Success Story: Bringing the Heart of TIA to Australia

TIA Family

TIA Family
“When I was 20 years old, as a first year social work student at UniSA, I went to Bolivia for the first time as a volunteer a children’s home for 4 months. Little did I know, those 4 months would change my life forever. Struck by the lack of resources and opportunities for the kids I was working with, I became determined to try to do more to help. That was how TIA was born. Tía is the Spanish word for auntie, and that’s what we are – an Auntie to children who don’t have anyone to call family. Now, 8 years later, TIA has grown into a successful and effective non-profit organisation that works with teens and young people who have grown up in state care homes, supporting them through the transition into adulthood when they legally have to leave these homes at the age of 18.

I now live in Bolivia, working with our local team to grow our projects to be able to reach more young people. I was very proud when I was invited to be a keynote presenter at a conference in Sydney held by the CREATE Foundation – the national advocate for children living in care in Australia. But I couldn’t travel to Australia and share our story on my own – to me it is extremely important that the young people we work with are able to tell their own stories. So I decided to bring one of our young people with me to tell his story himself. Ramiro is a young man who has overcome exceptionally difficult circumstances and is flourishing as a responsible, motivated, energetic, kind and caring young adult. I couldn’t be prouder of the person he is and the things he is achieving in his life. I am so excited to bring him to Australia with me and give him this opportunity to learn, grown, and experience new things. Unfortunately financially it is very difficult for TIA to fit this trip into our budget (we raise all our funds through a team of very hard working and dedicated volunteers in Adelaide), so we have created this campaign on Chuffed to raise the rest of the money we need to make this trip a reality.

All of the money crowdfunded through Chuffed.org will be put towards Ramiro’s costs – my costs have been funded through CREATE as their Keynote speaker. ”

Join TIA to bring one of their incredible young people, Ramiro, to Australia to share his story and grow TIA’s impact:

Success Story: Bryanne Lameg’s Archery Dream

Fundraising Archery Team

“I can’t imagine life without my bow.

I would like to introduce myself; my name is Bryanne Lameg, and archery is my passion. I have been shooting for about 3 years as the only female target archer on the Manitoba Provincial Team. This year I have been selected, based on national ranking, to represent Canada at the 2017 Junior World Archery Championships in Rosario, Argentina.

I had been shooting for less than 6 months when I attended the 2014 Canadian Outdoor National Championship in Lac La Biche, Alberta. To my surprise, I had placed fourth with no formal training. While I was there I met other female archers who helped me realize that I had potential in the sport and could compete at national and international levels if I was determined enough to do so. After that there was no turning back. Archery has since then enriched my life in many ways and allowed me to meet so many great people.

I am attending Senior National Team Trials in August for a chance to compete in Mexico at the 2017 Senior World Archery Championships, and with hard work and a little luck I hope to be named to the Senior National Team. What a great achievement and honour it would be to represent Canada on both the Junior and Senior teams.

Whether I am representing my local range, women in archery, Team Manitoba, or Team Canada, I will do so in the most professional way possible. Applying this to the future tournaments I will be attending, I hope to be a wonderful Canadian ambassador and will proudly wear the maple leaf.”

Support Bryanne’s dream to represent Canada at the 2017 World Youth Archery Championships in Argentina here:

Success Story: School Lunch Program in South Sudan by Timpir

School Lunch Program Team

School Lunch Program Team

“After extensive travelling and volunteering in Africa, Dr. Mel Baak was inspired to form Timpir in 2004. Her vision was to work with the people of South Sudan, to promote health, education and development at the community level. From there, the Timpir team has continued to grow with several local Australian-born members who work alongside former refugees from South Sudan who now call Australia home. This ensures that Timpir supports communities of identified need as well as ensuring that the donations are spent accountably.

