Success Story: Rescued Cat & Kittens



“I was brought up in an animal loving family. I remember the injured birds that we picked up off the road as a child. When I was 25 I stopped to check on a possum that had been hit by a car. The possum was dead, but she had live babies in her pouch. I remember seeing her belly moving. I got those babies into care after many phone calls, and providing the recommended first aid (keep warm/dark/quiet).

From that experience I learned that people who do animal rescue and care are often self-funded volunteers. That was the start of my “official” rescuing. I joined groups and sought training. I now have well over 10 years’ experience with rescue, care, education and advocacy, with a particular focus on native wildlife.

My rescue work is not limited to native wildlife. The number of stray, abandoned cats in Australian suburbs is alarming. Whilst wildlife is certainly falling prey to cats, the destruction of habitat by humans is the greatest threat. By rescuing and homing cats I can educate to reduce the impact on Wildlife (desexing to reduce unwanted populations, keeping contained indoors and to cat runs). Street cats can live difficult lives. Shelters and Foster carers are inundated with rescue cats. Thousands of healthy animals are being euthanised each year.

Funds raised are dedicated to the care of rescue cats. The 2 kittens, Mack and Gizmo, have transformed from wild street kittens shivering in a corner and scrounging for food, to a beautiful cuddly pair of bonded brothers.

The campaign is going extremely well, raising $693 within the first 5 hours. It was heart-warming to see donations coming in. I hesitated for 3 months to launch as I was not comfortable asking for money! Taking the chuffed teams advice of seeking 5 donations pre-launch really helped kick start the campaign, and I believe gave potential donors the assurance that the cause was legitimate. I contacted people via social media and the donations started rolling in. I was able to officially launch within 20 minutes.

Funds have mostly been spent on vet fees and medications – all 3 cats required health checks, desexing, microchipping and vaccinations, and flea and worm treatments.

I am seeking a loving home for these kitties and am committed to providing the best care in the meantime. The funds are really helping, and the supportive messages have been very comforting.”

Check out Mel’s campaign page:

Success Story: Gifts for Manus & Nauru

Anne Moon

Anne Moon

“My involvement with people on Manus & Nauru began a couple of years ago when I became aware of the letter writing campaign by Julian Burnside and decided to make contact with a couple of detainees on Manus island. I also was able to get some inside scoop from a friend over dinner, she was a case manager at one of the islands and would work for 2-3 weeks at a time and then come home for a week. She recounted how the centre was run, how the men battled through the days, and how downright dismal the place was. She was only able to do so much in her role.

One time she came to me with the story of a man who just needed someone to talk to. I wrote him a letter – I had his ID and full name – and discovered in our correspondence that he loved reading. Next, I sent him an e-reader loaded with books, which he was able to collect from the postal service in the main compound.

This was the beginning. Handwritten letters to make the individuals stuck in the centre feel connected to the outside; letting them know not everyone in Australia agreed with what the Government was doing. I also sent small parcels like the e-reader because they had very little at the time in terms of entertainment. The postal office, however, was incredibly restrictive about what could be sent and unbelievably slow – all parcels were opened before they reached their recipient. On the rare occasion contents were stolen but by and large we have been quite successful with items reaching recipients.</p>

We then started to set up email addresses because they weren’t even able to do that for themselves without a phone number (I used my personal number). Via limited access to email (mobile phones were contraband at the time) we liaised with the men and they sent through request for essentials like shoes, medical and dental items.

Now I write ‘we’, but at the time it was just ‘me’ because I wasn’t aware that others were doing the same thing. There were others and I was introduced to Ali Murdoch, the founder of Gifts for Manus and Nauru who has been dubbed ‘the Angel of Manus’. I joined her private Facebook group and initially I was one of nine but now there are over 3,000 members!

As the Facebook group grew, some of the Manus men got their hands on mobile phones and as long as the phones were kept out of sight, most guards who knew about them would turn a blind eye. Last year, after the centre was declared unconstitutional, that it should be closed, the men could use their mobile phones out in the open and come and go as they want. From that point, we were able to speak freely over mobile phones and publicly promote the cause to people looking to help. We have over 1200 people on the database, that’s 1200 phones that need a monthly top-up of $30-$35, totally $42,000 every month. Our crowdfunding campaigns on have been really successful and they keep getting bigger, with this current one raising over $19,000! But they still only scratch the surface.

