13 Victories that Changed the World in 2015

As we approach the end of the 2015, we’re taking stock of all that happened during the year and the change that our users made all over the world.

This year Change.org grew to more than 125 million global users. They launched more than 200,000 campaigns. And they saw victory more than ten times every day.

Some of these victories were small, affecting towns and villages, while others affected whole nations, even the world, but all show the power of people to make real impact. We’ve compiled a list of victories from 13 countries so you can get a feeling for what you all have accomplished this year.

Want to see your impact on this list in 2016?

 

Victories that Changed the World in 2015

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1. Prisoners freed with the help of UK citizens
Karl Andree was arrested in Saudi Arabia and sentenced to 378 lashes for having homemade wine in the boot of his car. He started a petition to free Karl, which was signed more than 250,000 times before this release.

More than 777,000 people signed Iman Ghavami’s victorious petition calling for the release of his sister Ghoncheh. She was jailed in Iran for attending a men’s volleyball match.

2. Diabetes now covered by insurance in Argentina
In Argentina 11% of the population -- or roughly five million people -- have diabetes. Maria Constanza Hlawaczek won her petition to make sure that all health insurance policies would cover 100% of the treatment required by each each patient, something not granted previously.

3. Teen guarantees domestic violence prevention is covered in Australian curriculum
Just weeks after her mum’s suicide, A fourteen year old girl started a petition calling for domestic violence prevention to be included in the national curriculum. It won After more than 100,000 signatures.

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4. Woman got taxi app to introduce safety measures in Brazil
Ana Clara Leite was sexually harassed twice in taxis after drivers accessed her information using a mobile phone app called Easy Taxi. She won her petition asking Easy Taxi App to introduce safety measures, with the backing of more than 27,000 Brazilians.

5. Teens madeconsent part of Canada’s sex-ed program
Two 13 year old girls won a campaign to make the issue of consent a part of their Ontario school district’s health program. They were backed by nearly 50,000 Canadians.

6. Mother helped enact anti-bullying measures in France
After her daughter, Marion, committed suicide, Nora Fraisse started a petition to enact measures that prevent school harassment. Nearly 80,000 people signed the petition and now the Minister of Education is developing provisions to stop such harassment.

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7. German citizens united to give citizenship to Afghan refugee
Martin, an Afghan refugee, has lived with Ruth Bensmaïl in Germany for seven years.  After living most of his life in Germany, he applied for citizenship last year, but was denied because he doesn’t have a birth certificate to prove his last name. He was ultimately given citizenship after more than 109,000 people signed Ruth’s petition.

8. Uber enacted background checks in India
Alina Tiphagne, a journalist from Delhi, was shocked at the rape of a 25-year-old woman in by an Uber driver in Dehli. So she started a petition demanding that the taxi company mandate a 7-year background check of all its drivers in India as it does in the US and won.

9. Italy unlocked biggest ever public funding for disabled citizens
Salvatore has ALS. He lives in his bed and communicates with technology that captures the movements of his eyes. Thanks to a petition, Salvatore unlocked the biggest ever public funding in Italian history for the assistance of disabled people at home, worth €400 million.

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10. Indonesian scientist got online retailers to stop selling ivory products
Wisnu, a scientist and veterinarian, started a petition asking three major online retailers to stop selling ivory products. Three days and 28,000 signatures later, all three retailers responded to the petition and stopped the sales of those products.

11. Filipinos all over the world stopped tax on balikbayan boxes
A balikbayan box is a box that contains items sent by Filipinos living overseas. When customs tried to impose tighter rules and additional taxes on the boxes, Filipinos acted quickly. In a breakout, rapid response victory, more than 87,000 Filipino signed the petition that overturned those new customs rules.

12. Russian mobile phone operator, Megfon, changed its communications about subscriptions
After finding that he was paying for services he hadn’t subscribed to, Vassily Yanchuk started a petition requiring major mobile phone operator Megafon to inform customers in writing (by text message) of any paid subscriptions that come with their payment plan. With more than 90,000 signatures, Megafon agreed and, in the process, 10 million people across Russia are saving money.

13. U.S. Congress reauthorized the Zadroga Act
John Feal, a 9/11 first responder, was integral in passing of the Zadroga Act in 2010, which covers health expenses and compensates other first responders who are suffering debilitating illnesses and injuries as a result of their service. When Congress stalled on reauthorizing the bill, he started a petition to help push it through that was signed by nearly 187,000 people.

 

What do you want to see change in 2016? Let us know in the comments or...