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Pioneering for a cause greater than ourselves

Here are some wonderful examples:

A21 – http://www.thea21campaign.org  “Taking a stand against sexual exploitation”.

Watoto – http://www.watoto.com

“Rescue, Raise, Rebuild” – helping orphans in Uganda.

Compassion – http://www.compassion.com

Q:”By choosing to help through sponsorship, this helps to release a child from poverty”.

William Wilberforce – http://www.wilberforceschool.org/williamwilberforcebiography

A wonderful man who decided his mission in life was to abolish the slave trade.

Daughters of Cambodia – http://daughtersofcambodia.org

Q:”Changing lives for victims of traffickers” by selling handicrafts and rebuild livelihoods.

The Fairtrade Foundation – http://www.fairtrade.org.uk

Q:”This is all about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability, and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world”.

Made-By – http://www.made-by.org

Q: This is a “european not-for-profit organisation, acting to improve environmental and social conditions within the fashion industry”.

Pop – http://www.productofprison.org

Q:”From rehabilitation to reintegration” – assisting prisoners in developing countries to rebuild their lives through learning new skills and crafts.

Fine Cell Work – http://www.finecellwork.co.uk

Q:”Fine Cell Work trains prisoners in paid, skilled, creative needlework undertaken in the long hours spent in their cells to foster hope, discipline and self esteem. This helps them to connect to society and to leave prison with the confidence and financial means to stop offending”.

Vision Rescue – http://www.visionrescue.org.in

Q:”This is a registered non-profit charity involved in feeding, providing non-formal education, medical help, skills training and other kinds of assistance to the addicted and abused street children”.

Oxfam – http://www.oxfam.org.uk

Q:”Lift one person and they will lift others. By supporting Oxfam’s life-changing work, unstoppable change takes root in communities around the world”.

Toms – http://www.toms.co.uk

Q:”With every purchase, toms will help a person in need.  One for One.”

Foodbank – http://www.trusselltrust.org/foodbank-projects

Q:”Restoring dignity and reviving hope.  With rising food and fuel prices, unemployment”, finding enough food to feed your family is a tricky business – this is where foodbank assists those unfortunate.

Enough Food If – http://www.ycareinternational.org/get-involved/campaign/if-2/

Deciding to put an end to global hunger through the ‘IF campaign’

Recycle, Re-Use, Reduce – http://www.recyclenow.com

Q:”This helps to conserve resources, saves energy and protects the environment and reduces landfill”

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall + his fish fight campaign – http://www.fishfight.net

A campaign to fight against the unnecessary waste of dead fish and discard, which ends up getting thrown back into the ocean, due to EU Laws.

Dani + Hans Johnson – http://www.kingsransomfoundation.org

Q: “Dedicated to serving people in need and reflect the character of God through direct humanitarian activities, including building orphanages across the world.”

……………………………………………………………………………………………

Its amazing what can happen when people actively get together for a greater cause that’s bigger then themselves.  When the power of people campaign together with one cause in mind.  Where people get together and decide to make a difference, decide to bring change where change is needed.  Where the forgotten are no longer forgotten but are actually helped, encouraged, fed, watered and taken care of.  Where people choose to help and assist rather than cross to the other side, turn and look the other way and do nothing.

These little attributes of our daily needs, like having enough food on our table, in times of crisis, it’s so good that there are people out there who are actively working to combat the pressing needs of others.

Of course this list is endless.  However from regularly supporting campaigns and projects such as these, the world automatically becomes a nicer place and a kinder world.

If we buy from an unknown face sitting all day long at a sewing machine toiling away in laborious conditions, we continue to help these appalling situations to grow.  It makes me so sad to think of the Rana Plaza situation in 2013 (“One of the deadliest garment-factory accidents in history”, fashionunited.co.uk) – all of those unknown faces sitting at a sewing machine sewing a garment for a very small wage in a building that was unsafe and yet no one did anything about it until it was too late.  So many lives came to a bitter end.  However in all things in life, if the right steps are taken, things like this can be prevented.

Just like taking the time to recycle – instead of dumping it all into one bin, when we take the time to separate everything, it means these valuable resources can be re-used.

When we continue to live in a throw away society, where it’s all about consume, consume, consume, we are missing the point of being thankful for all that we have.  If we look at the value of each thing – for example, each product, lovingly crafted and created, each book – lovingly written and thought out, each item of food – lovingly grown from a seed, then watered, harvested through tiresome hands, lovingly picked, packed and distributed.  Would this alone help us to think about reducing waste and think more about what we buy and where we buy from, or the amount we buy?

If there was a shortage of something, it would force us to use less, but as we always think there is an abundance of everything, we think its ok not to care so much.  We keep on fishing until the rivers become empty.  We keep on shopping from companies that sometimes think less about the people at the bottom of the chain and think more about the possible outcome of a hefty profit in order to fulfill an overly lavish lifestyle.

Change is and can be such an easy thing to do – “It All Starts With The One” – a quote I hear so very often, turning up to Hillsong on a Sunday, to hear a service and listen to a pastor speak goodness into the lives of those that decide to come and listen.  The ‘one’ (the ‘anyone’ from which ever neighbourhood you live upon) that decides there and then that enough is enough and change needs to happen.  It’s in the decision in following through, no matter the cost.

I love my Oxfam Diary – as I flick through the pages, I find photographs that educate me about people’s lives from all over the world.  I love the fact that in Africa women sing and dance to celebrate the arrival of clean water – here in the UK, I turn on my tap and every day I find clean water.  I do not have to walk for miles to carry a bucket just so I can drink clean water, take a shower whenever I feel like it, wash my clothes and dishes or boil my vegetables to make a decent meal.

Equally in certain parts of the world, where people have to survive of no more than a dollar a day.  Where we survive off so much more and still we feel in lack?

I love my boy who continues to teach me about the importance of buying local produce and using what we have, saving money where we can.

I think of the days when my grannie and grandpa in Leicester were still alive and all those wonderful wash-day dinners grannie would create with left over food.  Sometimes we would sit in the dark just to conserve energy.  Its such a difference for her generation growing up in the war, having to ‘get by’ on rations.

I love everything that summed up the ‘Make Do and Mend’ period of the mid 1940’s.  Living modestly on a super tight budget meant everyone literally had to make do with what they had and mend whatever they owned so that it would last longer.  I am sure every thing was more appreciated back then.

A great blog I have found regarding this topic is http://www.miss-thrifty.co.uk as well as http://www.makedoandmend.com, a company set up in Chelmsford, Essex.  Keeping age old traditions alive through regular workshops and activities.

I feel its a funny imbalanced world.  I personally believe there is an abundance but that it sometimes isn’t distributed well enough.  Equally that sometimes there is a ’cause and effect’ which happens when items are in high demand.  For instance, palm oil which is used in large quantities throughout the world is also the cause of deforestation throughout large parts of asia and central america.

In parts of the world there is a huge lack that people have to put up with, just to survive, they can so easily be forgotten.  Then there are other parts of the world for the plenty, who’s pockets grow larger and larger.  Random acts of kindness never go unnoticed.  If I think of Mother Theresa – a true saint who went out of her way to help the poor, the needy and the misfortunate.    One woman with a huge heart for others.

Just like these causes, charities and their mission statements (mentioned above) – people who actively seek about change every single day.  They tirelessly go out and actively make a difference.

What a beautiful thing to be remembered by!  What a beautiful thing to create in order to make this a better world.

I love that song by Michael Jackson – “We are the world, we are the children, we are the ones that make a better place so lets not give in.

I believe its down to that four letter word …

Love

Love one another as you love yourself.

xx

#fairtrade #abuse #rebuild #slavetrade #lifechanging #discard #addiction #developingworld #handicrafts #rescue #reducelandfill #raise #socialconditions #sustainability #waste #poverty #sexualexploitation

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