Doubling the impact for Narayan Seva Children’s Home in Bali, by Bec

Bec Dash

Bec Dash

“From a young age I have been acutely aware that it is purely luck that led me to be born into a loving family and a wealthy country where we are granted education, freedom and the opportunity to make the best of this life. For as long as I can remember I have felt driven to somehow use the life I have been given to make a difference in the life of someone else.

It’s almost exactly 8 years since I first arrived at Narayan Seva Children’s Home in Bali. I was 21 and had recently returned from a 6 week study trip in Indonesia as part of my university studies. Bitterly disappointed with ‘normal life’ as I tried to readjust upon my return home, I felt it was time to do something real and meaningful with my time. I deferred from my degree, worked full time for 6 months and saved the money I needed for a self-funded volunteer (with a little travel) trip.

The home has grown from 44 to 85 children in the time that I have been travelling there, with children ranging in age from 18 months to 24 years, 12 of which are now studying at university! I have been incredibly inspired by the children themselves as well as the two amazing women who run the home. I have often been astounded at their ability to not only manage the daily tasks involved in keeping the home running, but at their tireless planning for what’s next.

In the years since I have known them, here are just some of the advancements they have made:

  • Created an organic fruit and vegetable garden for their own consumption and sale
  • Bought a water filter large enough to meet their daily drinking needs as well as to sell to local community
  • Introduced a biogas system that uses the waste from their septic tank to convert and tunnel gas to the kitchen cooktops
  • Built 3 new buildings to house the children, a tiled common area, a yoga/meditation hall and a new kitchen (which was previously a fire pit on a dirt floor!)

Every year that I return I hope to fund projects that would otherwise not be possible. This year we are focusing on education. So far the campaign has raised the course fees for two of the boys to complete their diplomas in IT as well as covering a full years living expenses for another boy who had to move on campus to complete his studies in Architecture (our last campaign raised the fees needed to pay his tertiary fees). With only a couple of weeks to go I am hopeful that we will be able to achieve even more with last minute donations. Narayan Seva has captured my heart and I will forever do what I can to assist them.”

Learn more about Bec’s awesome cause on her crowdfunding campaign page:

Allen & Susan’s Portugal Firestorm Recovery

Allen & Susan

Allen & Susan

“We obtained our land in Portugal with a spring and terraces, neglected for many years. Our intention was to breathe new life into this land with her beautiful views and life giving waters, creating both a home for ourselves, and a space to offer workshops, groups and retreats to others, encouraging creativity, celebration, personal growth and conscious connection to the land and each other. Our work is inspired by our passions; music, Bio-dynamic gardening, Earth healing, conscious inquiry and meditation. We named our project Solaria after the spring that had called us to this land.

In October 2017 a firestorm raged across Portugal. It burnt the land and our motorhome. The foundation we had set in place to begin building our vision was gone. Since acquiring the land we had faced many challenges and setbacks that we could not have imagined at the start. The fire left us feeling heartbroken and defeated, but crowdfunding is a beautiful thing. We have been so moved by the support we have received so far. It has helped re-ignite our vision, and the commitment and determination needed to bring it to fruition.

In the final days of our campaign we are asking once more for help to reach our target.  The donations we receive will enable us to start to build the basic infrastructure needed to hold our first groups; a small space for ourselves, compost toilets, and washing facilities, an outdoor covered kitchen and our first Bio-dynamic gardens. There is an open invitation to all to spend time with us at Solaria, to drop into what it means to be together on this precious earth at these challenging times, with conscious intent to work to create a heartful and harmonious human space.”

Check out Allen & Susan’s crowdfunding campaign below!

iStay Eco – Promoting sustainable travel!

Christina IStay Eco
Christina IStay Eco

“I love to travel. I also love the beautiful planet we’re living on. Yet I’ve come to realise just how much the former has been making the latter a lot harder to love simply because of how unsustainable travelling has become. Earth has not been able to cope with it and it’s urgent we think twice about our future travels.

