Liana: Bringing together Water, Food and Education in dryland Tanzania

Liana Tanzania

Liana Tanzania

“In 2005 a group of development professionals who had all worked in East Africa came together to set up an organisation, Liana.The aim was to facilitate members’ efforts to link local development initiatives with expertise, resources, information and knowledge. One of the members, Eija, had been doing research in Kenya and Tanzania from 2000 to 2006 and identified many problems of lives and the environment in rural areas. She was particularly concerned about the lowlands surrounding Kilimanjaro, where it is hot and dry and hard to make a living, unlike on the iconic mountain itself. Liana has been running through voluntary work and members efforts since then.

Starting in 2006 we did much fulfilling work in Moshi and Mwanga districts of Northern Tanzania, including establishing self-help groups, training builders, introducing the building of rainwater harvesting tanks, kitchen gardens, tree planting, fire-wood saving stoves and use of indigenous vegetables. A water supply that people can take responsibility for themselves is a key to all of these.   Collecting rain water from roofs can provide a home with water for the whole year. The tanks to store water are locally built, providing employment and meaning they can be repaired if necessary.

A great team of builders has been trained and now works independently. They suggested training more builders in further villages so that the tank and stove technology could spread, and Liana supported that for several years. Then one of the builders, Ndanu, learnt how to make large tanks suitable for schools. We realised that working with schools is an effective way to reach larger numbers of people. Not only do all the children benefit, but the ideas introduced to the schools get taken up at home as well. Investigation with the district council in Rombo, between Kilimanjaro and the Kenyan border, revealed a huge number of schools that have no water supply at all and they prepare children’s food on inefficient and smoky open fires. So we prepared a plan to build water tanks and stoves with those schools, progressing as fast as the money allows.

The schools show their commitment by contributing some of the costs and providing collectable building materials like gravel and poles. They also accommodate and feed the builders while they are on site. So the task becomes a real collective effort involving the school and school children, the local community and the international supporters.”

Support Liana’s crowdfunding by checking out their campaign page below:


Bling Us, a queer gallery capital campaign by Pride in Art!

Pride in Art

Pride in Art

”Founded in 1998 by Two-Spirit artist Robbie Hong, Pride in Art began as a volunteer-run artist collective.  It has since been incorporated as a nonprofit and registered charity. Over the past decade, Pride in Art has produced the annual multidisciplinary Queer Arts Festival, recognised as one of the top 5 of its kind worldwide!

I became involved with Pride in Art because I didn’t see a place for myself as an artist in the world, and I wanted to create that space for other artists. I have seen incredible things happen when artists come together and share visions too often silenced and pushed to the margins.

In 2018, Pride in Art will open Canada’s only queer visual art gallery and flex presentation space, where we will present exhibitions and transdisciplinary programming. In this permanent year-round space, we will be in an even better place to showcase cutting edge, fearless queer artists. Queer permanent art spaces are limited and contingent internationally, and the chance to have one in Vancouver is groundbreaking.

With our new home, the space we have been creating will now be physical, leading to more opportunities to support innovative queer art and artists. As an organization named “queer” we are not often able to rely on traditional avenues for financial support. Instead we depend on relationships built on mutual love and an understanding of the importance of the work we do and the community support that we receive. We are grateful to the McGrane Pearson Endowment Fund (held at Vancouver Foundation) and Ken Gracie and Philip Waddell who will generously match all contributions to our campaign up to $10,000.

Pride in Art incorporated in 2006; I was on the board until I was asked to become our first staff as artistic Director in 2008 and Rachel Iwaasa was the second staff member in 2010. It is incredible to see how much the organization has grown and I am proud to work with this amazing group of staff, board, volunteers, and artists at Pride in Art.

It is incredibly affirming to see the outpour of support with our Bling Us campaign. Just a week into Bling Us and we have already reached 50% of our goal!”

Learn more about Pride in Art and their inspiring work by checking out their crowdfunding campaign page below:

#PeaceLovePangolinsForever by Josie



“Josie Martin is a spirited 11 year old girl who’s been taking a stand every year during her birthday month for endangered animals around the globe. As her love for animals grew, she’s been able to turn what first began as a simple effort to give up material birthday gifts by directing birthday gift dollars to particular endangered animal causes to now commandeering full-blown grassroots month-long campaigns.  These have incorporated the concept of “giving back” to each donor by creating original artwork supporting her chosen cause.

