New Year and the World Full of Opportunities
Let’s all make one New Year’s resolution: to help someone in need and be someone’s hero.
Can you imagine that it has been almost 25 years since the world has been introduced to internet? Because of our interconnectedness, the country borders are no longer the limiting factor for those who want to surf the web. Online, they simply don’t exist so the term “global citizen” becomes a true meaning for the internet user.
But what does it mean to be a global citizen nowadays?
There are around 3.2 billion people actively participating in this global community, and this number is increasing every day thanks to companies such as Google and Facebook who are making connection to the WWW possible even in the most distant corners of the world. Add to that the fact that only Facebook has 1.5 billion active users. With all their sharing of personal information and photos, it is not surprising to hear why the internet world is often called the global village.
Thanks to the information and unlimited knowledge waiting for us just a click away, We, ordinary people, don’t have to wait anymore for a solution or a great idea to be provided by one man. No! Now we are empowered to think:
How can I use what I know and can do to make a positive difference in the world? Could I too be a game changer?
Let us give ourselves food for thought here and let us imagine:
What would happen if every single user on the internet donated just 1 cent to the cause he or she believes in?
Do you think there would be a limit to what a strong community like that could do?
Believe it or not, even the largest avalanche is triggered by small things. But, we have to alter our common belief that one small contribution is not enough for a big and positive change.
That is why we wanted to share with you an extract from a letter our founder Novak Djokovic received from a young girl named Esther Loiszli:
My name is Esther Loiszli and I am a grade 7 student at Arts at Baythorn, Toronto, Canada. I love to play tennis and I watch all the yearly tournaments on tv, that you and others play. I am always inspired. I have read about you on the internet that you have started the Novak Djokovic Foundation in 2007. I was very impressed by your charity work besides being a super star tennis player. Very few super stars have the heart to think about people or children in need of help and even do something about it. I admire your perseverance in keeping the children happy and giving them the possibility to learn. I decided to put together a video for this years Project for Awesome and I decided to do my charity on the Novak Djokovic Foundation. I hope that you will take a moment to view my video on the p4a site as I have put a lot of effort and please get as many VOTES as possible because if my video wins lots of money will go to your charity.The link to my video is down below. Thank you for your time.
In comparison to the big budgets put into influential social media campaigns we so often see on the web, this letter proves that even a child who is aware of the problems in other parts of the world can make a contribution. And what a contribution she made!
Please take a look at her video below:
The Good Things We Share – Grow in Importance
The power of information
The first and easiest thing to do when you care about something is to BE INFORMED. This doesn’t cost you anything, but if we are informed about things we care about, we can use that knowledge to spread awareness of the problems we wish to solve by using the influence in our communities and among our friends.
On the other hand, we can solve great deal of global problems just by joining others in keeping internet a free place for sharing knowledge. Perhaps we can even help others learn something new for free?
There are still so many children out there in the world who are not able to receive any form of education or schooling. But, they may be able to access internet one way or the other. That is why projects such as Wikipedia, YahooAnswers or Khan Academy mean a lot. Unfortunately, for many of these kids, projects like these will remain the best and the only source of information in the foreseeable future. So let’s contribute to this pool of knowledge in our own way and help someone!
The power of small changes
There is a large number of websites that serve as platforms to raise money for new ideas and projects. Surely you’ve heard of Kickstarter or IndieGoGo? IndieGoGo has recently introduced Generosity, which will be completely free for all non-profits. In fact there are so many crowdfunding websites where you can find plenty of fascinating ideas to help others in need. Your contribution, no matter how small, means a lot to these people and you will probably spend more of your time than the money.
If you need a proof for this, just think how much money is needed to build one school? For example, one School of Life that Novak Djokovic Foundation builds is costing approximately 50.000 euros. There are 2.500 locations in Serbia where there are no kindergartens for little ones. Imagine all that we could achieve if we would donate only 10 euros each for this goal. Only 5000 people is needed to build one school and make children somewhere in Serbia happy.
The power of unity
Social networks have created the hashtag # – opportunity for people to spread their ideas and gain support for their cause. Hashtag exceeds boundaries of specific websites, social networks and other online content and enables us to globally engage in a campaign of our choosing. This is vital if we want to participate in advocating for change at the local level.
If you see your contribution through advocacy, you can search for websites that can help you build support for what you believe in. Good example for that is Change.org, the most powerful petition tool on the web – which gives everyone a chance to create winning petitions for free and garner support they need to reach their goal. Sometimes, advocating for issues you care about is enough to change things in the world for the better.
How the Best Ones Do It?
Campaigns on the Internet can be very creative. New applications and trends can be used to raise awareness and entertain and engage great number of people. Here are the few examples we can all learn from:
Last August, more than 17 million people got involved in a campaign by uploading their challenge videos on the Internet. It’s a small number compared to 440 millions of them who were watching and sharing these clips. After only six weeks, the campaign raised over $115 million, whilst raising awareness about ALS (amyotrophic lateral sclerosis) has been priceless.
World Wide Fund for the protection of wild animals made a good use of Snapchat to raise awareness of the endangered species. The Danish branch of the World Wildlife Fund took advantage of the fleeting nature of Snapchat to illustrate just how quickly it takes for an endangered species to be wiped off this planet. Taking a sobering spin on the selfie that seems to have become so pervasive in marketing, the #lastselfie ads featured different endangered animals. They all sent the same message: ”Don’t let this be my #lastselfie.” This campaign has proven so successful, that it has become one of the best social media campaigns of 2015.
If we just stop for a second to notice people around us, that care for others can be a seed from which incredible changes may arise.
Humans of New York started as a modest photo-blog by Brandon Stanton. Over time, this blog has grown into an international multimedia and humanitarian project supporting those in need worldwide: from the construction of schools in underprivileged city areas to spreading awareness of the refugee crisis and fundraising.
As you can see, there are many ways we can contribute and help make this world a better place. Not all of them include money donations. But they require us to care.
It’s high time we learn that smile is worth so much more if shared with someone. So let us unite in the wish to send into the world just a little bit of positive energy. We all know how much it is needed these days.
Let’s make one New Year’s resolution that we will all try to keep: to help someone in need and be someone’s hero, even if only for a day.
Author: Milan Petrovic