The word Avaaz comes from the Persian word meaning “voice” or “song,” which is common to many languages. This word was appropriately chosen to represent the name of a U.S. – based civic organization, launched in January 2007, whose goal is to promote climate change, advance human rights, promote animal rights, fight corruption, end poverty, and eliminate conflicts throughout the world. According to “The Guardian” (a British newspaper also known as Manchester Guardian), Avaaz is “the globe’s largest and most powerful online activist network.” Avaaz is a political organization formed by public sector professionals dedicated to advancing democratic ideals, good governance, and civic virtues. Mr. Ricken Patel (a Canadian-British) serves as the president and executive director of Avaaz. Mr. Patel studied politics, philosophy, and economics at Balliol College, Oxford University. He also received an honorary Masters degree in Public Policy from Harvard University.
Mr. Patel has extensive experience working with the “International Crisis Group” which has been active in countries around the world like Sudan and Afghanistan, striving to restore public faith in their corrupt political systems and identify manipulation of foreign forces trying to bring positive change. It is impressive to note that Avaaz has not accepted any donations since 2009; it has instead relied on the generosity of individual members who have helped raise over 20 million dollars. A campaign team working from over 30 countries, help manage Avaaz and communications with its members. Today, Avaaz is rapidly growing, and has 44 million members from 194 countries!
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