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05.25.2011 - 04:03PM

Category: Community Development

Gap Year Leads to Global Stage for NGOs

Nicolemortimer

After my senior year of high school, I decided to take a gap year before beginning my freshman year of college at George Washington University. I traveled to Russia, China, Cambodia, Israel, Jordan, South Africa and Tanzania. In each country, I spent time volunteering at schools, hospitals and orphanages. During my travels, I came across many small NGOs and charities doing amazing work in their local communities. In a small coastal town in Tanzania, I worked with a school that teaches street children vocational skills so they can escape poverty. In Cambodia, I assisted an organization that repairs broken water pumps in rural villages so people have access to clean drinking water.

After gaining hands-on experience with several organizations, I realized that the impact of these organizations on their community was limited because they lacked resources and funds. Because these NGOs were small and located in remote areas, many of them did not have the know-how or the technology to use the Internet to promote their mission or to reach out to potential donors.

After beginning college and becoming a Compass Fellow, I still kept these foreign NGOs in mind. I wanted to find a way to help these organizations, and others like them, achieve their missions and be as effective as possible.

This is where Give Impact Films makes a difference. Give Impact Films provides an outlet for small NGOs to visually express their mission statements and accept donations on a global stage so they can maximize their influence. Give Impact Films mails NGOs video cameras. The organization then records what they do and explains the larger social issue they are trying to combat. Give Impact Films edits the footage into a mini-documentary and posts it on our website, along with a biography of the NGO. Through our website, people can learn more about the issues discussed and donate to the NGOs featured.

Give Impact Films is currently working on producing videos for a D.C.-based non-profit, as well as a school and an orphanage in Tanzania.

- Nicole Mortimer, 2014 Compass Fellow (www.compassfellows.org)

Compass Partners offers a dynamic two-year program called the Compass Fellowship, which enables 15 college freshmen at each university to become social entrepreneurs. Through a unique personal development and social business training program, Fellows interact with CEOs, bestselling authors and start-up innovators, they receive mentorship and guidance from upperclassmen students and entrepreneurs from the community, they are connected to internship opportunities in areas of passion, and they receive access to funding so they each can launch their own social business ventures. Fellows engage in weekly modules, team-building retreats, workshops and social business simulations, all of which challenge them to think creatively and develop innovative solutions to help change the world. There are 90 Compass Fellows across the nation, and you can find the Compass Fellowship at American, Georgetown, George Washington, Indiana and Tufts Universities.

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