Hayes Urban Teaching Farm: An Educational Agricultural Experience

Claire Hayes Urban Teaching Farm

Claire Hayes Urban Teaching Farm

“In the spring of 2016 , I came home to New Brunswick after 2 months away, getting my hands dirty and learning about small-scale farming, homesteading, and bee keeping in New England. I was ready to find my next calling in the local food scene here at home. While continuing to work part time with a local food retailer that I loved, a long-time customer told me about their goal of starting a learn-to-farm program in the city. She invited me to join in and I began volunteering with the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm project. In February 2017 I was so lucky to start working full time on the project.

Food has a natural ability to bring us together; it is not only a necessity, but also one of the major joys of life. The positive environmental and social impacts a healthy food system can have are impressive, not to mention the health benefits and rewards that come from producing your own food. In working to create more earth-friendly farmers in an agriculturally hungry province, there will be significant rewards and a massive potential for positive change in our rural communities.

I am the outreach coordinator for the Hayes Urban Teaching Farm project, and so have the opportunity to tell our story to anyone and everyone that wants to hear it, keep momentum up, work to fit the puzzle pieces together, and collaborate with the rest of our enthusiastic team to dream this brilliant project into reality!

When the pilot program gets off the ground in less than 2 months (eep!), I will be sliding into a different role and will be taking the farmer training course. I guess that this is the year that I find out if I actually have the chops to be a farmer! It’s been a wild time helping to get the project so far in a relatively short amount of time, and things are looking gooooood! Thanks for your interest and support and keep in touch! ”

You can find out More about Claire and the work that Hayes Urban Teaching farm carry out on their campaign page:

A Journey to Improve Living Conditions in South-east Asia, by WISE


“WISE is a non-profit organisation started by me and my Indonesian colleagues almost 2 years ago. I had been involved in water-related issues since university, where I joined Engineers Without Borders UK and did a project on faecal sludge management (toilets!) as part of my civil and environmental engineering degree. I didn’t look back. I went on to work on similar projects in countries such as Myanmar and Sri Lanka. I eventually ended up in Bandung, Indonesia, writing a PhD dissertation exploring innovation post-disaster sanitation technologies (toilets again!). This is where I met my co-founder, Dian, who was studying in the department. Clearly, we have a joint interest in faecal matters 💩..

For me, it’s not that I have a particular passion in water and sanitation – I could have just as easily ended up in education, or energy. Rather, I believe that everyone has a right to life with dignity, and this is where my expertise can best make a difference.

I love how WISE is trying to achieve its vision of universal and equitable access to water, sanitation and hygiene in South-east Asia. We are building a team driven by South-east Asians because we understand that projects must be driven by the people who understand, who live, the problem in order for the solutions to be relevant and effective. Take for example, our project in Phnom Village, Cambodia. Only 29 of the 101 households have toilets, the lowest access in the commune. This month, we will be facilitating a community planning process, called the Participatory Hygiene and Sanitation Transformation approach, that is designed to increase the self-esteem of the villagers and empower them to take ownership of planning and implementing sanitation improvements. This participatory process may take significantly more time and effort on our part, compared to simply constructing toilets for people, but I have witnessed enough abandoned and broken down toilets to know that imposing a solution on the community will not achieve sustainable impact.

The best part of my work is working with youth from across Southeast Asia who want to make a difference in their own communities, and I hope WISE can continue to provide such opportunities for years to come.”

Check out the crowdfunding campaign page of WISE below:

Community Leader: Angela

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am  a soon-to-be graduate from the diploma of Business and Social Enterprise. In my final year, I was working on an internship in Kenya. Whilst there, I met many locals and discovered issues such as compromising hygiene due to the lack of access to resources, that are not as predominant as it is here in Singapore.

Upon discovering the issue about lack of sanitary pads, I decided to meet the immediate need of school-going girls first. Purchasing those pads became a huge factor in considering to drop the project due to financial pinch.

