The director of Save the Children’s devastating ad about the Syrian civil war has created another video about the conflict that’s just as powerful—but even more difficult to watch. The PSA is from a coalition of NGOs that is attempting to raise awareness about the years-long war that has killed nearly 200,000 people and left millions displaced. The goal of the ad—and the #WithSyria campaign it is promoting—is to get viewers to sign a petition asking the UN Security Council to take measures to protect civilians and the innocent lives constantly being targeted in Syria ... Discuss

There are so many things to take away from this video. The first, of course, is that eating chocolate is a genuinely incredible experience that is not nearly as universal as we might think it is—even for the people who supply the cocoa for our chocolate. The second, and far more important, is the realization that people who farm cocoa can't afford the product they're creating (in the Ivory Coast, a bar of chocolate costs four euro. One of the workers referenced in the video here only makes seven euro per day) ... Discuss

When Chris Grava was in college, he did a semester abroad in Cape Town South Africa. His brother Nick went to visit him, but was so moved by the children he met at a foster home for orphans, that he ended up staying, and now helps manage Home of Safety in Khayelitsha. Today, Chris and Nick run a nonprofit that helps local children who suffer from HIV, are orphaned or neglected. During a recent visit, Chris wore a GoPro cam to give friends and supporters back home a glimpse of life at the center, and the resulting video is pretty great. You can learn more about their efforts at Intsikelelo.org ... Discuss

The city of Oakland has a message for people who exploit children and victims caught in the world of sex trafficking: We’re calling you out. The city’s police department has launched a new website showing the names, birthdays, and charges against pimps and purchasers arrested by local police. The site will be updated every two weeks, with more individuals recently charge with human trafficking-related crimes. The somewhat controversial website does caution that though the suspects have been charged, they are still “presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.” The police lieutenant in charge of the department’s human trafficking division told Time magazine (who dubbed the effort "pimp-shaming") that Oakland is “the hub of the West for child prostitution,” and described the efforts as a “proactive” measure to fight trafficking, which he said is at an “all-time level” in the area ... Discuss

There are a lot of empty Coke bottles that are disregarded around the world every day. But, as the video below shows, the soda maker may have figured out a way to encourage people to hang on to their used plastic bottles instead of just throwing them away. The company has created 16 custom caps that turn old bottles into everything from squirt guns and spray bottles to sauce dispensers and saltshakers. Coke is sending tens of thousands of the caps to several Asian countries later this year ... Discuss

Some 600,000 soccer fans will descend on Rio De Janeiro when the World Cup kicks off on June 12, and while the world prepares for its biggest sporting event, Brazil's churches are doubling efforts to the fight the darker side of the World Cup. Rio De Janeiro has a tragic reputation as being a haven for sex trafficking, and local churches are launching campaigns to raise awareness about the horrors of child sex abuse. UNICEF estimates that nearly 250,000 children are sexually abused in Brazil every year, with major sporting events fueling those numbers. Research from Childhood Brazil says reported sex crimes against children increased by a staggering 66 percent in South Africa's 2010 World Cup. As Ronald Neptune, national coordinator of Bola na Rede, which provides tourists with information to combat child sex abuse, told Religion News Service,

Over the last three years, we’ve been preparing churches in the 12 cities, encouraging them to mobilize their congregations so they actively do something in the days leading up to and during the World Cup ...As Christians, we can’t just clap our hands and praise the Lord, we have to work to make a difference to the lives of the young people at risk,” he said. “We can be the eyes and ears on the streets and the motivating force that gets people out leafleting and speaking to tourists about how they can be vigilant to help protect our children.

This week, area churches plan on gathering for prayer and mobilizing to pass out information to tourists on how to protect children ... Discuss