Monday, November 2, 2015

For Gil Garcetti and Barbara Goldberg Wells Bring Hope

It all started when Gil Garcetti spoke at Barbara Goldberg’s Salon Forum in 2008 sharing powerful photos he had taken in Western Africa. He shared the dire need for safe drinking water and the endless struggles of women and girls to get it. 

 In 2009 Barbara founded Wells Bring Hope and, partnering with World Vision, drilled 10 wells the first year. Inspired by the commitment of Wells Bring Hope Gil Garcetti continues help share the story of this struggle for safe drinking water through speaking opportunities and his photography.

In the Fall of 2007, the UCLA Fowler Museum had an exhibition of his photographs, “Women, Water and Wells.” In 2009, many of these photos were on exhibition in the visitors lobby of the United Nations in New York. In February, 2008, these same photographs and his words inspired the founding of “Wells Bring Hope.”

Since its start Wells Bring Hope has funded 363 wells helping over 235,950 people in West Africa.

Both Gil Garcetti and Barbara Goldberg continue to work tirelessly to bring safe water and hope to some of the poorest people in our global community. And you can help them fund more wells by sharing their story and the dire circumstances of the women of West Africa with your social networks. For more information visit

Monday, October 26, 2015

Afghan Refugee Girls' Primary Schools

According to Betsy K. Emerick, PhD; the life expectancy for Afghan women is 44 years.  The Afghan literacy rates are 31% for men and 15% for women The average Afghan  woman will bear 7.4 children and 57% of Afghan girls marry before the legal age of 16.

This is why she needs our help to make a difference by using social media to spread the word to help her continue Afghan Girls Schools.

The schools are located in refugee camps in Pakistan that have been home to nearly 2 million Afghan refugees for over a decade.  The schools are currently educating 600 girls. It costs $85 to pay a teacher's salary for  one month,  a school uniform costs $5, a sewing machine costs $40 and you can give a girl a year's education for  just $55.

For more information email:

Monday, October 19, 2015

Bikes From Lotus Pedals Helps Keep Girls Safe-And Gets Them To School- In Rural Cambodia

Due to the vulnerabilities of rape and sex trafficking most parents prefer to keep their girls home rather than subject them to the dangers of getting to school. As a result only 11% of girls in Cambodia reach secondary school. In 2013 the Lotus Pedals program was launched to provide bikes to young Cambodian girls. The program is slowly making a positive impact in increasing the number of girls going to school.

According to Erika ­Keaveney, executive director of Lotus Outreach International, the San Francisco charity that runs the program, “Lotus Pedals is a simple intervention but a terrifically effective one.”

The charity spends $80 to provide each bike, counting the costs for transport and delivery, a repair kit, and a pump, along with project management and follow-up.

In 2013  Lotus Outreach ensured that 302 young riders got to school. The program has identified 381 additional students who may qualify to receive a bicycle. There remain thousands of girls across the country want to attend school but have no means of transportation.

Beyond the bike initiatives Lotus International serves over 30,000 women and children mainly in Cambodia and India through initiatives on education, health, anti-trafficking and economic empowerment.  To learn more about the work of Lotus International and to find out how to support their Lotus Pedals bicycle initiative visit

Monday, October 12, 2015

Volunteer Divers of Nonprofit Ghost Fishing Scours The Ocean Removing Nets That Kill Fish

For this Netherlands-based charity a very special set of unique skills, along with passion, are required.

And according to founder Pascal van Erp, “It is very important to show the world how big the problem is that we are talking about.” “There are lots of nets out in the oceans.”

Each dive costs between $2,000 and $2,700. Thus far the group’s only source of support has come from the Dutch government: $530,400 from a pool created by the sale of lottery tickets.

Pascal leads a team of 30 to 40 volunteer divers in the North Sea. His group coordinates and works with a loosely integrated network of like-minded divers around the world. “In the last three years, we have made 100 dives and removed 10 tons of fishing gear from the sea,” he says. The nets are then recycled into socks and other textiles.

Their efforts are both difficult and dangerous. “It’s the most difficult type of diving I’ve ever done,” says Heather Hamza, one of roughly 50 volunteer divers who make up Los Angeles Underwater Explorers a Ghost Fishing affiliated group.

Volunteers encounter a number of dangerous hazards including low visibility, the possibility of getting tangled themselves and most of all being catapulted to the surface too quickly by the lift bags they used to get the nets to the surface. This can result in illness or even death. As a result the southern California affiliate only solicits help from advanced divers with military-like training.

To learn more visit , where you can also shop at their store to support them or visit

Monday, October 5, 2015

Promoting Self- Sufficiency And Helping Immigrants Transition To A New Life

Los Angeles resident Owliya Dima, a former immigrant herself,  along with her daughter Meymuna  are founders of the Tiyya Foundation. Their premise is that for the most part residents of American immigrant communities are often preoccupied with helping others overseas. 

Having lived the experience of  transitioning to American life Owliya and her family created the Orange County based nonprofit. The Tiyya Foundation helps not only provide basic necessities to refugees and displaced American families the organization also helps families with the transition to become active participants in society.

Services for clients include English as a second language coaching, homework tutoring, a community soccer program to help children with their transition and volunteers that help families navigate social and civic processes. The ultimate goal is to foster self-sufficiency. 

Through a partnership with the University of California Irvine Tiyya  provides college campus tours  and field trips for Tiyya's youth. Basic necessities provided by the foundation include beds, refrigerators, hygiene products and cleaning supplies.

Services are available to all who are in need regardless of religion, nationality or political beliefs.  Currently the majority of their clients are from Afghanistan, Burma, Eritrea, Iraq, Russia, Somalia and other conflict areas. They are currently serving around 400 clients.

In addition to financial and in-kind donations the Tiyya Foundation seeks out vocational and occupational training for adults.  Companies providing training for immigrants within their first year here in the States are eligible to receive a tax benefit. For information on how you can get involved  or to make a donation, visit