Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Bloggers' Tribute raises $1300 for women in poverty

What an incredible week. A few days ago Incentive House offered to donate $100 for every blog post written as a tribute to the entrepreneurial poor (up to $1000). It took less than 3 days for ten Australian bloggers to rise to the occasion. Incentive House then offered a further $300 for another 3 posts, which were practically written overnight. WOW. So thank you to these amazing Australians who wrote a blog post in order to generate a substantial donation towards this microfinance project.

In order of contribution, as they appeared in my inbox between Friday and Monday :)
  1. @badkoala Matthew Johnson It's all about Opportunity says we can influence opportunities for others "you need to have & recognise the opportunities that are present to you get closer to your goal"
  2. @servantofchaos Gavin Heaton A Tribute to a Woman's Investment shares how just about anyone "can begin to build a portfolio of investments in small businesses that have significant local impacts in communities far from where you live."
  3. @innotecture Matt Moore in his usual quirky style issues a bold challenge for people to invest in this Trust Bank program
  4. @deswalsh Des Walsh A Tribute to the Entrepreneurial, Currently Poor Women writes of his desire "to see others with an entrepreneurial spirit supported in achieving their dreams."
  5. @marigo Marigo Raftopolous Investing In Entrepreneurship wrote about the reward of assisting with a women's shelter in Zimbabwe "My small investment gave these women and their families the dignity, independence and confidence that poverty and abuse had robbed from them. Never underestimate the power we all have to make a difference to the life of others. "
  6. KerrieAnn Christian paid tribute by sharing the journey of entrepreneur Sally Bowen
  7. @cheekysoul Alena Russel wrote Teach a Girl to Fish "These women have dreams, just like we do. We have ways to help them achieve these dreams that are simpler than you think."
  8. @katherineliew Katherine Liew wrote a tribute to opportunity and entrepreneurs "In economic theory, it’s entrepreneurs that drive the innovation and economic growth. It’s time to invest in them."
  9. From @shaicoggins Shai Coggins wrote A Tribute to Entrepreneurial Poor Women in the Philippines to honour "my late maternal grandmother and my mother - who both were very instrumental in showing me that entrepreneurship and hard work can help you to live better lives. They are both examples of women in the Philippines who managed to escape poverty by going in to business and learning how to save and to invest accordingly.
  10. @iggypintado Iggy Pintado Making a Difference to Poverty in the Philippines shared "a first hand view of the need to find ways to aid and support people in a third world country."
  11. @graemebowman Graeme Bowman wrote his first ever blog post Poor in Pocket, Rich in Spirit"With microfinance, training and programs, these poor but passionate people can seize opportunities and break the poverty cycle."
  12. @Socioteque Socioteque in Feeling Guilty? I know I am! makes a great suggestion to "make a pact with yourself to support a few personal causes this year. "
  13. From @miscmum Karen How blogging philanthropy is powerful and activism works shared her "interest in developing the skills to harness the potential - I feel - the Internet has to do real and important work for social causes
  14. @polkadotbride Ms Polka Dot A charitable tribute "Entrepreneurs have a certain spirit- I have been so lucky to meet so many and to be one myself with Polka Dot Bride. There’s a tenacity, a drive, an imagination and a certain sparkle that comes along with it."
A huge thanks to each blogger for participating, and to Incentive House (Reward Yourself card and getoutoftown.com.au ) for contributing to this fundraising initiative. I am flattered with their feedback and grateful for their support "Jasmin's enthusiasm and passion for supporting the entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines was the inspiration for Incentive House’s donation, and we are delighted by the selfless contribution of the many Aussies who supported this initiative, by either writing a blog post or spreading the word about this worthwhile cause. I hope we have inspired many more to make a further contribution.’

image uploaded by urbanshoregirl

If you missed out on writing a Tribute blog post you can still contribute by making a donation or purchasing greeting cards and art prints. Also I have two more initiatives in mind between now and the end of June, when my fundraising will end (at least for this Opportunity International Filipino microfinance project) so stay tuned! Don't worry, I won't be recruiting my online community into any more creative challenges because you have been so generous over the last few months participating in The Women's Investment Slides, the Beyond challenge, SOS09 and this recent Tribute project . I do promise that I have something very special planned - this time it will a gift from me to YOU :)

Update:Great news -futurist Morris Miselowski will be talking about this on local radio station 3AW tomorrow April 1st.

Monday, March 30, 2009

How Aussies raised $1000 in 3 days - and a chance to raise some more!

How exciting! Ten generous Australian bloggers united in a fundraising initiative, by writing Tribute blog posts for the entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines. In less than three days, they managed to raise $100 per post, a grand total of $1000 from Incentive House (Reward Yourself card.)

