May 14, 2009 - Afghanistan Challenge Website is Powered by IGLOO Software
May 14, 2009 (Ottawa, ON) - The Honourable Beverley J. Oda, Minister for International Cooperation and Vice-Chair of the Cabinet Committee on Afghanistan, today launched the Afghanistan Challenge: www.AfghanistanChallenge.ca. The Government will match dollar-for-dollar individual donations made to Canadian organizations that are part of Canada's development effort in Afghanistan.
"Canadians are asking how they can help, how they can get involved," said Minister Oda. "The Afghan Challenge will give them the opportunity to engage projects that are making a real difference in the lives of Afghan, women, children and families. "The Challenge is innovative - it means Canadians can choose to support projects that are closest to their hearts and see the Government double their donation."
The first phase of the Afghanistan Challenge will run from May 14, 2009 for six months. Donations made over the Internet will be directed to projects that are improving the lives of Afghan people and are aligned with Canada's six priorities and three Signature Projects.
The Afghanistan Challenge website leverages IGLOO's market leading online community and social software solution to promote the program and involve Canadians in efforts to rebuild Afghanistan The community offers a range of Web 2.0 tools to raise funds for the program, enhance the efforts of the Afghanistan Challenge and keep Canadians informed and engaged. The community features a "Send a Message" mechanism, for example, where Canadians can send a personalized message to their friends, family, and colleagues about the Afghanistan Challenge and get them engaged in helping Afghans.
CARE Canada, Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA), Rotary International and World University Service of Canada (WUSC) are the four Canadian organizations who have partnered with the federal government for this phase. The development projects led by these organizations focus on the delivery of basic services to the Afghan people such as scholarships for Afghan women, providing micro-loans to women entrepreneurs and supporting education for children. The Afghanistan Challenge is about small donations making a real difference in peoples lives.
"We are working to enhance the self-sufficiency of vulnerable Afghan women and their families," said Philip Landon, Director of Programs of World University Service of Canada. "Your contribution of $25, matched by the Government of Canada, will support the training of one woman and pay for some of the tools she needs to successfully enter the workforce upon graduation."
"This is the chance for Canadians to have a direct impact on the lives of Afghan women and their families," said Kevin McCort, President and CEO of CARE Canada. "Through the training offered by CARE and WUSC, Afghan women will empower themselves with the vital skills they need to live, learn and earn."
"Microfinance is unleashing entrepreneurship among enterprising Afghan women," said Allan Sauder, President of Mennonite Economic Development Associates. "With a $75 contribution, women living in this war-torn country can change their families' destiny through micro-loans that they can use to start and grow businesses as farmers, tailors, carpet weavers and bakers."
"Local schools are enabling millions of Afghans to attend school for the first time," said Dr. Monty Audenart, Vice President of Rotary International. "By contributing $25, you can help ensure that Afghan children will be able to receive the education they deserve."
Canadians can get involved by visiting www.AfghanistanChallenge.ca. A series of web-tools are available to help Canadians engage in their own campaigns among friends, family, fellow students, and contacts on their social networking sites. Canadians will be able to follow the results of their contributions to the Challenge on the Afghanistan Challenge website.
Media Relations Office
Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA)
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Background Article: Canadians Matching Hope with Action
About IGLOO Software
IGLOO develops onlinecommunity and social networking software solutions for groups, teams and organizations of any size. Our solutions combine Web 2.0 technology with on-demand hosting, consulting, e-engagement and all of the community support services necessary for a sustainable and successful deployment. Organizations use IGLOO communities internally to improve employee productivity (Workplace Communities) or externally to foster relationships with members, customers, partners and suppliers (Marketplace Communities). Fully integrated collaboration, content management and Web 2.0 social networking tools enable organizations to quickly and cost-effectively create online communities to leverage talent, knowledge and relationships across organizational and geographical boundaries. IGLOO is funded by RBC Venture Partners.