When Hellen Tanyinga was growing up in Uganda, she was raped at just 11 years of age. While it would have been understandable for such a young girl to be crushed by a traumatic event of this sort, Hellen was strong. And with the support of her mother, she carried on, refusing to become a victim.
After graduating from university, Hellen decided to put her negative experience to work in a positive way. Returning to her home in Bukyerimba, in 2008 she established the Rape Hurts Foundation. Founded to educate her fellow Ugandans about sexual violence and campaign against rape, the org also supports and employs women seeking sanctuary, and cares for children conceived through violence.
With creativ...Read more
Posted on 03/01/2021 at 10:58 AM
With heavy hearts, we bid farewell this week to our dear friend and founding board member Alison J. Marshall, who passed away on February 13th. Poet, philanthropist, marketer, technologist, traveler, ad executive, author––Alison was so much more than any one label could encompass. But to her friends and family, she was simply a constant source of happiness and light.
Beginning her professional career in the field of marketing and public relations, Alison had a budding interest in technology that eventually prompted her move into IT. In addition to board seats at AD-Club Orange County, the Business Professional Advertising Association and the Orange County Board for United Way Spec...Read more
Posted on 02/23/2021 at 11:04 AM
Plastic waste is a huge and growing problem, and despite the best efforts of recyclers, there is some plastic waste that simply cannot be processed. Happily, the question of what to do with this stubborn waste is being addressed by a new generation of entrepreneurs.
Nzambi Matee of Kenya, founder of Nairobi-based Gjenge Makers, is one of these innovators. Using this dense plastic waste, Matee's company manufactures bricks that are actually five to seven times stronger than those made from concrete. “There is that waste they cannot process anymore....that is what we get,” Matee explains.
Collecting much of the waste from factories for free, her factory now produces 1,500 bricks ever...Read more
Posted on 02/11/2021 at 01:34 PM
At fully eleven months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we are finally beginning to see some signs of improvement. And despite stops and starts that have slowed the drive to vaccinate Americans, the newest numbers give us real reasons for hope.
According to the Atlantic's Covid Tracking Project, as of today hospitalizations across the U.S. have declined for 21 days in a row. Intensive Care numbers also declined throughout January; they are now down for the 19th consecutive day. And though the numbers are still dangerously high, we're now experiencing one of the longest periods of sustained decline since the pandemic began.
This is welcome news, to say the very least. For a closer look at the number...Read more
Posted on 02/02/2021 at 04:28 PM
No doubt, the pressing need for a living wage is one of the biggest issues facing the United States today. The drive for a $15/hour minimum wage has been a persistent theme in national politics for years now, and we've all become familiar with one of the main arguments used against it: that it will lead to lost jobs.
But as we're now learning, in those places where the wage has been increased to $15/hour, those job losses haven't necessarily materialized. Researchers at Princeton looked at a five-year analysis of the impacts of these wage increases at McDonald’s locations across the U.S., and what they found might just surprise you: today's MarketWatch has the details.
Posted on 01/28/2021 at 05:19 PM
No doubt, today is an historic day. Regardless of what side of the aisle you might be on, this day is traditionally one of hope and promise in the United States–and with the inauguration of the nation's first black, female and Indian Vice President, this year's ceremonies are especially notable.
Even aside from this milestone, we have a great deal to be hopeful about. As much as it has been vilified as the "worst year ever," 2020 was actually a breakthrough year for one of the most pressing complex of issues facing America: diversity and inclusion.
From NASCAR to Bumble, companies took real steps last year to address their positions on racial justice and inclusion for all people. Some ha...Read more
Posted on 01/20/2021 at 04:58 PM
With all the hurdles we've faced this year, there is an awful lot of negative news out there, and the first days of 2021 have offered little respite. But here at Billions Rising, bad news is just not in our wheelhouse. More to the point, there is just too much good news out there for us cover.
The people over at Vox put together a year-end look at some of the biggest breakthroughs of 2020–and why they were so important. Aside from the lightning-fast development of multiple Covid vaccines, a stupendous achievement in its own right, there were a host of other high-water marks over the course of the year: from big steps in Biotech to major advances in our understanding of poverty's causes ...Read more
Posted on 01/11/2021 at 12:07 PM
As we stand on the edge of a brand-new year, we thought it would be good to look back on the many positive things that have come down the pike in 2020. After all, no one needs to be reminded that this has been a particularly difficult year. And we've got some real reasons to feel hopeful about the coming annum.
To recognize some of the good things that came out of 2020, El Pais has assembled a collection of 42 positive stories from the past year–and it's truly a remarkable list. From marked declines in HIV infections, cancer mortality and dementia, to the huge advances being made in renewable energy sources, there is so much progress being made. It's the kind of thing we all need to be ...Read more
Posted on 12/31/2020 at 01:55 PM
Despite our relative wealth here in the U.S., hunger is a vexing problem in our nation even in the best of times. And with the Covid crisis surging, this year has certainly been no exception. People have been hit hard–but thankfully, Californians have responded, pulling together to make sure the neediest among us don't go without.
The sheer number of initiatives is beyond impressive: from a teenager that raised $10,000 to benefit the hungry to an Encinita farm stand offering pay-what-you-can produce to those in need, people across the Golden State have stepped up to feed their neighbors this year.
This week, Patch.com showcased the vital work being done across California, in an exhaustiv...Read more
Posted on 12/28/2020 at 11:26 AM
Food access is something that is so fundamental, people don't generally see it until it disappears. For those in economically sound communities, it's usually taken for granted. But our inner cities historically fall short on this measure, and "food deserts"–places where it can be difficult or impossible to find any fresh food–have become an unfortunate staple of many of our urban centers.
Olympia Auset is one person who wasn't ready to settle for that. Determined to help her community do better, the Howard University graduate and native of South Central Los Angeles launched the pop-up grocery concept SÜPRMARKT back in 2016.
"I would be on the bus two hours every time I needed ...Read more
Posted on 12/16/2020 at 01:13 PM