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Month 37 ~ Waves for Water

So here are again at the end of another year of our group the 50four50. It is my birthday tomorrow and so for this new project I have decided to pursue 2 of my favourite topics - Surfing and Travel with the world concern I feel most passionate about - The World Water Crisis. Our new month project is Waves For Water and should strike a chord with all my friends who love to surf or travel or both.

What do Waves For Water do? ...

The mission is simple but the goal lofty, and the vehicle innovative - To get clean water to every single person who needs it.

People living in impoverished areas die every day from drinking dirty water. While having access to clean water is a luxury that many of us take for granted, there are millions living in nations with no filtration systems in place. Kids drink from the same streams where animals bathe. In addition, there’s no clean water available for surgery if someone is injured, putting the wounded at risk of deathly infections.

The goal is to take existing solutions in the form of portable water filters into countries that need them. There are different options in deciding which filters would be best for each region, based on needs in various areas. Options range from ceramic filters that can be transported by one person, to larger filters that can provide clean water to an entire village.

Waves 4 Water has teamed up with surf company Hurley International to develop a DIY volunteer program called Clean Water Couriers, in which surfers in searching for waves in third-world countries carry filters with them in their luggage. Pack a few filters in your suitcase and either connect with local non-profits in that area or personally travel to villages to set them up yourself. Creating these types of filtration systems are simple: generally all you need are paint buckets (easily found in any country), a knife to make a hole, spigots and ceramic-drip water filters that can be purchased for $25 each or the preferred community filter at $50. 

Waves 4 Water have also teamed up with large non-profits and government agencies to provide large-scale solutions to areas in need. Waves 4 Water recently set up large filters that have helped to combat the cholera outbreak caused by contaminated water in Haiti that has killed more than a thousand people and sickened thousands more. Similar set ups in poor regions around the world can help provide clean water to the masses.

While Waves 4 Water was conceived in the surf community, anyone who travels can help in a similar way. Waves 4 Water volunteers have successfully set up various types of filtration systems in Haiti, Indonesia, Bali, Pakistan, Samoa, Chile and Nepal. Each of these countries is being used as a model of success that can be applied worldwide.

The idea isn’t to get one person to drop off 100 filters and call it a day. Let’s try to get 100,000 travelers to each pack 10 small filters, or team up with groups to implement projects with larger filters for an entire village. Then, the world will start to take notice.

“Imagine millions of travellers doing this. Now, we’re making waves.”

How can I help and what good does it do? ...

The Waves 4 Water objective is to identify the problem and quickly connect an existing user-friendly solution. The long-term goal for Waves 4 Water is to be proactive, rather than reactive. There is no reason anyone should die from lack of clean water… people have already done the hard work and have developed technology solutions that help eliminate senseless deaths. It is our job to make sure that technology solutions and quality education are in the hands of those in need. Individuals who are travelling to poor nations can easily eliminate the distribution challenges most bureaucracies face in philanthropic aid programs. It’s guerrilla humanitarianism at the core, and it works!

There are some really awesome videos
that show some of the impact this simple little idea is having.

As 50four50 members I know many of you travel - I know some of you have travel plans this year even. Next time you travel you can make a huge difference in the lives of people and communities in distress by packing a few filters in your suitcase - anyone who travels can help. Waves 4 Water has a program they call "Clean Water Couriers" which is basically travellers dropping off water filters to places as they travel - please consider becoming a Clean Water Courier. Volunteers – can purchase Waves 4 Water filters and deliver to destinations all over the world.

Travel with a purpose and do something remarkable.

Why did the 50four50 decide on the Angola project? ...

PROBLEM ~ In Angola, access to safe water is extremely limited, and 90% of water is contaminated with faecal matter. Less than 40% of Angolans in rural areas have access to improved water supplies. Epidemics of cholera, malaria, and diarrhea are common diseases in many parts of the country. Angola’s lack of clean water and poor sanitation is the main reason it is among the highest under-five mortality rate in the world.

SOLUTION ~ A team from Waves 4 Water travelled to Cabinda, Angola in March, 2014 to bring access to safe drinking water to 20,000 people. They bought 200 clean-water systems (filter & bucket) and did clean-water training & distribution at a variety of schools, maternity hospitals, and remote rural villages. The team worked closely with JAM, a local youth action organization - so they not only delivered safe water, but trained a local team to be able to continue the work after they left the country - When they return for phase 2, this team will once again play a key role in bringing safe water to this desperate country.

