Example Projects from REAL LIFE

These are fresh from emails, posters, ads, and websites! People are actually DOING these things. As Solutionaries, you can meet similar needs in your own communities or in the world! As you peruse these examples, think about the following:

  1. These ideas are practical.
  2. They are action-based–people are actually doing things to create a solution.
  3. Many of these started small, but are now much larger.
  4. How do these projects get funds to do what they are doing?
  5. How much research was required for each of these projects to succeed? What kind of research was required?
  6. Some projects were based on a perceived need; others were based on a perceived opportunity.

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Indian Farmers in Crisis

Farmer suicides claimed the lives of at least 17,368 Indian farmers in 2009, according to data of the National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB). Since 1997 it is estimated that between 125,000-200,000 farmers have taken their own life. While the numbers are debatable the cause is not. Genetically Modified seeds, costly pesticides and high water requirements have placed all farmers just one failed crop away from economic ruin.

The Hummingbird Project is working with Dr. Vandana Shiva and her organization, Navdanya, to bring the techniques of the soil food web to the already existing Farmer Training Programs. Our collaboration with Navdanya, along with several other Indian NGOs, has allowed us to personally train over a 1000 farmers, trainers, students and government officials about organic farming methods in 6 different states across India.

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On a ridge three miles south of Lake Erie in the quiet city of Conneaut, Ohio, there is a small family farm, BLD farm, where seeds are being sowed. They aren’t just the seeds one would expect. Yes, there are carrots, tomatoes, and cabbage. But you will also find less common things like high bush cranberries, northern pecans, and oaks that produce low acid acorns. Stranger still, you will find a three-petaled flower deep in the woods that wraps its seeds in what looks like a pat of butter. Ants carry these seeds, three times their size, and store them in their underground tunnels as food for the colony and its queen. Thus the flowers spread ever so slowly through the woods. The flowers are called Trillium. Trilliums are at risk of becoming endangered.

As I work on this land, helping to restore the forests and growing gardens, I realize that the relationship between the trilliums and the ants is like the dream I am weaving of a project that will plant seeds in the hearts and minds of the people that visit our botanical sanctuary. That project is called the Seed House. The Seed House will be a place where participants can learn how to plant seeds and propagate cuttings of plants that are at risk of becoming endangered. The Seed House will be a sunny straw bale structure and a greenhouse. The space will be used to teach people how to process and save seeds, practice root propagation, and cultivate medicinal plants. Participants will take home seeds and plants to start in their own backyards. http://thepollinationproject.org/2013/05/06/leah-wolfe-the-seed-house/

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Hello ,I’m Cherry Lane in Atlanta Georgia USA.Giftcard Change Matters is my project.I started this project because somebody needed to do it.Over and over again I watched people throw away the small balances left on their gift cards.I searched and searched for a place to donate these small bits of change.There was none.So That’s what I’m doing.Giving people a place to put that change to good use by donating it and using it to by much need goods on the”wish lists” of much deserving smaller nonprofit orgs. that are often overlooked and under funded.
In tandem I’m working to get the sellers and producers of gift cards to make it standard practice to offer” a donate the change” option on every purchase made with a gift card. This is a lot of money that can help alot of people;alot of you. I’m new to this aspect of the nonprofit world.The social media monster is mind boggling ( yes,I’m new to that ,too) and I’m learning at a rapid pace.
So that is what I want from all of you.Is to learn everything I can about what and how you are doing what you are doing to change our world.And how what I’m doing GIFTCARD CHANGE MATTERS,can help.
I welcome all suggestions,ideas and by all means visit our website and nominate your favorite nonprofit org.
 http://giftcardchangematters.com . Even though right now we are operating locally,that will soon change.Plus it’s another place for you to get some exposure for your nonprofit.
Thanks again to all of you amazing people for all you are doing to make our world a better place.I am honored to be a part of this group.
Love and Blessings,
Cherry Lane Gramling

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Hi everyone!

My name is Thomas Ponce and I am 12 years old and I live in Casselberry,Florida. I received The Pollination Project 100th grantee award to help me make my vision of www.lobbyforanimals.org  become a reality. My website is still a work in progress but it will be a go to website for all things lobbying for animal rights.I have listed my mission statement below for anyone who wants to learn more about what I will be doing to try to raise awareness on the importance of lobbying for animal rights in the place where it will have the most impact, Capitol Hill. If you want to read a little bit more about me check out the Pollination Project webpage http://thepollinationproject.org/our-100th-grantee-thomas-ponce-lobby-for-animals/ and the Huffington Post article http://www.huffingtonpost.com/ari-nessel/in-100-days-100-grants-to_b_3087552.html .