With each campaign, Josie’s list of generous donors & supporters has grown to include good people all over the world with whom she would never otherwise have come into contact. At the core of it all, Josie is an advocate for ending extinction. She understands that the extinction of any one species detrimentally impacts us all and that giving back and uniting folks around a common cause can make a real difference in our big world.”

You can follow Josie’s #peacelovepangolinsforever campaign on behalf of Tikki Hywood Trust below:


In support of the Shepherd family, by Shamyla

Shepherd family

Shepherd family

“Just under a week ago, many passionate karate-ka’s and family members, visited Melbourne to attend the annual Japanese Karate Association -SKC Australasia Seminar, organized by Keith Geyer Sensei and other Senior Instructors.

During this seminar we met the Shepherd Family; Emmanuel Shepherd, a supportive husband and father who was proudly filming the sessions and especially capturing the wonderful achievements and memories which his lovely wife and children were making as devoted karate-ka’s. This trip was a special trip as his 13 year old daughter, Kalinaw, was undertaking her Black Belt exam and passed with flying colours; they were so proud of her achievements.

After a wonderful and successful trip to Melbourne, The Shepherds were returning home to Brisbane, where their lives changed forever.  Almost ready to board his plane back home,Emmanuel Shepherd tragically passed away. Never in their worst nightmares could anyone have imagined this horrific tragedy.

Sadly, nothing can be done to undo this tragedy, so we have decided raising funds would be a small way we could contribute to his lovely wife, Jasna and beautiful children, Kalinaw, 13 years old and Isabella, 10 years old.”

Learn more about what you can do to support the Shepherd Family by visiting the page below:

Fair Agenda: Supporting pro-choice rights in Queensland!

Fair Agenda, pro-choice in Queensland

Fair Agenda

”Like most people, I didn’t realise abortion is still a crime in some parts of our country. Earlier this year I was horrified to learn that women in need are being turned away from Queensland hospitals, and put through degrading processes and financial distress to access the reproductive healthcare they need.

Like most people, I know women who have needed this healthcare. My friends were lucky enough to live in a big city where access wasn’t an issue. I’m horrified to think of what they would have been put through if they’d been trying to access that help in Queensland. Every day I read testimonies about the devastating impact of Queensland’s archaic abortion laws. Including the stories of women like Anna.

Anna was battling a life-threatening mental illness while homeless. Her illness and safety were being worsened by her pregnancy. As if that wasn’t enough, after mustering up the courage to seek help at her local hospital, they refused to provide her with the abortion she needed.

Right now there’s an opportunity to win change for women like Anna. Later this month Queenslanders head to the ballot box to elect their MPs. Those MPs will get to decide whether or not Queensland brings its abortion laws into the 21st century. As it stands, there aren’t enough pro-choice MPs in parliament to pass the reforms which women like Anna desperately need. However, there are enough pro-choice candidates in marginal seats to tip us into a pro-choice majority at this election. That’s why Fair Agenda’s campaign to help women in Queensland regain control of their bodies is so important.

We need your help to make sure we can do everything possible in the next two weeks to win the change Queenslanders desperately need. Already with crowdfunder-support Fair Agenda has managed to get over 100 candidates to sign up to our pro-choice pledge! But now we need resources to step up the pressure on candidates who haven’t yet responded. And then we need to get this information in front of pro-choice voters before they cast their vote. Can you help?”

For more information on Fair Agenda and their campaign to make history for women in Queensland, check out their crowdfunding page below:



Empowering at-risk children in Honduras by supporting education and preventative healthcare, by educate

Educate: promoting education and health care in Honduras 
”In 2014/15 Antonia and I worked as volunteers teaching English in Honduras, which eventually led us to starting ‘educate’: an organisation that supports education in this small Central American country. We had both worked in rural villages in different parts of the country. I had taught English in 9 public schools and volunteered at an orphanage, whilst Antonia, in the orphanage where she worked, had been given full responsibility for the education of several groups of children of varying ages, some with severe disabilities and/or learning needs.

