Serving disadvantaged communities in West Africa by empowering local leaders who have a positive humanitarian vision for their community.

This blog maps the evolution of the organization's vision through the thoughts, experiences, and collaborative projects of our team. Visit GroundUpGlobal.org for more information and how you can help!

 

The distribution of poverty is changing: who’s living on $1.25 a day?

worldbank:

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Since 1990, more than 700 million people have risen from extreme poverty (living on US$1.25 a day or less), but more than 1 billion people remain extremely poor today. And 1 in 3 of them are children. 

How can you help raise awareness about extreme poverty on Tumblr? Add your voice to the #1dollar campaign.

Learn more about the State of The Poor [PDF Report, 2MB]

GIF via full interactive graphic from The Brookings Institution with data from the World Bank’s PovCalNet

We stumbled on Stella Jean and immediately fell in love. Check out the full range of clothing and accessories here:

http://www.stellajean.it/home—-stella-jean.html

Former Liberian refugees focus their creative talent to combat poor sanitation. The group of musicians known as Shadow’s Entertainment joined forces with Giving Voice to Hope: Songs for Sustainable Development and Peace to produce a dynamic music video that encourages good hygiene. Written, recorded, and shot in Monrovia, Liberia, this piece of artist activism is an important message with the power to reach millions.

 

http://youtu.be/p-Q-8x-Mko8 - Sanitation video without titles

http://youtu.be/AmCk4WHPfSU - Sanitation video with titles

 

Liberia loses USD17.5 million annually due to poor sanitation, close to 3% of the country’s 2013 budget. Poor sanitation leads to a host of potentially fatal diseases and has the potential to adversely affect cognitive development in children. Simple measures such as proper disposal of waste and hand-washing dramatically improve chances for a healthy life.

 

Music was chosen as the vehicle for the educational message because popular music (by definition) engages the broadest possible social spheres. The project’s ultimate goal is to establish an NGO in Monrovia, training musicians and supporting production of Creative Commons-licensed music circulating freely towards sustainable peace and development, both to deliver crucial, transformative messages to a war-torn society, and to raise global awareness and concern about post-conflict issues.

 

This project, spearheaded by Michael Frishkopf, Professor of Music at the University of Alberta (Canada) is a collaborative effort involving University of Alberta (Canadian Centre for Ethnomusicology, the Centre for the Cross Cultural Study of Health & Healing), the Edmonton community (Rhodes Recordings), and international charitable organizations (the NYC-based GroundUp Global; the Liberia-based Center for Youth Empowerment).  “Sanitation” was funded with a generous grant from The Rotary Club of Calgary. Giving Voice to Hope is an ongoing, expanding international participatory action research network.

 

For Further Information

 

Giving Voice to Hope: Songs for Sustainable Development and Peace:

http://fwa.wikia.com/wiki/Giving_voice_to_hope

http://fwa.wikia.com/wiki/Songs_for_sustainable_development_and_peace

 

Facts about sanitation in Liberia:

http://www.zaragoza.es/contenidos/medioambiente/onu/825-eng-v7.pdf

 

WASH program Statement of Work:

http://www.lr.undp.org/Documents/PDF/Liberia_SOW_GOL_and_Development_Partners_SWA_Mission_FINAL_25_04_20111.pdf

check out GroundUp’s children’s literacy workshop with The SCHEF Organization on Buduburam

check out GroundUp’s children’s literacy workshop with The SCHEF Organization on Buduburam

@juliahermann with Success on the #Buduburam #Refugee camp in #Ghana

@juliahermann with Success on the #Buduburam #Refugee camp in #Ghana

Jacob from African Refuge, spending some time at the Staten Island Liberian Community Center

Jacob from African Refuge, spending some time at the Staten Island Liberian Community Center

Shanley Knox of @nakateproject  and @illacamilla at Shervin’s Cafe for the trunk show (at Shervin’s Cafe)

Shanley Knox of @nakateproject and @illacamilla at Shervin’s Cafe for the trunk show (at Shervin’s Cafe)

gorgeous pieces on display at the Nakate event! (at Shervin’s Cafe)

gorgeous pieces on display at the Nakate event! (at Shervin’s Cafe)

two girls strike a pose at our Liberia Day event in Ghana

two girls strike a pose at our Liberia Day event in Ghana

printing the GroundUp tanks  at @gowanusprintlab - order yours today!

printing the GroundUp tanks at @gowanusprintlab - order yours today!

The SILCA Inaugural Ball

"It takes a lot of people doing little things to make change happen." - Dr. Alfred Curtis

Staten Island, New York hosts the largest population of Liberians in the US, and SILCA is the primary governing body for this community. Last night GroundUp Global had the privilege of attending the Inaugural Ball for the newly elected Staten Island Liberian Community Association (SILCA) leadership. The community celebrated and honored their first woman president, Mrs. Oretha Bestman-Yates, with speeches, dinner, and dancing. 

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SILCA President Oretha Bestman-Yates 

Bestman invited Camilla Hermann, GroundUp Global’s executive director, to speak on behalf of the Liberian refugees on the Buduburam camp in Ghana. Hermann asked for the support of the Staten Island community in raising funds necessary to transport the unregistered refugees back to Liberia. 

"The unregistered Liberian refugees need the help of their friends, family, and compatriots to return home. Each day the struggle for survival grows harder - as President Bestman said so eloquently, unity is fundamental to progress. Without your help, this amazing opportunity of homecoming for the Liberians in Ghana would be impossible. It is only through many people contributing their small portion that we will succeed in transporting the Liberian refugees home. And when we succeed, we will have accomplished something no other community has been able to do."  

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The Liberian Market Women performing a dance and song 

In her inaugural address, Bestman said, “To approach the community, you have to love that community.” She added, “I am ready to serve you. My doors are open to you.” Having worked previously as the Vice President of SILCA, Bestman is in the unique position of being able to build on and expand her past accomplishments within the community. For example, the hall in which the Inaugural Ball was held, in addition to the new administrative offices, are all credits to Bestman and her team. At GroundUp Global, we look forward to deepening our partnership with SILCA. There is serious work to be done, and together we can accomplish more than any one of us can do alone.