Environmental News – The Skoll Foundation

The Skoll Foundation – Environmental News This Week

 

Skoll FoundationI hope you were inspired by my recent articles on the difference an individual can make.  Today, here is some more inspiring environmental news – great ideas from the Skoll Foundation (if you’ve never heard of it, no problem, the details are at the end).

But first, let me tell you about the difference the Skoll Foundation is making.

Sweeping changes are often made by the most unlikely, seemingly small ideas and events.  (Like Earth Hour when it started in Sydney, Australia – see my article).

New ideas which could make a difference abounded at the Skoll Foundation’s World Forum, held in Oxford, UK last week.

Two of the ideas I really, really like are ideas on how to improve rural village life in permanent ways.

Training Grandmothers!

The first of my favourite ideas concerns grandmothers.  Many people have looked at training the youth in rural villages – a good idea.  They gained skills, which enabled them to offer value, and thus they could get jobs.  But that meant they went off to the cities to make their fortune.  The villages were left as poor as ever.

So this initiative by the Skoll Foundation’s social entrepreneur Bunker Roy trained semi-literate grandmothers across India to maintain and repair solar power grids.  The difference?  Grandmothers stay where their children and grandchildren are.  And no matter where in the world they live, grandmothers want their offspring to have a better life.

Review What we Do

The second of my favourite ideas reminds us just how important it is to regularly review what we do, why, and see if it can be improved.  That was the approach used by the Skoll Foundation entrepreneur Tim Hanstad to change the lives of women in India.

If you buy land in India, there is one line on the Title Deed for the name of the landowner.  Mostly, that’s the head of the household.  And mostly, that’s the man.

Which would be fine, except that it causes all sorts of problems.

For example, if the man dies before his wife, she would often be evicted from her home.  Even if there were a quarrel between husband and wife, the wife could be left destitute.   In-laws could lay claim to the property and show no mercy to the widow or her children, leaving them homeless and with no source of income.

Yet often, women had contributed to the land purchase, either by dowry or their own money, and continued to contribute by providing valuable services to the household.

Such a Small Change….

A simple idea – adding a second line on the title deed for the names of the land owners – is helping to change this.  With their names also listed, women have more bargaining power, for example to ensure that profits from a home business or agricultural produce from the plot are used to make sure the children are well fed and attend school.

Both husband and wife can now apply for loans to make improvements or to start a new business.  Both have more security.  And so do their children.

By adding this extra line to the title deed – the Indian government agreed to the simple proposal – the lives of rural families have been changed forever.

I find it totally inspirational that lives can be changed so radically by such simple innovations!

 

What is the Skoll Foundation?   It was founded by Canadian Jeff Skoll, who now lives in the US.  He was the first President of eBay, the world’s largest on-line marketplace.  He founded the Skoll Foundation as a way of giving back, by encouraging social entrepreneurship.  Judging by the presentations in Oxford last week, he’s created a very successful Foundation!

Other Environmental News Items:

Earth Hour – Did it make a difference?

Amazing New Eco Friendly Building in China (Video)

Celebrities Promote Anti Animal Cruelty (Video)

Indonesian “Cathedral” Changes Minds

Donald Trump will Save Scotland!

 

18 comments… add one

Your thoughts and opinions are important to me! Do tell me in the comments below!

  • Lyle R. Johnson 11th April 2012, 6:35 AM

    Fantastic Idea.

    Looking forward to learning how you will manifest it.

    I know you will excel; as you normally do in such matters.

    Supporting your goal achievement … Lyle

    Reply
  • Bryan 11th April 2012, 5:30 AM

    Clare,

    You are the go to person when it comes to this topic. I come back week after week to keep abreast of new developments.

    Reply
  • Kevin Hogan 11th April 2012, 3:16 AM

    It really is spectacular that a man, with a foundation backing him up, could change the way of thinking of a government. That is truly wonderful.

    Mark Hogan

    Reply
  • Michael D Walker 10th April 2012, 11:29 PM

    I had never heard of the Skoll Foundation until your post. Glad to read about someone actively working to make positive changes in the world.

    Michael

    Reply
  • Clare Delaney 10th April 2012, 9:05 PM

    I agree April, it’s so nice to see things happening irrespective of age, and also just how creative we can be when we try!

    Reply
  • Cherie Miranda 10th April 2012, 9:27 AM

    I wasn’t familar with the Skoll Foundation. Thanks for the info!

    Cherie Miranda

    Reply
  • Neil Dhawan 10th April 2012, 2:00 AM

    Hi Clare,

    What a great article. Having seen, first hand, how much the women in India do to take care of the household – in just about every aspect – I am SO GLAD to see that they are finally getting a little more acknowldgement and bargaining power by the addition of their name to the deed.

    To Your Successful Life, Neil

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 10th April 2012, 9:02 PM

      How wonderful that you’ve seen this first hand – I’m delighted to read your comment, thanks!