The experiences we gained throughout this year shaped us greatly. When we returned to Europe and both started university in the Netherlands, we realized we didn’t wanted to lose the connections we had with these communities. Where we felt a responsibility to continue supporting education in Honduras. During long in-depth conversations about our time there, we always came to the conclusion that positive, sustainable and long-term change must stem from education. Consequently, we decided to base our NGO around a scholarship programme. We wanted to give motivated students the opportunity to attend school, or even university, whereby they would obtain vastly improved future prospects in the form of not only knowledge acquisition, but also job and career paths.

After asking our friends Jocelyn, Marit and Judith to join our team, and spending many hours writing a constitution, business plan and discussing plans with teachers and acquaintances in Honduras, ‘educate’ became
an officially registered Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) in March 2017!

Since then we have:
  • Awarded our first scholarship to the incredibly driven and talented Stephanie Chevez! Stephanie is the daughter of two Honduran farmers but aspires to become a doctor. As the family has to make a living from selling cheese and milk from the 8 cows they own, they were unable to financially support Stephanie with her university studies. With educate.’s scholarship she is now on her way to becoming the first person in her family to go to university, and fulfilling her dream.
  • Transferred our first installment to support the creation of a small animal therapy farm for children who have suffered severe traumas at the
    El Hogar Orphanage (the orphanage where I worked in 2014).
    They have just bought two donkeys – a mother and her baby- and built a donkey shelter on the orphanage premises!

We have many other projects brewing, but to realise these future dreams we have to work hard to organise fundraising initiatives of various forms. On November 5th I raised $1250 by running half a marathon in Australia, but this represents just a small milestone on our fundraising track and we will continue to use Chuffed to raise awareness for our cause!”

To support educate’s mission in Honduras, follow the links below:


Grow Your Mind!

Grow your mind

”An acupuncturist and a primary school teacher might sound like a strange combination, but that is exactly who the founders of Grow Your Mind are. We are two mums who share a passion for young people’s well-being. In May of this year we founded Grow Your Mind kits: a social venture that educates young children about their mental health.

Grow Your Mind brings together 2 big passions for us both: our children and our work. As a teacher Alice has a particular interest in social and emotional learning and how it can be enhanced by positive psychology (the science of human flourishing) and mindfulness. And for me, in my work as an acupuncturist, I see how inter-related  emotional and physical health are.

The idea of developing a kit came about after my second child Otto was born and his big sister Ondine was having a hard time with it. Together, her and I, made a little treasure box. It had cards and photos to remind her of how loved she is, keepsakes of special value and some items that would give her strategies in tricky situations to help her calm down.

I wanted to share the bones of what I had made in a way that would be accessible and fun to the rest of the community. Meanwhile Alice was teaching mindfulness and resilience in a variety of schools. She had created a playful way of sharing brain awareness with children using animal characters. Alice loved my idea but wanted a focus on prevention too. Together our aim was to create something that would promote joy and an awareness of looking after mental health in the same way we look after our teeth and physical body.

We were both alarmed by the fact that half of all serious mental health problems begin before a child reaches the age of 14. We were inspired to therefore create something that targeted very young children (from 3 years). As a social venture we are very committed to making sure everyone has access to these kits. It’s looking very promising that we will be able to give Grow Your Mind kits and teaching support for free to three low socioeconomic schools next year.”

Learn more about the inspiring mission of ‘Grow Your Mind’ through the link below:


Empowering disabled children in PNG with Mary MacKillop International

Enhancing education for children with a disability in Papua New Guinea

Enhancing education for children with a disability in Papua New Guinea

”My name is Sophie Jenkins, I first travelled to Papua New Guinea in early 2016 in my role as International Programs Officer at MMI. Despite it being less than 4 hours on a plane from my home in Sydney, Papua New Guinea is unlike anywhere I have ever been. With stunning natural beauty, ancient and diverse cultures, Papua New Guinea is the kind of place that is hard to forget.

Sadly, Papua New Guinea is also one of the least developed nations in our region. Where education continues to be one of the country’s biggest challenges. We believe that education is the key to sustainable and lasting change. However, for communities in Papua New Guinea it is a huge challenge to get kids into school. Especially for children with a disability. In fact, only one in three children will finish their basic education.

Together with our local partner organisation, Buk Bilong Pikinini, we are on a mission to change that. We are supporting the development of locally-produced learning resources, like books, that reflect the lives of kids in Papua New Guinea. These aren’t just any books as they share a vital message about the value of education for children with disability.

When I think about why these books are important, I think back to my trip to Papua New Guinea earlier this year when I met a young girl by the name of Sila. Sila told me that she had once enjoyed going to school, but overtime her visual impairment meant that she could no longer read the board or even a worksheet on her desk. She struggled to keep up.

As the content got harder, she became disengaged. Without the proper support in the classroom, she refused eventually to go back to school. Now aged 13, Sila told me that she felt sad to stay home while her younger siblings headed off to school. However, she didn’t feel confident enough to go back as she felt she didn’t belong.

I believe in this campaign because I believe that every child deserves the chance to learn. There are thousands of kids in PNG just like Sila who have been excluded from education because of their disability. It is my hope that these books can help to change attitudes and make school a happy place for all children.”

Learn more about this amazing project by checking out their campaign page below:


Environmental Justice Australia: Defending the Kuark Forest



”I am the fundraising manager at a small environmental non-profit, Environmental Justice Australia (EJA). We rely on the support of the Australian public to help defend nature and change the environmental laws that are meant to protect our forests, air and waterways.

After studying environmental governance, policy and communication at university, I found myself working in fundraising. I love connecting people with the things that they care about (and sometimes trying to convince them to care!). A couple of years ago I was offered the chance to manage the fundraising program at EJA. It is great being able to shape the fundraising program and have the ability to be agile in how we talk to our supporters, test what works (and sometimes what doesn’t) and ultimately raise the resources to support the cause: protecting nature and our natural environment!

People have such an innate connection with nature. It is wonderful being able to channel their passion and values into action.  Knowing that we can stop our forests from being logged is so empowering. The outpouring of thanks from our supporters when we win a case is definitely one of my favourite parts of fundraising.

Our crowdfunding campaign to ‘Save the Kuark forest’ is all about protecting old-growth forest from logging – untouched forest that has stood for thousands of years. A couple of years ago, I went on a guided tour of a forest in the Victorian Central Highlands. Seeing the destruction wrought by logging and the impact it has on the ecology, trees and species that live there is almost beyond worlds. Anyone that has been camping, or been on a bush walk, knows how special our forests are. When you see their destruction you just feel you need to do something! For me that is working in the environment and conservation sector and trying to connect people with ways they can also do something and get involved. You don’t need to be a millionaire to make a difference – every dollar really does go a long way. The campaign to save our forests has been going on for a long time (sometimes it feels like one step forward, two steps back!), so each ‘win’ we get is really special.  It means that a part of our world is saved, not only for us, but for all the plants and animals that call them home.”

For more on this awesome cause, check out James and Environmental Justice Australia’s crowdfunding below:



Running the NY Marathon for Hilda’s House

Running the NY Marathon for Hilda's House

Running the NY Marathon for Hilda's House

”Glen completed his first half-marathon in 2015, and wanted to do more. So this year he is planning on running the New York City Marathon on the 5th of November to celebrate his 50th Birthday and raise money for a much needed organisation.

On the outside, Hilda’s House is an old Queenslander located next to the main Ipswich Hospice building. Inside, Hilda’s House is a safe and caring environment where children and adults come to access bereavement support services. These services include one-to-one support, separate grief groups for adults and children, and community education. Services at Hilda’s House are offered to one and all, whether or not a family has utilised the services of Ipswich Hospice. Whilst there is no set fee for services, all donations are greatly appreciated.

Glen and his wife are taking this opportunity to raise much needed funds, which will all go towards continuing to offer a high quality of care at Hilda’s House.

Glen lost both his parents and tragically his eldest brother and knows firsthand the challenges that this can bring. Their goal is to help raise money to help support others, including the children impacted by bereavement.”

For more on Glen’s story and to cheer him on, check out his crowdfunding campaign page below: