Recently in NGOYSK Category

Conflict barometer.

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In the CISV Year of Conflict and Resolution I'd like to point you to a tiny NGO located in Germany called Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research (HIIK). Mainly run by (student) volunteers, one of their bigger tasks is to generate an annual conflict barometer* - a publication that gives an overview of where on earth violent conflicts take place:


Now, this map is interesting: With a few exceptions (i.e. Mexico, Colombia, Thailand), the conflicts a mostly where CISV is not.

* the 92 page PDF is a great read and source of inspiration, what theme to chose for your next country-based activity.

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A wiki-based database of the ethical standards of companies. (NGOYSK)

brought my attention to Tarek has summarized it all beautifully, so please read his article.

knowmore.pngI especially like their graphic color-coded display of the 5 important ethical areas, as seen in here in the Microsoft example.

I spent a few minutes entering the names of companies of products that I could spot in our living room, and discovered that there is still some work to do: IKEA and Kenwood for example aren't even listed yet, Philips is, but has no ratings.

How about a Mosaic-minicamp spent on researching companies and entering them into the Knowmore database?


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Websites that could help CISV chapters raise funds online.

globalgiving.pngI recently subscribed to the paper version of GOOD magazine - I've been enjoying their website for a while, I've even linked to a few articles here on FTB. Insterestingly, when signing up, they didn't want to keep my subscription fee of 50 US$ for themselves, but instead redirected me to a website called GlobalGiving. Here I could chose between a wide range of small projects that are in need for smallish donations. These projects range from educating HIV-positive kids in Bangladesh to saving a square-meter of rain forest in Brazil. Check out GlobalGiving's about page featuring an excellent video that explains the idea.

The funny thing is that, just about a few months ago, while researching fundraising opportunities for the upcoming AIM, I met with a girl that works for an organization called, a Berlin-based non-proft that seems to be doing exactly the same thing as GlobalGiving - displaying a range of projects by NGOs or even just groups of people and offering different ways of donating online.

What in it for CISV? I don't think that either of these websites will generate funds from people that don't know about CISV - poverty, education and saving the planet have a marketing advantage compared to us. But - since our own online donation set-up is in such a poor condition, why not rely on one of these websites to help collect funds for specific projects from people that already know about CISV?

At least with Betterplace (haven't looked into the details at GlobalGiving) you can generate e-mails that you send to your members and friends to promote a new poject. You can embed a progress bar on your website, there's also Facebook widgets you can use. Moreover, Betterplace  provides the infrastructure of donating online with a credit card, PayPal etc., something that would otherwise be difficult to set up and take care of.

What I especially like, is that since you can donate within a few minutes from the comfort of your living room sofa, even small donations like 5$ make sense. Furthermore, I think presenting CISV on these websites will also help promote our organization in general, and isn't that one of our strategic goals? Finally, compared to huge humanitarian organizations where a high percentage of any donation is spent on administration, at least with Betterplace 100% goes directly to the charity (us).

Obviously this is not a top-down way of fundraising, but has to be initiated by the indiviudal chapter: In need for a new copying machine for the office? Or a printer for the upcoming village? How about fundraising for camp t-shirts? I think that GlobalGiving and Betterplace provide a fantastic opportunuity. We're currently trying to use Betterplace for our upcoming AIM, and I'll keep you posted on our progress.

I actually did search for any CISV projects listed at GlobalGiving, but couldn't find any, so I will probably donate to a children's project in Nepal (I have a personal connection). But here's my challenge: If any chapter manages to set up a project at GlobalGiving within the next two months, send me a note, and I'll be glad to donate my GOOD subscription fee to whatevery you are planning.

NGOYSK: Border Crossers

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A new episode in NGOs You Should Know:


Sachi is a CISVer I met during the IBM in Denmark in 1998, who is from New York. In her home town she created her own NGO, called Border Crossers. The concept is quite simple, and related to CISV: Bring kids from different parts of the (segregated) city together, so that they can reduce pejudices.

CISV frustrates me sometimes, because it's so expensive to fly 48 kids from around the globe together for a village - enter Border Crossers: An organization that has obviously become very successfull in a short period of time, by creating a multi-ethnic get-together within a single country, no city!

Then again the founder is a CISVer, so - yeah - CISV might have paid off after all.

Read more about Border Crossers on their website.

Sachi also wrote an aricle in the Local Work Magazine 2005 (p11) about Border Crossers.

Non-governmental organisations you should know (NGOYSK), is a new section in this blog, where I will present organisations, that I find interesting and relate to the work of CISV.

So today I'd like to present Gapminder. Before I tell you anything, please, please, please, can you spare 20 minutes to look at this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful talk. In fact, I like to say, that this is probably the best, funniest and most entertaining presentation I have ever heard. Have you ever followed a lecture in your university, where the presenter sounded like a football world cup match commenter? Now watch:

The way I understand it, is that Gapminder offers a software and data that helps the world where development is happening, and where help is needed. As you can see from the video even well-educated people have wrong ideas on which countries are poor, undeveloped or even starving.

Now, Google offers the software to create those animated bubble graphics for free, so I decided to give it a try and created one for the development of CISV between 1998 and 2007 of the first 6 countries in the alphabet: Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Brazil and Bulgaria (data from the annual reports):

(Click here for a larger version)

Click the play button and you will see how CISV Austria increases their number of chapters (a structural reform) which is followed by a strong jump forward in hostiing and participation. Also you can see how Brazil grows strongly in the ninetees, but then continues to fall especially in the number of hosted camps while participation stays roughly the same. You may call me a statistical maniac, but I'd love to see somebody enter more countries and years into database and we'll watch how CISV developed globally in the past - in fact, I've enabled free-for-everybody-editing on the original spreadsheet, so if you like, you can add your country's numbers as well.

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