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I have recently produced a report on some of our fellow ‘earthlings’ who are very dear to my heart:  the hens who are exploited by the egg production industry.  The report, entitled Enriched Cages & Embodied Prisons, is available on my website http://www.edenfarmanimalsanctuary.com/2013/05/14/enriched-cages-embodied-prisons/.

It also features on United Poultry Producers new page entitled The Screaming Hen Bill which features a Sue Coe depiction of hens, along with some of the photographic evidence taken by Eden Farm Animal Sanctuary at one of our rescues http://www.upc-online.org/scream/

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Thomas Ponce Runs Website to Help People ‘Lobby for Animals’
Orlando Sentinel, Jon Busdeker, May 6, 2013


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My name is Jessica Velcoff and I am working with Philip Sambol to start HECK OF A Neighborhood Grocery.

Our goal is to create a replicable community space to foster economic and agricultural sustainability through health education, access to healthy local organic foods, job training, and employment.

Our organization will include:

1)                  a community space to improve health education through volunteer led health and wellness workshops provided at no charge to community members,

2)                  an urban farm to increase access to local, organic produce through on-site sales, and give community members the opportunity to learn about sustainable growing and nutrition, and

3)                  a market to create more employment opportunities in the community where a) trainees will be taught culinary, hospitality, and retail sales skills, b) regular positions will be available, c) market products will be chosen to emphasize nutrition and subsidized to lower cost.

In short, we plan to cultivate a sustainable and vibrant urban farm that will feed into a non-profit market, and a non-profit market that will house a community space.  Our aim is to start small and grow with demand.

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My project “Integrated Humane Education Project-IHEP”.You can access our background and information about IHEP by googling: http://thepollinationproject.org/2013/02/08/peterson-obusuruomunyini-vowico-livelihood-creative-arts/

We are there to make change, change that empowers communities to practice better animal husbandry. Using school children through our well tailor made “Humane Education Clubs “ensures that the future generations are more passionate to respecting live and the environment. Major problem in our target area is misuse, mistreat and poor health of donkeys that are a means of transport for almost everything given the landscape terrain system in the region; just imagine even a patient to hospital can only be transport by means of a donkey. So that means that our intervention improves both the welfare and community livelihood: That is why we are there!

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Hello everyone, my name is Charles Plummer from the Garden of Eden community outreach in Dallas tx. My project is about building and supporting urban farming and community gardens. We work with school districts in educating and building school gardens teaching under privileged children and adults about healthy eating and growing their own vegetables. We also work with teens that have been or currently in juvenile detention centers about urban farming and the potential career opportunities that it has. I’m grateful that I am a grantee of this organization and look forward to where this leads us.

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My name is Sharon Kwanga and I am honored to be part of a group of change makers. My project aims to increase the resilience of rural societies and ecosystems to the effects of climate change by working with poor rural community members to restore trees in their drought prone environment. The project implementation will take place in an area known as Kano Plains, located in Kenya’s Nyando District. The project will work with community member groups to plant 100 fruit trees and 10 passion vines; special emphasis has been given to marketable fruits that can easily grow in the given geographical area. The trees will assist with climate cooling, soil erosion, and create shaded areas for individuals to grow kitchen gardens. Apart from assisting with climate control, household incomes can be increased as community members sell the fruits. The fruits will also be used for household consumption; this will be an added value to community members since malnutrition was noted as common due to a narrow diet limited by what members can afford.

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My name is Jennie Kay and I am the founder and exec producer of The Detroit Sanctuary Project. We are a community-collaborative art project inviting the public to come together, inventory and capture an image of every house of worship in Detroit.

Detroit, as you probably know, has gotten a lot of press over the last few years about it's decline, corruption and poverty. That said, Detroit hosts one of the largest densities and diversities of houses of worship in any urban area of the United States. Detroit also hosts an overall community of some of the strongest, most giving, connected individuals you will ever meet. The people of Detroit have been through hell and back, lost most of their infrastructure and host a murder rate topping some of the most violent third-world countries on the planet.

In this dire environment, the houses of worship continue to step forward and provide safe spaces and sanctuary with everything they have. There are so many houses of worship in the City of Detroit, no one has any clue how many there are. Some estimate 1500, some estimate 3500. Once these images are captured, they are put up on our website (www.detroitsanctuary.com) and when the collection is complete, they will be featured in a book and a large-scale public mural. To understand how MANY houses of worship there really are, if you estimate 2000 sanctuaries, and display each one in a 6x6" image, the mural will be 80ft long and 6ft tall.

To learn more about the project, you can see a groovy video here: 

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