Avaaz.org – The World in Action
A significant movement is taking place in the world today. That movement is Avaaz.org – an organization that really makes a difference where it is most needed.
What is Avaaz.org?
The name Avaaz was derived for the Persian word for “voice”. Avaaz.org was launched in 2007 as a global civic organisation that promotes activism on issues such as climate change, human rights, animal rights, corruption, poverty and conflict. These are the issues that most need addressing in some of the more disadvantaged countries around the world, and Avaaz works to “close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want”.
Avaaz.org is “the world’s largest and most effective online campaigning community for change” with over 25 million members in 194 countries, and operating in 15 languages.
How did Avaaz begin?
Avaaz was co-founded by a number of organisations and individuals, including Res Publica and MoveOn.org. Res Publica is a “community of public sector professionals dedicated to promoting good governance, civic virtue and deliberative democracy”, and MoveOn.org is a non-profit progressive public policy advocacy group. They are also supported by GetUp!, an Australian non-profit campaigning organization.
“Avaaz is only five years old, but has exploded to become the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network.” – The Guardian article on Avaaz.org
So what do they do?
Avaaz.org has a simple mission, and as their director himself Ricken Patel said in 2011 – “We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!”
The technology that exists today has made it possible, easier, and quicker to call attention to new issues by creating campaigns.
“Avaaz has a single, global team with a mandate to work on any issue of public concern – allowing campaigns of extraordinary nimbleness, flexibility, focus, and scale.” – Avaaz.org
Each year, Avaaz prioritises the campaigns they focus on by polling their members on the campaign ideas. The campaigns that have the strongest response are the ones that Avaaz then focuses on.
Their work is entirely member-funded. Avaaz don’t accept donations or funding from governments or corporations and so, “No corporate sponsor or government backer can insist that Avaaz shifted its priorities to suit some external agenda” – Avaaz.org
What is their impact?
Since 2007 Avaaz has launched hundreds of global and national campaigns. Their rapidly-increasing international community of members has worked to fight corruption in India, Italy and Brazil, protect the world’s oceans, rainforests and endangered wildlife, defend internet and media freedoms, amongst many other important human rights issues.
One of their most recent success stories was earlier in June, 2013, when Avaaz launched a campaign to stop an Icelandic tycoon from shipping the carcasses of endangered fin whales into Japan. Over 1.1 million Avaaz campaigners, along with Greenpeace, created the pressure that got the whale meat put back on a ship to Iceland.
“The Avaaz campaign has played an important role in stopping the whalers from profiting — bringing us closer to ending the hunt for these magnificent and endangered whales” – John Frizell, director of Greenpeace International.
How do we join in?
As an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization, Avaaz relies on its members for donations and funding to support the campaigns that truly make a difference across the world. Avaaz have proved that what they do works. They’ve influenced the outcomes of global climate summits, held rallies across the world on Tibet, campaigned to end the Iraq war, and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support the pro-democracy movement in Burma.
You can help support Avaaz by making a contribution to their organisation, as either a one-off donation or even a monthly contribution that will help support their work all year.
Donate now and let’s help Avaaz.org keep up the great work!