Posts Tagged ‘Amnesty International’

Volunteering from Home When You’re Isolated but Still Want to Give

mimi-thian-BYGLQ32Wjx8-unsplashLike most of us, you and yours are probably spending much more time within your own walls these days. While your employer may expect you to be online and available during business hours while you work from home, you have also gained some extra time you once spent commuting, or going out to grab lunch, when you can be volunteering and making a meaningful difference from your own home, on your own schedule.

I promise it will fill your heart and mind much more proactively than the screaming panic on social media!

Check out this list of possible ways to add to the common good by way of your computer, tablet, or phone.

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Crisis Text Line

When people need to reach out in times of crisis – online counselors are available 24/7 so there is someone on the other end of a lifeline. You commit to at least 4 hours per week and get deep training in active listening, collaborative problem solving, and safety planning. This is hotline work and profoundly meaningful intervention training, and you can do it from your couch on your own schedule (the most pressing need is for overnight crisis counselors). https://www.crisistextline.org/volunteer/ And to be sure EVERYONE knows of this resource, if you yourself or anyone you know need help or are considering self-harm, text HOME to 741741 to connect with a trained volunteer counselor any time of the day or night.

United Nations Volunteers

UNV programs contribute to peace and development through internet connections worldwide. They make grateful use of volunteers in areas of need like: writing & editing, translation, research, outreach & advocacy, teaching & training, technology development, art & design, community organizing, and more. 187 countries are involved with the corps of volunteers and their hard work from home. https://www.onlinevolunteering.org/en

Catchafire

You offer your expertise to non-profits and NGOs on projects ranging from website development to team communications, marketing to database work. Over 100 areas of need are available for you to engage your computer savvy, and do it all from home. https://www.catchafire.org/

Amnesty Decoders

Amnesty International Decoders utilizes volunteers around the world to use your computer or phone to help researchers sift through pictures, information, and documents. Join the global network and volunteer from anywhere you can be online, on your own schedule. https://decoders.amnesty.org/

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Operation Warm

Start an online fundraiser to get new coats to kids in need and books to local libraries. Discover the details of how you can make a difference in the lives of many young people from the comfort of your home. https://www.operationwarm.org/get-involved/

Smithsonian

Become a Smithsonian Digital Volunteer and help transcribe historical documents and make biodiversity data more accessible. You can add to the official records and collections of field notes, diaries, ledgers, photo albums, manuscripts, specimen labels, and more. Dozens of projects can be searched by theme so your interest is engaged as well as your computer. https://transcription.si.edu/

Chemo Angels

Become a pen pal from home for a patient undergoing chemotherapy. Traditional “Angels” and “Card Angels” send cards, notes, letters, and small gifts each week to an assigned patient for the duration of their treatment. Be the strength and encouragement for someone through their toughest times without ever needing to leave your home. https://www.chemoangels.com/angel-pre-app

Project Implicit

Help Harvard researchers explore and understand associations our culture makes about race, gender, sexual orientation, alcohol & drug use, exercise, anxiety, eating, and other topics by simply taking polls and tests from your home computer. https://implicit.harvard.edu/implicit/

Zooniverse

People-powered research projects rely on volunteers like you who help classify data, beta test digital projects, or moderate existing projects. You help the scientific community with a huge array of data projects from nature tracking to diabetes diagnosis tools, weather mapping to transcribing military records of African American Civil War soldiers, classifying infant speech sounds to discerning asteroids in images from the Hubble telescope! You can find something to get passionate about here, and work as much or as little as you’d like. https://www.zooniverse.org/get-involved

Download to Make a Difference–FairShare Music

This is a great idea, based in the UK. FairShare Music does good things with great music. Just like all the rest of the music download sites on the web, they offer tons of songs (over 13.5 million tracks with new releases coming out all the time) legally–not pirating–and for every song you download, they give half the profits to the charity of your choice. They embed generosity into music–one of the inspiring and comforting things you already do for yourself. It’s so simple, really. They currently partner with 18 great charities (Amnesty.org.uk the British arm of Amnesty International, the British Heart Foundation, British Red Cross, Cancer Research UK, Centre Point for homeless youth, Friends of the Earth, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, Marie Curie Cancer Care, NSPCC to end cruelty to children, Oxfam, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Sue Ryder Care for people with life-changing illness, the Teenage Cancer Trust, V-Inspired to get youth involved in volunteer service, Virgin Unite the charitable arm of Virgin Airlines and Sir Richard Branson, War Child protecting children from war and helping the recover from its effects, World Wildlife Fund, and Youth Music to empower young people through the arts.

Next time you find a brilliant new band on Spotify or Pandora or from a friend’s recommendation, think about spreading the wealth for something you would do anyway. It is effortless giving…we can all afford that.

