Trees, not fees: School in India encourages parents to plant tree saplings instead of paying tuition

A primary school in the Indian state of Chhattisgarh is making education more inclusive while raising awareness for environmental concern: it’s asking parents not to pay tuition, but to plant trees instead. For more on #TreesNotFees check out our blog, 


The initiative was set up by local professionals and business owners in response to the rising unaffordability of education. Little of the Indian government’s budget is allocated to education, leaving parents responsible for forking out high fees. As a result, many children cannot afford to go to school, and the consequences are evident: an education report in 2014 found that nearly 20% of children in grade two cannot recognize the numbers between one and nine.


While not a means to an end, this school’s initiative is opening its classroom doors to children who otherwise would not have access to education, therefore giving them a chance at a brighter future and raising the country’s literacy rate.


So far, the school has received an overwhelming response, and 700 saplings have been planted across the village over the last year.


At the same time, parents being encouraged to plant trees is also educating the next generation on the importance of environmental care. This is especially needed in India, where air pollution is becoming a worsening problem.


It is hoped that this school’s initiative will inspire others to follow suit to promote heightened accessibility of education for all and awareness of the country’s environmental issues.

Play Your Way to World Change

-Photo Credit: Rise Up Kickstarter Page

"Build your movement. Beat the system. A board game about people winning together—even when the cards are stacked against us.

"Rise Up", a board game created by the creators of Co-opoly: The Game of Cooperatives, is raising funds on Kickstarter. This game is winning the hearts of not only existing NGOs and activists, but the everyday geek simply allured by the idea of a beautifully-crafted game where you get to face the challenge of working against the odds. By the sheer numbers of supporters less than two months into the campaign, one can say for sure that a fair share of people do like a challenge.

"In each game of Rise Up, players take creative actions to fight for victory. Everyone wins or loses together. The game weaves a story about your movement, which can either be based in reality (like stopping an oil pipeline) or fictional (like fighting for dragon rights). But “the System” is hard at work too, manoeuvring to crush your movement through tactics like setting up surveillance, making arrests, or causing infighting.”

So, who’s up for a game? Support this kickstarter campaign here to get this to you activists-in-training!

Boss #likeagirl

- Photo Credit: @mokrin_coworking

What does it mean to be a #girlintech and rock at it, #likeagirl?

Michelle Haupt, the Operations Engineer at NASA once said “One thing I always tell young girls: Never let anybody tell you you can’t do it. Growing up, they’d look at me like, Really...Even when I was having teachers tell me, just take a break from math, you can take this class next year. I said, ‘No, I’m going to take it now.’ I kept pushing for it.”

We at Givo are proud to say that we actively seek to highlight incredible woman like Michelle who are changing their industries and redefining what it means to be #likeagirl. Not only do we believe that girls should be equally influential in ground-breaking discoveries but that young girls ought to be reminded that they have the ability and power to shape the world the way they envision it. We are as much responsible for the current state of the world as we are for the future we create.

Check out @girlswhocode if this speaks to you! It’s an awesome NGO dedicated to eliminating the gender gap in the tech industry. As founder Reshma Saujani put it best, “our girls create technology that makes the world a better place”. For all aspiring female techies out there, never let anyone take away your shine - we’re all rooting for you.

Image credits to @mokrin_coworking, a space for digital nomads.

#girlsintech #genderequality #girlswhocode

Of Meditation and Mindful Mondays

Happy Mindful Monday! A school Baltimore is listening to the science, and replacing detention with meditation. And the results you may ask? Well, they’re incredible.

The @holisticlifefoundation is an NGO committed to nurturing the wellness of children and adults in underserved communities and they’re taking these practices into school such as the Robert W. Coleman Elementary School in Baltimore to change mindsets and behavior in quiet, yet nonetheless big, ways. Kids are encouraged to sit in an untraditional “detention” room where they are encouraged to practice breathing exercises, meditation, and also talk through their experience.

In the August 2016 issue of Oprah Magazine, Holistic Life Foundation co-founder Andres Gonzalez said: “We’ve had parents tell us, ‘I came home the other day stressed out, and my daughter said, “Hey, Mom, you need to sit down. I need to teach you how to breathe.” Amazing, eh?

P.S.We love how mindfulness shaking things up by slowing things down. Intrigued by the power of mindfulness in your own life and want to try a taste? The app Headspace is making waves with 3 million users in over 150 countries. Our Givo team loves them!

This photo is credited to the incredible@holisticlifefoundation. Like what they do? Check them out! Like what you’re reading? Follow Givo link in bio for more stories like these.