When we set out to this journey, we didn’t anticipate we would still be going on now and the fact that we are is devastating. For as long as the centres are open, we will continue to operate because I am one of many Australians who are passionate about the closure of offshore detention centres and the rights of individuals who were seeking refuge and instead were detained.

Check out their latest crowdfunding campaign page:
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Success Story: Festival TrashStock 2017 – Musik Artistik Plastik

Trash Stock Team

Trash Stock Team “I was born in Brittany, France, and I traveled quite a lot before settling down in Bali where I created the festival TrashStock Musik Artistik Plastik to provide local youth a fun, yet educative event through informal education. It’s my hobby project, but I am helping a foundation that aims to solve Bali’s freshwater crisis. Not many people know it, but the tourism is draining the groundwater and plastic pollution. Part of this project involves a comic book educating school-kids about the impact of littering in the rivers.

I started my career in logistics in the oil and gas industry. But while the work was great, I could feel it wasn’t my purpose. An amazing experience living in a caravan in the Australian bush allowed me to think of how I could use my skills for the greater good. That’s how I founded PREthical, an online agency matching NGO’s and businesses and sharing their stories.

The TrashStock festival is a combination of a sad experience and the wish to combine my personal passions. Every day when I was walking to the office I could see garbage pilling up on the side of the rice field and in the stream. Being graduated in logistics and having a passion for photography and a past as a musician, I mixed everything into TrashStock since 2015 with the help of a Balinese friend I met in Australia. Hendra Arimbawa is the soul of TrashStock and is passionate about making Bali clean from plastic pollution. His positive spirit is rarely impacted by the effort needed to educate his fellows about how bad plastic is for the environment.

While we fundraise to make the festival a reality, we are also doing our best to help others. Every year we donate part of our benefits to an artist recycling plastic to create artwork and a NGO promoting creativity for their education about plastic pollution. We follow their work and genuine passion. Of course, we can only make our social program happen if our own fundraising was successful.

The 2017 edition is very special because of the International year of Sustainable Tourism for Development. Indeed, so many Balinese work in tourism and many more are studying with the goal to find a job in the industry. However, tourists are increasingly complaining about the plastic pollution and choose cleaner destinations.”

Check out more about the TrashStock Bali Art & Music Festival and what they’re doing to tackle plastic pollution on their campaign page:

Success Story: The Honeycomb Hub

“We are the Burkett Family: Adam, Abigail, Sebastian (aged 4) and Elliot (aged 2) and on the 22nd of July we moved to Botswana to set up a family centre in Gaborone.

Adam and I met on our Gap Year, in 2002, teaching in Kenya, when we also fell in love with Africa. My younger sister, Phillida, also fell in love on her Gap year in Botswana in 2006 and has now lived in Botswana for the last 8 years with her Motswana husband. Visiting her made us realise the lack of community centres or play areas even in the capital city and so we decided there was an opportunity for us to give back whilst utilising my 11 years’ experience as a teacher and Phillida’s management skills.

Together, we want to create The Honeycomb Hub, a family centre in Gaborone where everyone is welcome and people feel they are not alone. We particularly want to support pregnant women, new parents and growing families who can struggle with the challenges of parenthood and end up feeling isolated and alone. The Honeycomb Hub will provide information and resources on all aspects of parenting, a place where you can develop new knowledge and skills, bond with your child through different play opportunities or simply have a cold drink with other frazzled parents while your children play. Phillida has trained with Basingstoke’s very own Marie Behenna ( to become the first FitMama instructor in Southern Africa to allow us to support pregnant women and new mothers with their fitness through and after pregnancy.

One of our first priorities is to strengthen our links with the Downs Syndrome Association in Botswana to offer work experience and job opportunities for young adults with Downs Syndrome in Botswana.

We are really looking forward to making a change both for ourselves, and hopefully in the lives of some of the people we shall meet.”

If you would like to know more about their adventure, check out their crowdfunding page below:

Success Story: Barefoot Fundraiser for Crow’s Path

Crows Path Team Day

Crows Path Team Day

“Back in 2007, I was running a long, winding, and dusty path through the endless (and scratchy) sage scrub near my home in southern California when the echoing dawn of a coyote’s howl cascaded up the valley and stopped me in my tracks. I cocked my ears and in the quiet of that moment I caught the drumming of my heart, the sweet tickling scent of a prickly pear flower in bloom, and the delight of a warm sun drawing up over the Santa Ynez Mountains. I was 50km into a 100km race and feeling like a wild animal, like I could run forever. My reverie was interrupted by the hum of an engine and OAR’s “Crazy game of poker” blaring from the speakers. My support crew had finally arrived! We had a quick dance party, gorged on PB&Js and then I kept running for another 4 hours.

My support crew was one way of building community, but I wanted to find other ways of translating the magic of an ultramarathon into a community-building experience. The race would take about 9 hours so I asked friends and families to “donate” 9 hours to doing something to make the world a more beautiful place (to borrow from Miss Rumphius). Every time I wanted to stop during the race I thought of all these beautiful moments transpiring around the country – 9 hours of stacking wood for an elderly neighbor, 9 hours of making rosary beads for a retirement community, 9 hours of gardening for a school – and I felt so lifted.

My next goal is to break the world record for fastest barefoot 100km. As with my previous ultras, I want to use this to inspire others and build community. My efforts this time center around Crow’s Path, an organisation I started to build a community of people forging connections to the natural world through primitive skills, play, exploration, and adventure. In 7 years we’ve inspired hundreds of kiddos to find what makes them happy, what connects them most deeply to self, others, and the natural world. But over the years we’ve also identified a number structural barriers that prevent some families from accessing our programs. This run is in some ways the first step in our organisation’s commitment to finding ways to make our programs truly accessible to all families in the Burlington community.”

Check out Crow’s Path crowdfunding campaign page here:

Success Story: Nepal Rebuilding Project

Chamar and Kate when they first met in 2001

“I’m Kate from Scotland and I’m raising money to help rebuild my Nepalese friend’s house which was destroyed in the 2015 earthquake. Chamar and his family are currently living in an animal outhouse.

I first met Chamar Lama in 2001 when I visited Nepal. As a tourist I was approached by many independent guides looking for work but Chamar had a gentle and kind presence that immediately appealed to me. He also had an extensive knowledge of the mountains and trekking routes so it was an easy choice to employ him as my trekking guide.

We have remained friends ever since through email and more recently skype. Chamar lives in a remote village in the Kavrepalanchok district of Nepal but is able to access the internet when he visits Kathmandu.

When the Nepalese earthquake struck in 2015 I was of course concerned about the wellbeing of Chamar and his family. Because of the damage to infrastructure following the earthquake it was a couple of weeks before I was able to make any contact. Fortunately Chamar and his family were alive and well but there had been extensive damage to many of the houses in the village including his own.

Chamar’s house has since been completely demolished. While aid money from other countries was extremely generous following the earthquake sadly, because of the endemic corruption in Nepal, much of this money never reached the people on the ground. Chamar is only eligible for a £2,300 rebuilding grant from the Nepalese government whilst local engineers have costed the rebuild at £15,000. As a subsistence farmer and occasional trekking guide Chamar and his family have no way of paying for the rebuild of their house.

We have raised almost £2000 so far, a great start but there’s still a long way to go before we can start the rebuild. Thank you to chuffed for enabling me to have this platform.”

Learn more about Kate’sChamar and Kate when they first met in 2001 awesome crowdfunding campaign here:

Success Story: Free to Shine

Free to Shine

Free to Shine

Nicky is the founder of Free To Shine, a non profit in Cambodia that works to protect the most vulnerable girls and get them back in school in order to prevent sex trafficking. Free To Shine first began after our founder spent time in Cambodia talking with survivors of sex trafficking:

“I asked survivors who had been rescued how I could help, and I was hardly prepared for their answer. I thought they’d want something straight-forward and easy to provide, like university tuition fees, but they didn’t want anything for themselves. Instead they wanted for no other girl to go through the horrors they’d been through. They asked me to go out into the rural villages, find the girls who weren’t in school, and protect them. They told me that if these young girls were in school they would not be trafficked.”
Nicky Mih, Founder & Managing Director, Free To Shine.

The International Labour Organisation states that ‘getting girls into schools and keeping them there is vital to reducing their vulnerability to trafficking,’ while UNESCO report that there are currently 25,697 girls in Cambodia who should be in primary school but are not, and a further 119,972 girls who should be in grades 7-9 but are not.

Free To Shine follows a UN human rights based model and recognizes that in order for girls to succeed in school and remain safe, their basic needs must be addressed. Therefore, in addition to mentoring and tuition assistance, Free To Shine provides tools that allow our girls to succeed on their own including; a bike, a water filter, home repairs/re-builds and seeds for them to plant their own garden.

Free To Shine’s commitment to education in order to prevent sex trafficking goes beyond the girls in our scholarship program. We also provide community classes to our girls, their family members, neighbours, and broader communities, to teach them about their rights and how to protect themselves and their families from exploitation and abuse.

By Kevin. Learn more about Kevin’s awesome campaign here:

Success Story: Empowering Women in the Solomon Islands

Team Pic

Team Pic

“My name is Cathy Hunt, one of the Principal Producers of the WOW Festival 2018 – Celebrating Women of the Commonwealth.  I first met Zillah (who runs this campaign) at one of our recent WOW ‘Think In’ community consultation events.  Zillah’s passion, enthusiasm and commitment to improve the health of young girls and women in the Solomon Islands greatly impressed me and I knew instantly that the WOW team would support her campaign.   We first heard about this issue in 2016 when we met with Kirsty Sword Gusmao from Timor Leste.   In Australia, we are largely unaware of the restrictions of the imposition of menstruation on young women and girls of the Pacific region and how this impacts their education, independence and life opportunities.

Zillah’s work with Loloma Foundation and Kaleko Steifree aligns perfectly with of the sprit and philosophy underpinning WOW Festival 2018 – her story is the kind of story presented at WOW festivals.  We are very keen to involve Zillah in WOW in some way.  It is essential to raise awareness of this critical issue and its impact – it is also affecting young girls and women in rural and remote Aboriginal communities here in Australia.

With WOW Festival 2018 we have the unique opportunity in Brisbane next year (6 – 8 April 2018, Brisbane Powerhouse, part of the Commonwealth Games Cultural Program) to connect with women of the Commonwealth through this significant high-profile international event which will be uplifting, challenging, inclusive and uniting.

We know from, previous WOW Festival research, that participation in WOW can change lives – the lives of the participating women, girls, boys and men, the lives of women in their communities when they return home and even policy makers at the highest levels.  Participants are exposed to new ideas, skills, tough discussions, connections, artists, mentors, inspiration and fun, enabling them to get involved in creating change

WOW Festival 2018 will:

  • Celebrate the achievements of women and girls
  • Identify the barriers to them reaching their full potential
  • Build a sense of community belonging and wellbeing
  • Motivate women and girls to make changes to their lives; build the confidence that they can do this and introduce them to a new set of skills to assist in that process.
  • Leave a legacy of women and girls, boys and men across the Commonwealth, empowered to make life better for themselves, their families and communities.

Learn more about this awesome campaign that Cathy supports below:

Success Story: GiveBack GiveAway

Johnny from GiveBack GiveAway
Johnny from GiveBack GiveAway
“Having visited EVERY country in the world, Johnny and Josh wanted the GiveBackGiveAway to ‘give back’ to travel. Senegal, Cambodia, Northern Thailand and now Myanmar, the GBGA team crowdfund and initially built playgrounds for kids in impoverished communities.
As we’ve grown we build classrooms and dormitories for kids who are sleeping rough at the schools. Our upcoming project in Myanmar, the community was devasted by Hurricane Nargis, and 16 orphans are sleeping until a shack, so we want to give them their own space to sleep, their own school to study in and a playground to they too get a chance to be kids.”
Check out the GiveBack GiveAway campaigns below:

Success Story: Friends of Koh Rong

Rosie & FOKR
Rosie & FOKR
“Four years ago I quit my job to spend time exploring the world, an adventure that eventually led me to the island of Koh Rong. Already in Cambodia with the intention of volunteering, I knew as soon as I arrived at Friends of Koh Rong (FOKR) headquarters (a small shack on a jetty) that this organisation was exactly what I was looking for – a small team looking to make a big difference in this corner of the world. I spent seven months with FOKR and in that time saw huge progress with education, environment and community engagement. When I left I knew I wanted to help them from afar in whatever capacity I could, and from Australia one of the best ways I can help is by fundraising. Cue raising money by running a marathon.
I hope this big commitment by myself will help inspire small financial commitments from others, all in the name of helping a small island community. The reason this particular NGO resonates with me is because its focus is on education and building capacity within the community for them to help themselves i.e. eventually FOKR should cease to exist. Aid can often create a culture of dependency but with FOKR they’re working hard to ensure one day they can bid Koh Rong a teary farewell safe in the knowledge the island has everything it needs to look after itself.”
Learn more about this great cause here: