Avaaz: An International Force For Good

Founded and led in New York by activist Ricken Patel, Avaaz is a global NGO that promotes various progressive causes including the struggles against climate change, poverty and injustice in general. The group uses a variety of methods to advance its agendas, including demonstrations, petition drives and direct financial support. In short, this is a large and highly effective organization working for the general good of the planet and its people.

The word Avaaz means “voice” in Persian, and Patel seeks to empower the underprivileged with his group. Avaaz is affiliated with the United States-based progressive political group Move On. In order to maintain its grass-roots influence, Avaaz does not accept large donations from organizations or corporations but instead relies on help from individual donors and volunteers. Avaaz is one of the largest activist groups in the world and has 47 million members in 194 countries.

Avaaz is known for the wide variety of causes it has worked for, including promoting peace in Asia and fighting swine flu in Europe. This is because any Avaaz member can suggest a cause, and if others in the organization think it is worthwhile, Avaaz creates tools for its members to take action. The group promotes a “practical idealism” and is all about getting results as opposed to merely studying and analyzing.

The group played an important role in helping the Paris Climate Accord become a reality and was even acknowledged for its assistance by the United Nations. Starting roughly a year and a half before the summit, Avaaz launched an aggressive world-wide campaign promoting climate change awareness and activism and helped swing public opinion in the direction of an international agreement to stall global warming. In particular, mass rallies and marches led by Avaaz in 2014 and 2015 helped galvanize the movement and more