The term Avaaz is a transliteration of the Persian word Avaz, which means a song or voice. The name was chosen for the community because there are many similar words in many languages, with other less similar, yet connected words available in the majority of the Indo-European languages.
Launched in January 2007, Avaaz is a US-based civic organization. It exists to promote global activism on issues such as human and animal rights, climate change, poverty, corruption, and the various conflicts that affect the society. The Guardian terms the civic organization as the largest, as well as the most powerful online activities network in the world.
Avaaz is guided by one simple democratic mission – to bring together citizens of all the countries in the world, to bridge the gap between the world we currently have, and the kind of the world that most people dream of. The civic organization empowers millions of individuals from all walks of life to have the ability to take action on the pressing issues globally, regionally, and nationally – ranging from poverty to corruption, and climate change. The availability of the Internet allows the combination of thousands of efforts, irrespective of the size, to a powerful collective force, in the speediest way possible.
The community usually campaigns in 17 languages and is served by a core team present on six continents, as well as thousands of volunteers. Avaaz takes actions in the form of funding media campaigns, signing petitions, direct actions, calling, emailing and lobbying governments, as well as organizing offline events and protests. These actions are aimed at ensuring that the values and views of the world’s population inform the decisions that affect all of them.
The global campaigns of the community are handled by a team of campaigners placed in more than 30 countries inclusive of Lebanon, Brazil, India, and the United Kingdom. At times, when the situation demands it, the organization utilizes adverts and also commissions legal advice to understand how well to handle campaigns, rallies, and media-friendly stunts.
For further information on Avaaz follow them on Twitter.