IMPORTANT ~ I have created a specific "Fundraiser" page on the Waves 4 Water website here - and this will be the portal for our donations this month.


Make your monthly donation!!

1.  Find out more about Waves 4 Water from their website HERE or their Facebook site HERE

2. Go directly to the 50four50 fundraising page for Waves 4 Water to make your donations by following this link HERE.

Don't forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.


Month 36 ~ 88 Bikes

Sometimes while doing the research for these monthly projects I come across some pretty interesting ideas and sites that for one reason or another ring a chord with me, but not all of them are worthy of inclusion as a 50four50 project. Some however manage to tick all the boxes I wish for this group ~ 88bikes is one of these. 

Dan Austin, founder of 88bikes believes in joy-based philanthropy and has built 88bikes on the principle that giving makes people feel good and therefore has benefits for both the one who receives and the one who gives. This is something that I and many of the 50four50 believe strongly.

So what is this 88bikes all about? ...

The 88bikes Foundation endows bicycles to girls throughout the world, especially the heroic survivors of human trafficking. The highlight of each endowment is of course when every girl at the ashram or shelter receives her new bike. They partner with locally-run NGOs, to purchase bicycles from local vendors, hire local labor and deliver the bikes to the girls. They then connect each recipient one-to-one with her donor (the person who donated the money for that particular bike). Volunteers from 88bikes return to lead bike rides, organize repair clinics, even paint murals and lead dressmaking workshops! It's all part of what we call Joy–Based Philanthropy – elevating happiness to a human need. Since 2007 they have endowed nearly 4000 bikes to heroic kids in seventeen countries – and they are just getting warmed up.

In March 2013 88bikes launched the Seamless Possibilities dressmaking program in Cambodia. Seamless Possibilities leads groups of formerly-trafficked girls through a rigorous, week-long dressmaking curriculum where each girl designs, then sews a beautiful dress for herself, under the mentorship of Kim Ngo, an LA-based costume designer and 88bikes Director of Seamless Possibilities. For many of the girls who hope to become seamstresses or launch their own sewing businesses the workshop provides crucial hands-on skills building and mentoring. But for all the girls, it provides a healing, uplifting, invigorating platform to make something beautiful for themselves-and have a blast in the process! The week culminates with a vibrant soirée where each girl dresses up in her new dress.

The Passport to Happiness program is a new project fund established to sustain and support the growth of 88bikes . It will allow them to expand and amplify, while still maintaining the intimacy of our one-to-one connection. It will enable the launching of new Joy-based Philanthropic programs, and it will allow 88bikes to continue to use 100% of bike or dress donations for bikes and dresses.

How does it work? ...

The basic idea is easy to understand but there are several ways to make a difference ~

  1. Donation of bike or bikes ~ you make a donation to 88bikes and send them your photo. A donation of $88 (which is the approximate cost of a bike in most developing countries) to 88bikes will provide a bike to a girl who needs it (usually a survivor of human trafficking). The recipient of your bike will be "connected" to you by your picture; and photo of the recipient and her new bike, holding the photo of you will be sent to you in return. 
    Find out more about giving to the bikes project HERE
  2. Donation of dress or dresses ~ you make a donation to 88bikes to their Seamless Possibilities program. A donation of $288 to the Seamless Possibilities program covers the whole cost of the dressmaking workshop and creation of her dress. Just like with the one-to-one bike program, each donor will be asked to submit a photo, to give to her sponsored girl. 88bikes  will take a picture of your sponsored girl holding your pic while modeling her new dress and send the pic back to you.
    Find out more about giving to the dresses project HERE
  3. Donation of any amount ~ you make a donation of any amount to 88bikes to their Passport to Happiness program. The money will be used to support past projects and to defray some of the expenses related to accounting and project implementation.
    Find out more about giving to the Passport to Happiness project HERE

Do you want to see some of the results? ...


Make your monthly donation!!

1.  Find out more about 88Bikes from their website HERE or their Facebook site HERE

2. Go directly to make your donations to 88 Bikes by following this link HERE.

Don't forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.


