[GN World Stories #1] Facing the battle together

[GN World Stories #1] Facing the battle together 

The current coronavirus pandemic has seen devastating effects across the globe. In many ways, this crisis has shone a light on deep-rooted systemic inequities and the far-reaching effects of economic disparities. The pandemic has highlighted the link between national wealth and the potential for health and economic resilience, with the poorest countries being hit the hardest. The limited resources and government capacities of developing countries make containment of the disease particularly difficult. 

 

A major issue for poorer countries is the lack of resources to conduct coronavirus testing (low-income countries have carried out less than 1% of the number of tests conducted by high-income countries). The fears for developing countries include the high potential for virus spread in overcrowded regions, further economic distress and inability to recover, and a lack of resources to test and treat the virus. Insufficient protective equipment in medical facilities has forced many health care workers to either put themselves at risk or leave their jobs, while hospitals that lack space and human and medical resources are turning away severely ill patients. Lockdowns in highly impoverished nations are not an option, leaving entire populations of vulnerable people at high risk.

Vulnerable communities, particularly in developing countries, are ill-equipped to control and contain the spread of COVID-19. During this global pandemic, it is our belief at Good Neighbors that we must support these vulnerable communities by helping to increase the effectiveness of and accessibility to health care facilities, procure and deliver medical equipment, and provide access to education on disease prevention.

With over 300 confirmed cases to date, Myanmar is among the developing countries affected by COVID-19. Good Neighbors Myanmar, in collaboration with the Access to Health Fund (managed by the United Nations Office for Project Services), has sought to combat the spread of COVID-19 in Myanmar by mobilising a total of US$700,000 (roughly AUD$1,021,560) to procure and conduct 20,000 coronavirus tests. 

This comes after a COVID-19 Emergency Response Agreement was signed by Good Neighbors Myanmar and the UNOPS in March. The project also includes a focus on promoting health and sanitisation for 30,000 families in Myanmar.

Good Neighbors families in 44 nations are responding to the need for international relief and assistance and support for vulnerable communities striving to combat not only the spread of COVID-19 but the ripple effects of wealth and income inequality on a global scale. As the Financial Review states, there has never “been a greater need for an ambitious and co-operative response

 

Feeling inspired?

In line with Good Neighbors’ global efforts in helping vulnerable communities and protecting families and children in crisis, Good Neighbors Australia also helps Australian fellows in NSW. Click the button to learn more about how we reach out to our neighbours in need.

 

 

Good Neighbour #3. Jenny McKechnie

Introducing our new treasurer! 

Good Neighbour #3: Jenny

In the third Interviews with our Good Neighbours, where we feature stories of those involved with Good Neighbors Australia, our focus is on #GoodNeighbour Jenny McKechnie!

Affectionately known as Mama Jenny in the team, she first joined us in November 2019, and mainly provided advice on our monetary-related duties. But time flew by! She remained persistent and has now been with Good Neighbors Australia for around 9 months.

And what’s more, as of July Jenny has become our official treasurer! It's truly a meaningful moment not just for Jenny, but everyone in the team too. Her journey to humanitarian volunteering is even more awe-inspiring. From working with leading Universities in Australia and New Zealand to living in Malaŵi, Africa, it really seems as though she's seen it all.

"It’s a change working for a small organisation...now I am doing what I enjoyed most from my previous role."

- Jenny McKechnie

GN: Please briefly describe your role at Good Neighbors Australia. When did you start, and what do you enjoy about it?

JM: My role is to ensure Good Neighbors Australia is doing the right thing in its accounting, tax and finance functions. I provide advice on financial matters as they arise. I started in November 2019, and I’m enjoying researching information to include in my advice. The office team is great to work with.

GN: What motivated you to join? 

JM: I had left full time work and was looking for an opportunity to use my accounting and finance skills in the voluntary sector. The Good Neighbors international partnership is doing work I want to support, so I’m happy to be a member of the team developing its work in Australia.   

GN: Were you always interested in international development?

JM: To be honest, no.  But I had always wanted to live abroad. When I moved to Malaŵi, I saw how poverty, a lack of health care and poor education were impacting the lives of everyday Malawians. It changed my view of the world.

GN: Moving to Malaŵi must have been a big change in your life. What was it like living in Africa? What do you miss most about living in Malaŵi?

JM: It was a big change, though not in a way you might expect. We were living on a private school campus where the teachers were expats. We had three domestic workers and were glad we could give them work and support three families. We weren’t encouraged to mix with locals. Nearly all Malaŵian staff lived off campus.

When we lived there, it was a one-party state. Malawians faced restrictions on what they could say and do, as did expats. Ladies weren’t allowed to wear trousers and skirts had to be below the knee. It’s different today as Malawi now has a multi-party democracy and the dress rules have gone.