When I decided to try out crowdfunding, I discovered the ease of it being able to reach out to the people who are passionate about your cause, without having them to physically drop their help into a coin-box. I was able to surpass the goal she set before the campaign even closed.

With that vast support and guidance I gained from many around, I hope to share the knowledge with new aspiring ones in Singapore.

Why did you decide to become a Chuffed.org Community Leader?

I wanted to meet more like-minded people to bounce solutions around and put in small efforts to create changes like a ripple effect.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin? 

I was looking to raise funds in different ways through my school like setting up physical booths and going door to door, but my lecturer helped me realise that this would require way more resources whilst crowdfunding could be ongoing for days and reaches out to people beyond our physical limitations. I looked around a couple of websites to learn how crowdfunding works and realised that it could be a viable way for me to fund my project. Crowdfunding exceeded my expectations!

What social cause are passionate about and why?

Education, because it is every child’s right to be equipped with enough knowledge to make the best decisions for themselves, regardless their environmental and economical limitations.

What social cause project or campaign on Chuffed will the funds raised through the workshop support?

Funds will go to my Wing Her to School project, which you can find out more about here. I will be re-launching the campaign soon.

Community Leader: Kieron

Meet Kieron, our Chuffed Community Leader originally from Perth, Australia.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career (or life) so far.

At uni I jumped around courses a little bit, starting in Construction Management and Economics. I realised that this wasn’t an area which I was passionate about so I moved into Nutrition Science as I have a love for sports and peak performance. I wanted to improve people’s potential in a range of areas. I worked a lot during semester time and saved extensively so I could travel in the breaks. I have been lucky enough to have seen a lot of the world, and seen some extent of the widespread inequity. I wanted to make a real difference so set up a non-profit organisation when I graduated. This non-profit would soon take me to India.

Why did you decide to become a Chuffed.org Community Leader?

I was asked to sit on a panel with some other awesome Chuffed crowdfunders for the Social Impact Festival here in Perth. I got a lot out of sharing the potential that crowdfunding has to bring a project off of the ground. I wanted to continue this education so the Chuffed Community Leader role was perfect for me.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin?

I had a project that I wanted to start in India, as I was already there volunteering as a nutritionist. I couldn’t afford to put too much of my own money into it at the time so I thought that crowdfunding would be the perfect way to both create awareness and raise much needed funds (which allowed for aid to be purchased at a higher scale).

What social cause are passionate about and why?

Education is the key to increasing life outcomes of children, especially in developing countries. In order to learn and participate in classes with full concentration, a student needs to be fed adequately. I was shocked to learn the extent of malnutrition which faces Indian children (one in two). I knew the devastating effects that nutrient deficiencies have on physiological and psychologic development and just had to try and improve it.

What relevant fundraising or other experience do you have that you can share with participants in the workshop?

I used Social Media to raise $10k in 3 days for my own project. I have a strong interest in digital marketing and strategy which I deployed for my project. I would love to walk you through the process, even if you aren’t Facebook-savvy!

What social cause project or campaign on Chuffed will the funds raised through the workshop support?

#MILK4MARKS was my first campaign on Chuffed.org and was really successful. The problem of malnutrition is not something that 5 figures can fix and for this reason it is still running now. The campaign is raising funds for a nutritional aid powder which I formulated, that contains the key vitamins and minerals which Indian children are most deficient in. You can check it out here.

Kieron is hosting our next Crowdfunding for Social Causes Workshops in Christchurch on the 30th of September! Details below:

Where there’s a Wil, there’s a way!

Wil as a young boy

Wil as a young boy

“My sister and I are so glad we found Chuffed to help our brother Wil.

The best position to be in is one where you really don’t need anyone’s help or charity.   Unfortunately, my brother Wil can use the help of family, friends, his doctors and nurses very much right now.  I am grateful to have found Chuffed to help Wil through the financial struggle side of being sick and recovering.  Chuffed.org has made it easier for us to share and reach out to Wil’s vast community of support.

