Wednesday, 24 December 2008

Merry Christmas to Everyone

Merry Christmas...

Hoping that everyone has a wonderful holiday season. And that you and yours are wam, safe and healthy...

Looking at the dozens of gifts under my tree, and aware that I don't really need anything, I am led to think about all the people in the world who will go hungry, cold, and ill this Christmas.

While such ideas were percolating through my head, Erin Fry sent me a note about some people who are out there making a difference, and so I thought I would tell you about a few ways I think we can help out..

My students contribute to Water for People and it is one of my two favorite charities. What can be a more basic human need than clean water, yet for much of the world it is difficult or impossible to come by.

I just learned about el puente a charity in Costa Rica, it started out sharing a dish of soup with a local who searched through their garbage cans for food, and has become a source of support for poor in the area to feed, help pay the educational support, and provide microloans. "Although public education is free in Costa Rica, there are mandatory costs of attending a public school for things such as shoes, uniforms, books, supplies, and class photographs. The "start-up" expenses total more than $156 per child, with ongoing expenses of nearly $2.25 per week, to include breakfast/lunch and copy charges for exams. The Bridge helps families meet this need. " Sounds like the kind of thing a teacher like me could support, and I do... How about you?

If you are not familiar with micro-loans, it is a great way to get money into the hands of the poor around the world and build an economic base instead of just continued dependence on someone else. The hard part is having someone in all the regions of the world to manage the loans... Presto! Kiva to the rescue.. If you can't afford to donate in this economy, how about a zero interest loan for six months to a year.... build the third world economy and then get your money back... or reinvest it in another Kiva loan... you can even screen your own loans. Kiva is one of my personal favorite charities.

Another great project is the Brenda Boone Hope Center Foundation in Meru, Kenya.
They house, feed, educate and care for up to 100 girls at a time who have experienced or are at risk of sexual, physical, or psychological abuse. The services are focused on the resuce of girls that have experienced rape and provides medical and legal service. They also provide training and certification school for those girls who had to drop out of school. See more below

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