skills.
Oceans and seas cover more than two-thirds of the planet’s surface. The amazing and diverse ecosystems that thrive in earth’s waters are a vital barometer of its overall health. Worryingly, in the past century or so, these ecosystems have felt the brunt of the devastating effects of pollution and climate change.
More than 1 in 3 women have experienced violence. These figures can vary from society to society, but what appears to be universally applicable is that poverty and violence often go together. Despite recent global outcries against violence towards women, it happens in every society and not enough is being done to put and end to the problem.
Healthcare is a universal need—especially in times of emergency. This is certainly true in the city of Acapulco (Guerrero, Mexico) and surrounding rural areas, where a population of over 1,000,000 people reside in varying socioeconomic circumstances. Acapulco, known for its beaches, is a national and international tourist destination, which causes a constant influx and outflux of people to and from the city every weekend. This leads to a high number of emergency cases among visitors, in addition to the needs of the local populace.
Studying our history and reflecting on the past is a unique human prerogative which allows us to learn from our mistakes and build on our wisdom. Overall as a species, we have a great appreciation for our past and a sense of pride in what we have achieved; the physical relics of our past are a testament to the diversity of our cultures and the evolution of our abilities. Careful conservation of these relics allows modern people to celebrate human brilliance, potentially in perpetuity, and will one day allow future generations to admire today’s achievements
The Community Action, Development, Liberative, and Education (CANDLE) is an organization which aims to lift widowed Indian women of lower castes, including the dalit (untouchable) class, to a new era of economic prosperity, sustainability, empowerment, and pride. Over the past year, the organization with the support of donor funds from CAF Canada was able to work towards achieving this goal through a project focused on providing widowed women with goats as a means to better their livelihood.
The Lake Champlain Community Sailing Center (CSC), based in Burlington, Vermont, is a community-based nonprofit which acts as a hub for Burlington and the surrounding areas. In addition to providing access to the lake, the CSC hosts its own programs and community initiatives to provide educational resources and recreational opportunities to its over 7,000 members. CSC’s signature programs are tailored specifically to engage student groups, at-risk youth, women and girls, and individuals with disabilities.