Death by Stoning in Iran

Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani

You’ve likely seen news stories of late about a particular case of a woman in Iran sentenced, as so many are, to be stoned to death for alleged adultery. In today’s technological age, an international campaign of outrage was waged via the web, facebook, and other online media sites. Sakineh Mohammadi Ashtiani is a 43-year-old widow convicted of adultery, and was scheduled to be publicly put to death by stoning. She has already received 99 lashes in the presence of her teenage son, and the law mandates “the stones should not be so large that the person dies upon being hit by one or two of them; neither should they be so small they could not be defined as stones,” so it is important to the judiciary that a “proper” amount of pain and suffering be inflicted before the final, grisly death…in public…

This morning, the case is under study and due to international pressure, may be put off or changed (on July 8 the stoning death sentence was halted, yet the outcome is unclear–it may be postponed, or she may be put to death by other means, or her sentence may be altered with a death penalty taken off the table) . Today, at the last minute, new reports are suggesting he also had a hand in the death of her husband (though the courts and attorneys said before she was only and exclusively being tried for adutlery). The new facts from today seem to imply that she was  convicted of murder, and sentenced to 10 years in jail, but her children did not want to press charges so that sentence was dropped. Interesting sway of the scales of justice.

Murder=10 years

Sex outside of marriage=unconscionable pain, suffering, and protracted brutal death

Read further coverage here and here and find a way to channel your outrage (and if you’re not outraged–we need to talk)

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL is a good place to start.

Annie Lennox Blogging for Change

You know who I love? Annie Lennox. Her music, her politics, her malleability with image and sound, the whole package is an erudite, classy bundle of unafraid activism. Annie, who has long been a fierce advocate for women’s equality and the fight against AIDS, is so plugged in, recently doing a trip with Amnesty International that she recounts in her most recent blog post, pasted below. Her website, http://www.annielennox.com is a fun destination, and her charitable organization, SING (“A Voice for HIV/AIDS Women and Children”), is a perfect spot for your attention and support.

Annie’s Blog posting from last week:

There’s an unquestionable zeitgeist in the air, with a big capital “W” at the fore of it..

July 6th 2010

Just came back from a special event at Amnesty International, focusing on the plight of women in Congo. Had an earlier meet with various folks..The White Ribbon Alliance/ Women 4 Women, and Oxfam..trying to work out how we can create a broader and more effective profile and platform for the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day here in the UK.
There’s an unquestionable zeitgeist in the air, with a big capital “W” at the fore of it..Many western women are complacent..We inherited the benefits of an emancipation that we didn’t have to struggle for, therefore we took it for granted, and the message became skewed… even ridiculed, for all kinds of reasons.
The term “Feminism” is slightly abashed and cowering in a cupboard somewhere, engulfed by the heady aroma of the dying embers of burned bras, and unshaved armpits. Feminists don’t need to be “strident”, or “ball breakers”, or even “female” to qualify.  And here’s the deal.. ”Feminism“ has been alive and working for decades in every part of the globe, and at all kinds of levels all along. It’s just that the dots haven’t always been joined up… the separate manifestations haven’t always been connected as a whole.
We’re at a point where the light needs to shine on it again, so that we can acknowledge the force and power that we are “collectively” in order to become redefined and recognised for who we all are.. Now.
Watch this space.

Act Now to Protect Indigenous Women

The senate just passed an incredibly important act, H.R. 725,also known as the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendment Act of 2010. While arts and crafts may not seem like a matter of life and death (except, of course, for the artisans–but that’s a different issue), attached to the act were most of the provisions of the “Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009,” and that’s where it gets monumental. Because of tribal law, sovereign nation status, and differing rules between tribal communities, a jurisdictional tangle and loophole has historically allowed for violent crime against indigenous women to go unpunished. Sexual assault and violence against Native American and Alaska women was not against the law!

The Tribal Law and Order Act represents an important step forward in combating violence against Native American women.  Violence that is an ongoing violation of Native American and Alaska Native women’s most fundamental human rights and freedoms.

Amnesty International detailed this violence in a 2007 report entitled Maze of Injustice: The failure to protect Indigenous women from sexual violence in the USA.  The report revealed shocking statistics of violence such as the fact that Native American and Alaska Native women are more than two and a half times more likely to be raped or sexually assaulted than women in the United States in general.

But the victory is not yet complete!

The Indian Arts and Crafts Amendment Act must now pass the House with the Tribal Law and Order provisions attached. Take action now to let your Member of Congress know that you support passage of H.R. 725, the Indian Arts and Crafts Amendment Act, which includes the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2009!

To find out who your Representative is, go to http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials/ and enter your ZIP code.

Keep an eye out for an online action you can take – soon to be posted to the Amnesty International Maze of Injustice web page…and support Amnesty International while you’re there.