I guess this is not the response you were expecting.  We did get to meet locals as we travelled around Malaŵi. We had a bach (NZ word for holiday cottage) in a village on the shore of Lake Malaŵi, where got to know some villagers and understand their lives.  It was the home of the retired Bishop of Southern Malaŵi, who had spent time in England.  He gave us English summaries of the Chichewa sermons when we went to the local church.  Malaŵi’s tourism promotion as “The Warm Heart of Africa” is well justified.  People are poor, but usually helpful and cheerful.

I miss the sunshine, the slower pace of life and having my household chores done by someone else.

GN: What is being an advisor like at a non-profit organisation? Are there significant differences when compared with your previous professional experience?

JM: It’s a change working for a small organisation. Previously I had worked in universities. Now I am doing what I enjoyed most from my previous role, which is research and advice without having to do the rest.

GN: Lastly--what's one word to describe your experiences with us at Good Neighbors Australia?

JM: Fulfilling.

 

Like Jenny, you too can start working towards a more rewarding life. We are a family that welcomes anyone and everyone, no matter the background. Simply apply to be a volunteer on our website, and we will get back to you as soon as we can! Thank you Jenny, and look forward to our next Good Neighbour feature!

Feeling motivated? Click the icon below to get started!

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World Day Against Child Labour 2020

 World Day against 

Child Labour 2020

Protect Children from Child labour, 

now more than ever! 

Child labour affects more people than you realise. While the numbers have gradually dropped with each passing year, an alarmingly high rate of child labour still exists. According to the United Nations, around 218 million children aged between 5 and 17 years work full-time. These children do not attend school, nor do they have the luxury of playing. And more often than not, malnutrition often plagues them. 

In response these concerning issues, the United Nations established the International Labour Organisation (ILO) with intentions of eradicating child labour. Numerous international law conventions and treaties have also been made with similar purposes, such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

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The United Nations classifies child labour under three categories:

1.       The unconditional worst forms of child labour, which are internationally defined as slavery, trafficking, debt bondage and other forms of forced labour

2.       Labour performed by a child who is under the minimum age specified for that kind of work, and that is thus likely to impede the child’s education and full development

3.       Labour that jeopardises the physical, mental or moral well-being of a child, otherwise known as “hazardous work”

There is a common misconception of child labour only existing in developing nations. This is false. 

Cases of child labour still exist all across the world—even in developed countries such as the United States. Currently, an estimated 134.2 million cases exist in Africa, Asia and the Pacific regions. Additionally, contrary to popular belief, Bangladesh actually racks up the longest hours of children labour at 32.04hours per week in 2013. 

Furthermore, statistics also show that about 71% of child labour exists in agricultural contexts, with 17% in services and 12% in the industrial sector. With such concerning data, the United Nations and ILO decided to dedicate a day to raise awareness on child labour. This is how the World Day Against Child Labour was born.

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©️good neighbors

June 12 is the official date for the World Day Against Child Labour. The theme for 2020 is to ‘Protect Children from Child Labour, now more than ever!’. 

In acknowledgement of Covid-19, this year the event will be a virtual campaign in collaboration with the Global March Against Child Labour as well as the International Partnership for Cooperation on Child Labour in Agriculture (IPCCLA). Many activities are scheduled for World Day Against Child Labour. A joint paper by the ILO and UNICEF on the impact of Covid-19 on child labour will be released, where discussions will be livestreamed at 4.30pm (Geneva time). Several videos have also been uploaded on the ILO website here.

In an effort to help reduce child labour cases, Good Neighbors also has initiated several programs. In 2019, Good Neighbor’s worldwide ‘Hope Letter’ Campaign has introduced Mina’s story. Check out her story shared by our sister organisation, Good Neighbors Canada. 

 

     

At just nine-years-old at the time, Mina was raising her seven-year-old brother while working at a tobacco factory in Bangladesh. They lived in a shared house in the slums, together with their parents and five other families. Mina’s dream is to become a teacher, but her situation meant she could not receive an education. Children in Bangladesh engaged in many different forms or child labour, trapped in the poverty cycle. 

Our worldwide campaigns aim at breaking this cycle of poverty at the root of child labour. Good Neighbors' community development projects in more than 40 partner countries help children and families at risk get out of the trap. The donations raised from several fundraising offices including Australia are pooled into a project fund, where tailored projects are conducted to resolve the issue at a community level. 

Here at Good Neighbors Australia, we hope that you will join us in celebrating the World Day Against Child Labour. We stand by our belief that every child deserves an education and fulfil their dreams. 

For more information on our community support program, click the icon below!

Good Neighbour #1: Helen Doung

Interview with Our Good Neighbours

Good Neighbour #1 : Helen Doung

Welcome to our new segment: Interviews with our Good Neighbours! We will feature stories from our volunteers, donors and staff of Good Neighbors Australia to share the philanthropic spirit and give you a little peek into what goes on behind-the-scenes. This week, our spotlight is on Helen Duong, our translation volunteer! 

