Peace to all.
There will be no activity on here for two to three weeks while this is assessed. Please subscribe to receive any updates or revisit then. Hopefully I'll have a number of things accrued to share by then.
Peace to all.
Here are a couple of people doing practical things to assist disadvantaged indigenous children. At the moment Young and Free are collecting items that many of us take as a given - clothes, toiletries, nappies, shoes, sporting equipment, books, stationery, school bags, basic household items....use your creativity. You could even make up a pack suitable for a child of a particular age - get together with some friends, pool resources and put some together.
My office decided to direct funds from this month's casual days to theMotor Neurone Disease Association. MND is a degenerative desease of the nerve cells which control the muscles we use to function - breath, speak, move. MND progresses quickly and is a death sentence, with survival after diagnosis averaging less than 3 years. The MNDASA has various ways that it provides support to sufferers and carers. You may also consider donation to research in this are via the MND Research Institute of Australia.
Mothers' Day, on the second Sunday in May in Australia, has reminded me. I look at all the pressure retailers place on families for days like this and would love to see it stripped back to basics. It's not to everyone's taste, but consider buying mum something that could mean a whole lot more.
Kiva is a not-for-profit facilitator that links people with microfinance lenders to help alleviate poverty in many parts of the world . Here's a short video about microfinance produced by Kiva.
And there's a bit more detail herehttp://www.kiva.org/about/microfinance
This type of lending is not tax deductible in Australia - it's a loan.
Here's how I approached my Kiva lending. I figured I'm not going to miss $10 a handful of times a year. So, I made my initial loan of $25 (US) to a borrower and when $15 had been paid back I topped it up with another $10 and made my next loan. I then had two loans chipping away at repayments. When another $15 (total) had been repayed I topped it up again, but this time I added a small donation of about $3 to Kiva to help them with their work. Each time about $15 is paid back I top it up and relend it. As far as I'm concerned this money is a donation - I have no intention of withdrawing it and it will keep going around in the microlending culture and continue to assist those who need it. I'll keep reassessing my lending structure from time to time, and tweak it as I can manage.
Just a couple of things to keep in mind if you decide to help through Kiva:
I remember being struck by whole towns and cities in the UK and Europe declaring themselves as Fair Trade, with plenty of publicity. I don't think it was that long ago when Fair Trade was unpublicised and more expensive in Australia. Is that still the case? Are there any cities or towns in Australia that have taken a public Fair Trade stance?
I wanted to pick up my 2011/2012 Entertainment Book this week and it reminded me that I could share the work of the Enfield Community Food Centre, where I got my Entertainment Book this year. They provide low cost groceries for people who struggle to afford them. The Centre needs financial support and a lot of the Centre's work is done by volunteers. The ECFC recently relocated from Enfield to Gepps Cross which has cost them a lot. I visited the centre just before they moved, and it's an amazing place, run by extraordinary people for extraordinary people.