Tuesday, January 30, 2007

A Greater Gift's Valentine Day Options

If you are looking for a unique gift for your sweetheart this Valentines Day, you may want to point your mouse towards A Greater Gift.

A Greater Gift is a program of SERRV International, a nonprofit alternative trade and development organization. Their mission is to promote the social and economic progress of people in developing regions of the world by marketing their products in a just and direct manner.

Their goal is to alleviate poverty and empower low-income people through trade, training and other forms of capacity building as they work to improve their lives. SERRV has worked to assist artisans and farmers for more than 55 years through the following:

Marketing their handcrafts and food products in a just and direct manner.
Educating consumers in the United States about economic justice and other cultures.
Providing development assistance to low-income craftspeople through their community-based organizations.

SERRV International was one of the first alternative trade organizations in the world and was a founding member of the International Fair Trade Association (IFAT).

They offer their artisan and farmer partners up to 50% advance payment on orders. This advance helps them to purchase raw materials and have a more regular income so they can avoid high interest rates from borrowing locally.

Among their many Valentine Day gift offerings are:

Gift Sets

• Divine Dark Chocolate Bars
• Valentine Gift Basket
• Valentine Gift Bag
• Divine Milk Chocolate Bars
• Divine Milk Chocolate Snack Bars
• Divine Dark Chocolate Snack Bars
• Valentine's Day Package

Heart Decorations

• Heart Towel
• Soapstone Heart Box
• Capiz Heart Garland
• Bud Vase
• Rosewater Perfume Bottle
• Forget-Me-Not Heart
• Ruby Red Mosaic Candle
• Naomi Bear
• Bird Heart Box
• Red Beeswax Candles
• Red Lacquered Bowl
• Heart Mug
• La Palma Plant Stakes
• Capiz Heart Ornaments

Lovely Accessories

• Rosebud Accessory Bag
• Lots-of-Love Silk Scarf
• Garnet Heartbeat Necklace
• Garnet Heartbeat Earrings
• Amethyst and Garnet Earrings
• Heartfelt Locket
• Hematite and Bone Earrings
• Carnelian Earrings
• Ruby Red Scarf
• Hearts Hair Clip
• Red Resin Heart Earrings
• Red Resin Heart Bracelet
• Red Resin Heart Pendant
• Alpaca Heart Earrings
• White Onyx Heart Earrings
• Silk Flower Bag

Handmade Paper

• Red Journal Set
• Peaceful Valentine Card
• Heart Cards - Set of 3
• Heart Drop Cards
• Mini Book and Stamp Set
• Collage Cards
• Valentine Love Books
• Handmade Paper Boxes

A Greater Gift

Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Some weeks ago, I posted some information regarding the requirements for registering NGOs in certain African nations. This data will give the reader a general idea as to what is required to accomplish the task. NOTE, however, that it would be best in any case to consult with legal counsel before trying to register your organization. Also, this blog posting will not be amended to conform the information to any changes in the various laws of the different nations listed.
This list is not exhaustive, and it is my hope that I can add information on other nations in the future.
Some of the links lead to items I have posted on the Nabuur discussion pages. They may be posted at another site later