The folks at Incentive House were thrilled to see the response by bloggers and on Twitter to support this important cause for women living in poverty. They were so encouraged that they have extended their support for this fundraiser.

Joanne Stanton has kindly offered to donate another $300 from getoutoftown.com.au towards this community microfinance project in the Philippines - if only three more Australians join in this initiative and write a Tribute blog post by midnight 31st March ($100 per post).

I will create a wrap-up post with links to all of the final posts in early April. I am truly amazed at what can be achieved in a short time. Thanks for your generosity so far! Only three blog posts to go before we raise $1300 together!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Tribute: how your blog post can raise $1000 for people living in poverty

I have some great news to share with you! Over the next week Melbourne based business Incentive House will be contributing up to $1000 towards an Opportunity International microfinance fundraiser by donating $100 for every blog post you write for a special project.

First a quick background about how this happened. Last week, out of the blue, I received a tweet from Incentive House asking to discuss my fundraising project and how they could contribute.You see, many years ago the owner had visited the Philippines and witnessed people living in a rubbish tip. The devastating image of poverty never left him.

Images originally uploaded by Simon Oosterman

Within days I met the directors of Incentive House for the first time and shared an idea for a blogging challenge I already had in mind, then we came up with this project! They are really supportive of this fundraising initiative for a group of entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines - which also reflects their business about rewarding success and "giving inspiration to those with aspirations". So let me tell you about this exciting project.

TRIBUTE - a creative fundraising challenge for Australian bloggers.
Between now and the end of March, the generous folks at Incentive House will donate AU$100 for each "Tribute" blog post (up to a total of $1,000) So if ten people can write a post each, you will generate a total of $1,000 towards a group microfinance project in the Philippines!

Here's how to do it:
1. Create a TRIBUTE blog post between now and the end of March 2009.
The entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines are an incredible bunch of individuals who are rising up out of poverty and circumstances to develop their small businesses. The small banks and organisations like Opportunity International Australia who provide them with the loans, training and programs are equally doing a wonderful thing by creating opportunities to end the poverty cycle and impact whole communities. So this is your opportunity to create a Tribute to the entrepreneurial poor. For instance, you may choose write about the benefit of microfinance projects, the women who take the initiative to start their businesses to help feed and clothe their families, or you could share a personal experience about reducing poverty in the Philippines. You could even pay tribute by simply writing a poem or sharing a photo to honour these women.

2. Please leave a comment on this blog post to let me know you have written something for the Tribute project.

3. It would be great if you could mention that I am raising funds for an Opportunity International Filipino Trust Bank on http://wonderwebby.chipin.com so that others can consider making a donation to this important cause between now and the end of June.

I will write a follow up post early April linking to the contributors and letting you know that your contribution has resulted in a donation by Incentive House :)

Stuck for words? Here are some links:
I am so excited about this initiative and look forward to reading your Tributes to help raise $1000 via the generous folks at Incentive House. And of course even once we reach the target of ten Australian blog posts to raise $1,000 you can still join in with this project just to help spread the word about making a difference with the entrepreneurial poor!

About Incentive House and the Reward Yourself Card. Incentive House is creating opportunities for business to motivate their staff, through their latest innovative corporate reward product, the multi-store Reward Yourself Card. The Reward Card operates like a debit card, through invited 'aspirational' retailers eftpos terminals. See www.rewardyourself.com.au for further information.

Update on the Shout Out Social Project

Over the last month a number of people gave towards a project called #SOS09 (Shout Out Social) which had two purposes; to help raise funds for an Opportunity International project and to encourage people to be creative for a cause.

Around the world, individuals used their creativity to express something that mattered to them, including topics such as Healthcare, Hope and Green Spaces. They submitted their images to a Flickr Group, and the images were displayed as part of a digital wall show at Horse Bazaar over on March 14th

Eileen Clegg graciously created a mural to shout out for Creativity and explains her message on video

Shahin Shafaei reminded people of the importance of creativity and expression in our day to day lives, by sharing his experience of nearly two years in isolation at an Australian detention centre.

Over the course of this project around AU$280 was raised, and being part of this project and event was personally fulfilling. Eileen and Shahin spoke from the heart. A number of individuals around the world took a few minutes to use social media for positive change, and a small bunch of people braved the rain to come along to the SOS09 event. Even the decor of the venue represented the importance of people, history and culture in a technical and creative context.

That Saturday evening I left the event knowing that people around the planet had made a difference, however small, and that each of us had experienced something good through our individual contributions to this project against poverty.