      Reply
  • Shane Aric 10th April 2012, 1:35 AM

    These are interesting times. It is amazing the strides the human race is making in the world today in order to equalize our value. At the same time it also seems quite a shame it is taking so long, or that it is even necessary. How did everything get so tilted to begin with?

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 10th April 2012, 9:03 PM

      Shane, don’t get me started…. ! You’re absolutely right, thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. 10th April 2012, 1:13 AM

    Thank you for sharing this. Just hearing about people improving conditions and helping others renews my faith in mankind.

    Yours In Health,
    Dr. Wendy

    Reply
  • Margarita 9th April 2012, 11:11 PM

    Clare,
    Great inspirational story.
    This is a perfect example of the purpose of the foundation. Many businesses and organizations know what they do. They know how they do it. However, very few know WHY they do it. Why they exist, what is their cause. And when they find people who believe what they believe, miracles happen.

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 10th April 2012, 9:05 PM

      That’s an excellent point Margarita, many thanks!

      Reply
  • G.E. Moon II 9th April 2012, 11:02 PM

    Thank you for the information on The Skoll Foundation. I had never heard of them or their work until I read your blog. It’s always great to learn about people and foundations that want to make the world a better place for all of us.

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II

    Reply
  • Suzanne Laramore 9th April 2012, 8:27 PM

    What a great organization! Thank you so much for telling us about them. Anyone that sees the value our elderly can bring to society definitely has my support!

    Reply
    • Clare Delaney 10th April 2012, 9:07 PM

      Definitely! The elderly have huge value, but in our modern society it’s often ignored. Thanks for your comment!

      Reply
  • Eva Palmer 9th April 2012, 3:32 PM

    Hi Eco-friendly expert!
    Thanks for sharing this story and the example of the Skoll Foundation. Very inspirational!

    Reply
  • Sonya Lenzo 6th April 2012, 7:09 PM

    I,too, love reading stories about small changes that have a big impact. Also about people like Stoll who are giving back. Thanks for this inspirational tale!
    Sonya Lenzo

    Reply
  • Lyle R. Johnson says:

    Fantastic Idea.

    Looking forward to learning how you will manifest it.

    I know you will excel; as you normally do in such matters.

    Supporting your goal achievement … Lyle

  • Bryan says:

    Clare,

    You are the go to person when it comes to this topic. I come back week after week to keep abreast of new developments.

  • Kevin Hogan says:

    It really is spectacular that a man, with a foundation backing him up, could change the way of thinking of a government. That is truly wonderful.

    Mark Hogan

  • Michael D Walker says:

    I had never heard of the Skoll Foundation until your post. Glad to read about someone actively working to make positive changes in the world.

    Michael

  • Clare Delaney says:

    I agree April, it’s so nice to see things happening irrespective of age, and also just how creative we can be when we try!

  • Cherie Miranda says:

    I wasn’t familar with the Skoll Foundation. Thanks for the info!

    Cherie Miranda

  • Neil Dhawan says:

    Hi Clare,

    What a great article. Having seen, first hand, how much the women in India do to take care of the household – in just about every aspect – I am SO GLAD to see that they are finally getting a little more acknowldgement and bargaining power by the addition of their name to the deed.

    To Your Successful Life, Neil

  • Shane Aric says:

    These are interesting times. It is amazing the strides the human race is making in the world today in order to equalize our value. At the same time it also seems quite a shame it is taking so long, or that it is even necessary. How did everything get so tilted to begin with?

  • Dr. Wendy Schauer, D.C., R.K.C. says:

    Thank you for sharing this. Just hearing about people improving conditions and helping others renews my faith in mankind.

    Yours In Health,
    Dr. Wendy

  • Margarita says:

    Clare,
    Great inspirational story.
    This is a perfect example of the purpose of the foundation. Many businesses and organizations know what they do. They know how they do it. However, very few know WHY they do it. Why they exist, what is their cause. And when they find people who believe what they believe, miracles happen.

  • G.E. Moon II says:

    Thank you for the information on The Skoll Foundation. I had never heard of them or their work until I read your blog. It’s always great to learn about people and foundations that want to make the world a better place for all of us.

    Yours In Health!

    G.E. Moon II

  • Suzanne Laramore says:

    What a great organization! Thank you so much for telling us about them. Anyone that sees the value our elderly can bring to society definitely has my support!

    • Clare Delaney says:

      Definitely! The elderly have huge value, but in our modern society it’s often ignored. Thanks for your comment!

  • Eva Palmer says:

    Hi Eco-friendly expert!
    Thanks for sharing this story and the example of the Skoll Foundation. Very inspirational!

  • Sonya Lenzo says:

    I,too, love reading stories about small changes that have a big impact. Also about people like Stoll who are giving back. Thanks for this inspirational tale!
    Sonya Lenzo