Avaaz: Bringing Voice and Action to the People
Being quite young, Avaaz is a remarkable organization making ripples in the global pond. Launched in January of 2007, Avaaz takes its name from a Persian transliteration meaning voice or song. It is a US based civic organization originally formed in New York, and now has teams of campaigners working from over 30 counties. Currently at 44 million members, Avaaz is a member funded organization keeping out donations from foundations and corporations and keeping personal donations below $5,000.
Avaaz’s president and co-founder Ricken Patel studied PPE at Balliol College and received a Masters in Public Policy from Harvard University. He has the background to run this organization after serving for the International Crisis Group. Once stated Avaaz “had no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want.”
The purpose of the group is to give people a voice. They have a petition platform integrated online to start your own petition whether it be locally, nationally, or even at international levels. Avaaz promotes global activism in every country whether it be on human rights, animal rights, poverty, corruption, and even climate change. Their methods range from topic and issue but can include petitions, phone ins, rallies, support for independent press in areas of conflict and demonstrations such as sit ins. Campaigns originate from within its members. One such campaign was the coordination of the evacuation of British photographer who was wounded in Homs. In another they sent over $2 million of much needed medical equipment into the rebel held areas of Syria.
Find more information on Avaaz by following them on Twitter @avaaz.