Behind the Brands

Check out this great campaign by Oxfam highlighting some of the big brands and how they perform with regard to their supply chain, their impact on the global food system, and in particular how this flows onto the poor and marginalised at the bottom of their supply chains.

Oxfam’s Behind the Brands campaign aims to provide people who buy and enjoy these products with the information they need to hold the Big 10 to account for what happens in their supply chains.

Oxfam has done some great research and has developed this interesting Company Scorecard to see how your favourite brand stacks up. It’s a bit of a worry that the best brand is only at 54% and even more worrying that major brands like Kellogs, which I know we personally buy frequently, are performing so poorly!

Behind the Brands

It’s particularly interesting at this point in time, Easter, when we in the west consume ridiclous amounts of chocolate – $185.7mill* on chocolate this Easter in Australia in fact. The Cocoa trade is somewhat notorious for exploitation over the years, and Oxfam has highlighted the expoitation of women in particular:

Mars, Mondelez, and Nestlé buy more than 30% of the cocoa grown worldwide. But throughout their supply chains women are getting a raw deal.

So as you enjoy that delicious chocolate this Easter, I’d encourage you to head to the Behind the Brands website – learn more and sign the petition to “make noise, make change” as Oxfam puts it, and get the big brands to “Look, Listen & Act”.

(* IBISWorld Study)

What’s the big deal about volunteering?

A while back I was approached by Tess at Open Colleges, who asked if I could post the infographic below about volunteering. I like to keep the blog fairly relevant to what it’s all about (living a life less greedy, and a little more generous), so initially I was a little stumped as to how this infographic fitted into the mission – what was the big deal about volunteering? I almost feel ashamed that it took me this long… but I finally figured it out today, after watching a video on a great story of a Project HOPE volunteer in the Hati earthquake disaster.

So here it is – volunteering essentially comes from a heart of generosity… it’s generosity in action, and it’s generally about serving others, not yourself. Many of the best aid projects and charity organisations around the globe are run by volunteers. So I have to apologise for my ignorance or stupidity or whatever it was… but volunteering is awesome… and as requested by Tess, check out the infographic below, showing some interesting stats about the impact of education on volunteering. Not sure where the stats for Australia are, but relative to the rest of the world, we here in Oz are a pretty well-educated bunch… and based on these stats, we should also be getting right into the volunteering! Continue reading “What’s the big deal about volunteering?”

The poor don’t need charity

HOPEProbably not the title you expected to read on a blog that’s about helping others, especially those less well off! I’m not entirely comfortable with the statement myself, but I am definitely challenged by the thinking behind a campaign I came across recently – ‘UNCHARITY’ by HOPE International.

For too long, we’ve underestimated the power of people living in poverty.

The basic idea behind this campaign is based on microfinance, which isn’t a new idea, but I love this concept of ‘uncharity’. Here it is: providing our money, skills or resources to the poor, is not enough. In fact, this campaign goes so far to say that it has even been a hinderance to people breaking out of the cycle of poverty. HOPE says that “despite our best intentions, this approach has all too often done harm rather than good. Economist Dambisa Moyo reports in Dead Aid that Africa has received over $1 trillion in aid in the past 50 years, and in many countries, growth has stagnated–even plummeted.” A surprising fact, but it definitely makes sense –

By ignoring the God-given creativity, abilities, and motivation of those living in poverty, we’ve created feelings of dependence that cripple dreams rather than expanding them. HOPE International believes that charity is not the answer, that some of the best solutions to poverty come from the poor themselves.

Continue reading “The poor don’t need charity”

Generosity in Action

How cool is this story from CBS in the US:

Tony Tolbert, a 51-year-old lawyer from Los Angeles, proves you don’t have to be a millionaire to make a huge difference. Last week, Tolbert began lending his house to a formerly homeless family for a year while he moves back in with his parents.

Source: http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-505263_162-57561565/man-offers-his-house-to-homeless-family-for-a-year/

Lately: The Economics of Giving

On the final run down to Christmas 2012, and possibly the last post for the year (given my record lately!), I thought I’d share a good commentary on gift giving I read lately… Enjoy.

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“With just one week till Christmas … we are reminding ourselves of the gift that we have been given at the first Christmas.
Continue reading “Lately: The Economics of Giving”

WFP (2012, A Year to Remember)

“Together, we provided nearly 200,000 school meals for children (in Kenya).

Together, we gave nearly 15,000 mothers and children the food they needed to survive for 100 days (in the drought ravaged region of Sahel, Africa) .

Together, we’ve already provided food to more than 770 families, helping guarantee that frightened children don’t have to go to bed hungry (in war-torn Syria).

You have been part of efforts to provide food for more than 100 million people worldwide.”

Where’s the Controversy in Saving Lives? [VIDEO]

Engaging video with some hard hitting facts like “information about and access to contraceptives would save the lives of over 100,000 mothers and 600,000 children” – wow. Great program from the Gates Foundation.

Raise your voice and pledge to support family planning for the millions who need and want it: http://no-controversy.com

Original source: Daily DoGooder.

So Much More Than a Box

The OCC Story: You might be familiar with the mission of Operation Christmas Child. But there’s a lot more to the story than just shoe boxes.

Clever little video showing the lasting impact of this awesome ministry. Enjoy, and get your box together for this Christmas!