Youth, teenagers, young people of today, tomorrow's leaders.
What are the needs of todays 10-20yr olds? Wow! Parents may say money, self worth, mentors, loving leadership, acceptance, education, resources. This list could go on forever.
I remember as a teenager growing up in suburban Australia we had so much time to hang out with our friends. We would play sport, work at our part time jobs, and get in to trouble testing the boundaries of society. Time wow, this is the thing most adults desire most. MORE of it!!!
From my experience as a secondary teacher, I believe that if kids had mentors or teachers to help them to set their own greater goals in life and to help them make a start on these and support them rather than just hanging out with mates they would utilize their teen years to pursue life goals and get into 'less' trouble.
Next Step is a new not for profit organization in the Central Coast, NSW, Australia which provides innovative, strength based programs that empower young people to take steps towards a BRIGHTER FUTURE.
How will they do this? Through fun bi monthly programs including: a FREE BBQ with live music performances and workshops on:
Break dancing workshops
Cultural Awareness programs
Mental Health Awareness
Next Step aim to to connect young people with positive role models and inform them about what local support services are needed if they need extra support.
By supporting our youth and helping them to achieve their dreams and goals through love, guidance and support our nations can only become GREAT nations of valued citizens.
Next Step's Board of Directors is a very talented and experienced group of people who aim to better youth services in the Central Coast Area.
We take our hat off to you for creating a resourceful, supportive and FUN service to young people in the Central Coast Region.
Other youth empowerment programs I highly endorse are:
Free Spirit Girl- a beautiful program by Katie Pitsis aimed at girls and teen girls to live fully, stand strong and shine brightly!
How to describe the Bali Spirit Festival to someone who has not yet had the supreme fortune to attend this festival themselves....... YET.
I say yet because if this post inspires you even a little you WILL be there in person some time in the future.
Our beautiful product partner we'ar yoga clothing make organic, ethically and environmentally friendly stylish yoga clothing in Bali initially inspired me to attend this festival. They took some great footage at the festival and with The Yoga Barns founder Charlie Patton. You can see this footage on last years blog post about the Bali spirit festival with film maker Jason Moon.
Upon arriving in Ubud I had to visit we'ar signature store on Hanoman street, Ubud. Their unique signage and stylish decor cannot be missed, their location opposite and slightly north of the well known clean eating cafe KAFE, also known as the food subsidiary of The Yoga Barn.
The festival itself was a 5km scooter ride out of town at an amazing grassed location Purnati Centre of the Arts, Batuan.
This venue had 7 independent areas for a very broad schedule of classes to take place and a large swimming pool also blessed the location.
This year the festival dates were March 20th til March 24. The extensive timetable began at 8am and closed at 5pm each day with a HUGE array of spirit classes ranging from yoga, Qi Gong, sound healing, Capoeira, self development master classes, singing, african drumming, conscious being and many others. The teachers are experts in their fields from around the world.
The night celebrations began again in Ubud at ARMA(Agung Rai Museum of Art) a beautiful location in the city of Ubud, so could be easily reached on foot from most hotels. World re known artists and bands united to deliver blessings through some kirtan and music for the ears. Some of these included Kevin James, OKA, Medicine for the People and new comer Dustin Thomas, a brilliant up and coming talent from Hawaii who blessed us with his easy to learn lyrics and unique uplifting voice.
I could write an extremely long post about all of the parts of The Bali Spirit Festival that touched my heart and uplifted my spirit.
Here are some of the highlights of my experience there this year:
The people of Bali being so peaceful and gracious
The approachability of all mentors and teachers
Amazing CLEAN food
The healing huts- chiropractors to clairvoyants to help with any necessary healing.
Seeing we'ar yoga clothing being worn and loved all over Ubud and as a key outfit at the Bali Spirit Festival
Classes I was fortunate to attend which have made a lasting impression on my spirit are:
Inspiring Women, come in all shapes, sizes, ages and cultures. They provide us with someone to look up to and choose parts of their life that we can model to better our own. They often show us many lessons in life that they have already learned so we can bypass what could be difficult learning’s.
