With product sales at Sydney Mind Body Spirit in October, the proceeds were able to be donated to the Christmas collection #itsinthebag.
Having the power to make life better for a woman or girl experiencing homelessness or poverty this Christmas is a great initiative. Making up 20 bags with pads, personal hygiene products and everyday luxuries to homeless women, women at risk or women experiencing domestic violence.
I met Anne taking the Immersion trip to Senegal at the start of 2018. Anne is one of the biggest supporters of 'Cradle of Love' in Tanzania. Anne runs her charity called 'The Power of One' and certainly shows how one person can step up and create change in this world.
In Tanzania there is great need for maternal child health. A variety of health issues face mothers that may lead to death during pregnancy & childbirth, it is far to common. If the mother dies and there is no wet nurse, the father or relatives cannot afford baby formula. So a nursing infant with no one to provide adequate nutrition or care is in trouble. Without intervention the infant would soon die from malnutrition. That is where Cradle of Love Baby Home steps in to help. We love and care for them until they are weaned and can go home to a family member. Some babies are abandoned, and we love and care for them in the same manner, with hope that they will be adopted. In Tanzania, the Cradle of Love Baby Home is responding to the cries of orphaned and abandoned babies.
Cradle of Love Baby Home was established to provide interim care for infants in need, we are a safe environment where the babies will receive proper nutrition, medical care, as well as all the love and attention they deserve. Since it responds to those that have severe medical problems there will be times when a baby dies; however, that infant will feel loved and secure until its last breath.
#TogetherTowardSolutions is committed by contributing monthly.
I was extremely fortunate to have been accepted into the 2018 Leadership Program with The Hunger Project. I travelled to Senegal, Africa in February. It was a life changing experience. My focus late 2017 was on raising funds which will go directly to the people and the community of Senegal. A total of $10,000 was raised through product sales and other events.
The Hunger Project work to break the cycle of poverty, believing that the hungry people themselves are not the problem, but the solution to ending hunger. They support, empower and teach women in starving communities to become powerful leaders and to develop their own solutions to ending poverty and hunger in their communities.The approach on the ground sees the once coined ‘hungry, poor and non-literate’ as the key resource in ending hunger and poverty.
From the moment we arrived into the epicentres we were embraced by our sisters in Senegal. Together we all celebrated the success of working with The Hunger Project with a change in mindset. Vision was created, Commitment established and Action changing the lives of all these beautiful children. The next generation is being fed. Education, Leadership and Community the ingredients to a full Future. We are visited a roadside child care health centre. This is where the babies are weighed and monitored monthly from birth to 36 months. The mothers are handed small bags of cereal to give to their babies, their babies are also handed a bowl of stew if they are a little older and if their statistics fall behind they are sent to a hospital for a thorough check-up.
In some of the epicentres there are classes to teach sewing. Some women now sew and are part of a small group making money for their families and also for the epicentre. There are small market gardens for the communities. They are taught how to grow their own crops. There is a grain store in the epicentre. A food bank where they can loan a bag of grain to return at the end of the season adding some back for the epicentre. This way they can feed their own families and contribute to others being part of the program. Kindergartens are set up and child care centres to monitor children. In one epicentre there was a shop. For 4 months a woman runs this shop. One quarter is kept by this lady, the remainder is balanced between the epicentre and purchasing more stock. Micro-finance loans are available for women who have their vision set. I met women who set up small business like peanut oil.
Thank you everyone who invested into the lives of these beautiful people.
During 2013 I met the most incredible women at Monash Medical Centre in Melbourne, Australia. Meplin was staying with her 4 year old daughter who received 8 months of life saving operations. She had been born with a blockage in the back of her head causing swelling and pressure to her brain. Poor Lyn had severe facial deformation and pain. In 2014 I travelled to her urban village in Vanuatu to live along side my Vanuatu 'sister'.
Opening her home to two of my sons and I, we immersed into the rhythm of village life. We were the first white people to stay in the village. During my stay I realised that it wasn't unusual to wake hours before sun up (about 3.30 am). With no power the wood would need to be chopped. A fire lit to put a rice pot on to feed them for the day. Washing for the family is done by hand. This took 3 hours. I was glad there was water in the well otherwise we would have had to take the long walk to the river to do the washing.
Working at the time in a kindergarten for a very minimal wage of approx. $50 per month. I suggested what a great idea it would be to run her own kindergarten. She was shocked by the confidence I had in her.
Sponsoring her family with a taxi, soon funds were raised to leave her job and start her own kindergarten. I am so proud of my Vanuatu family. Meplin now runs her own kindergarten with 55 students. She has her own flushing toilet and making a difference to the community that she lives in. It has been incredible to watch.......
With so many children attending her kindergarten we are currently looking into building a new kindergarten.
During a trip to Cambodia in 2013 my family and I took a tuk tuk to find temporary villages on stilts - villages soon to be pulled down for development in Siem Reap, Cambodia. We gifted packs of pencils, paper and money. In each of the streets there was a water pump that they all shared.
We also gifted the floating village full of displaced people who have no true residency. The small children in the floating school were beside themselves to have their own supplies to take home. The impact and devastation is still felt today from the Khmer Rouge over 25 years ago.
My heart exploded with the gratitude from every person we connected with.
Here is where I discovered my passion for giving....