If you would like to thank the people who contributed to this project AND make a difference to a group of women living in poverty right now, you can make a donation or purchase some quality greeting cards or wall art (all proceeds go towards this Opportunity International project in the Philippines. Thank you for your kind support.)

Thursday, March 26, 2009

About the Philippines and Opportunity International

I thought I'd take a moment to share some facts about the Philippines and poverty as provided by Opportunity International.
  • For over 30 years, the Opportunity International Network has been working with people living in poverty in the Philippines, where 40% of the population lives below the poverty line.
  • In the Philippines, the majority of Trust Banks (group microfinance projects) are located in urban and semiurban areas and to a lesser degree, rural areas.
  • Over 78% of the Filipino Trust Bank loans are made to women.
  • Poverty in the Philippines has been a predominantly rural phenomenon, with the gap between urban and rural poverty increasing in recent years. While the incidence of urban poverty remained the same over a period of three years, rural poverty increased and is approximately twice the level of urban poverty. The rural poor constitute approximately 44% of the population. Furthermore, most of the rural poor are engaged in agriculture, where poverty reduction has been painstakingly slow and poverty is most severe and widespread. In general, illiteracy, unemployment and the incidence of poverty are higher among indigenous peoples and people in the upland areas of the Philippines.
  • Overall, more than one out of three people in the Philippines live in poverty. The poorest of the poor are indigenous peoples, small-scale farmers who cultivate land received through agrarian reform, landless workers, fishers, people in upland areas, and women in all categories.
  • Many households in the Philippines rate themselves as poor and report that their families had experienced hunger, without having anything to eat, at least once in the last three months. Of the five leading causes of morbidity, four are communicable diseases (diarrhoea, bronchitis, pneumonias and influenza), and the fifth is hypertension. The prevalence of communicable diseases is still very high, while that of non-communicable
    diseases is increasing and will continue to do so. This extra burden of disease places a great toll on the health and economy of the people, and on the nation as a whole.
  • There are reportedly 1.2 medical physicians per 1,000 people and around 20% of the population is undernourished.
  • For more information about the Philippines:
    Local news: http://philippinesnews.net/
    Country profile: http://www.theworldnews.com.au/Worldguide/index.php3
    Country statistics: http://hdr.undp.org/statistics/data/

Thursday, March 19, 2009

How will I raise $10,000 for a microfinance project?

Filipino Trust Bank

In September I committed to raise AU$10,000 for an Opportunity International project against poverty for a group in the Philippines. And right now I only have a few months left and a little under $9,000 to raise. Eeeeek. So - in case you're wondering - what am I going to do?

1. I'm hoping to receive some funding through a special program at work for volunteers. This could provide around $1600 worth of funds to this project.

2. I will be making a significant donation myself. I believe in this program and the hope it offers these people - not just to create their own businesses - but to transform them and their communities with a long term solution. I'll be putting my money where my mouth is, so to speak!

3. Even if I only raise AU$5,000 I can still partner with another Opportunity Ambassador volunteer to achieve our goals. Opportunity International recognises that the current economic climate is making it more difficult for volunteers to raise funds, so although I initially committed to raising AU$10k I will be simply be raising as much as I can before June 30th 2009. If I raise less than $5000 the money will still go towards Opportunity International projects, however I'd still like to think that the $10,000 goal can be achieved by the end of June :)

So how can you help?

You can help me reach this goal, making a difference to a community of entrepreneurial poor, by donating to my Chipin fundraiser by credit card or paypal. People around the world have donated anything from $10 to $100 each. If you live in Australia your donation will be tax deductible. My request is genuine, as you can see on Opportunity International's official website.

Alternatively you can purchase quality greeting cards or wall prints with all proceeds (approximately 20% ) going to this project.

Finally - please spread the word by linking to this site or my Chipin on your social networks, tell your friends, and if you have any ideas on great webby ways to fundraise, please let me know. It's not easy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Opportunity International fundraising event

Shouting out For Love by David Armano

If you live in Melbourne - please be my guest at Shout Out Social this Saturday!

This celebration of creativity for positive change will include a digital exhibition of images and words created by people around the world, and a video message from the inspiring visual journalist Eileen Clegg. Special guest speaker, actor and playwright Shahin Shafaei will be there to share some words, drawing upon his incredible personal story.

Shahin Shafaei, an acclaimed actor and playwright in his native home of Iran fled his country after having his work banned. He found his way to Australia in 2000 through Indonesian people smugglers, and ended up spending 22 months at Curtin immigration detention center in WA - 10 of those months in isolation. These days Shahin continues his creative work and empowers others to share their own amazing stories through the arts.

This special event will be held one night only - Saturday 14th March 5pm to 7pm at Horse Bazaar in Melbourne (which kicks on until late.) Entry is free and a donation box will be available to raise funds for a Opportunity International Australia project.