There has been difficulty finding regulations and laws governing the registering of NGOs in the DRC but the following two entries may provide some guidance for those who wish to establish an NGO in the DRC. However, it may be more practical to establish an NGO in another country and then have that NGO register and operate in the DRC.
The International Women's Rights Action Watch has posted on its web site:
"In April 1998, the government announced a new policy requiring NGOs to register with the Minister of Justice and to file copies of internal regulations and organizational structure."
http://iwraw.igc.org/publications/countries/congo.htm ">DRC
The United States Department of State also has the following information posted on its web site:
"NGO's are required to register with the Minister of Justice and file copies of internal regulations and descriptions of organizational structure. In 1999 President Kabila promulgated a decree that restricted the activities of NGO's, including religious organizations, by establishing requirements for their activities. However, some existing organizations were exempt, and the decree was not enforced during the year (2000).
http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2000/af/index.cfm?docid=753 ">Comments of the U.S. State Dept.
Non-governmental organizations are required to register with the NGO Affairs Agency under the Protocol of Accord, as contained in the NGO Decree 81 of 1996, which defines the guidelines for the establishment and operation of NGOs and their relationship with the Government.
NGOs must first, they register as charities at the Attorney General's Chambers under the Companies Act. Entities that meet the criteria set out in the NGO Decree 81 of 1996, can thenregister as an NGO with the NGO Affairs Agency.
This information can be found at the following report: REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA / Public Administration /Country Profile / Division for Public Administration and Development Management (DPADM) / Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) United Nations / August 2004 / Section 3.2 NGOs. Relevant portions of the Report can be found at: http://www.nabuur.com/modules/villages_issues/getfile.php?file=doc_45895cda42310.doc&mimetype=application/octet-stream&size=27648 ">Gambia . And the Report itself can be found online at:
http://unpan1.un.org/intradoc/groups/public/documents/un/unpan023265.pdf ">Report
NGOs in Ghana must register with the Registrar for registration with the Ministry of Manpower Youth and Employment (I believe this was formerly the Ministry of Manpower, Development and Employment) in accordance with Article 14 of the Ghana Companies Code 1963 (Act 179). The web site for the Ministry of Manpower Youth and Employment can be found at: http://www.mmde.gov.gh/ ">Ghana The Companies Code Act can be found online at: http://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/download.php?file=Ghana/codeact.pdf "> The Companies Code Act

A Kenyan organization must be registered with the Registrar of Societies under PART III of the "THE (KENYA) NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS CO-ORDINATION ACT, 1990". The act can found at: http://www.usig.org/countryinfo/laws/Kenya/Non-Governmental_Organizations_Coordination_Act_1990__Kenya_%20.pdf ">Kenya [Author's note: The pertinent language of the act can be found at the following link http://www.nabuur.com/modules/villages_issues/getfile.php?file=doc_4582f98eef798.doc&mimetype=application/msword&size=21504 "> The pertinent language of the act ]
A Nigerian organization must apply to The National Council of Ministers for exemption under Article 19 of the Companies Income Tax Act of Nigeria; the text of which can be found at: http://www.usig.org/countryinfo/laws/Nigeria/Nigeria%20Companies%20Income%20Tax%20Act%20Artile%2019.doc ">Nigeria
Senegalese NGOs must apply to le Ministère de la Femme, de l'Enfant et de la Famille for recognition in accordance with DECRET N°96-103 MODIFIANT LE DECRET 89-775 DU 30 JUIN 1989 FIXANT LES MODALITES D'INTERVENTION DES ORGANISATIONS NON GOUVERNEMENTALES (ONG). A file containing some of the relevant sections of this law can be found at: http://www.nabuur.com/modules/villages_issues/getfile.php?file=doc_45885eb18ca56.doc&mimetype=application/octet-stream&size=25600 ">Senegal and the law itself may be found at the following web site: http://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/download.php?file=Senegal/decree.pdf ">Text of the Law
[Please Note: the links to various sites belonging to The International Center For Not-For-Profit Law often require more than one try for them to work properly.]
--------------- SOUTH AFRICA:
A South African organization must apply to the Minister for Welfare and Population Development under http://www.usig.org/countryinfo/laws/South%20Africa/South%20Africa%20-%20Nonprofit%20Organisations%20Act%20-%201997.pdf "> Chapter 3 of the Nonprofit Organisations Act, 1997
NGOs in Tanzania must register with The Director for Non Governmental Organizations Coordination providing that office with the following information in accordance with the : THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS ACT, 2002
(a) a copy of the constitution of the Non Governmental Organization; (b) minutes containing full names and signature of founder members; (c) personal particulars of office bearer; (d) address and physical location of the head office of the Non Governmental Organization. (e) an application fee; and (f) any other particulars or information as may be required by the Registrar.
A file of the relevant sections of the law can be found at: http://www.nabuur.com/modules/villages_issues/getfile.php?file=doc_458850e5aed2a.doc&mimetype=application/octet-stream&size=25088 "> relevant sections and the text of THE ACT can be found at: http://tanzania.usaid.gov/documents/NGOAct.pdf "> THE ACT
NGOs operating in Uganda must register their organisation with the NGO Registration Board in the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MIA). The information required to register is as follows: Name / Country - area of origin / Countries the Organisation is affiliated to / Objectives of the Organisation / Target group / Membership (number of) / Titles of officers / Names of officers / Sources of funding (usually there is no specific source) / Property owned / Bankers. More information may be found at the following link:
More Information
According to the Zambia Societies Act of 1958 (Sections 6 and 10):
6. (1) Every society, other than a society in respect of which an order made under the provisions of subsection (2) of section twenty-three is in force, shall, in the manner prescribed and within twenty-eight days of the formation thereof or of the adoption thereby of a constitution or of rules, or within such extended period as the Registrar may in any particular case allow, make application to the Registrar for registration or for exemption from registration under this Act. An application under the provisions of this section shall be deemed not to have been made until it has been received by the Registrar.
- - - - -
10. (1) The Registrar shall effect registration of a society by entering in a register kept for the purpose the particulars given in the application form and the date of such entry. Method of effecting registration (2) Upon payment of such fee as may be prescribed, the register kept under the provisions of subsection (1) may be searched and examined by any person during the usual office hours upon application being made to the Registrar in that behalf. (3) Any document purporting to be an extract of any entry in the register kept under the provisions of subsection (1) and to be certified under the hand of the Registrar shall be received in evidence as to the matters stated therein in any proceedings under the provisions of this Act. (As amended by No. 26 of 1960)
http://www.icnl.org/knowledge/library/download.php?file=Zambia/soc.pdf ">The Act

