Tuesday, 16 December 2008

A Spark Of Hope

A major part of The Prem Rawat Foundation - TPRF's work is to help people most in need by providing nutritious food and clean water.

TPRF has provided millions of free hot meals to people in Africa, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. They partner with non-profit organisations such as Friends of the World Food Program, Oxfam, Action Against Hunger and the Red Cross, to reach a greater number of people in the field more rapidly.

Here is a short video about a food-aid facility the Foundation opened in northeast India.

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Habitat For Humanity

Habitat For Humanity was founded in 1976 and addresses the issue of substandard housing by building or renovating houses for those in need.

It does this with the help of homeowner families, through volunteer labour and donations of money and materials. HFH homes are sold to low-income families at no profit and are financed through affordable long-term loans; the mortgage payments, combined with donations, are used to build more homes around the world through the revolving fund.

In addition to these monthly mortgage payments, homeowners invest hundreds of hours of their own labor (“sweat equity”) into building their home and homes of others. Among other benefits, this reduces the cost of the homes, increases the pride of home ownership and builds communities.

Habitat For Humanity works in response to a major need that exists. About 1 billion people are living in inadequate housing in urban areas alone and about 100 million people worldwide are homeless.

There are now more than 3,000 Habitat affiliates in nearly 100 countries around the world. The local affiliate is a community group responsible for the day-to-day management of HFH’s work in the community from determining the building site to organizing local volunteers. This hands-on, grassroots approach to management gives communities new skills and leadership. These thousands of local affiliates or community groups are supported by national, regional and area offices which provide training, information resources and oversight.

To find out more, or if you wish to help the work of Habitat For Humanity, visit their website at http://www.habitat.org/

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

2 Ways In Which Individuals Can Help

With the internet it is now so much easier for us as individuals to do something about issues that matter to us. I'm going to talk about 2 of these ways here.

Fundraising Online

You can set up your own web page to raise funds for the non-profit organisation or charity of your choice. The UK site, which was the first, is Justgiving and the USA site is Firstgiving.

The UK organisation has been around since 2001 - the brainchild of Zarine Kharas - and Firstgiving was set up in 2003. I've only just heard of them recently, but I suppose that's because they can only work with UK and USA charities and non-profits.

I think it's a great idea, and enables people to easily set up their own standard site and raise money for whatever charity they wish. In the UK there is the added benefit that Gift Aid can be added, so that for every £10 that's given, almost £12 goes to the charity. In the time that they have been going in the UK, 6,210,796 people have raised £344,490,538 for 5,642 charities through Justgiving and in the US, 1,322,516 people have raised $72,918,876 for 14,865 non-profits through Firstgiving!

From what I can see, it seems very simple to set up your page and get up and running. There is also space at the bottom where the people who have donated are listed along with the amount and their comments. I don't know if it's possible for someone who wishes to remain anonymous, not be publicly listed.

Anyway, it seems such a simple idea that empowers so many people to be able to raise money easily.

Signing A Petition Or Starting Your Own Petition Online

I've just signed a petition online to Save the Cretan Landscape - see my post on Corfu Chronicles - and it's a very simple process for each of us to do.

You just go to the Petition Site at Care2. Here they list all the petitions currently online, and you can browse through the categories to see if there's anything that you feel strongly about and want to support. Alternatively, you can start your own petition - it couldn't be easier, and having stated the number of signatures you are aiming at when you set it up, there's a "Thermometer" on the page, which tracks and displays the numbers signing.

So far, 526,565 petitions have been created at the Petition Site.

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