• Megabi skate, Mikael Eriksson/M Industries.

  • Alicia Keys for Global Citizen, All Over Press.

  • Sophea received a Kiva loan, kiva.org/Joan Briggs.

Charity cool

It is, of course, good to do good and be serious about it, but there are also people out there whose efforts make it look fresh and fun to help others. Here are some projects that put the cool into charity.

Love in Action: Megabi skate
Ethiopian musician Israel Dejene Male took up skateboarding after touring in Sweden, and later turned this obsession into a local charity in Addis Ababa, allowing young kids to learn how to skate. Five years ago he started with one skateboard – there are now up to 60 kids doing ollies using the skate ramp. With skateboard legend Tony Hawk as a supporter, this crew will go far.

Global Citizen
This generation is all about justice, says Global Citizen, an organisation that aims to end extreme poverty by 2030. How are they going to do that? By encouraging us to take action – sign petitions, share stories – and giving us points that can be converted into concert tickets for artists such as Pearl Jam (one of the founders of Global Citizen is their manager Kelly Curtis) and Chvrches.

Animation For A Cause
When you’re a charity, one problem is how to get your message across in a simple way, especially when you don’t have a big marketing budget. Enter Animation for a Cause, an organisation in Mexico City that creates one-minute videos for social causes, helping to spread the word about their aims. Among their projects is the Wasichana Fund, trying to save the world with sanitary pads.

Sometimes giving to a charity might seem a bit impersonal. But imagine if you knew exactly who you were giving the money to, and also got that money back? This is what Kiva does. It’s a site that matches borrowers with people in need of small loans. You, together with the community, choose whom to fund, and when they pay you back, you can invest in someone else.

Whoever said young people are selfish has never heard of Oaktree. Its members are all under 26 and working to end poverty. It is already Australia’s biggest youth-run movement, with 150,000 members, and is driven by a simple belief: that extreme poverty is unacceptable. Oaktree members raise funds, raise awareness, and try to get politicians to do better. And not a selfie in sight!

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