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

CURRIKI:Open Source Educational Resources

Curriki's mission is "to improve education around the world by empowering teachers, students and parents with user-created, open source curricula."

They also want to make sure that people understand that it's all free!

Curriki is where a "community of educators, parents and students can work together to develop interesting, creative and effective educational materials that the global educational community can use for free."

Their goal is to:

Develop curriculum through community contributors
Deliver the curriculum globally
Determine the impact by project and by individual
The initial focus is on K-12 curricula in the areas of mathematics, science, technology, reading and language arts, and languages.

Curriki believes that "access to knowledge and learning tools is a basic right of every child. Our goal is to make curricula and learning resources available to everyone."

Curriki says that it is "based on an open source technology, a Wiki, which makes it easy to post materials online. When community members view the resource pages, they are able to comment, edit, and group together content to create a lesson, course or curriculum."

They plan to have other technologies available in the future, as well. Some of these will include: bulletin boards, blogs and podcasts so as to enable collaboration between contributors and users of the content in order to improve the curricula.

Curriki says that it is a Community that "is comprised of thousands of people who want to create and use high-quality educational resources.

Curriki is a relatively new community and members have already started posting their resources. They plan to soon have "easy to use tools for joining groups to build curricula right on the site." This seems like an excellent way to have collaborative efforts to develop curricula. Individuals with experience in developing general curricula can combine their efforts with individuals who can add their knowledge about culturally specific issues that may be required for a particular community.

Scott McNealy, the founding partner of Curriki says that:
"Access to basic knowledge and learning tools for our children should never be proprietary. In fact, this can and should be a basic right of every child. Yet, over 100 million kids around the world do not have access to these primary education tools. We want to change this. The benefits to providing universal access to an education are endless.

"At Curriki, the sole mission is to educate. By building a world class learning environment that is community developed and supported, and publishing it for free on the Web, Curriki works to ensure that anyone, from anywhere can participate."