Month 35 ~ Misión México

From time to time you come across ordinary people doing extraordinary things ~ and that makes them extraordinary. Even more occasionally you discover that they are from your own small town. And so it is when you hear the story of the charity we are supporting this month ~ Misión México.

From the Sunshine Coast an extraordinary couple have gone to live and work with abused and abandoned children in Mexico founding Misión México and continuing to invest their lives in an effort to improve the lives of some of Mexico's poorest children. This month the 50four50 will be supporting them in their work.

So what's it all about? ...

Australian couple, Alan and Pamela Skuse originally from the Sunshine Coast, arrived in Tapachula, Chiapas, Mexico in November 2000 to spend 12 months volunteering at an orphanage. The organisation they came to help closed down within 6 months so Pam and Alan were left with the dilemma of what to do regarding the children in their care. Alan and Pam ‘stepped out’ to care for the children and established their own refuge in Tapachula, Mexico. Now known as Misión México, they have dedicated their lives to doing this work. They care for children who have been abandoned, abused, neglected or orphaned and are often from backgrounds of extreme poverty. The number of children in their care changes constantly but on average they care for 50 children on a permanent basis and have helped transform the lives of over 250 children. Children are referred to Misión México by the Government Welfare Department and we provide a loving and stable home for them for as long as they need it.With no financial support from the Government Mision Mexico relies on donations to support the children in their care.

Misión México refuge resembles a family home rather than an institution, where the children feel loved and secure. The children attend school, something most of them had not experienced before. They also have access to tutors who help with their studies as many of the children find it hard to learn due to their abuse or never having been to school. Upon discovering the non-existent beach culture in Tapachula, Pam and Alan decided to introduce the Aussie pastime of surfing to kids who had never even seen the ocean. The children are now also learning to swim and surf and are the only surfers in Tapachula. Surfing is a previously unknown activity in the area, yet it has become a uniquely transforming sporting activity for these children enabling the kids to find confidence in themselves and a belief that they can achieve anything they want. The impact has been overwhelming, and the joy of riding waves has inspired these kids to dream big.

Some vdeo for inspiration ...


So there you are - something simple this month.

Simple to understand; simple need; simple solution; EXTRAORDINARY PEOPLE.

Now ....... Simply give.


Make your monthly donation now!!

1.  Find out more about Misión México from their website HERE or their Facebook site HERE

2. Tax deductible donations to Misión México are made through the Global Development Group HERE
Please quote the project - J731 Mexican Children's Development (Misión México) when you are making your donation.
Global Development Group is an AusAid approved Australian charity organisation carrying out humanitarian projects with approved partners and providing aid to relieve poverty.

Don't forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.


Month 34 ~ Soles 4 Souls

The connection between poverty and shoes is well-documented.  The World Bank estimates that approximately 400 million children worldwide – more than the entire U.S. population – live in pronounced poverty.  Millions of these children will grow up never having had a pair of shoes, resulting in significant ramifications for their health and well-being.  Lacking proper footwear, countless children will not be able or permitted to attend school.  And tens of millions of these poverty-stricken, barefoot boys and girls will be infected with soil-transmitted parasitic diseases, causing lasting suffering and lifelong debilitation.

Soles4Souls started in the US to address this worldwide need and now there is an Australian chapter. Soles4Souls Australia (previously The Butterfly Movement Ltd) is a registered Australian charity collecting new and gently worn shoes for children, women and men in need in Australia and around the world. The 50four50 are proud to help support their work this month.

What is Souls4Souls all about? ...

Well really it is such a simple idea it really needs little explanation. People donate shoes, then Soles4Souls sort, pack and distribute the shoes to those that need them here and overseas. Shoes are distributed in various ways including one-off gifts to individuals and multiple shoes to individuals for micro-enterprise.

Soles4Souls also run more than 20 travel trips each year taking volunteers into the countries (inc. Tanzania, Haiti, India, Costa Rica & Peru) to distribute the shoes.

How does my donation help? ...

Soles4Souls calculate that for every $100 donation made to Soles4Souls Australia, positive social change is created through the distribution of 50 pairs of shoes to people in need of life supporting footwear. This does not include basic and fundamental administration costs.

In addition to your financial contribution this month you can be involved in Soles4Souls Australia in other ways ......... Looking through their website you will find ways that you can donate shoes, run a shoe drive to collect many shoes for donation and even travel to Tanzania as a volunteer to help distribute the shoes.

