Inspiring Change Through Photography

By: Kristine Morales

How can art impact social change?  As the desire for a better world becomes a more imaginable future, artists are realizing that creativity can inspire and educate people around the globe.

Nuru Project is an organization that utilizes photography as a way  to create a difference  in developing nations.  Through photography auctions, the organization creates opportunities for socially involved photographers to become agents of change.  Donated works are auctioned and 100% of the proceeds are distributed to a charity featuring the show’s theme usually related to the devastating poverty in developing countries. .  The concept is an innovative take on philanthropy.  Interrelating modern art and altruism represents a new way for artists to not only express their creativity but also influence its viewers about the hardships of the rest of the world.

For their upcoming photography auction on December 13th in Dubai, Nuru Project will feature several photographs from India, Kenya, and Pakistan in continuation of an 8 series Dignity event benefiting Acumen Fund.

Curiously glancing into each photograph creates a sudden invitation into an unvisited life,  whether it’s pain, despair, or the genuine happiness seen through the graceful stance of a ballerina. Amidst the mishap of the world, it’s inspiring to view the unique culture and genuine story told within a piece of work. They are beautiful photographs that captivate. I feel touched and suddenly realize that it is a view from these photographers’ lenses that affirm how beautiful work resonates in every people.


All Photos are via


Props to UniversalGiving Partner IDB

By: Laina Gallagher

UniversalGiving is honored to be a partner of the Inter-American Development Bank, IDB. Made up of 48 member nations, plus the Inter-American Investment Cooperation and the Multilateral Investment Fund, IDB offers financing and expertise for sustainable development on economic, social, and institutional levels throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. IDB acts as a regular bank offering loans but also is involved in grants, guarantees, investments, technical assistance, and research for both governments and private initiatives. IDB also helps weaker member countries with debt relief.  Working towards overall development, IDB focuses on 5 sectors: social policy for equality & productivity; infrastructure for competitiveness and social welfare; institutions for growth and social welfare; competitive regional and global international integration; and protection of the environment, response to climate change, and promotion of renewable energy and ensuring food security. The bank receives the funds to address these areas from member countries, co-financing ventures, and borrowing on financial markets. IDB then divides these funds into Ordinary Capital, Funds for Special Operations, Loans from Concessional Resources, Intermediary Financing Facility, and trust funds.

As part of their environmental sustainability and poverty alleviation work, IDB recently partnered with The COSMOL cooperative in Montero, Bolivia. In this inspirational project, IDB funded, in majority, a COSMOL project working to expand Montero’s sewer system. In order to fund the remainder of the project, COSMOL asked its new customers to pay a $2 fee for services provided. Although this was a greatly needed service, most of the customers were unwilling to pay and the project seemed to be at a standstill… until COSMOL came up with an innovative solution: COSMOL decided to offer basic health insurance to all customers who paid their bills. Not only was COSMOL able to raise the necessary funds to carry out the project, now almost 100% of Montero’s residents have health insurance, compared with only 50% before.

This is just one example of IDB’s great contributions. Working throughout Latin American and the Carribean, IDB supports great projects like this to further development, reducing poverty and inequality while working towards environmental sustainability.

UniversalGiving and IDB have a strong working partnership built around practical expertise and recommendations of potential partners throughout the regions in which IDB works. They also provide a great resource for on-the-ground-knowledge, along with key contacts with worldwide experts, reputable foundations, and regional Executive Directors working in Latin America and The Caribbean. IDB has referred many great projects and organizations to UniversalGiving, which continue to help us drive towardsour vision to “Create a world where giving and volunteering are a natural part of everyday life.” Keep an eye out for IDB partners like Little Feet and Un Techo Para Mi Pais soon to be featured on UniversalGiving!