People of Change documents the work of NGOs and individuals committed to the betterment of their communities. We believe positive examples inspire change and can foster worldwide solutions.

 

What makes you smile?

Simple question with a huge impact.

This is what Make DC Smile is asking to their community in one of this recent projects. They create an interactive chalkboard in a public space asking people “What makes you smile?”, which allows residents to take a moment and remember the things that make them happy. Everybody has the opportunity to write in their answer. They also take photos of the people with their own answer, and they share it on social media, which helps spread the question and get others thinking about it.

The story of MDCS started in August of 2012. They decided to hold signs with simple, positive messages to commuters to see. That day changed their lives, they say. They realized how this simple act can make a big difference and have an important impact to everyone.

After that, every Project that MDCS bring to the community are simple and can be executed by anyone. They say “As long as we change the outlook of one person’s day or week ahead, then it’s misión accomplished”.

Take a look of all of their projects www.makedcsmile.com

And don’t forget to SMILE! :)

 

Too Young to Wed

 

The word “wedding” has only positive connotations for many people. It conjures up images of dresses, rings, family and friends, food, and dancing. Romantic notions of a couple in love… But for millions of girls every year, the words “wedding” and “marriage” are a nightmare.

 

In numerous cultures around the world, the practice of marrying off girls while they are still children is a continuing condition. Families choose to make their daughters into child brides often for financial reasons, to settle debts, or to form alliances. These girls can be as young as five years old, forced into a union with men who do not hesitate to demand sex from their new “wives”. They are rarely given an education after their marriage, which helps to contribute to the cycle of poverty and the continuance of archaic traditions such as this one.

 

Too Young to Wed is a new nonprofit whose mission is to highlight the plights of child brides around the world. The organization is heavily dependent on photography and cinematography in bringing stories about women and girls to the attention of the world. You can help spread their word by sharing on social media or in your local community. Too Young to Wed, partnered with local nonprofits, believes that education is the best chance young girls have to avoid an early marriage. The first step to this is us educating ourselves on the hardships faced by millions each year. Please watch the video below and share it with a friend. Subscribe to the organization’s email newsletter to find out what more you can do to take the threat out of the word “wedding” for all girls.

lunch

Would you skip your lunch for a good cause?

After reading an article about a 14 year old girl’ experience  about going to a food bank with her family for the first time, Anton Cobb felt inspired to the point when one day, at his lunch time, an idea came to him.

He decided to skip his lunch every Wednesday, and instead of eating, donate his lunch money to the Oregon Food Bank.

He bought a table cloth and made a sign which read “I am skipping lunch. So that 30 children won’t. Will you join me?” and he spent his first hOURLUNCH sitting in a park in Portland.

The support was immediate and overwhelming, and just like that, hOURLUNCH was born. In fact, he has already raised more than 34.000 children’s meals.

Do you also want to skip your lunch?

The Street Store: I consume therefore I exist?

Most of the time, shopping reveals our darkest masterialistic side as consumers, the side you are sometimes ashamed of, the side that urges you  to spend money in order to satisfy a need or rather a need created by a consumer society. Who has never been tempted by the latest digital product or a wonderful shirt (for the sole use of renewing your wardrobe)?

Well, the amazing Street Store concept will reconcile our materialistic side and our philanthropic one by combining shopping and donation.

Kayli Levitan and Maximilian Pazak have observed that in a strongly uneven society such as in South Africa, a lot of people would like to help and to make donations to the less privileged. However, they mostly don’t know where to take donations or are afraid of taking them to the hotspots considered unsafe in the city. Therefore, they decided, in collaboration with the NGO Haven Night Shelter and local actors, to create a pop up store.

This initiative helps the homeless by fulfilling an essential need: clothing. It also offers them the opportunity of choosing their own items. Street Store volunteers even offer fashion advice to their customers. So, by giving them the choice and recognizing them as common consumers, they find much more than clothes; they find dignity as an individual who is able to choose and to create his own style. Shopping frees them from their needs, and they exist by their choices.

I consume therefore I exist? It could rather be “I make a choice therefore I exist.” Let’s spread this inspiring concept in your own city!