Children, Entrepreneurs in Developing Countries Receive Hand Up from Intel, Non-Profits
Small Things Challenge to Raise Awareness, Funds for Education, Micro-Financing in Fight Against Poverty
Intel Corporation, two non-profit organizations and several celebrities have joined forces to raise awareness and funds so children in developing countries can attend primary school and their parents can earn higher incomes.
Throughout the developing world more than 75 million primary age children are not in school robbing them of future opportunity continuing the cycle of poverty and at least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day, according to data from the United Nations1.
Intel, Kiva.org* and Save the Children* are kicking off a year-long effort today called the Small Things Challenge. The program will appeal directly to individuals worldwide and encourage them to get involved by donating money to Save the Children’s Rewrite the Future program, which is focused on securing quality education for the millions of children out of school due to war and armed conflict. Individuals are also urged to provide micro-loans through Kiva.org to entrepreneurs in the developing world, another way to raise the standard of living. Individuals can provide support and find more information, including a video featuring musicians and celebrities who support the cause, at www.smallthingschallenge.com.
“While these issues will continue to challenge our world for some time, we can improve peoples’ lives by pooling small contributions,” said Intel Chairman Craig Barrett, who also chairs a United Nations initiative on technology in the developing world. “Someone once told me a small deed done is better than a great deed planned.’ Even the smallest, individual action or donation can make a big difference every journey starts with a first step.”
The three organizations are also calling on people worldwide to signal their support at www.smallthingschallenge.com for the need to increase access to education and to foster economic development in emerging countries. Intel will donate 5 cents for every person who clicks on the “we’ll donate 5 cents for you” button on the Web site. The company will provide up to $300,000 this year to the Small Things Challenge, in addition to the $100 million that Intel is investing in other education programs this year. Intel believes that children everywhere deserve to have the skills necessary to become the next generation of innovators.
“For millions, the dream of going to school remains unfulfilled,” said Charles MacCormack, president and CEO of Save the Children. “In conflict-affected countries, one of three children is currently out of school. This campaign will help us to reach more of these vulnerable children with the gift of education and open doors for future opportunities.”
There is no minimum value for a donation to Save the Children, but micro-loans through Kiva.org start at $25. Every small, individual action can make a big difference especially if millions participate. For example, in Darfur, Sudan, a $10 donation can help Save the Children provide school supplies for a child or $50 can help provide a blackboard for a classroom. Or through Kiva.org a $25 loan can be combined with others toward the $250 loan a fisherman in Cambodia needs to buy more nets so he can catch and sell more fish.
“The spirit of entrepreneurship is as strong among the poor of the developing world as it is in Silicon Valley,” said Kiva.org CEO Matt Flannery. “Micro-loans have helped people increase their incomes through self-employment. The Small Things Challenge aims to continue empowering the world’s poor so they can better support their families and keep their children in school, ultimately breaking the cycle of poverty.”
The Small Things Challenge will take center stage at several high-profile activities at the 2009 International Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas, including Barrett’s keynote speech on Friday. Conference attendees can also pledge support to Kiva.org and Save the Children at kiosks at Intel’s booth (Central Hall, booth #7153).
Barrett’s speech is a part of the show’s Technology and Emerging Countries Program, which focuses on the role technology plays to further economic growth. During the speech, Barrett will highlight how Save the Children’s and Kiva.org’s work is impacting millions of people worldwide already. He’ll also deliver a special call-to-action to the audience.
Intel has also donated 10 notebook PCs and two Intel-powered classmate PCs that are currently being auctioned at http://stores.ebay.com/SmallThingsChallenge, along with items donated by the music groups Counting Crows and Maroon 5. All auction items are autographed by the bands’ lead singers, Adam Duritz and Adam Levine, respectively, and starting bids range from $25 to $900.
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