One of Timpir’s main projects is supporting two schools with over 1300 students and 16 teachers. Sadly, due to ongoing conflict in South Sudan communities are now facing a severe food crisis and famine has been declared. In June we decided to run a School Lunch Program during the most difficult part of the famine (Jun-Sep) to ensure students receive at least one meal a day and are able to continue their education. Last year our lunch program was very successful with almost all of students remaining in school and even gaining some new students! This year one of our Team members Henry will hike up Mt Lofty (with two newly replaced hips) and another team member Natasha has hiked up Half Dome in Yosemite, USA, to raise support for our school lunch program.

Our goal is to raise $16,000 to cover the cost of school lunches for 3 months during the most difficult part of the famine. Timpir is different from many other organisations because we have very minimal admin costs. Our local Aussie team generously offer their time for free and mothers in the school communities volunteer to cook the food. So far we have raised just over $11,500 which has meant that we have been able to purchase enough food for school lunches during June and July this year.”

Head to the campaign page to learn more:

School Program

Success Story: Where There’s a Wil There’s a Way

Wil and Dina as kids

Wil and Dina as kids

“My name is Dina and I live in Ontario, Canada. My brother Phil and I decided to use Chuffed to help raise money for our older brother Wil who is just starting his fight with mouth and throat cancer.

Like so many people, Wil lives from paycheque to paycheque. He has a modest life, he is proud and independent living by himself in a small town in Quebec. With the doctors telling him what the ordeal will mean for him, the surgeries, the treatments, the recovery, Wil is very anxious about how he will pay his rent and his bills when he will be unable to work. While healthcare is free in Canada, there are many other expenses he can’t afford.

Since the campaign was started on Wil’s birthday, we have found out that Wil’s first surgery will be in August and he will not be able to work for the remainder of the year. We want Wil to be focusing on fighting and recovering and not worrying about paying his bills without an income. He is anxious about other likely expenses that he hasn’t even considered. Wil has been told that he will need to stay near the hospital (home is almost an hour away) to receive chemotherapy and radiation treatments. How will he afford to do this?

My brothers and I all live in different parts of the country and see each other once or twice a year. Phil and I are supporting Wil emotionally, and we can only help him so much with the financial challenges he will face.

There must be many who find themselves in a similar predicament as our brother Wil. We want to raise awareness and build a community that come together to help Wil and people in a similar situation. People who can help with a donation, locals who can donate time to help him get to appointments, perhaps even people who can prepare and deliver food to him during his recovery.

We hope to prove that Where There’s a Wil . . . there is a way!”

Learn more about the campaign to support Wil below:

Success Story: Team Philippines

Team at work

Team at work

“In 2010 I was invited, as a GP, to go to the Philippines as part of a medical mission to visit and assist impoverished communities who had been affected by a major flood in Manila. We visited 4 communities, one of whom had been completely displaced by the floods. The government had resettled them in a tiny rural region south east of Manilla, called Calauan. They were living in single room concrete besser block homes with no electricity, no running water, and no access to shops, work, education, fresh food or rubbish disposal. Children were fed one small rice meal per day and there was widespread malnourishment and poor health. The men disappeared for weeks in Manila, finding work to provide their families with some source of income.

The initial trip was a very one-dimensional experience. I felt like we were there to provide momentary western medical ‘magic’ with no longer-term vision of meaningfully improving the health of these communities. It felt like the mission was all about making us feel good, rather than creating real change for the people we were meant to be helping.

Back home I knew that to really make a difference we needed a different approach. In partnership with St Barnabas Broadway and Calvary Christian Fellowship, a plan evolved that sought to improve the health and vitality of the community through long term health care alongside community led education programs—the idea was to teach the community to fish. A novel part of the plan was to invite medical (and dental) students to participate in the medical clinics, giving them access to hands-on experience in a sustained social justice project and the chance to have a direct positive impact on the health of a grateful community in need.

