Celebrities from the music and art communities are coming out in support of the “Small Things Challenge,” a campaign launched yesterday by Intel, Kiva, and Save the Children that aims to boost primary school education and alleviate Third World poverty through charitable donations, microfinance and small business development.
Some 75 million children throughout the developing world do not attend primary school while at least 80 percent of our population survives on less than $10 a day, according to United Nations data. Looking to break this cycle of poverty, Intel, Kiva, and Save the Children joined forces to launch the Small Things Challenge.
Celebrities including Counting Crows’ Adam Duritz and Maroon 5’s Adam Levine have come out to drum up support for the initiative, a year-long effort that includes encouraging charitable donations to Save the Children’s “Rewrite the Future” educational fund and micro-loans through Kiva.org’s microfinance online social lending community.
The value of self-reliance; Pride of entrepreneurship
Intel has pledged to donate 5 cents for every click on the Small Things Challenge web site’s “We’ll donate 5 cents for you button.” Intel, which has pledged to invest $100 million in education programs this year, has also pitched in and contributed $300,000 to get the Small Things Challenge off the ground.
Even small donations can go a long way in poverty, conflict and strife ridden countries, the groups note. A $10 donation can provide school supplies for a child. $50 can buy a blackboard. $25 loaned through Kiva.org can be aggregated with other lenders to loan $250 to a Cambodian fisherman looking to buy nets.
There’s no minimum value for donations to Save the Children. The minimum value of Kiva.org’s micro-loans is $25.
“The spirit of entrepreneurship is as strong among the poor of the developing world as it is in Silicon Valley,” said Kiva.org CEO Matt Flannery. “Micro-loans have helped people increase their incomes through self-employment. The Small Things Challenge aims to continue empowering the world’s poor so they can better support their families and keep their children in school, ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.”
The three partners plan to promote the Small Things Challenge at a number of high-profile events this year. It will be featured in Intel chairman Craig Barret’s keynote speech this Friday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. Kiva.org and Save the Children will also have Small Things Challenge kiosks at Intel’s booth (Central Hall, Booth #7153).
“While these issues will continue to challenge our world for some time, we can improve peoples’ lives by pooling small contributions,” Barrett, who also chairs a United Nations initiative on technology in the developing world, said in a media release.
“Someone once told me ‚Äòa small deed done is better than a great deed planned.’ Even the smallest, individual action or donation can make a big difference – every journey starts with a first step.” Amen to that.