April 30, 2014 – SAN FRANCISCO — Ustream, the world’s most scalable and social live video platform, today announced that it has selected Miami-based non-profit organization, Luz Para Venezuela (Light for Venezuela), as the newest member of Ustream for Change. Launched two months ago, Ustream for Change is a philanthropic program that seeks to advance Ustream’s mission of empowering businesses and societies to be more transparent and productive through the innovative use of video. The program was originally inspired by three Ukrainian broadcasters that have now captured the attention of more than 60 million viewers across the globe.
More than 170 applications from every continent have been submitted for Ustream for Change since launch, with causes spanning education, civil rights, politics, and evangelism sectors. The program is spearheaded by David Gibbons, Ustream’s vice president of marketing, and is run by a cross-functional group of volunteers within the company.
“An internal committee of Ustream employees selects the recipients, helping to ensure that the causes chosen are things which reflect the spirit of the company, not just the outlook of the leaders. The application from Luz Para Venezuela was very moving, and made it clear that their cause was urgent, their plans were specific, and their passion ran deep.”
Luz Para Venezuela’s Ustream Channel: http://www.ustream.tv/luzparavenezuela
Understanding the Situation in Venezuela, as told by David Dorr, Executive Director Luz Para Venezuela
Since the beginning of 2014 civil unrest in Venezuela has escalated to levels not seen since the unsuccessful coup of President Hugo Chavez in 2002. His successor, Nicolas Maduro, has continued with a series of crushing economic policies that have pushed the country into experiencing soaring inflation and constant shortages of goods, particularly important basic necessities such as baby formula, toilet paper, and medicine. Crime has skyrocketed to the point that the government no longer publishes the shameful data. Estimates place the murder rate at approximately 24,000 annually making Venezuela’s murder rate nearly the highest in the world and for government corruption Venezuela is ranked by Transparency International as 160th out of 175 countries.
The power of live video allows individuals in oppressed and censored societies to have their voice heard and to tell their story. Democracy can only flourish in an environment where every individual is granted this basic human right. We are very excited to have been chosen by Ustream for Change. Their expertise and leadership in live streaming video is exactly what our organization was seeking to effectuate long lasting change in Venezuela. We are giving the citizens of Venezuela a much needed voice so that they are heard by their government as well as by the world.
“Live video is one of the most engaging and effective means for communication in today’s society, and we’re proud that our technology can also be used as a means for transparency and the greater good,” said Brad Hunstable, CEO and founder of Ustream. “Luz Para Venezuela is an excellent example of this and we look forward to expanding Ustream for Change to further promote internet freedom, stable societies, and emerging democracies.”
For more information on Ustream for Change: http://www.ustream.tv/our-company/change