Curriki says that it is an "ever-growing collection of free lessons, assessments, resources and textbooks. The resources have all been developed by members of the curriki community". In the near future members of the Curriki Community will be able to comment on and edit the materials they see. Presently, Curriki staff and volunteers are trying to review all the contributed materials. They hope, however, that people who use their site will notify them of any errors that are found.

Curriki also has Partners that are working with them to provide educational resources and tools, funding, research, as well as editorial and educational guidance.

You can read more about Curriki here.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007


So many people have written about Kiva, both in the general news media and in the Blogosphere that I am almost ashamed to post this Blog. But, to be honest, I just learned about Kiva, and I thought that I was pretty much in the know. So, just on the off chance you have not heard about this great organization I am posting some exerpts from their web site below. After that I have some links to Kiva's web page where they have listed what so many people have said and written about them.

"Kiva lets you connect with and loan money to unique small businesses in the developing world. By choosing a business on Kiva.org, you can "sponsor a business" and help the world's working poor make great strides towards economic independence. Throughout the course of the loan (usually 6-12 months), you can receive email journal updates from the business you've sponsored. As loans are repaid, you get your loan money back.

" Kiva partners with existing microfinance institutions. In doing so, we gain access to outstanding entrepreneurs from impoverished communities world-wide. Our partners are experts in choosing qualified borrowers. That said, they are usually short on funds. Through Kiva.org, our partners upload their borrower profiles directly to the site so you can lend to them.

" Kiva provides a data-rich, transparent lending platform for the poor. We are constantly working to make the system more transparent to show how money flows throughout the entire cycle. The below diagram shows briefly how money gets from you to a third-world borrower, and back!

" Kiva is using the power of the internet to facilitate one-to-one connections that were previously prohibitively expensive. Child sponsorship has always been a high overhead business. Kiva creates a similar interpersonal connection at much lower costs due to the instant, inexpensive nature of internet delivery. The individuals featured on our website are real people who need a loan and waiting for socially-minded individuals like you to lend them money."



Tuesday, January 02, 2007


Unite For Sight is getting out the word about its 4th Annual Conference to be held April 14-15, 2007 at the Stanford University School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California, USA

The theme of the Conference is: "Innovation, Advancement, and Best Practices To Achieve Global Goals" and it is designed to be of value to Anyone interested in:
Eye care
International health
Health education
Health promotion
Public health
International service
Social entrepreneurship
Nonprofits or

The goal of the conference is to "exchange ideas across disciplines about best practices in public health, medicine and research, and international health and development. The topics of the conference will be broad ranging and a sample of the topics for some of the sessions are listed below; but to state it briefly and broadly, there are: "Hundreds of Conference Sessions For Anyone Interested In:"
*Global Eye Care and Vision 2020
*Eye Research
*Glaucoma Symposium
*Global Health
*International Development
*Millennium Development Goals
*Public Health
*Overseas Volunteering
*Health and Human Rights
*Refugee Health
*Infectious Disease
*Microfinance and Social Entrepreneurship
*Nonprofits and NGOs
*Health in Africa
*Health in Asia
*Health in Latin America
*Health in North America

Unite For Sight says that it plans to have more than 300 renowned speakers from North America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America and they promise that it will be "An Energizing Weekend of Ideas and Exchange of Best Practices to Achieve Global Goals and to Make A Difference"

Unite For Sight hopes to convene more than 1,500 people from throughout the world for its 's Fourth Annual International Health Conference which it expects to bring together students, doctors, nurses, Peace Corps volunteers, public health, business and nonprofit professionals, anthropologists, policy makers, and others.