Invite your friends and RSVP to the event on Facebook or make a $10 donation today to help fund a Filipino microfinance project - helping families and communities out of poverty.

Hope to see you there!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Last Day for Photos

I'm raising funds for a project against poverty in the Philippines through Opportunity Australia and I need your help.

All I need is for you to 'donate' a photo, artwork or design, and say what you want to shout out for (eg love, poverty, healthcare etc). Check out this Youtube clip for ideas.

Today is the last day to add your photos for a digital wall show. They will be screened in a small bar in Melbourne this Saturday where guest speaker Eileen Clegg will be sharing a message on creativity for positive change via video, and special guest Shahin Shafaei will be sharing some inspiration from his own story in person.

All you need to do is submit a photo to this Flickr group or email wonderwebby at gmail.com. Today is the last day, so please send by the 10th of March.

Thanks for your support!

Monday, March 9, 2009

Statistics on poverty

I did a bit of a google for statistics on poverty. Here are some of the stats I found:
  1. More than half the world lives in poverty (on less than $2 a day)
  2. At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.Source 1

  3. More than 80 % of the world’s population lives in countries where income differentials are widening.Source 2

  4. According to UNICEF, 26,500-30,000 children die each day due to poverty. And they “die quietly in some of the poorest villages on earth, far removed from the scrutiny and the conscience of the world. Being meek and weak in life makes these dying multitudes even more invisible in death.”Source 4
  5. Based on enrolment data, about 72 million children of primary school age in the developing world were not in school in 2005; 57 per cent of them were girls. And these are regarded as optimisitic numbers.Source 6

  6. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names.Source 7

  7. A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.Source 30

  8. One in three Filipinos are estimated to be living below the Asian Poverty Line of $1.35/day (About 25.4 million) Source

Will you help to make a difference?

Trust Banks easily explained

I just found this great clip about Trust Banks which explains the concept quite simply.

As you know I'm raising funds for one of these microfinance programs over the next couple of months. There is still one day left to donate a photo for a special event to raise funds for a Trust Bank in the Philippines. Can you help out?

Thursday, March 5, 2009

A little inspiration

We all need an little encouragement sometimes so I made a little clip using Animoto and uploaded it to Youtube - it's a little inspiration on why your voice matters.

Incredible to think that none of these images would exist if individuals didn't take a moment to reflect on things that matter, and now the exhibition is slowly coming together. I'm sure there are more people who want to shout out - how about you? Upload your image to shout out for something http://www.flickr.com/groups/shoutoutsocial/ or email me at wonderwebby at gmail.com

Shout it out!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Marching On

My how time flies when your raising funds. It's already March and I still have a significant amount of money to raise so that a group of individuals in the Philippines can get out of poverty.

"Of the 91 million people living in the Philippines, 43% survive on US$2 or less a day."

My next creative event is around the corner and there are only 8 days let for people to take a few minutes and submit photos for the exhibition, and I'm not how much more I can promote the event without becoming "spammy". The Shout Out event is on in less than 2 weeks and while I'm excited about the exhibition and speaker, I really wish I had more people RSVPing at this stage.

Some moments I wonder what on earth I am doing - I'm a very busy mum with young children, life is full between family, work, commitments in my community and everything else. I haven't coordinated an event like this for a loooong time but the thought that doing this might raise even a little bit of money towards the project keeps me going. It's a JOURNEY - that's for sure.

Anyhow, I have written up a blurb about Shout Out Social because a special guest will be joining us! Here 'tis - please come along!

Shout Out Social promises to be a special two hour event for anyone interested in the arts and community development. This celebration of the creative voice will include a digital exhibition of images and words created by people around the world, and a video message from the inspiring visual journalist Eileen Clegg. Special guest speaker, actor and playwright Shahin Shafaei will be there to share some words, drawing upon his incredible personal story.

Shahin Shafaei

Shahin Shafaei

Shahin Shafaei, an acclaimed actor and playwright in his native home of Iran fled his country after having his work banned. He found his way to Australia in 2000 through Indonesian people smugglers, and ended up spending 22 months at Curtin immigration detention center in WA - 10 of those months in isolation. These days Shahin continues his creative work and empowers others to share their own amazing stories through the arts.

This special event will be held one night only - Saturday 14th March 5pm to 7pm at Horse Bazaar in Melbourne (which kicks on until late.) Entry is free and a donation box will be available to raise funds for a Opportunity International Australia project.

You still have your chance to submit photos or artwork to the Flickr group.
RSVP to the event on Facebook or help to spread the word by becoming a Fan! Please tell your friends and come along to be inspired and help make a difference!