Walk In Their Shoes

Outrage and despair – the reaction I get from my kids during a 10 minute car ride when they ask for a drink and we tell them that we forgot to bring their water bottles… A 10 minute car drive without a drink… How ever will they survive? If you are a parent, this may sound familiar.

Last weekend, my family and I joined about 40 other people from the Open Doors team, plus about 70 other teams from around the country, to ‘Walk To Water’.

opendoors-walktowater

On our way to the event, we were explaining to our kids why we were doing this… the concept of not having instant access to clean drinking water to a kid living in Sydney is almost unfathomable (note above!). Of course, kids are not the only ones ignorant or oblivious to this – we all take access to clean water for granted, it’s hard not to. Continue reading “Walk In Their Shoes”

The largest humanitarian crisis of our generation

“Syria in Crisis” – sadly, this phrase is very common at the moment. So much so that it just seems to be a part of the fabric of global society now, and just another one of those big problems in a country far away that is too big to fix… so now it doesn’t even get much coverage on prime time TV news, doesn’t make the front page of papers, is shoved in some ‘global news’ category deep within the news websites. And so we, in our busy lives, as we just mange to scrape the surface of current affairs and glean what is interesting and relevant to us from the mass of information going around, forget about what UNICEF have called “The largest humanitarian crisis of our generation”

UNICEF Syria
This bold red strip is currently at the top of the UNICEF website


Now that’s a big call. But I think if anyone would know, UNICEF would… so I think we all need to dig a little deeper and take notice, or more appropriately… take action.

WFP have helpfully given a short overview for us to better understand the situation:

“Conflict in Syria has forced millions of people to flee their homes, creating a humanitarian crisis in which food is a top priority. WFP aims to bring food assistance to up to 6.5 million Syrians between now and the end of the year. These include 4 million people inside Syria – on both sides of the front lines – and 2.5 million refugees in neighbouring countries.”
Source: http://www.wfp.org/crisis/syria

Continue reading “The largest humanitarian crisis of our generation”

#colesandwoolworths campaign by Thankyou (*Water)

I’ve always loved the work of Thankyou Water, and now they’ve really taken it to the next level. Some mixed reactions out there in the social media world, so it will be interesting to see how it goes!

As for me – get on board #colesandwoolworths!

Check out the vid and more on the campaign here: http://www.thankyou.co/coles-and-woolworths

Just Another Human Being?

This guy is amazing. A true humanitarian who has seen a need and changed his life to do something very practical about it.

I love his simple philosophy – “I’m just another human being, we are all the same… the ultimate purpose of life is to give.”

If you aren’t a little challenged by this guy, I think you need to have a good think about your outlook on life.

The Joy of Giving

How often have you given money to some cause or organisation and wondered if the funds will ever make it to the project or person it was intended? I am generally fairly trusting, and assume it goes where it’s supposed to… though on one recent occasion, we chose to use some of our credit card points to donate funds to the Fred Hollows Foundation – we never even saw any sort of receipt or even acknowledgement that the money went there… in this case I was a little skeptical I must admit! It kinda robs you of any satisfaction in giving, wondering if the funds met their purpose… but the opposite is also true when you see the outcome of your generosity…

Recently I got an email from my mate, Dan, who some time ago collected some funds in our small group for a project in Cambodia. I had forgotten about it completely, making receiving the email below even more encouraging to see the impact that our small notion of generosity made…

// DAN:

Hi Guys!

Hope you’re all doing well. Remember when we collected money for the Mother and her daughter in Cambodia last year, so that they could buy some land and have somewhere to live and make a living? Well, I didn’t just pocket the cash… that money went to Cambodia and has transformed the prospects of this family, so thanks guys! Emma was very excited to send us the following info and photos: Continue reading “The Joy of Giving”

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)

Lately: Water // Water // Water

Water. One of the biggest single issues impacting the lives of millions of people across the third world… hence why there are probably more organisations based on or involved in activites to improve access to or the quality of water.

So it’s pretty easy to find projects and awesome campaigns about water – here’s a few I’ve come across lately…

#1 // Walk to Water – OD Australia

WALK TO WATER on Saturday 15 September and give Christian families in Northern Nigeria access to clean, running water.


Continue reading “Lately: Water // Water // Water”

What’s It Like to Live Below the Line?

Some good friends from church, the Jacobs family, were one group among thousands of other Aussies who recently took part in Live Below the Line. I thought it might be a good opportunity to ask them about the experience and get some insights into what it is like to live below the Australian equivalent of the “poverty line”.

“Live Below the Line will challenge you to live on $2 a day, for 5 days. It opens a window onto the day-to-day experience of extreme poverty…”

Here’s a few questions I asked The Jacobs about their experience…

Continue reading “What’s It Like to Live Below the Line?”