A sample of the topics and presenters are:

"Logistics of Mass Drug Administration, The Case of Azithromycin For Trachoma Control", Sam Abbenyi, MD, MSc, Director, Program Planning and Analysis, International Trachoma Initiative

"Public Private Partnerships to Provide Safe Drinking Water in Africa", Greg Allgood, PhD, Director, Children's Safe Drinking Water, Procter & Gamble

"Inheritance of Blinding Disease: Pathways to the Cause of Glaucoma and Macular Degeneration", R. Rand Allingham, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology; Director, Glaucoma Service, Duke University Eye Center

"Arm's Reach Care: A Community Network Model for Pediatric HIV Care and Treatment", Joy Amulya, EdD, AM, EdM, Research Associate and Lecturer, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center

"The Role of Indigenous Faith-Based and Civil Society Organizations in Health Services Development in East and Southern Africa", Mark E. Anderson, President and CEO, Center For International Health

"Reproductive Health Knowledge and Gender Equality in a Thai Ethnic Minority: Revelations and Reflections", Romeo Arca Jr, MA, Senior Program Officer, Asia Regional Office, Planned Parenthood Federation of America-International

"Project ECHO: Telemedicine Extension For Community Healthcare Outcomes", Sanjeev Arora, MD, Executive Vice Chairman, Department of Medicine, University of New Mexico School of Medicine

"Community Based Rehabilitation: Setting the Foundations for Peacebuilding", Kathryn Azevedo, Ph.D., ATRIC, CMP

"Eye Care in Ghana, the Challenges and the Way Forward", Thomas Tontie Baah, MD, Our Lady of Grace Catholic Hospital, Ghana

"Pursuing a Ghost: Fostering Sustainable Health Care in Developing Countries", Salvador Baldizon, MD, MA, MPH, Health Protection Specialist, Free From Hunger

"Life Sciences and Health in Africa", A.S. Daar, DPhil, FRCP, FRCS, FRCSC, Senior Scientist, McLaughlin-Rotman Centre, Professor of Public Health Sciences and Professor of Surgery, University of Toronto; Co-Director, Canadian Program on Genomics and Global Health; Director of Ethics and Policy, McLaughlin Centre for Molecular Medicine; Senior Fellow, Massey College, University of Toronto

"Traingulation: Using Existing Data For Program Improvement and Policy Recommendations - The Case of Botswana and Malawi", Karen White, MBA, MPH, Senior Researcher, Institute for Global Health, UCSF

"Emergency Medical Care Systems in Low and Middle Income Countries", Scott Sasser, MD, Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine

"Developing A Regional School of Nursing in South Africa", Tanya Whitehead, PhD, University of Missouri - Kansas City

"Impossible Dreams - The First Ascent of the East Face of Mt. Everest and Eradicating Blindness in Mountainous Asia"
, Geoffrey Tabin, MD, Professor of Ophthalmology and Visual Sciences; Director of the Division of International Ophthalmology, John A. Moran Eye Center, University of Utah; Co-Director and Founder, Himalayan Cataract Project

"High Quality Eye Care To The Most Marginalized Populations: The Challenges and Possible Solutions", Gullapalli N. Rao, MD, Chairman, Board of Trustees and President, International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness; Distinguished Chair of Eye Health, L.V. Prasad Eye Institute

"Once I Was Blind....The Challenges of Eye Care in Ghana", James Afful Clarke, MD, Ophthalmologist and Medical Director, Crystal Eye Clinic, Ghana

"Eye Care Services in Northern Region, Ghana: The Role of NGOs", Seth Wanye, MD, The Eye Clinic of Tamale Teaching Hospital, Ghana

"Addressing the Root Causes of Disease in Haiti", Ian Rawson, Hopital Albert Schweitzer Haiti

"The Dominican Bateyes: Humanitarian Crisis on the Sugar Cane Plantations", Ulrick Gaillard, JD, CEO, Batey Relief Alliance

"Project SCENE (Sister Congregations Enjoying New Eyesight)--Building on a Sister Diocese Relationship To Foster Eye Care Collaboration in the Caribbean", Kevin Treacy, MD, Chief of Ophthalmology, St. Luke's Hospital; Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Minnesota Medical School-Duluth

Here is where you can find more information on Unite For Sight's Fourth Annual International Health Conference