One last thing to leave you with ...

NOW (as usual) IT'S UP TO YOU ...

Make your monthly donation now!!

1.  Find out more about Soles4Souls from their website HERE or their Facebook site HERE

2. Go directly to make your donation to Soles4Souls by following THIS LINK.

Don't forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.


Month 33 ~ Hope Through Health

Togo, officially the Togolese Republic, is a country in West Africa immediately east of Ghana. In November, 2010 a census gave Togo a population of 6,191,155. According to the CIA Factbook the under 5 year mortality rate is 10%; and the life expectancy is only 60.6 years. 700 million people lack access to adequate health care worldwide including nearly 5 million in Togo alone (nearly 85% of the entire population of the country). And I never even knew that there was such a country.

Hope Through Health aims to transform the dynamics of health care delivery in Togo through the involvement of community members and programs that respond directly to patient priorities. Founded in an effort to provide HIV care and treatment to the neglected population of Togo Hope Through Health has expanded to encompass a greater role in health care but has kept a focus on HIV and its devastating effects in communities. I am proud to introduce Hope Through Health as this months 50four50 project.

What is so important about Togo? ...

The country of Togo has seen it's fair share of strife; having had a very rocky political history in the 53 years since it's independence from France in 1960. Political violence, military dictatorships, corrupt elections, ties to ivory poaching and a terrible human rights record has resulted in withdrawal of aid from the European Union since 1993. Now Togo is one of the world's least well supported countries with respect to the aid they so desperately need.

Hope Through Health is the only international organization providing life saving health care services in northern Togo. They have developed and continue to support five health centers in the Kara region of the small West African nation.

How does Hope Through Health help? ...

Good health is the first step on the road out of poverty. The mission of Hope Through Health is to deliver efficient, effective, community-driven health care in neglected settings starting with Togo. They partner with the brightest individuals and organizations in global health delivery to adapt the field’s best practices to the neglected settings where they work. Partnership is one of Hope Through Health’s core operating principles. Hope Through Health establishes long-term partnerships with communities and like-minded organizations and individuals in the field of global health delivery in which all parties have an equal voice. In this way Hope Through Health works to adapt best practices for implementation in Togo.

This month I really want have a specific, concrete goal ...

This month I want us to really be specific about our goal. I want us to sponsor two Health workers in Togo. In fact I have names and a few details about the two I propose we sponsor.

Farilatou worked as a secretary and community event organizer for a HIV-prevention NGO before coming to Hope Through Health to work as a Community Health Worker this June. She lives with her father and young son right near the clinic, and is excited to be a part of the Hope Through Health family! She works with patients who live in her neighborhood and she is something of a social butterfly, saying hello to everyone as she passes them in the street.  Farilatou has high hopes for Hope Through Health’s future, and can’t wait to see where things go with the Community Health Worker program as it expands.

Assiki has been a Community Health Worker at Hope Through Health since 2005. She previously worked as a psychotherapist and as an organizer for an HIV-prevention group. Earlier this year, Assiki was offered a higher-paying position as a community health worker through the Global Fund, but, as she put it, “par l’amour de l’Hope Through Health,” "by her love of Hope Through Health," she decided to stay. She is excited to be one of the first Community Health Workers to pilot the mobile health technology and GIS projects. A widow, raising one child of her own and seven adopted children, Assiki is passionate about helping orphans in Togo.

I have already commenced the donations for both these women and I look forward to watching our group cover the costs of these two dedicated health workers.

I have left specific links to the donation page for these two women in the section above as well as below. You may chose to split your donation between the 2; double your donation this month to support the 2 or simply choose one or the other to donate to. May I ask that if you are not putting your own name in the "Name" section of the donation form would you please put in 50four50 as the name of the donor.

There is a third Community Health Worker who needs sponsoring - Koffi. It would be fantastic if we could cover the costs of all 3 but as a realist I am guessing that will be pretty unlikely.

NOW (as usual) IT'S UP TO YOU ...

Make your monthly donation now!!

1.  Find out more about Hope Through Health from their website HERE or their Facebook site HERE

2. Go directly to make your donation to one of the  Hope Through Health workers by following these links



Please place 50four50 into the donor name field if you are not using your own name.

Don't forget to return to this page and let us know how much you have donated by putting the figure into the box on the right hand side of the page.

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