SHEVA Is Our “Giving Side of Business Maker Challenge” Winner

Congratulations to our Giving Side of Business Maker Challenge Winner

On winning, Katia says: "There are no words, so here's a picture."

Growing up in Guatemala, Katia Cerwin encountered countless women who never had the chance to earn a formal education. Few were lucky enough to be enrolled in the first place—and by the age of 10, even the lucky ones started to disappear. “They were pulled out for poor performance,” says Katia. The reason? “They’d just started menstruating and didn’t have access to sanitary pads, so they had to stay home.”

Every month, 800 million girls in developing countries around the world miss a full week of classes, and the consequences can be devastating—perpetuating an endless cycle of disempowerment and poverty. “Eventually, parents think their girls are not smart enough to learn,” says Katia. There’s a 30 percent drop-out rate for girls in Guatemala alone.

This is where Katia—and SHEVA, where she serves as creative director—comes in. SHEVA is both a company and an online community where women help women by purchasing feminine care products. For every order received, SHEVA donates a one-month supply of sanitary pads to a girl in need, so she can stay in school, find a job, and contribute to her home and her community.

Together with UPS® CONNECT, we recently asked small business owners to demonstrate their ability to creatively integrate profit and purpose into their companies for our Giving Side of Business Maker Challenge. After carefully screening countless qualified applicants, we’re proud to announce that SHEVA is our winner.

“I always knew I wanted to be part of something meaningful,” says Katia, who is grateful to have had a chance to explore her passion, graphic design, at university and go on to pursue a creative career. “SHEVA focuses on the untapped potential found in women and girls in Guatemala, my beautiful home. I get to do what I love, surrounded by an amazing team on a mission to better the lives of girls and women through a sustainable business model.”

With its $5,000 prize, SHEVA is eager to expand its online community on with a promotion for free shipping on all orders, no matter the purchase price. In the future, Katia is eager to see SHEVA develop alternatives to the commercial sanitary pad that are less expensive and more environmentally friendly. SHEVA’s mission is to empower one million women and girls by 2020.

Photo by Casey Horner on Unsplash

As world leaders meet to discuss new ways to tackle climate change at the U.N. Climate Action Summit, they might miss one very big part of healing nature – nature. In a new short film, youth climate change activist Greta Thunberg and George Monbiot, a writer for the Guardian, talked about how we need to use nature as a solution to climate change.

There's a huge push to curb emissions, but it's not the be all end all of handling climate change; we also need to remove CO2 from the atmosphere. While we don't have technology to do that for us, there is another solution. "There is a magic machine that sucks carbon out of the air, costs very little, and builds itself. It's called a tree," Monboit says in the film. Researchers found that we could get rid of two-thirds of the carbon dioxide that we've emitted during the industrial era just by growing trees. That amounts to 205 billion tons of carbon. Right now, deforestation of tropical forests is responsible for 20% of current greenhouse emissions.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Climate Action Tracker

In 2016, 196 countries signed the Paris Agreement, pledging to combat climate change by taking action to curb the increase in global temperatures. The Paris Agreement requires countries to report on their emissions and what steps they're taking to implement those plans. Now that the countries are coming together again for the U.N. Climate Action Summit in New York City, it's worth taking a look at what kind of progress they've made.

The Climate Action Trackerkeeps tabs on what each country is doing to limit warming, and if they're meeting their self-set goals. Countries are graded based on whether or not their actions would help limit warming to 1.5 degrees C.

According to a recent article from National Geographic, The Gambia, Morocco, and India are at the head of the class. "Even though carbon emissions in The Gambia, Morocco, and India are expected to rise, they'll fall short of exceeding the 1.5-degree Celsius limit," the article reads. Saudi Arabia, Russia and the United States, on the other hand, get a big fat F. "Projected emissions in Saudi Arabia, Russia, and the United States are far greater than what it would take to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius."

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Screenshot via (left) Wikimedia Commons (right)

Greta Thunberg has been dubbed the "Joan of Arc of climate change" for good reason. The 16-year-old activist embodies the courage and conviction of the unlikely underdog heroine, as well as the seemingly innate ability to lead a movement.

Thunberg has dedicated her young life to waking up the world to the climate crisis we face and cutting the crap that gets in the way of fixing it. Her speeches are a unique blend of calm rationality and no-holds-barred bluntness. She speaks truth to power, dispassionately and unflinchingly, and it is glorious.

Keep Reading Show less
The Planet
Ottawa Humane Society / Flickr

The Trump Administration won't be remembered for being kind to animals.

In 2018, it launched a new effort to reinstate cruel hunting practices in Alaska that had been outlawed under Obama. Hunters will be able to shoot hibernating bear cubs, murder wolf and coyote cubs while in their dens, and use dogs to hunt black bears.

Efforts to end animal cruelty by the USDA have been curtailed as well. In 2016, under the Obama Administration, the USDA issued 4,944 animal welfare citations, in two years the numbers dropped to just 1,716.

Keep Reading Show less

The disappearance of 40-year-old mortgage broker William Earl Moldt remained a mystery for 22 years because the technology used to find him hadn't been developed yet.

Moldt was reported missing on November 8, 1997. He had left a nightclub around 11 p.m. where he had been drinking. He wasn't known as a heavy drinker and witnesses at the bar said he didn't seem intoxicated when he left.

Keep Reading Show less