As a woman I have to say a MASSIVE THANKYOU to all of those women who simply are the BEST unique self they possibly can be. You constantly show me what greatness I can achieve in my life as you have taken many of those steps before me.
When asked to outline a few amazing women who inspire me my list could go on forever, because there are so many fragments of people’s lives that I am in awe of and constantly take on as my own practice if it seems to work well.
Here are a few women who hold the bar of life achievement quite high in their own industries, whose life stories both intrigue and inspire me:
Eloise Welling is a local Grays Point lady who recently competed for Australia in the 2012 Olympics for the 10,000 metre race. She is one of the founding partners of Love Mercy Foundation- who set up much needed health centres and child sponsorship programs in Uganda.
I had the privilege of watching Eloise share her story with the local residents of Grays Point recently and learned that she saw the Olympics on TV at age 10 and decided that one day she wanted to compete for Australia.
Eloise was tenacious in pursuing this goal while enduring many knockbacks and physical setbacks.
At a turning point in her career she was fortunate to meet Ugandan Olympian and former child soldier Julius Achon. Achon shared his life story of growing up in war torn Uganda. It was at this time that Wellings decided she had another just as important calling in life as her Olympic dream- ‘to help ‘others live an empowered life’. From this the Love Mercy Foundation was founded.
One lesson that stuck with me from Eloise’s talk was “GOD created us to heal stronger than we were before.” (This was one of her most profound lesson from multiple stress fractures that threatened her Olympic dream). And “a stress fracture will never reoccur in the same place again, the bone will heal stronger in that particular place.”
Eloise shows us that a spark of inspiration as a child can be fueled to achieve any dream if passion and persistence if present.
Eloise is just about to become a mother for the first time. We wish her every success in pursuing her future goals. Thank you for your inspiration Eloise.
You can support Love Mercy’s Cents for Seeds program through their fundraiser page here.
GoodieDo wrote a blog post about the Love Mercy’s Cents for Seeds project back in October 2012. View it here.
The second woman I wanted to write about is Miranda Kerr.
I often walk through the airport faced with large billboard posters of this gorgeous mother looking back at me. I often hear fellow passengers comment ‘She is just amazing!’ Who is she? Miranda Kerr. Sure she is a supermodel so she has to be physically beautiful.
As a mother of two I often am amazed at how women find the time to really look after themselves when they have beautiful little people to look after also.
The reason I have selected Miranda Kerr as one of my inspirational women is because of her core values of health, nutrition and devotion to a spiritual source.
Known as ‘an advocate for all things natural healthy and organic,’ Kerr provides a great role model to young women. Here are a few of her achievements:
International catwalk and Victoria’s Secret super model
Was organically found as model talent at 13yrs of age when her girlfriend entered her in a Dolly magazine competition
Practices and promotes healthy lifestyle and eating
Authored her first book ‘Treasure Yourself’ an inspiration to women of all ages about self confidence, inner beauty and acceptance. Check it out here.
Dedicates her time to Kids Helpline. She says “I really want to encourage the younger generations to believe in themselves’.
Juggling motherhood with community advocacy and being involved in topics she is passionate about while simply promoting a super healthy lifestyle- check out Miranda’s blog posts here. I find Miranda a fabulous inspiration for myself, teenagers and women around the globe.
Thank you Miranda for being so darn gorgeous inside and out!
Check out our International Women's Day on Facebook! Here's what to do:
2. On our wall, tell us who is the most inspiring woman to you and why?
3. The winner will be drawn at random on Sunday, March 10th and that person will receive a beautiful handmade necklace of their choice from Keza, a group of inspiring women in Rwanda with an equally inspiring story.
This blog post is about GOOD people doing GOOD things
An Auction for a date with a SINGLE GOOD LOOKING SURFER. How much would you offer? $1000...more???
With the highest bidder enjoying a paid dinner, a tandem bicycle ride, a free haircut and predinner drinks on date night. The deal gets sweeter....
The money raised goes to SurfAid, a not for profit humanitarian organization with the aim to improve the health, well being and self reliance of people living the Mentawai and Nias islands of Indonesia and Sumatra.