Each time I’m planning on travelling somewhere I think about all the amazing ecofriendly places I might stay at. I used to get really frustrated that I couldn’t easily find such accommodation on the “interweb” and instead had to search for hours even for just a few options. I kept on asking myself why there are no websites dedicated to making it easier to find and book sustainable accommodation while travelling anywhere around the world. Most hotel booking websites don’t even try to help travelers in this way and even if they do, their listings are quite limited or a lot of greenwashing is involved. One day it was decided I would simply produce the kind of platform I’ve been looking for and call it iStayEco! 

iStayEco’s mission is to work hand in hand with every accommodation seeking or holding internationally recognized sustainable certification so that travelers can conveniently locate, appreciate, and book them to take ecologically responsible holidays.

Why a crowdfunding campaign was launched to support iStayEco is to find the funds it will take to develop its prototype (a test version) first. With a prototype of the platform in place iStayEco can be tested to learn how best to bring it to life. From how it searches places to stay, to how it shares information about each accommodation’s unique and sustainable features – we want to be sure we do it right. So far over 50% of the crowdfunding goal has been raised, proving that people really care about making travel more sustainable!

In return for more support towards the iStayEco crowdfunding campaign there are many chances to book holidays through iStayEco at a discount once it launches (in the fall of 2018) making it even easier to stay with some of the loveliest most sustainable accommodations in the world.

Learn more about iStayEco’s mission to promote more sustainable travel on their crowdfunding campaign page below:

Sacha Uku – A Steiner Waldorf Initiative in Columbia

Sasha Uku

Sasha Uku

“I first learnt what extreme poverty was in an African village ten years ago, at age eighteen.

That experience changed my life and since then I’ve been constantly involved in volunteering, fundraising and visiting social and educational projects for economically underprivileged children.

For my day job I work as a teacher in Steiner Education, an alternative, holistic education. For the past three years I’ve been living in Colombia and have seen the unfortunate public education system as well as the lack of choices available to families from lower economic backgrounds.

I’m now combining my two passions, as well as my growing understanding of Colombian culture to open a Steiner Preschool, together with a Colombian friend.

Thanks to my recent Chuffed campaign we can now go ahead with creating a beautiful preschool where underprivileged children can attend for free.”

Check out the awesome Sacha Uku crowdfunding campaign below!

The 21 Taras Thangkha: Exhibiting the World’s Largest Free-Standing Painting

21 Taras Picture

21 Taras Picture“I wasn’t looking for mental development. I was a cynical materialist when I met a journalist and author of Big Love, Lama Yeshe’s life story. She had a HUGE picture of Tibetan Lama Yeshe, and told me the story of the Actress and the Lamas and how Kopan Monastery in Nepal was born. Anything she quoted from the Lamas made logical sense. In 1984 she suggested I work at Tara Institute to help run a small computer services business there.

One day I got a parking ticket out the front of Tara Institute and came in cursing. My Buddhist nun colleague, Venerable Tsapel, laughed and said, “Rejoice that it was you and not someone else who got the ticket.” I scoffed. She continued, “Think of the pleasure it gave the parking inspector to give you a ticket!” I laughed out loud and she said, “There, it works. You can’t laugh and be angry at the same time.” A few months later I was in Bodh Gaya, India, listening to His Holiness the Dalai Lama teach BIG LOVE, unconditional love for ALL beings, in the company of 8,000 Tibetan monks and nuns, 1500 Westerners, and 300,000 Tibetans from all over the continent.

An occasional student, (a mum and travelling a lot for my work in equal rights training), I’ve been a member of Tara Institute for 35 years. Then, in 2017, Lama Zopa Rinpoche, head of the worldwide organisation FPMT, gave Tara Institute the 21 Taras Thangka! I put my hand up to help crowdfund, with, to enable exhibitions of the LARGEST STAND-ALONE PAINTING IN THE WORLD.

Working with a team of members, friends and relatives, all fired up with Lama Yeshe and Lama Zopa’s BIG LOVE energy, it’s been a joy sharing the context and the enchanting images of Tara the Liberator and her 21 emanations. Tara represents the enlightened actions of all the Buddhas, the wisdom that is the Mother of all the Buddhas, and unconditional BIG LOVE for ALL beings. Just looking at the precise sacred geometry of a thangka calms the mind and is ideal for those of us who find meditation challenging!

In uncertain times, a shortcut to inner peace has been easy news to share.
First chance to see it, even for the artist! White Night Melbourne, Hamer Hall, 7pm-7am February 17 (Day 2 of the Lunar New Year)”

To read more about the amazing story of the 21 Taras Thangka, have a look at their campaign page here:

Food as Medicine: Leafy’s Story


“I’m Claire McDonnell, qualified Nutrition Advisor, mum and therapeutic diet keynote speaker in the UK and USA. Finding the right nutrition for our daughter and son’s health conditions at the right time prevented dire long term health consequences.

We plan to provide nutrition information and resources that we needed as a family when our children were most poorly. We don’t feel that finding the right information should be left to chance.

Our Food as Medicine story

When my otherwise healthy baby daughter Leafie was only 6 months old when she experienced her first seizure. It lasted a terrifying 25 minutes and she was bluelighted into the local hospital for treatment. Unfortunately lengthy and distressing seizures began to reoccur until little Leafie was suffering a debilitating 60+ daily seizures a day. Her overall health, sleep and ability to enjoy a typical childhood were being taken away and our young family were suffering from exhaustion and distress.

We researched until we came across a Canadian parent’s blog that had used a diet to reduce their young daughter’s seizures. The more we read about their Ketogenic diet the more impressive it appeared.

We started Leafie on the Ketogenic diet around her second birthday, enjoying a ‘keto’ birthday carrot cake as one of her first foods. Within 2 days of her diet
changes the majority of her seizures (up to 45 minutes long) had stopped and three years later most have not returned. Leafie’s sleep, confidence and smile returned swiftly, she became her happy, active, bright self again.

As well as the astonishing change in my daughter’s health this is also remarkable as the diet is well known, with much evidence behind it demonstrating how successful it is in treating seizures and yet it is rarely considered as a treatment option.

Our confidence in the ability of food to improve health came from having also
restored our son Rudie’s skin to glowing health after 2 years of eczema, hives and alopecia, again all through diet! Again nutrition was not a consideration in his treatment by the medical community.

Our Project Leafie appeal
With experience of taking on severe eczema and epilepsy with foods we now want to help other families to find the diets that can help their health too!

We quickly raised over half of our campaign target of £6,000! We need to raise Claire £6,000 total so that we can:-
• Provide a free family nutrition introduction course
• Populate our website with evidence and information to help families
get started
• Publish family’s stories of using nutrition to manage a variety of health
conditions; included Bowel Disease, Epilepsy and Eczema. ”


Read more on Claire, Leafy and Rudie’s experiences with a Ketogenic diet on their campaign page:

Progressive Podcast Australia: A Podcast for Activists

Progressive Podcast Australia

Progressive Podcast Australia“We are Nick and Katie. Nick is a sociologist, Katie is a social justice lawyer and we are both activists. We have been involved in a wide variety of social movements, including animal rights, Occupy, refugee rights and workers’ rights. We are both passionate about social change and as when we first got together as partners we would regularly discuss political issues. These discussions turned into Progressive Podcast Australia over 6 years ago, starting during the worldwide Occupy movement that highlighted economic inequality. We do this podcast in our spare time, around work and other commitments.

We started the podcast partly out of our frustration about the neglect of activist voices in the mainstream media, who generally only give activists a few seconds to get their message out, in the rare times they are given a voice at all. We were also concerned about the limited range of perspectives given in the mainstream media generally. In the spirit of alternative, independent and activist media, our podcast gives a voice to Left, progressive and anarchist voices and ideas that are neglected in the mainstream media. We cover a wide range of human rights, animal rights and environmental issues.

We are currently running a crowdfunding campaign to help us buy some new recording equipment and are also giving supporters a chance to choose the topics we cover on the show this year. We have reached the half way point of our goal so will buy a second microphone stand, which will be a big improvement on the board games we are currently using as a second mic stand! We appreciate any support in helping us get to our full goal and if we achieve this we will also be able to buy a new microphone. ”

You can read more about Nick and Katie’s podcast for social change here:

Changing the narrative of choice in Niagara with Pro-Choice Billboards

Pro-Choice Billboards

“Niagarans for Womens Rights are exactly what we sound like, residents in the Niagara Region of Ontario, Canada who are for women’s rights!

This campaign specifically addresses reproductive rights and has come to life through the cooperative effort of several women who are looking to balance the conversation of those rights in our community.

Billboards that are Pro-Life and send damaging messages to women making difficult decisions are scattered throughout our Region, now moreso than ever before.

Our goal is provide some balance, create a visual acknowledgement that there are people in this community who respect women, who trust women and who support their right to choice.”

For more on this inspiring cause, check out the crowdfunding campaign below:

Good Bye Locks for Little Oak Sanctuary!

Samantha Little Oak Sanctuary

“I am a veterinary nurse, I have been in this industry for nearly a decade! I work each day ensuring that my patients are taken care of, at the highest standard possible. I am also a vegan, so there are many facets of my life that involve the wellbeing of animals, as well as being conscious of what is important to me, and what I believe is ethically right.

It occurred to me that I have the ability to give back, and that it would be easy for me to be more active in creating awareness for the care of animals that aren’t necessarily treated the same way as pets. I decided that I wanted to choose a worthy cause to pledge my time and effort to, which brought me to the Little Oak Sanctuary. I wanted to raise some money to lend a hand to this amazing place, so decided I would set a goal of $3,000, and if I managed to reach my goal, I would shave my head! This seemed like a small sacrifice in the grand scheme of things, especially if I was able to make a small difference.

I am extremely passionate about this cause, as Little Oak Sanctuary prides themselves on creating awareness, promoting a cruelty-free way of living, and giving a home to those who are often forgotten in our world of mass-production and sheltered living. I want to be able to do more, to help, and to get out there and make a change.

I am now half way, both in my time frame and in my goal of raising $3,000 – This has made me that much more determined to reach my goal, and at the same time, perhaps create some awareness for this cause and for the amazing work that the Little Oak Sanctuary does.”

Help Samantha help Little Oak Sanctuary by checking out her awesome crowdfunding campaign below:

Crowdfunding for Cristina’s Boys – A Year On


“I started my crowdfunding campaign on the first anniversary of the sudden death of our live-in nanny/housekeeper Cristina.  She had been with our family for almost three years and had become a very dear friend to me and a second mother to my children.  Her family had been in Romania when she joined our family so we brought them to the UK as we felt it was wrong for her to be looking after our children whilst hers were overseas.

Cristina was only 38 when she suffered a brain aneurism.  She was with me when it happened; my kids were asleep and my husband was overseas.  She knew what had happened and knew that there was a very real chance she would die.  She was absolutely terrified about leaving her two young sons behind.  I told her that I believed she would be ok but that if anything did happen to her, she should know that I and my husband David would make sure the boys were OK.  They were 15 and 16 years old at the time.

At the time of Cristina’s death we raised £5500 and have used that to supplement the money we have ourselves used to help the boys.  I decided to do another campaign this year both to act as a memorial for her and to enable us to be able to continue supporting the boys for longer.”

Learn more about this story on Belinda’s crowdfunding campaign page below: