Monday, April 27, 2009

An eBook about some amazing WorldShapers

A little while ago I mentioned that I wanted to create a gift for YOU, to thank you for all your great help. Together we have raised AU$4,000 towards a $10k microfinance Trust Group for Filipino women currently living in poverty.

In about a month YOU will be treated to something to help you dream big - an inspirational eBook called WorldShapers, featuring some extraordinary women making an impact!

Image originally uploaded by Todd Huffman

What's WorldShapers all about? It's about women embracing the power of technology and social media to make a bigger difference and shape their world. I've encountered many such initiatives as part of this campaign for Opportunity International, and I look forward to sharing these stories of collaboration, of initiative, and of creativity. Their inspiring stories will focus on the value of community and will be released as a free eBook at the end of May. The delightful Joanna Young of Confident Writing is also helping to put this eBook together.

Some amazing women who have indicated their involvement with the WorldShapers eBook (you can @wonderwebby me if you also want to be included):

Eileen Clegg – Visual Journalist and Founder of Visual Insight @eileenclegg USA
Phaedra Boinidiris – CEO and Co-Founder of USA
Anita Pahor – Director of Partnerships at Emberin Australia
Amy Jussel – Founder/Executive Director of Shaping Youth USA
Marigo Raftopolous - Management Consultant, Serious Games evangelist @marigo Australia
Stacey Monk - CEO and Co-Founder of Epic Change @staceymonk USA
Lucky Chhetri - Co-founder EWN - Empowering Women of Nepal , Nepal
Daphne Nederhorst - Founder and Executive Director of SAWA
Amy Sample Ward Director of community and content at Netsquared and nonprofit consultant @amyrsward UK
Jyl Johnson Pattee Co-Founder of Mom It Forward @jyl_momIF USA
Annie Le Cavalier- Executive Director Vibewire Youth Inc. @vibewire Australia
Karen Muanu - Love Without Boundaries @KarenMaunu_LWB USA
Debra Askanase- Social Media for Non Profits @askdebra Jerusalem
Dr Angela A Thomas - Author Youth Online, Sydney University @anyaixchel Australia
Nancy White - Founder, Full Circle Associates @NancyWhite USA

I am also seeking companies who want to make a difference, to 'sponsor' this eBook. Melbourne based company Incentive House have already made the first generous donation of AU$600 towards this Trust Group (in addition to their previous donation for the blogging challenge.) It might be a big ask in the current economic climate, but I'm counting on the generous spirit and willingness of companies like Incentive House to help change lives. If just 10 more companies join in, we will reach the goal of providing a $10k Trust Group for a community in the Philippines. All tax deductible donations (applies in Australia only) go towards this project for Opportunity International and corporate donors will be mentioned in the eBook - email worldshapers at or @wonderwebby by May 18th if you are interested.
**update - Seek Volunteer have also donated $500 - thank you! **

Here's some more background to the project:
Last year I stepped out on a journey to raise AU$10,000 for a Trust Group in the Philippines, as a volunteer Ambassador for Opportunity International Australia, by June 31st 2009 .

The funds will create microloans and a 2 year enterprise development program to empower between 15 to 30 (mostly women) entrepreneurial poor.
The Trust Group is established in a community where over half the residents are living below the national poverty line (typically $1-2 a day.)

In addition to the loan the funding also provides enterprise development services, including training in business and management skills, social and community issues such as health, sanitation and community participation - and personal development. The members meet each week to make their repayments, discuss issues relevant to their businesses and personal lives, and receive business training and mentoring. Once the loans are repaid the donation will be recycled to another Trust Group.

So far around 40% of this has been raised through a series of social media efforts. All the money raised goes towards this Chipin for Opportunity International Australia at the end of June or as soon as the $10,000 has been raised. Anyone can donate.

I look forward to sharing WorldShapers with you towards the end of May, and once again, thank YOU for helping me make a difference for many mothers currently living in poverty. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Interview with David Bassau

I just finished listening to this short and informative interview with David Bassau, the founder of Opportunity International. It's well worth the listen, as he explains how microfinance works, the impact on communities and the growth of Opportunity International (mp3)

Des Walsh also interviewed me last week. I might not sound as eloquent as David :) but I tried to explain Trust Banks and the success of the Tribute blog challenge (10 mins)


If you would like to help raise funds for one of these programs, which provides a series of loans to a group of 15 to 30 (mostly women) entrepreneurial poor in the Philippines, you can chip in to this fundraiser (ending June 31st)