Here is the broader story of Wil’s struggle with cancer and why it is so meaningful to us that he wins his battle.  For the first time, we’re sharing our very personal back story on Chuffed:

Our family has had its share of hardship in the last year.  We lost both our parents in 2016 leaving three siblings; Wil, Dina and me to carry on.  Now by brother Wil, the oldest, has been diagnosed with mouth and throat cancer.  Despite our distance, me in Vancouver, Dina near Toronto and Wil just outside Montreal, I’d say we remain a close family.  Certainly, the events of last year brought us much closer.  Losing a parent causes a big shift in your life’s perspective.  Losing both in such a short space of time causes you to age overnight.  Almost instantly, we are the elders of our line.

To shift that perspective further, now our big brother is doing battle with cancer.  And while it’s always important that a loved one fights and beats cancer, our circumstance makes it all the more necessary.  Though cancer and any major surgery brings risks, we are somewhat relieved by hope that Wil’s cancer is an often treatable one unlike mom’s lung cancer.  Still, the surgery, chemo and radiation are very hard, traumatizing and not something you’d want a loved or anyone to have to endure.  We so look forward to the other end of Wil’s journey, when he emerges from his recovery.

Dina and I have families, her with both kids in late high school and university, mine still in their single digits.  We are making sacrifices to help Wil as family does, but our Chuffed crowdfunding campaign is making this much easier.  I have found crowdfunding incredibly rewarding in the past, but always as a contributor.  I find it so easy to give and respond to someone’s need.  I love contributing and seeing how everybody’s “little” can go a long way to helping someone with a genuine need.

Now we find ourselves grateful, on the receiving end of our community; friends and relatives, who are helping us help Wil with his expenses during a long recovery process.  If all goes well, in the end, the disease will leave some scars but it won’t leave Wil or anyone of us with a heavy burden of debt.”

Phil Katsikas

To support Wil and his family at this tough time, head to their campaign page:

Together We Rise! Toronto Hip Hop Cultural Centre

Toronto Hip Hop

Toronto Hip Hop

““No = Next Opportunity” is a mindset that was ingrained in me as a young boy.

When I fell in love with Hip Hop and the art of break dancing I knew my life would never be the same. I was a skilled soccer player and coach, a black belt in martial arts, an avid golf, basketball, volleyball, and baseball player, but I fell in love with breaking. I say without hesitation, breaking saved my life and I am honoured to be at the helm of a movement to bring back Hip Hop to its most real and pure form; when race, class, gender, ability, and economics did not matter.

My passion for dance came from my parents. Every Sunday my parents danced together in our kitchen. Never mind if they’d been arguing the entire week. Sunday was the day that it all would fall to the wayside; and, my parents would dance and everyone would be happy and smiling. Truth be told, it was my mother that encouraged me to pursue dance because she said girls love boys that can dance and I was good at it. Salsa, merengue, popping, locking, breaking; I was, and still am, a great dancer; and I love to dance and it shows.

In the early morning hours, my father would leave our home in Jane and Finch to travel three hours to Union Station, where he shined shoes. He took pride in what he did, and he was the best at it. My father instilled in me that whatever it is you choose to do in your life be the best at it and always give 100%. When you have mastered what you “Love” to do and pride and ego does not impede your judgment, then and only then, do you have power and control over your destiny.

Never would I have imagined that the eldest son of Mexican immigrants would be facilitating a workshop on the topic of “Resilience” for immigrant women, each having experienced some form of trauma and its aftermath – PTSD; or putting on a workshop for autistic children and teaching them how to break dance, the art of DJ’ing and graffiti. Still clear to the day, I remember the sweet sound of a young girl on the mic throwing down some lyrics with DJ DTS on the “wheels of steel” and MC Jaba cheering her on.

I am passionate about the power of Hip Hop as a culture and as a formidable movement. We have a very strong and culturally diverse team of highly skilled creative arts professionals working together to enhance the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of children and youth of all ages, abilities, cultural, and ethnic backgrounds. We provide a home and safe haven for them to express themselves through Hip Hop. We execute programming that unites, educates, and empowers children and youth as they perfect their chosen artistic form of expression in one or all of the four elements of Hip Hop – BBoying (break dancing), MC’ing, graffiti, and DJ’ing. The fifth element of Hip Hop “Knowledge” is what we are bringing.

The Toronto Hip Hop Cultural Centre inspires, motivates, and engages the children and youth of Toronto that are often failing in their attempts to navigate the world. We are helping them to make the transition from adolescence to adulthood, often a real-life struggle, less challenging

We are the bridge to get these children and youth to where they want to be.   At the very least, we are opening their minds up to opportunities and giving them access to arenas that they may not be able to access on their own. As for myself, a well-respected elder and leader in the Hip Hop community it is my duty to do whatever I can do to push these children and youth up so that they can soar even higher than I was ever able to.

Our ‘success’ is their ‘success’. That said, at the very least, we must try.

‘Together We Rise’.”
Freddy ‘Freeze’ Lopez

For more on this awesome project, check out it’s crowdfunding campaign page:




Success Story: Ben Paynter Leukaemia Funds

Jacynta-Lee and Ben

Jacynta-Lee and Ben

“Four Weeks ago, our good friend Ben Paynter had been suddenly diagnosed with A.L.L Leukaemia. It wasn’t a diagnosis that anyone was expecting, as he just had a sore back and didn’t feel 100%.

Our brains went into overdrive, trying to find a way that we can help our dear friend, but since it is an illness only he and the doctors can fix, there was not much that we could do.

I (Jacynta-lee) signed up to become a blood donor and collected bone marrow donation registration forms knowing that the little things like that won’t be able to help Ben directly, but it will contribute to the treatment of other people having to deal with the same illness. My partner Luke Peters (pictured) has also helped to raise funds for Ben.

We then did some research on ways to raise money, knowing that he will need money since he cannot work and is living away from home (Tamworth). Chuffed.org seemed like the best place to start, so we created the campaign, got a few donations then launched it. By the end of that day, we had raised $2,475!

We quickly got to work and created a poster and shared the link to his campaign over social media. With the help of a few locals we gathered some prizes for a raffle and started selling the tickets!

We have now raised $5,455 in just over 2 weeks!

Our ultimate goal is to raise $20,00 over the course of his treatment in order to help pay for his basic living needs as an outpatient. We would just like to thank everybody that has contributed on helping raise these funds, it is greatly appreciated!”

Learn more about Jacynta-lee’s campaign for her dear friend Ben 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:

Community Leader: Kyle

Meet Kyle Behrend, Chuffed.org’s Melbourne-based Community Leader.

Kyle began charity work as a volunteer for Edgar’s Mission Animal Sanctuary – check out how his belief in cultivating kindness has led him to run several $100k+ campaigns on Chuffed.org below!

Tell us a bit about yourself and your career (or life) so far.

For as long as I can remember I have always loved animals – from my families own pets including dogs, chickens and tortoises, to adventures to the game reserve -marvelling at the incredible African wildlife. But I never quite knew where I was headed. I changed university courses more times than I changed clothes back then and somehow finished with a double major in Human Movement Science and Finance. Adventures around the world lead me to Australia where I found my calling – to work at Edgar’s Mission Farm Animal Sanctuary. I was instantly amazed by the incredible work Pam Ahern was doing rescuing and advocating for the most abused animals in our society – the animals who are farmed for food and fibre. After several months of volunteering in 2010 I became the first staff member on the team which has now grown to 13. I have helped with many roles from farm cleaning, maintenance, animal care, accounting, vet runs and rescues, however, I have now settled into the role of manager of operations of the farm. This role includes fundraising, communication, tours, website and donor management with a good dose of photography and video creation rolled in there as well.

Why did you decide to become a Chuffed.org community leader?

I have helped run 3 successful crowdfunding campaigns on Chuffed and was honoured to be invited to become a community leader so I can share everything I have learnt along the way with those just starting out or looking to improve their crowdfunding campaigns. I believe that humanity thrives on helping others and I have been blessed to have received so much support and knowledge from incredible people in my life – now is the time to repay that kindness by sharing my knowledge with others.

How did your crowdfunding journey begin? 

In 2014 we reached a point where Edgar’s Mission had outgrown the original sanctuary on 60 acres, caring for just over 150 animals, and we faced not only the daunting task of finding a new forever home but finding the funds to secure it! The only way we could realistically secure our much-needed home and infrastructure was by enlisting the support of those who too believed in our work. Crowdfunding, we felt, could help us achieve this. However, what came next simply blew us away! We reached our first target of $50,000 in just three days! And it was in that moment that we knew we were not alone, and supporters were prepared to not only talk the talk but walk the walk all the way to our new home with us! What was just so heartening was that this support came from not only people who had visited the sanctuary but from hundreds and thousands of people across the world. Crowdfunding was the best tool available to unite us on our common goal in giving rescued farmed animals the best life possible. 

What social cause are you passionate about and why?

There is a wonderful quote by Ghandi that says “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” I think the way we treat the most vulnerable in our society tells the world so much about the people we are and if we start caring about farmed animals our love and kindness will ripple out into the world, creating a kinder world not only for them but for other animals, humans and the planet as well. At this time we face more uncertainty than at any other point in our history, yet I believe that through cultivating kindness we have our greatest tool to not only unite us as a species but ensure the survival of our planet and all of her inhabitants.

 What relevant fundraising or other experience do you have that you can share with participants in the workshop?

 I will be discussing our three campaigns and what made each one different, the tools we used, what worked, what didn’t, unexpected challenges like reaching our target in three days, the differences in the campaigns, how crowdfunding can be used as a stand-alone fundraising tool or in conjunction with other fundraising, the importance of a supporter base, resources required, timing, project management and more.

What social cause project or campaign on Chuffed will the funds raised through the workshop support?

All funds will go back to helping care for the over 450 residents currently residing at Edgar’s Mission Farm Sanctuary and fulfilling the pledge we have made not only to these animals but to the people who have donated – we will give the animals a life truly worth living along with our eternal thanks to everyone who has made this possible.

Get more info and tickets to Kyle’s Crowdfunding for Social Causes Workshop in Melbourne on the 7th of August 2017 here


Success Story: CHICO ACM Students

California State University, Chico ACM Student Chapter

California State University, Chico ACM Student Chapter“I started as an assistant professor of computer science at California State University, Chico in 2013 and immediately became involved with the Association of Computing Machinery club, which I took over being the advisor of in 2014. It was in the past 2 years that I recognised that even though our department at the time was 50% female faculty we were still not doing enough to support our female students. This was made very apparent when one of the students I was the academic advisor for told me they were changing majors as they felt isolated as a female student and that their male classmates were acting condescendingly towards them. It is immediately following this that I engaged a number of our upper class female students and the officers of the ACM Student Chapter to begin efforts as part of the chapter to better support female and underrepresented students in our major be successful and not feel so isolated.

We had one of our Industry Advisory Board members recommend we start sending our senior women students to the Grace Hopper Celebration, which we were lucky enough to do last year with scholarships. I even got to attend with the students last year and getting to see first hand the impact it had on them was outstanding. They showed more confidence and were inspired that they were not alone and could succeed in industry. They also got to network and meet numerous other outstanding women in technology at the conference. Seeing the excitement of the students we are trying to send this year after they heard first hand from the previous students and seeing the impact it had on our students last year first hand has pushed me to have our ACM Student Chapter work to find funding to send students this year now that none of our students got scholarships.”

Head to their campaign page to learn more!