Cambodia Trust charity dinner

Do you want to help change life’s forever for children in Cambodia?

Cambodia Charitable Trust is holding a charity dinner on Thursday 23rd February at Waipuna Hotel in Mt Wellington, Auckland.

Download an order form here 

Check out there website or join their Facebook page for more detailed information on how they help children.  Overall they help with education and health, sponsorship and social accountability.

Why not sponsor a child today and provide education for a young girl?  You can transform a life today!!


Really Good Gifts

Open up a world of love and hope for families affected by leprosy.

Really Good Gifts 4 Families are so much more than giving money to charity, or buying presents for Christmas. They’re about understanding the world around us, and the importance of caring for others disadvantaged by poverty and leprosy. Every gift has been carefully selected to meet the needs of individuals and families affected by leprosy.

Really Good Gifts 4 Families are a very personal and direct link between families like yours here in New Zealand, and the families disadvantaged by leprosy and poverty who will benefit.

 You can share how Really Good Gifts 4 Families work with your church, community group, friends and family; and help to transform lives for families affected by leprosy.

Whats gifts are there?
You can help a family living in poverty set up their own Tea Shop Business, bake and sell their own Injera Bread or you can buy the ultimate gift and help Cure One person of leprosy.

New Gifts for 2011 that will help families affected by leprosy:
Repair a Family Home
Reconstructive Hand Surgery
Reconstructive Foot Surgery
A Hospital Bed

Check out the website today and buy your Really Good Gift 4 Families.

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Pink for a great cause

The NZBCF is challenging New Zealanders to take action against Breast Cancer this October, and help save the seven women a day who are diagnosed with breast cancer in this country. 

We here, at the Leprosy Mission New Zealand dressed up today in pink to support this great cause.  We held a pink morning tea too with devotions dedicated to cancer survivers and people who have lost their battle with cancer. 

1 in 9 New Zealand women experience the disease in their lifetime – your mother, sister, wife, daughter or friend – so please join us this October and go Pink for a Day.

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Bake a difference

Bake a Difference, which runs through Blind Week, is a new, nationwide event in which we are asking New Zealanders to get involved by baking delicious goodies to sell to friends, family, workmates or others for a gold coin donation during Blind Week. We’d love you to join us!

How can you get involved? 3 easy steps:

– Register your event and start planning
– Bake up a storm and share with friends/family
– Send in the money you have raised to the Blind Foundation of NZ

Why am I taking part in this new initiative?

I have a very big passion for the non-profit sector, which I work in also for the Leprosy Mission New Zealand.
I haven’t decided what I will be baking yet but I will post the recipe & photos this week. 

I am sure it won’t be as extravagant as this image, but it does look good!


Faith Hope … Charity

Where would the world be today without Charities?

Non-profit organisations are such an important part of todays society and they exist to help give back to the community directly or indirectly through  people who are struggling with illness, poverty or many other unfortunate circumstances.   I truly believe if everybody (over 18 years of age) in NZ donated a minimum of $1 a day, we could eradicate poverty in a third world country such as Ethiopia, let alone if everybody around the world donated this amount – poverty and third world countries would not exist!!!  Thinking about this was a WAKE UP call for me.  It just goes to show that one small idea can make a big difference in many lives in undeveloped countries (I prefer this term rather than third world countries – it sounds so inhumane).

I recently discovered the Leprosy Mission of NZ (check out their awesome website, very informative and interactive).  It even has a calculator on the website to say how many people around the world have developed Leprosy depending on how long you have spent on their website.

The thing that drew me in initially was their motto “Creating big change with your small change'” it’s so encouraging to know someones small change ($5 – the cost of a large espresso these days) can make such a difference in people’s lives.

What is leprosy? Leprosy (also known as Hansen’s disease) is caused by bacteria which attack nerves in the hands, feet and face leaving them numb.  If left untreated, leprosy can affect the peripheral nerves and cause the fingers and toes to claw inwards. The disease can also attack the eyes, resulting in infections, cataracts and even blindness.

I felt so naive not knowing what leprosy was, now I know what it is I want to help!  So … I ordered a Moneybox donation pack off the Leprosy Mission NZ website.  Check out the link so you can order yours too.    My dream one day soon is to go to an undeveloped country on a missionary and help people in the community such as collecting water, helping with school education, building shelter and daily tasks.

In the meantime I will continue “creating big change with ‘my’ small change”

Wake up and smell the coffee

I attended the Trade Aid Fair Coffee seminar where Tadesse Meskela, general manager of the Oromia Coffee Farmers’ Co-operative Union in Ethiopia came to talk about Fair Trade coffee.  Tadesse is best known as creating the Black Gold documentary check out the trailer below

Coffee, known as the next black gold just behind oil. 

Some quick facts about coffee farmers before the OCFCU was established by Tadesse

– Only 22% of people in Ethopia had access to drinkable water
– 90% of farmers and their families lived on less than $2 per day
– 30 doctors were available for every one million people
– Annual income for coffee farmers was $97 per year

These facts will shock you, because they certainly shocked me.  These people lived in poverty, worked long hours and didn’t even get paid their worth.

So Tadesse set up the OCFCU Union purpose was:
To improve the farmer’s income by selling their coffee for better prices
To improve quality, productivity and sustainability of coffee
To enable farmers negotiation power for better prices and stabilise the local market and
To assist coffee communities in providing social services such as school, health centers and clean water to the wider community

 Did you know coffee grows on tree?

Since this union was formed profits from selling coffee at a fair price is given back to farmers so they can afford essentials like health care, water and providing their families with food and shelter.  Also, this Co-Op has helped farmers come out of poverty and start living a better life.

So maybe next time you go out to buy a coffee remember where it comes from and try to buy Fair Trade coffee.

 Us as consumers have a choice to buy something fair trade for example which will help coffee farmers in Ethopia, the coffee farmers don’t have a choice.  Will you help make a difference?!

Below is a photo of Tenesse and me

Find out where your coffee money goes Click here

The Fair Trade movement is growing as people realize that they can help alleviate poverty and protect the environment by choosing Fair Trade products.
Robert Alan

TWLOHA | To Write Love on Her Arm

Have you heard of TWLOHA Non-Profit Organisation? Check them out here

To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit movement dedicated to presenting hope and finding help for people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and suicide.  TWLOHA exists to encourage, inform, inspire and also to invest directly into treatment and recovery.

This non-profit organisation has started a really important movement in USA.  According to mental health research, 1 in 3 people will be affected sometime in their lives by depression.  That means we will all know someone affected by this daunting disease or battle through it ourselves – a little scary to think isn’t it.  However, this disease cannot be ignored no matter how daunting it is to think about, it actually makes it more important to talk and think about.  It is actually classed as a disability now and is the number one cause of loss of productivity in the workplace.

Here are some quick facts from the TWLOHA website

Quick Numbers on depression

-121 million people worldwide suffer from depression. (World Health Organization)

– 18 million of these cases are happening in the United States. (The National Institute of Mental Health)

– Between 20% and 50% of children and teens struggling with depression have a family history of this struggle and the offspring of depressed parents are more than three times as likely to suffer from depression. (U.S. Surgeon General’s Survey, 1999)

– Depression often co-occurs with anxiety disorders and substance abuse, with 30 percent of teens with depression also developing a substance abuse problem. (NIMH)

– 2/3 of those suffering from depression never seek treatment.

Untreated depression is the number one cause of  suicide, and suicide is the third leading cause of death among teenagers. (NIMH)

The last fact above is scary.

The great thing about the TWLOHA organisation is it fights against depression which leads to suicide, they also focus on addiction and self harm.  Depression can have a flow on effect and lead to all of these things above so tackling it head on is the best approach.

TWLOHA is not a self-help line, nor are they trained professionals – but their purpose is to act as a bridge to help people affected by one or all of the illnesses mentioned above.

Why am I so interested in this NGO?
Someone in my family has suffered from depression and actually took their own life about 10 years ago now.  I know first hand the pain it can cause to family, friends and loved ones.   I was 13 at the time when my Uncle passed away and my sister was 16 or 17 at the time.  It was so long ago yet the memories are still very vivid – it certainly something you can never forget.  My Uncle suffered from mental illness for many years, as long as I can remember.  The worst thing about mental illness 10 + years ago was the stigma around mental illness.  It was never talked about – Stigma is a very real problem for people who have a mental illness. Based on stereotypes, stigma is a negative judgment based on a personal trait — in this case, having a mental health condition. It was once a common perception that having a mental illness was due to some kind of personal weakness. We now know that mental health disorders have a biological basis and can be treated like any other health condition. Even so, we still have a long way to go to overcome the many misconceptions, fears and biases people have about mental health, and the stigma these attitudes create.

Years ago depression was seen as a personal weakness and people were locked away and kept in institutions as they ‘were a threat to society’.  We all know this is not true so I want to change people’s perspective on these mental illness, people don’t choose to have a mental illness but we can decide how we deal with it, starting by seeking help!

I would really like to do some work with TWLOHA organisation and try to fight this stigma and help people in need.  My dream is to open a TWLOHA organisation here in New Zealand.

Come back shortly for an update!

NGO’s & building my own NGO

NGOs (non government organisation’s) are run independently from the government and rely on donations to cover set up and running costs.

In-dept definition below courtesy of

The term NGO is very broad and encompasses many different types of organisations. In the field of development, NGOs range from large, Northern-based charities such as CARE, Oxfam and World Vision to community-based self-help groups. They also include research institutes, churches, professional associations and lobby groups The World Bank tends to interact with two main categories of NGOs: Operational NGOs – whose primary purpose is the design and implementation of development-related projects, and; Advocacy NGOs – whose primary purpose is to defend or promote a specific cause and who seek to influence the policies and practices of the World Bank.
Growing up I have always wondered what my purpose in life was and what the future held for me.  I have recently discovered my hidden (not so hidden at times) passion for non-profit organisations and now I want to start my own built on Christian faith.
I might not be the first to come up with this idea but I am sure I won’t be the last either.
My aim –
To benefit the community through marketing (non-profit faith based)
My plan –
Apply for the AMP scholarship currently on offer
I will be back tomorrow to discuss my dream further