Now, we employ a community nurse, farmer, pastor/youth worker, cook and teacher. We have established a community pharmacy and health clinic, childcare and early education program aligned to a feeding program for severely malnourished children, livelihood programs and a youth centre and youth group. Twice a year, 16 medical students from the University of Notre Dame Australia and 2-3 dental students accompany a small team of dedicated, fully qualified and deeply experienced volunteer doctors and dentists to run intensive medical and dental clinics alongside the education program. They are supported by a team of workers who upgrade and maintain the community’s shared facilities and infrastructure. Recently, in July this year, the team was able to see and help over 500 members of the community in the clinics. The success of this program is driven by our committed team of volunteers, the enthusiasm of the medical and dental students and the ongoing generous donations from hundreds of supporters to fund the required medical and dental supplies.”

Check out Team Philippine’s crowdfunding campaign page:

 

Team Philippines

Success Story: Bikes Not Borders

Ade cycling

Ade cycling

“My name is Olu… and this project is (somewhat secretly) about me. It has been really tough to be at the centre of it – because it entails one of my biggest fears – asking for help. In that way, it has been humbling. A friend of mine knows about a lot of the trauma and instability I had experienced – from care through abandonment by parents, visa renewal issues caused by my parents negligence and homelessness amongst other issues. When it came to time to get my visa renewed, I freaked out. I was scared, penniless, homeless and had no idea how I was going to come up with the full amount and cross over this one big obstacle. I cried and was constantly anxious. He eventually suggested cycling as a fundraiser. I hesitated. I was scared but what was more scary was not being able to have at least one major issue in my life sorted – and this one was pretty serious.

I think my own first hand experience over the years allowed me to understand just how serious it can get and how desperate many people are and will be under my circumstances. The friend who suggested it – originally from the states – has had experiences with visas that were less than pleasant. He also knew what it was like to have no one in your corner – as I have an estranged family who I haven’t seen in over 14years. Himself – alongside the other three who supported the project – have also had experiences with being homeless and destitute and the effect it had – both internally and practically when it came to sorting out matters this big and important.

I am fired up by the possibility of getting my indefinite leave to remain and having the chance – after 17 years at starting life again. I am prompted to push and fight for me life in a way I never have been before. I feel hope like I haven’t felt it before. I am fired up by the possibility of something happening that I hitherto thought was impossible. It is the first time I have experienced suck kindness and I am admittedly deeply taken aback by it. I cannot begin to explain how much that fires me up. I am always stomped when someone contributes – from friends through people I speak to on occasion through to strangers – wholeheartedly and just because they want to. I do not think they know just how much they are holding my life together and changing it. Perhaps it is because of my life experiences, but I have never experienced such kindness. Practically speaking, the idea of committing to something as intense as cycling country to country and seeing it through fires me up too. Prior to this fundraiser, although I knew how to ride a bike, I had never ridden longer than 2 hours talk less of a long distance trip. I did not even own a bike. It was borrowed. I was accountable to myself, for my life, and to everyone who had given – to just keep pushing – that has been one heck of a fire up.

The team was initially brought together after conversation with friend – Khaleb. After speaking at length about my situation, he joined heads with three people he was living with who spoke about using a cycle trip as an opportunity for a fundraiser to help me out of the rut. They then brought the idea to me about 4 – 6 weeks before it actually took off. The group eventually disbanded because Khaleb had to leave for work and to head back to the USA and there were some pace issues that came up but hiccups happen. I am so glad I was able to carry on and also for the incredible support from not just friends but also from strangers – in time, advice, contributions and sometimes even hosting me. I am ever grateful for the fact that the fundraiser itself was set up and is where it is today. I will have to return half way through to start the visa application process because of dates. The three guys will go to Greece but I will continue the rest of the way to Greece once the visa application appointment is met too!

They specifically chose this for me – as explained above – because of my personal circumstances which had been ongoing for years since I came out of care.

