Petitions Do Help! ~Friday Facts

As some of you may know I support Avaaz and from time to time I have shared a particular petition with you, Its good to know that when we click those petitions we get results…. Below I received an email which I want to share showing how our clicks have helped in various campaigns… and to all those who I know support Avaaz The World in Action, 

A BigThank you too… 

~~

“Dear amazing community,
I often get asked by Avaazers, “what happens after I sign a petition?” And the truth is, a HECK of a lot! Every Avaaz campaign springs from a massive global mandate, and then zeroes in on the best way for our voices to win. Here’s just two of our victories from the last few weeks:
Remember when 2 million of us came together to stop the flogging of a 15-year old rape victim in the Maldives? Her sentence
has been quashed! Here’s what our team did to win:

Maldives ad

Our ads threatened the profits of officials who owned parts of the tourism industry

  1. Spoke for hours with the Maldivian Attorney-General and Ministers and emailed the President at his personal account.
  2. Commissioned opinion polls showing massive support for reforms to protect girls. And wrote an Op-Ed in a major national paper.
  3. Persuaded a top Islamic scholar to speak out against flogging.
  4. Threatened to run an ad (right) in tourism publications, affecting the country’s major industry.
  5. Visited the Maldives and the location where the girl was held, pressing officials directly.

Ahmed Shaheed, former Foreign Minister of the Maldives said “The Avaaz contribution was the spearhead of the campaign to overturn the flogging sentence; a petition signed by millions, a country visit, a public opinion survey, and persistent follow-up all proved irresistible.”

Another example: Remember how almost 2 million of us rallied to stop the Maasai tribe in Tanzania from being kicked off their land for a hunting reserve? Last week, the Prime Minister announced they could stay! The petition provided a powerful basis for what the team did next:

Maasai

Maasai women gather to protest the eviction. Photo by Jason Patinkin

  1. Got CNN and the Guardian to visit the Maasai and break the wider story to the world.
  2. Advised Maasai elders on their campaigning strategy.
  3. Flooded Ministers and the President with messages — forcing a debate in cabinet and Parliament.
  4. Ran a hard hitting newspaper ad in an influential paper which publicly shamed the government.
  5. Persuaded diplomats worldwide to raise the issue — embarrassing the government.
  6. Financially supported Maasai elders to travel to the capital where they gathered to ‘occupy’ land outside of the Prime Minister’s office for weeks, refusing to leave until he met them.

Education cheque

Gordon Brown said: "A million dollars has been raised via the brilliant Avaaz.org, in just a few days."

Key Brazilian Senator joins Avaaz "open Brazil Open Votevote" naked protest sending a clear message: "we have nothing to hide"

The victory belongs to the Maasai people, but our community helped them win by making this a global issue the government could no longer ignore. This hopefully ends a 20 year land battle!!
Of course, our community does a LOT more than petitions. Last week, we raised a $1 million challenge grant in a few days to donor governments to put Syrian refugee kids in school. At a
UN meeting, I was able to put a cheque on the table and issue the challenge on behalf of over 40,000 Avaaz donors. UN Education Envoy Gordon Brown, who chaired the meeting, called our community’s effort a "magnificent and impactful intervention" in getting other governments to give!
And often it’s not the Avaaz team but our community that does the direct lobbying. For example in Brazil, we’re inches away from winning a massive fight to end the shady practice of ‘secret voting’ in the Congress. Our huge push helped
win the vote in the lower house and right now, Senators’ telephones are ringing off the hook as Avaaz members across Brazil use our online calling tool to directly tell them to stop this corruption — experts say a win is likely in days!
It’s this unique magic mix between a gigantic and spirited community of citizens able to speak out, donate, and lobby, and a small team of top notch advocates able to take smart, strategic actions at the highest level with democratic legitimacy, that makes our campaigns increasingly unstoppable.
If we keep believing in each other, and growing in size and in commitment, there’s no limit to the good we can do in the world. Thank you so much for the honour and the joy to be part of and serve this community. It’s something truly precious we have here — let’s keep building Avaaz.
With love and appreciation,
Ricken and the team

PS — You might not know that Avaaz is different from just about every other global organization in that we are 100% funded and guided by our community. Every campaign we run is first polled and tested to a random sample (you might think of it as a jury) of our community, that tells us exactly how the whole the community will react. I may be the CEO, but you’re my boss. If you don’t like something (and I don’t mean 51% like it, but 81% like it) then our team go back to the drawing board and come up with a better option for you. We have never, ever, broken this rule. So at the end of the day, it is your wisdom, the collective wisdom of our community, matched with the smartest suggestions the team hears from you and come up with ourselves and from our partners and experts, that determines what we do every single day.
When you add to that the fact that 100% of our funding comes from small online donations (we strictly refuse any donations from corporations, governments, foundations, and even individual donations over 5000 Euros), I think Avaaz may be one of the purest organisational expressions of people-powered change in the world today. Make that an organisation served by a beautiful team of wonderfully talented and deeply committed people that I wish I could introduce you all to, and we’ve got a kind of magic that can build the world we dream of.”

 

Sources:    http://avaaz.org/en/

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45 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. prenin
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 17:02:08

    Yeah I got the same email earlier! 🙂

    Nice to know we’re not just a voice in the darkness! 🙂

    Had a major glitch with my PC this afternoon when I woke up and it went down like a brick! 😦

    It’s working for now, but if I go silent it’s because I’m in the market for a new PC!!! 😦

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin.

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  2. marina kanavaki
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 17:08:41

    It’s true, I know!!!
    I also support Avaaz [among others like: SumOfUs http://sumofus.org/%5D
    Our vote does count! 🙂 xxxx

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  3. Visionkeeper
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 17:49:16

    Thanks DW…I’ve done signing with them for years. It is always heartwarming to see results that truly make a difference. So glad you shared that. Have a great weekend and be at peace….VK

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  4. cat
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 18:52:45

    I have never heard of this organisation before … will research … Love, cat.

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  5. Paul Handover
    Oct 04, 2013 @ 22:11:33

    Great reminder for me to re-subscribe. Thanks, Sue.

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  6. shreejacob
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 00:37:10

    Thanks for sharing Sue! Not heard of them before and it is always good to get some feedback to see where the effort has taken the cause 🙂

    I’ll find the time to investigate it too 😀

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 05, 2013 @ 11:59:17

      Hi Shree, yes its good to get feedback from these petitions, Avaaz I have supported for a number of years since a friend sent a petition about cruelty to animals one… They support all kinds of injustices..
      Nice to have you visit 🙂

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  7. jacksjottings
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 03:28:07

    Thank you Sue I was unaware of Avaaz, I will consider lending my support after further study.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 05, 2013 @ 11:44:28

      They only bother you with important ones, and I have supported no problems for some years now…. They do fantastic work at getting results for many injustices ..

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      • jacksjottings
        Oct 07, 2013 @ 11:41:55

        Thanks Sue, I am very careful about what I support. There are so many things we can get involved in, on media reports or other peoples opinions. Sometimes we are being misinformed and may be we create more problems by making waves.
        I am so busy just trying to personally set a good example and by helping out with things close to home. I must save my self and help with what I see in my personal experience.
        This is my honest believe to save the world we must start with ourself. Perhaps I am not doing all I could but what I do I do with certainty
        I know you are a sincere person and are doing your very best. I admire you for that.
        May the force be with you Sue Dreamwalker.

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        • Sue Dreamwalker
          Oct 07, 2013 @ 13:59:20

          Yes me too Jack, I support the Red Cross and Save the Children charities, and I am always conscious of how many organisations waste precious resources on advertising and how those at the top rake off to live luxury life styles,.. I agree the Media help create bigger waves … I try like you, we can only change our own ways of being, in the hope we send out the ripple effect.. Many thanks Jack for your encouragement 🙂

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  8. kp
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 12:52:15

    Hi Sue…I have not heard of this group before but I am aware of these issues SO it does sound like they are very effective. It is encouraging to learn that organizations we can support, can make a difference in different parts of the world. I too will check them out!! Thanks for sharing. Kim

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 05, 2013 @ 12:54:25

      Hi Kim, you know you may not believe this but I am on your blog right now and cannot believe its over a month since I visited…
      Glad you dropped by and yes DO check them out they are doing lots of good Kim…
      Hugs Sue xx

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      • kp
        Oct 05, 2013 @ 12:56:46

        Hi Sue, that is funny….It is 7:55 am here in Hamilton, Ontario….what time is it there? That has happened to me and Alarna, who lives in Australia, as well; where we are both on each other’s sites at the same time on other sides of the world. I love the synchroniciity!! Kim

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  9. Alex Jones
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 14:01:52

    I have my reservations about how effective petitions are on decision makers, but they draw attention and do seem to impact decision making in some cases.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 07, 2013 @ 14:36:18

      In general I agree Alex as in today’s world so many petitions are out there for this or that, but Avaaz have been very effective in helping various projects and people around the world which have benefited from our clicks of support 🙂

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  10. Valentine Logar
    Oct 05, 2013 @ 21:24:47

    I love Avaaz, I got a similar e-mail the other day.

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  11. giselzitrone
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 14:26:39

    Liebe Sue wünsche dir einen schönen Sonntag Nachmittag habe auch noch nie von der Organisation gehört,aber ich weiß nicht was ich nicht kenne,ich understüsse das Rote Kreuz,und anderes.Wünsche dir eine gute neue Woche lieber Gruß und Freundschaft.Gislinde

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 07, 2013 @ 14:03:13

      Diese Organisation habe ich auf die Unterstützung verschiedener Petitionen von Ungerechtigkeiten auf der ganzen Welt klicken .. Es ist eine Ich vertraue … Danke Gislinde für takiing die Zeit zu lesen und zu kommentieren.
      Haben Sie einen wunderbaren Start in die neue Woche
      Liebe Sue x

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  12. cheryoncake
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 09:26:25

    I’m hoping this comment will make it as wordpress keeps telling me it can’t post my comment ! But, I just wanted to say, thank you for posting about Avaaz. They sound very effective and I am off to find more about them

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  13. livingsimplyfree
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 07:34:09

    Isn’t it nice to know our actions can make a difference? I posted a while back about a little girl who was growing some vegetables outside her subsidized apartment. Because of he backlash the officials reconsidered the ban and were considering letting her have her container garden.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 10, 2013 @ 17:45:40

      Oh I remember that post Lois, how lovely that she got to keep her little plot that she had worked so hard to cultivate for hre mum… Mom …. There is far too much Red=tape these days and happy that pressure from those objecting had an affect xox

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      • livingsimplyfree
        Oct 10, 2013 @ 20:21:53

        Now if all our actions and petition signing could put a stop to things such as Monsanto and the GMO foods, the Keystone XL pipeline and other dangerous programs.

        I was thrilled to hear the little girl would be allowed to keep her small container garden and in that case I believe it was because it embarrassed the officials.

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  14. marja
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 09:33:46

    Great post I signed a petition of the anti woman gag rule which goes to my heart
    It is absolutely fantastic to read what they did and what effect it had It is world changing and it restores my belief in the world as that lately suffers a bit, as people put obstruction in the way when you commit to things.
    I am so happy to see that hard work and that people together are strong positive force in changing the world for the good.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 10, 2013 @ 15:26:14

      Yes Marja, our clicks do make a difference… Together we stand, divided we fall … Unity is coming together more so now as people see we are the ones here to make changes ..
      Thank you
      Sue xxx

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  15. Jo Bryant
    Oct 09, 2013 @ 15:51:41

    I wish more people realised they can do something…many still believe that a petition really doesn’t help…but the collective voices do make a difference

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  16. WordsFallFromMyEyes
    Oct 10, 2013 @ 09:49:05

    I support Avaaz too, Sue. It’s so wonderful to be ABLE to make change, to let your feelings, leanings be known.

    A very worthy post, Sue. This is great, & I think some people will be brought around.

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 10, 2013 @ 15:17:46

      Hi Noeleen, Yes they Do help so many people and projects, and Its good to know you and so many others support Avaaz, 🙂 I have not been on line for a few days, as I had some ME time, Good to see you 🙂 xxx Hugs Sue xx

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  17. aussieian2011
    Oct 17, 2013 @ 11:15:13

    Sorry Sue but I have never heard of this organisation, but after reading your blog it appears it is a very powerful organisation, the success in the two cases you quoted it fantastic, the petition by that many people is phenomenal and poweful.
    A great organisation that I need to know more about.
    Regards
    Ian

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 18, 2013 @ 18:07:22

      Ian, this organisation is doing remarkable things in bringing awareness and helping many around the globe… I just did another Friday Facts…. and they are trying to help the crew of Greenpeace facing 15 yrs in jail in Russia for peacefully protesting about Oil drilling in the Arctic..

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  18. Ruth Nina Welsh
    Oct 21, 2013 @ 10:24:43

    They definitely do help Sue, I think of Amnesty International too and all the work they have done to raise awareness and get people free. Such a good post – great work Sue! 🙂

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    • Sue Dreamwalker
      Oct 21, 2013 @ 12:13:30

      Well I cannot take the credit for the post, as I only literally cut and pasted from my email 🙂 Ruth.. But this organisation do really get stuck into problems and projects and help Free people from Jail etc in the past.. So I hope all goes well for Greenpeace..
      Thank you again and love that you found the time and energy to visit and comment.. 🙂 I know how much at times just concentrating can be so tiring
      Love Sue

      Like

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