While researching BRAC, the world’s largest anti-poverty NGO, for an internship opportunity today, I started thinking.
Here’s an organization that has made a crazy impact on ten of the world’s poorest countries. BRAC helps through agriculture, microfinance, education, health care, community empowerment, environment protection, water and sanitation (the list actually does go on and on).
That’s all great. Really great. Lives are being transformed.
But a lot of times I think of organizations like BRAC — ones that reach an estimated 135 million people — as huge entities that must have superpowers. I forget that around 100,000 BRAC employees work every day to make the difference. People who care working to do something about injustice.
Why is this on a blog called “Media Today and Tomorrow?” How does this relate to the world of mass media? I think it should relate. I think this is the perfect setting for this conversation.
Why is there not a popular media platform that makes doing good easy? I believe we want to help others, and will, if it fits into our every day lives in a convenient way (because we are just that lazy) and if we believe it’s really making a difference. What about an app that helps us donate $1 to feed an starving child when we tweet about the eight pounds we’ll gain after one Thanksgiving meal?
Maybe it could connect tons of organizations already doing huge things in the world, like BRAC, and connect our daily activities to the organizations’ missions. Before I hop in the shower, I donate a buck to help provide clean water to drink and bathe in through water.org. Before I complain about a final exam, I donate a buck to Teach for India, that works towards education equality in India.
The app could get really specific — the more specific the better. Organizations would have the chance to put the specific communities and even specific individuals someone using the app could help.
Upon saving this as a draft and doing some research, there are applications like the one I described above. Here’s a nice ol’ Buzzfeed article that displays 25 applications making the world a better place in one way or another.
So my new question is: Why had I never heard of any of them? Why can 100,000 regular people dedicate their lives (and that’s just within ONE organization) to making a difference, while a technology-obsessed generation can’t push for more meaning in our everyday media use?