The beautiful singer and songwriter Jessica Blake has dedicated one of her most lovely songs to Rose Charities. ‘The more I see’ was written during a visit by Jessica to Cambodia where she was moved by the courage of the poor battling with so much need. Jessica discovered there of the work of Rose Charities (now around 20 years) in Cambodia and so with huge generosity dedicated this incredible song to Rose work. Please click to listen to if and, if you are like it and would like to honour tnd thank Jessica by donating a little to Rose Charities efforts use the donation pageof this site. The funds will be used to help the poor of Cambodia in one of Rose’s many projects there
Social Enterprise Seminar 2012.
Held at the Creekside Community Centre Vancouver in Fall 2012, the seminar attracted a group of Rose Charities enthusiasts and supporters with wide interests and areas of involvement. Rose Charities organizers believe very much in sustainability and local support and involvement for all projects and one way to achieve this is to incorporate social enterprise components wherever possible.
The meeting spanned initiatives both at the donor end as well as the field project end, as well as those which bridged both. Moderated by Rose International Members, Linda Roberts and Will Grut, the keynote speaker was Margaret Mason of Bull Housser who outlined some of the basic and most important aspects of social enterprise projects.
From the Vancouver end, the ‘Lot To Give‘ and ‘Give Group‘ programs were presented by Laura Benson and Kris Roberts respectively In principle these are based around the concept of supply of a service either online or through other sources or retail outlet with significant focus on charitable donation. With Give Group this is through real-estate transactions.
From the field, projects presented included Rose Vietnams paper flower making at Than Thien Village, a centuries old historic art which Rose Vietnam has been helping to revive. Beekeeping in coordination with the Bee World Organization in Zambia and Cambodia, brickmaking in Uganda with Dr Andrew Macnabs Brighter Smiles group, and volunteer tourism and elective student field experience trips in Cambodia. Lawrence Keenan, continually one of the main project instigators and supports in Sri Lanka, outlined the current social enterprise initiatives there, including the amazing Rose Sri Lanka microcredit program and other initiatives embracing health and food distribution.
Janine Vertone’s initiative (Ukama Arts) of import and sale of Zimbabwe sculptures , with much of the proceeds being returned for Zimbabwe school support is a project which links both the field and the donor end. The honey projects mentioned above also fit into this category as the Honey Bee Centre in Surrey will, if possible, purchase and import any honey not sold locally through its international projects. Finally Malambo Grassroots in Zambia also has several womens groups who produce handicrafts, some of which are sold in Vancouver
Following presentations were discussions on some of the challenges the projects faced, how they were planned and established as well as future projections. Interchange of ideas was beneficial and interesting and groups came away with new ideas for further development of plans for their areas.
Refreshments were kindly supplied by some of the participants (thank you Linda Roberts) and there was general agreement that the seminar was both beneficial and interesting, and should be repeated in 2013.
While watching his dad struggling with a complex grant application for child education, his son asked why it was so difficult. His father told him that it was so difficult finding the ‘novel approaches’ the donors were looking for, explaining that so many grants now wanted to be new-thinking and different’ . His don looked confused “Whats that got to do with going to school” he said….
Bingo ! KISSS ! ‘Keep it Simple, just Send kids to School !’
The media nowadays try to get the stories which are different, unusual, sensational. Many grant panels are pulled by this process. Understandably they want the publicity (helps they themselves get needed donations). Organizations making light bulbs out of Coke bottles, computers made of of tin-cans etc attract attention.
While these fascinating projects have their place, the fact is, while of little media ‘wow’ , in the developing world, kids want, but huge numbers cant afford, to go to school. More often than not the schools are there, the kids simply cant access them for want of the pitifully small amount of money, perhaps $50 per year which is needed to support the school.
In many cases the actual school building exists (organizations sometimes build, run the school for a while then move on) and there is are teachers available who will work for the barest minimum.
The Jet-Fund is aimed at helping creating a jet-stream of kids to be able to fulfill their dreams of education to help them fly into successful and happy futures. At the moment the fund works very closely with the K2K program(s) in Sri Lanka, though it is being expanded into other parts of Asia and into Africa too.
The fund is administered by an advisory panel of school-children (currently UK) overseen by one or more members of the Rose Charities International Council. No administration costs are taken at the donor country end, though a small percentage (up to 10% absolute maximum) is permitted at the recipient end to ensure proper screening and structuring (as can be imagined demand is colossal and far far outweighs the funding available)
If you’d like to become an ‘Education Jetsetter’ please contact firstname.lastname@example.org , donation page , or DONATE DIRECTLY (via UK site) Note: enter ‘for JET Fund in ‘notes to the Organization’ at the end of the process
Any donation welcomed (however small); or select a specific level,
Jetsetter – Economy: $50 per year (1 kids to school)
Jetsetter – Business: $100 per year (2 kids to school)
Jetsetter – First Class $300 per year (6 kids to school)
Jetsetter – Exec suite $500 per year (10 kids to school)
Jetsetter – Private jet $1000 per year (20 kids to school) ( Private ROSE-Jet registration allocated.. ie. RJET2 < 2, or more,’1′ is already taken ..yippee!> )
This is the story of two women. One woman uses a piece of clean string and a clean razor blade. With it she saves, scores, hundreds, probably thousands of lives. The people she saves are mothers and their babies. The mothers have given birth where there is no medical assistance. Lack of hygiene, lack of knowledge, even some traditional practices in severing the umbilical cord provide the fertile conditions for infection. Sometimes mud or even cow dung are used to apply to the raw ends of the cord. The clean string is used simply to tie the cord and the sterile blade to cut it. .
Now the woman makes up cheap kits. They simply contain instructions, soap, sterile string and blade and some. All it takes to save two lives is a clean pad, soap, razor blade, a length of string and a set of illustrated instructions. Each kit will save 2 lives. The kits are quietly distributed to where they are needed thoughout the world.
The other woman who follows the same path. She travels to rural Central America with a small team to carry the same simple message and taking also, birthing kits with her. Year after year she returns and year after year she finds more women who, having seen the results of what she has been teaching others, wish to learn. Her course lasts 4 days. The woman educates child birth attendants to wash their hands. Thousands of women die every year because of not doing this. She educates them in the simple things that will save.
Both women know that 820,000 women die because of childbirth every year; 99% of them are in developing countries. They know that, worldwide, a woman dies in childbirth every 40 seconds. They know that three quarters of the 4 million babies who die every year could be saved by simple interventions. They know that so many women simply have no access to safe medical facilities (in Bangladesh for example only 9% of births take place in clinics or hospitals) They know the grief and suffering of so many families through these events.
So quietly, simply, they have rolled up sleeves and helped. No full spread media campaigns, no double-space TV ads, no fleets of white SUV’s, no first-class ‘celebrity spokesperson’ visits. They just do it themselves, unsung heroes, quietly saving lives…
Sports Day, Debates and Bus Rides
It’s been a busy couple of weeks for us at the Rose Charities Sri Lanka office. The Women’s Sports Meet was a great success as women’s groups from Kalmunai, Pandarippu, Natpaddiumunai and Karaitivu came to participate in a fun day of team building games, skill competitions and social activities. Prizes were handed out to winners while everyone enjoyed a fun-spirited afternoon at the Rose Sri Lanka Head Office.
In the traditional English class, staff are learning how to construct an argument, an important skill in all languages. To display what they have learned, we conducted a class debate between women staff and men staff. The topic was “Women need to have a profession, participate in the work force and the duties at home should be shared between husband and wife.” The girls’ team supported the statement while men were against. It turned out to be a heated debate, demonstrating strong debating skills on both sides. The men of the office stated safety is an issue for young girls and women, especially after dark, limiting a woman’s working hours and freedom to leave the house. On the other hand, the women argued that the more women become professionals the more likely women’s safety will become a priority in society. It was clear that this debate is an important issue among young people in Sri Lanka. Many of the women staff members voiced strong opinions on this issue, attitudes that were certainly formed well before the debate assignment.
Sonia and I spent the weekend at Arugam Bay surfing, swimming and enjoying the beautiful Sri Lankan beach. On our way home, we opted to take the public transit to Kalmunai. About a half hour outside of Kalmunai, a woman boarded the bus with bags of flour and many supplies. She had gone to a neighboring town to purchase ingredients and supplies. As she turned around and saw Sonia and I on the bus her face lit up as she recognized us from the Rose’s Women’s Meet last week. She then exclaimed to the entire overcrowded bus that we were from Canada working in Kalmunai for Rose Charities, an organization that had lent her money to start her small business. As soon as she said the word “Rose” we could see that many people recognized the name and looked at us with gratitude and excitement.
As a token of her appreciation she handed us two small bags of kurakan flour, a type of flour used to make string hoppers and puttu (my favorite Sri Lankan meal). She then quickly jumped off of the moving bus with her luggage and gracefully placed the heavy bags of flour on the crest of her head. As the bus pulled away we watched her balance the bags, weaving in and out of street traffic and into a side street.
The last week has demonstrated the strength, generosity and intelligence of the Sri Lankan people, especially the women. Whether at the Women’s Sport Meet, in the office among the staff or on the bus, we can’t help but appreciate the independent spirit of all of the women we meet.