Saltmotion in Manly organized this FUN fundraising night with 6 of Sydney's hottest surfers donating themselves for the Auction.
A whole lot of fun for a serious cause. A whopping $6405aud was raised in one night!!!!
That is more than $1000 per auction 'item' on average!!
In terms of saving lives this amount will be spent on '492 mosquito nets which will provide protective 'insecticide halo's' around villages which will assist to disrupt the parasite cycle of infection and reinfection' says saltmotion. See fun pics of the night here.
I hear you asking to tell you more about SurfAid.
In 1999 Physician and surfer Dr Dave Jenkins went to the Mentawai Islands to find the perfect wave. The surf proved to be everything he hoped for BUT he was astonished by the needless suffering and preventable deaths in this region. He had to do something! Hence his involvement in establishing SurfAid in 2000.
Did you know?
Indonesia is an archipelago consisting of 17 000 islands
The Indonesian population is the 4th largest in the world with a total of 240 million inhabitants
With approx 19 million people trying to survive on less than $1US a day and 120 million people surviving on less than $2US a day
The poorest areas of Indonesia are the remote islands where people cannot access basic public services (education, healthcare, work )
In the Mentawai Islands this results in unecessary deaths. Especially among pregnant women and children under 5. With unacceptably high levels of malnutrition, diarrhea, malaria, acute respiratory infections and inadequate maternal health care.
Rather than just giving the hardware to provide a short term solution SurfAid tackle these problems from a community development philosophy. Providing education and ensuring communities and local governments commit to improving their situations together in a hands on approach. They believe 'Huge possibility lies within each and every one of us, no matter how isolated our community might be, or how little formal education we might have received'.
SurfAid cover a range of Programs including: (They have some great videos of their work for each program)
Community based Health
Water + Sanitation
Here is a great example of two complementary organizations coming together to DO GOOD! Surf Aid and Saltmotion for the benefit of many.
What are you passionate enough about to fundraise for?
Do yourself a favor and LIKE Saltmotion and SurfAid's facebook pages to hear more FUN and inspirational surf stories helping communities at home and abroad.
This blogpost is about GOOD people doing GOOD things
You can help disadvantaged women who have been trapped in a cycle of poverty to financially provide for their families and pave the way to a BRIGHTER future by purchasing these gorgeous handmade gift cards by Bebas cards.
It takes guts to move to another country, see an opportunity for others to live a better life. Commit to and carry out a project that empowers others.
Bianca Zietsch at Bebas cards has done just that!
Moved to Bali, fallen in LOVE with the people, seen their every day financial struggles, witnessed the unfair labor of women sewing beads on garments tirelessly all day to be paid $1 for their labour, while the garment is sold overseas for over $100 and decided to DEDICATE her efforts to helping women like Ibu Komang.
Ibu, her husband and daughter Dia lived in a koskosan( a small building housing many poor families). She has recently had to return to her village to help her sick and blind elderly parents. There is little work in the village and her husband makes a measley $70 a month. Ibu is very grateful to make some extra much needed funds through the Bebas card project to help look after her parents and start a small business raising ducks on her village.
Stella Adler once said 'Life beats down and crushes the soul and art reminds you that you have one'
'An artist cannot fail, it is a success to be one' - Charles Horton Cooley
Bebas cards are helping hundreds of people affected by poverty find meaningful well paid work which helps entire communities.
Help yourself by purchasing a pack of 5 cards for $22aud or one for only $4.50aud
Know that this card is made from recycled cardstock and has made a massive difference in the artists life.
I bought a stack of Bebas cards for myself. When you touch and feel them you get a tingle inside. So sending them with a special message to someone you love that feeling of giving is multiplied a million times!!!
These beauties hit ALL of our DO GOOD CRITERIA
GOOD for Women
GOOD for the Earth
GOOD for Communities
GOOD for Cultural preservation
GOOD for Giving
Buy a pack of 5 today for $22aud or $176hkd to give you peace of mind knowing you have gorgeous gift cards handy.
Do you want to reconnect with your love for yourself and your life?
Do you need to feel that everything will be ok and have more compassion for yourself and where you are right now?
Are you lacking the courage to take that giant leap to bring yourself closer to your fullest potential?
Are you unable to tap into your intuition and the knowledge in uncertain times?
I find myself answering, "Yes!" to just about all of these questions. Right now my family and I are going through a huge transition in our lives, as we are in the process of moving from our long-time home (of over 9 years) in Hong Kong to finding a new city to call home in the United States and we are constantly having to address feelings of uncertainty, anxiety, fear, lack of clarity and the inability to appreciate and love the present moment.
Perhaps because of this, I am super excited to announce the launch of AWARE888 scarves on GoodieDo! These scarves are not only simple, yet beautifully refined accessories, they are tools for healing as well. How can a scarf heal??...I think I heard you say? Here's how:
Each scarf is designed to promote one of five specific feelings of well being to address the lack of various fulfillment in our lives, using four complimentary techniques:
1. Mantras - each design has a simple mantra embroidered on it including Clarity, Amor (Love), Vita (Life), Grace, and Courage. The power of carrying a positive message with you throughout the day can replace the negative thoughts and emotions and invite positive change into your life.
2. Color Therapy - each design has a carefully chosen color to reflect the positive emotions associated with its mantra. For instance the green color of the Grace scarf encourages healing and compassion from the natural world and the Pink Passion color of the Amor scarf is said to create a positive shift in your heart center.
3. Healing Power of Crystals - each design also has a small crystal sewn into the mantra embroidery. The crystal has also been chosen for its transformative powers associated with the corresponding mantra. For example the Silver Vita scarf is embellished with a Hematite crystal, which is known for its powers of transformation and is a symbol of life energy.
4. Reiki - each scarf has been blessed by a Reiki Master with positive healing energy. Reiki is a spiritual practice in which practitioners channel energy in the universe to others to help in self-healing and regaining equilibrium.
Chose one of the five different Aware888 scarf designs that speaks to you most...
What's more, these scarves are not only beneficial for you to wear, but they are also empowering women artisans in Northern Thailand to create a better lives fo
So in true GoodieDo spirit, we are GIVING AWAY one scarf this week to one of our lucky fans. Here is all you have to do for a chance to win -r themselves and their family. Made in the spirit of honoring all living beings and with Fair Trade practices, you can feel amazing when you wear this scarf knowing that not only are you channeling positive energy and transformation for yourself but also for vulnerable women and their families.
1. Visit our Facebook page and Like Us! If you enjoy hearing good news about people helping to make the world a better place and the ocasional giveaway of a great empowering ethically made product, then you have no reason not to join our little community of people who want to make a difference.
2. Post a comment below telling us what scarf you would like to receive and why. Do you need Courage because you want to start a new job or project? Do you want Amor because you feel like you could use more inspiration to love your life as it is?
3. Share with the people you love who could also use a chance to win a little positive transformation. It might reduce your chances to win, but you are spreading the love so more love and light will come your way. :)
So good luck, or shall I wish you good Clarity, good Vita, good Grace, good Courage and good Amor.
P.S. This contest is open to anyone on the planet... although our shop only delivers to people in Hong Kong and Australia right now, our contests are free to everyone!
P.P.S. You can enter anytime from now until next Monday, April 9th at 12pm Sydney time!
Some days we just need a little reminder of the things we can do to help make the world a better place. I find that music and song has the most power to lift me up, turn me around and set me back in the direction of positive change. When I posted the Black Eyed Peas video for "One Tribe" on our Facebook page the other day and shared it through my personal network, I got a lot of positive feedback, so I thought I'd spend a little time thinking about my top five songs for inspiration and share it with you.
Here we go:
1. "Man in the Mirror" by Michael Jackson. Its the King of Pop... what more do I need to say? During my time working in Rwanda, this song took on new meaning. When we were having a rough day and were complaining too much, we'd blast this song, sing and dance along. When it was over we had a renewed sense of purpose. "If you wanna make the world a better place, take a look at yourself and MAKE THE CHANGE!"
2. "Own Two Hands" by Ben Harper. For me this song also has a certain poignancy and personal meaning. Harper sings - "I can change the world with my own two hands. Make it a better place with my own two hands." It is a reminder that everyone, no matter of their place on this earth can make it better... just by making peace in their relationships, being gentle on the earth, etc.
3. "One Tribe" by Black Eyed Peas. What Black Eyed Peas song doesn't get you tapping your feet or out of your seat and groovin'? Give one of their beats some awesome inspirational lyrics and its gotta be one of the best tunes for change out there!
4. "Imagine" by John Lennon. This one has inspired millions of people over generations. Whenever I listen to it, I just want to close my eyes and sing. Its the song I want for my daughter's lullaby and future..."you may say I'm a dreamer, but I'm not the only one."
5. "World on Fire" by Sarah McLaughlan. This one is a bit depressing and sad, but the video is done in such a way that makes you think, "what is happening to this world and how can I make a difference?!" Through great infographics, the video explains how the cost of production of a normal music video could have life changing impacts on people around the world if spent on water, education, food and health care. If you haven't seen it, it is a must.
So these are my top five songs and videos for inspiration. Hope you enjoyed them and are feeling energized and impassioned to go out there and make a difference in your community or the world around you!
As I'm sure you are aware (since you are an enlightened reader), the video is a beautifully done viral docudrama which aims to get regular folks, specifically the youth of the developed world, to take action and raise awareness for bringing the African war lord to justice for his crimes against humanity. I won't go into the details here, but Joseph Kony is a bad, bad man who has ripped through Uganda and Central Africa for the last 20 years with his Lords Resistance Army, abducting children and forcing them into his army as child soldiers or sex slaves and committing mass murder across several countries.
The video and its campaign have gotten A LOT of press, both good and bad. As with anything that is wildly successful, there are always nay-sayers and opponents. Journalists and bloggers have been criticizing the campaign for being overly emotional, brainwashing kids, portraying the white guy as the hero saving poor Africans, not being up to date with the facts, and ultimately not having the right kind of impact on a complicated war in a complicated region.
For all of those arguments, we believe that this video is still in the most part an AMAZING effort to make positive change in the world. Here are our top five reasons why we think you should support the Kony 2012 campaign.
1. Awareness. Before the video's release, most people didn't know about Joseph Kony and his horrendous crimes, despite being MOST WANTED #1 on the International Criminal Court's list of criminals for crimes against humanity. Now, only a few weeks after its launch, this video has had 16.4 MILLION views on YouTube. That's means millions more people now know and hopefully care about what is happening to the children, families and villages he continues to terrorize. Only when people know about an issue can change take place and regardless of who takes action, change is needed on this issue.
2. Inspiration. Ten years ago, the founders of Invisible Children were only kids themselves. Through the belief in the impossible and the belief that they can make a difference, they have mobilized hundreds of thousands of youth around the world to care about and act on an issue that speaks to them. Wouldn't this world be even more AMAZING if EVERY teenager believed that he or she could make a huge difference on a social issue that speaks to them? These guys are incredible role models to the youth of today.
3. Bringing Change to Development. Having spent some time working in development in Africa, I have first hand experience of the often times slow, bureaucratic and ineffectual world of non-profits and large international NGOs. They are often so focused on the problems they are trying to remedy that they don't focus enough on really engaging their supporters and donors and recruiting new ones, resulting in diminishing budgets and the ability to solve problems on the ground. Invisible Children has laid a completely new road map for NGOs trying to win supporters, evangelists and donors. They are demonstrating that through the combined creative use of social media and local action, massive awareness and support can be realized. Its brilliant!
4. Support of on the ground programs. Invisible Children isn't just about shiny films and cool websites. Through the increased awareness of the group, more attention is being brought to the other good work they are doing on the ground in Uganda and the Congo. These include: MEND, their project working with former LRA abductees to make beautiful handbags; school scholarship programs for kids in Northern Uganda; an early warning radio system for villages in the DRC and CAR to help protect them from and prepare for LRA attacks; and support for a rehabilitation center for former child soldiers. All of these programs are needed and equally important as their Kony 2012 film campaign.
5. Last but not least, this is resulting in ACTION from lots people like you and that brings change which means Kony will be captured and brought to justice and there will be an end to some of the vast amounts of suffering happening in this world. How can that be a bad thing?! So here's how you can help -
Not a simple challenge like giving up coffee for a day or a week.
But a real physical, psychological challenge to stretch your own limited ideas about the necessities in life AND raise funds and awareness for a cause FAR bigger than yourself.
Would you choose to cycle 500kms in 7 days across undulating terrain in Cambodia to raise funding and awareness to stop the human Trafficking of women and children into sexual slavery?
Two extremely motivated and passionate women, Alison Price and Sue Beer, have joined forces with Project Futures Global- the company organizing the cycle to raise funds for the Somaly Mam Foundation.
A non profit organization set up by former child prostitute Somaly Mam. This is a woman with real courage and LOVE to make a difference in the world she sadly grew up in. Mam deserved to be voted Hero of the Year by CNN in 2006 and one of Time Magazines most influential people in 2009.
Alison PriceSue Beer and Somaly Mam uniting women globally!
The ride will visit the AFESIP Shelters set up by Somali Mam to support victims of human trafficking. And will coincide with International Women's Day- This year theme: 'Connecting Girls and Inspiring Futures'
A few disturbing facts about Sexual Slavery
Third largest criminal industry in the world. 1. Arms 2. Drug Dealing 3. Human Trafficking for slavery
Estimated revenue U.S. 9.5billion dollars.
Girls as young as 3 are sold into sex slavery for as little as $50US
Men are raping 5 and 6 year olds. Pimps are stitching them up and re-selling them as 'virgins'.
1-2 million children will be sold into prostitution in the next 12 months
Today Mam has rescued over 6000 girls, she continues to raise funds to build more shelters, buy food, pay for rescue operations and to reintegrate victims into society with enough economic and emotional strength to face the future with hope. Sue's and Allison's fundraising efforts of $11,000 will be donated to this foundation.
Spots are limited with 20 places available for this ride.
Sue and Alison are community leaders in their own right as an International PreSchool supervisor and founder of 'Women in Charge' - an online business promoting women business owners. Both training hard to take on a challenge beyond their current experience level to raise awareness and funds to unite the plight of women globally.
HELP to bring an END to Human Sex trafficking by:
Leaving a motivating comment for Sue Beer and Alison Price and donating a couple of dollars toward their campaign.
Register to do the Futures Global Ride for next year
Share Sue and Allison's campaign pages with friends and relatives to raise awareness for this brutal human activity.
First of all I just have to share this uplifting video which portrays our similarities so well.
In this Stop the Pity and Unlock the potential campaign, non profit organization Mama Hope manages to tap into the energy that the African and American communities exude.
They highlight the absolute opposite of helplessness and hopelessness which traditional Aid organizations promote and focus on capable individuals full of potential.
This is positive Aid work!
Mama Hope began in 2006. When founder Nyla Rogers lost her mother, suddenly to cancer.
Lost and 'struggling to know with what to do with that left over love' Nyla travelled to Kenya to meet with a child her mother had sponsored.
Nyla had an amazing welcoming party sing her Amazing Grace as she stepped out of the car. She learnt that her mother had also sponsored a women's project which had helped hundreds of people. And they were awaiting Nyla's arrival.
Nyla says 'grief is just love' and "It became clear to me that I wanted to give that left over love to these people"
And thus the non profit Mama Hope sprouted. See their story below.
Since launching in 2006 they have already:
Unlocked the potential of 76,000 people in Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania and Ghana.
Funded the completion of schools, health clinics, children's centres, clean water systems and food security projects.
Created close working partnerships with local African organizations to ensure project sustainability.
This is an inspiring movement which shares the true joy and potential of under privileged communities.
Empowering people with skills and resources to help themselves rather than relying on Aid handouts.
You can help to stop the Pity and Unlock the Potential by: