Avaaz: Empowering People through Online Activism

Avaaz was first launched in the United States in January 2007. It is an online based organization, whose main aim is to promote international activism on issues such as human rights, climate change, conflicts, animal rights and poverty. The organization was once quoted by the UK based newspaper, the Guardian as the as the world’s largest and most powerful online activist network. Since it was launched the online movement has managed to advocate for various issues that affect millions of people across the Globe.

Avaaz literally means “voice” in several dialects in Europe, Asian and the Middle East. The online activist movement works to empower millions of people from across the world. It always emphasizes its members or followers to take bold action on pressing international, national and regional issues ranging from poverty, climate change, corruption, and conflict. The model of online participation makes it easy for the group to champion people from all walks of life across the world.

Avaaz uses 15 languages to campaign across 6 continents. Most of the members are volunteers and mostly participate by launching petitions, funding media campaigns, emailing, organizing of offline protest lobbying governments among other activities which are meant to that views and values that matter most are heard by relevant authorities.

Ricken Patel is the Chief Executive Officer and Founding President. He is a Canadian/British citizen and has worked with International Crisis Group in various countries around the World including Afghanistan, Sudan, and Sierra Leone.

Avaaz is largely member-funded and rarely does it accept donations from politicians or foreign governments. The organization has a strict policy regarding its funding model in a bid to protect its main agenda of fighting for pressing issue around the world. One of the reasons as to why the organization have remained united and grown over the years is its core values such as integrity and the ability to accommodate divergent views.

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