This cycle fundraiser has had an incredible impact on me. It has changed my life in so many different ways I cannot begin to describe. I had very little money so I ate skipped food and mostly bread everyday. I slept mostly wild camping and also by myself in my tent, sometimes in the houses of complete strangers. At times, this was incredible and I was overwhelmed with the kindness of humanity – especially being in a foreign land. At other times, it was not so safe. There was a night I was almost raped bya man who had a young daughter whom I thought was being genuinely helpful. I managed to get away at 3am and slept close to a pond in the centre of a small town called Vidauban in France. In the morning, two elderly ladies came separately to give me breakfast. It was just what I needed after a rough night, a long day ahead of cycling and little to no money. Its small miracles like that that occurred periodically I was blown away by. I met a lady I had followed on social media for almost two years – very randomly in a small town I cycled in to find a spot to camp for the night. I looked at her because I recognised her. We got taling. She wound up helping me with money when I was down to my last euro (she had no idea how timely that was). Not only that, her husband gave me a water flask to keep my water cool and pepper spray as he said he had a daughter and was concerned about me being on my own. She also single-handedly advertised the fundraiser to her friends on her social media and got me some donations. This is someone I did not know. I am overwhelmed each time I think about her kindness. I have had the chance to meet people who have offered me a home whenever I need it. For someone without a family and coming from years of homelessness, this has been deeply touching, somewhat unbelievable and incredibly healing for me. There have been nights spent not sleeping (I found out I was allergic to grass on this trip), been approached by weird men asking me for sex because I was on my own cycling, days spent getting incredibly lost, one morning i packed up my tent and saw a snake not too far from where I had set up tent, I have met so many incredible people, I cycled a few days with a man who cycled across Canada (Peter Ledingham – who happens to have an epic story behind him), one of my best cycle days was the ‘three countries in one day’ experience – going across the border from Nice in France through Monaco into Ventimiglia in Italy. I was so scared to make that crossing for some reason and felt incredibly proud when it was done. There are so many stories and pictures to recount. Great times and tough times and weird times. I would be more than happy to share these all with you. Please let me know if you need any further information from me.

I have 10 more days to raise the rest. I know Khaleb has pushed the dates back but I actually need it pushed forward again because I need to make my application for my visa extremely urgently! Deadline will be July 31st / August 1st at the very latest.

I still have £1,100 to go and I admittedly feel a little anxious about it all coming in but I am trusting and hoping. I have sent this link to so many people and hope that with the help of chuffed, the rest can come to realisation. I cannot wait to start building my life again.

Thank you SO MUCH to Chuffed for simply existing as an organisation. There is so much I could say. This has impacted me in the deepest of ways and I will feel it and talk about it forever. If there is ever anything I can do with regards to chuffed itself as an organisation, I would LOVE to so please do let me know.”

Learn more about this awesome campaign below:
Bikes Not Borders

Success Story: Yarn for Baby Blankets

Knitting for Babies

“I used to knit when I lived in Norway: jumpers, socks, beanies… When I moved to Townsville in tropical north Queensland, I had to rethink what to make in the hot climate. I started knitting toys, tea cozies, tissue box covers, and fingerless gloves – because that aircon can be freezing some days – and enjoyed selling them at monthly craft markets. I loved the feedback (and inspiration) from customers, and with the sales I enjoyed a free hobby.

But I was also looking for a charity I could help (with my knitting) in my own town: one that I had a personal connection to, and could help long term.

My work in vegetation management used to take me to pastoral properties all over regional Queensland, and I enjoyed the country, the people and their hospitality. And the Ronald McDonald house provides accommodation for those outback families, so they can stay close to their seriously ill child for weeks or months. Therefore I had once registered as a volunteer at the Townsville Ronald McDonald House. But at the time I registered as a volunteer, they were only after weekday volunteers, which I could not combine with my full time job. But I had mentioned I loved knitting, and knitted some donations instead.

At some point I dropped off a donation of “lego box tissue box covers” at the Ronald McDonald House, which the volunteers thought would look cheerful the living rooms. When I asked what else I could knit, they mentioned baby blankets were always appreciated. I then found out that Townsville is the only other hospital in Queensland outside Brisbane that has a neonatal intensive care unit to care for pre-term and very ill babies. And my sister had a preemie 13 years ago. She told me how hard it was to leave the hospital those 4 weeks her little girl had to stay there: she wanted to be there day and night.

So when the volunteer coordinator asked me a few weeks later if I could perhaps start teaching mums to knit baby blankets for their own child: I thought that was a great idea! Not only would that provide the mums with that much needed baby blanket: the knitting itself can be therapeutical during stressful times, and the blanket is both personal and unique. The pattern or the colours can reflect the families’ passion: being horses, the ocean or the local rugby team.

So far, I have been surprised by in-kind material donations, which I am currently trying to match up so colours “make sense” for babies. Initially I didn’t think black and navy were particular baby like, but while browsing pictures for inspirations, I realised a black and white zig-zag blanket can look very “posh”. While the Cowboys, the Townsville rugby team and popular throughout regional Queensland, is navy, grey and yellow. Perfect match!”

Check out this lovely campaign here:

Success Story: Burn Calories Not Coal

Save the planet

Save the planet

“We’re a group of friends working to stop the Adani mega coal mine. To be built on the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, this will be the biggest coal mine in Australia and the third biggest in the world. This is a climate bomb that our planet cannot afford.

A few weeks ago, we met up in a Fitzroy pub and rather than keep talking about it, we wanted to do something! And so…Burn Calories Not Coal was born! The Labor and the Liberal parties both support this mine. So on July 29th, as part of our Burn Calories Not Coal Bike Rally, we’re cycling through marginal seats in Melbourne, to send a message to politicians that we need to move beyond climate choking coal. MPs in marginal seats are on a knife edge and will listen to us because they’re worried about losing their seats.

If they don’t #StopAdani, we’ll elect someone who will! This is an issue that is effecting us and increasingly so for the next generations. It’s something that we really care about.”

 

Join them on their journey to save the reef and the planet! Check out their campaign below:

You can register for the Burn Calories Not Coal Bike Rally here:
https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/burn-calories-not-coal-bike-rally-tickets-35985018158

Success Story: First Base Project by Peter

Community Pump

Community Pump

“For many years I have watched Timor Leste struggle with occupation and then civil unrest following their independence. The years of turmoil had a devastating impact on infrastructure and communities throughout Timor Leste. Very high unemployment, malnutrition, lack of access to clean water and lack of education facilities are all major issues facing the country.

In 2007 I I was finally in a position to volunteer on community service projects in Timor Leste. I was able to use my 16 years of working experience in telephone exchanges to assist the “Connect East Timor “project installing solar power radio systems in several districts. I had also began a water project installing tube wells in the Lautem district which continued for several years. With the first pump being installed at a school I was appalled at the lack of facilities and equipment and also the community poverty. I became aware of the huge volume of school equipment continually being replaced and sent to landfill. I then registered a second project in 2010 to collect and ship this equipment to Timor Leste schools. To date our group of volunteers have shipped 32 high capacity 40 foot containers to Timor Leste which included over 15,000 schools chairs.

In 2014 there was an offer for a position as a project Liaison in Dili to coordinate containers and projects with a community service organisation. As I was strongly committed to supporting Timor Leste communities, I decided to close my business of 23 years, sell my home and move to Dili in July 2015. During the time of closing down and selling my home, the job opportunity disappeared. In 2016 with my Timorese partner we were able to buy a property large enough to continue my project work. With the Liaison office now closed down and the country predominantly non English speaking, there is a greater need for a project support base in Dili to provide short term accommodation, workshop and training facilities for volunteers.

We have almost finished a two bedroom cottage, installed power and security fencing around the property. Located 5 kilometres from Dili CBD and airport, the property is ideally situated. Once completed it will be used for teaching trade skills, water pump installations, Ferro cement tank construction any training offered by volunteer groups.”

Check out Peter’s crowdfunding campaign here: