With 44 million members scattered across 194 countries, Avaaz has been called the “globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network.”
That’s how editors of the British newspaper The Guardian described Avaaz, a U.S.-based civic organization established in 2007 by a coalition of organizations, including Res Publica and Moveon.org, a public policy advocacy group. The Service Employees International Union was also a co-founding partner.
Avaaz takes its name from the Persian word for “voice.” That name is appropriate because that’s just was the group seeks to do – give voice to millions of ordinary citizens and disadvantaged people around the world who lack the financial and political power they need to take control over their own lives.
In short, Avaaz wants to make the world a better place for all people in every country. Among its most important causes are the fight against climate change, political corruption, crime, poverty, environmental degradation and much more.
Avaaz uses the power of the Internet to unite people, provide them with a way to communicate, network and organize so that they can make good things happen. The group also raises money, but does so in a strictly grassroots way. For example, Avaaz accepts no donations from large corporations and does not allow individual contributions of more than $5,000. Limiting fundraising to small donations from millions of people keeps power structures close to home and in the hands of ordinary people.
The array of projects and success stories resulting from Avaaz action are remarkable. From supporting marine wildlife reserves, to advocating for free Internet access to all, to funding rescue missions for refugees in war-torn parts of the world, Avaaz has already made a huge difference in the lives of millions of people.
After 10 years of operation, the mission of Avaaz has just begun.
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