"As a human being, I believe that each of us somehow has a nature of compassion for the less fortunate."

- Helen Duong

Meet Helen: a virtuous and talented individual who has been a Good Neighbors Australia volunteer for the past 6 months–and counting. She has been translating letters from sponsored children in Vietnam. Here’s what she had to say:

    Q: You first joined Good Neighbors through our one-day letter translation volunteer. What attracted you to the role? Do the stories of Vietnamese children resonate with your own experience?

HD: My life is blessed and fortunate so the ambition of doing something good to the community is always in my thought. I searched for volunteer work and was attracted to Good Neighbors and the role asking for a Vietnamese translator. I then started to read about Good Neighbors Australia on the website. I felt hurt when imagining the under-privileged Vietnamese children--those of my home country--lacking adequate food and clothes, working hard in the farms instead of going to school, and suffering from serious sickness due to harsh conditions without proper medical approach. These innocent kids deserve a better life and opportunity to grow, so I joined Good Neighbors Australia with the thought that if I could do anything at all, it’s worth doing.

Q: Could you tell us about your choice to continue volunteering with Good Neighbors Australia after the letter translation role?

HD: Through translating work, I had a chance to read letters Vietnamese children sent to their sponsors. The language was so simple and naive, if not somewhat under-educated. That has driven my passion to further contribute and support disadvantaged children. In addition, getting to know more about Good Neighbors and their humanitarian activities have established my trust in this organisation. Continuing to volunteer with Good Neighbors Australia is a great pleasure and brings meaning to my life.

Q: Have you had any other fundraising or volunteering experience?

HD: I am a member of the Vietnamese Catholic Youth Group in Sydney, so I have participated in several fundraising charity events as well as volunteering activities. For example, I participated
in dance performances or ushering teams at fundraising charity dinners, and distributed Christmas hampers to the poor. Working as a Registered Nurse in a nursing home, I also try to help and bring love to the elderly on a daily basis.

    Q: Being a part of Good Neighbors Australia, what are you most excited about?

HD: I am so eager and excited to be a part of Good Neighbors Australia--not only to have an opportunity to meet other friendly and warm-hearted members, but also to connect with more children in need of support.

Q: Lastly, is there anything you want to say to prospective sponsors or donors?

HD: As a human being, I believe that each of us has a compassionate nature for the less fortunate, and that being able to make small changes to their lives would bring great joy and meaning to our own. For me, giving is never a loss, but a blessing. I hope kindness from sponsors or donors
will be multiplied to help children and communities in need.

 

As you can see from Helen's interview, getting involved with Good Neighbors Australia is an enriching and rewarding experience.

Feeling inspired? Click the icon below to get started!

Global Bushfire Appeal Update

Good Neighbors' Global Bushfire Appeal Update

Good Neighbors Australia has partnered with OzHarvest to support Bushfire Victims  

The bushfires in Australia have been rampant since September 2019, destroying dozens of homes, leaving many homeless and displaced, and devastating the habitat of millions of native animals. 

"It was a whole-body experience. You've got the smell of the smoke, the sight of it and then it gets dark … between the sound of the fire and the roar of the wind, it was just massive."

- a bushfire victim from ABC news interview

In the midst of devastation and loss of livelihood in Australia, generosity rose up from our good neighbours across the globe. Good Neighbors Australia has received a total of AUD 10,000 for the past two months from South Korea, U.S. and Canada.

Good Neighbors Australia has teamed up with OzHarvest to help us deliver our funds to where it is most needed and give on-the-ground disaster relief services.

100% of donations to our Global Bushfire Appeal will directly support bushfire-affected communities through OzHarvest, Australia's leading food rescue charity. OzHarvest  will provide an adequate level of food relief to those in need of continuous support to rebuild their lives amidst the devastation and significant financial losses caused by the fires.

Every penny donated enables them to deliver two meals, so we will be giving about 20,000 meals for six months of the period covering the NSW South Coast, Southern Highlands, North Coast and Wagga region.

 

Good Neighbors Global Bushfire Appeal

Donation Australia

Donation Australia

Good Neighbors have shown the world that they are making significant contributions to the welfare of children in Africa by way of its many socially relevant endeavors. With any Donation Australia Citizens make we help to benefit less fortunate countries.

Good Neighbors have conducted various capacity development programs and awareness campaigns in order to lead behavior change of children, community members and policy makers. Furthermore, we pursue institutional and political change through networking with civil societies, and suggesting policy changes. Good Neighbors’ advocacy programs help children and community members understand their rights and influence policy decision making as well as a government accountable.

Capacity Development Program

– Child rights education for government officials, community members, parents, and teachers – Child rights forum and workshops for Children – Child rights education contents development

Awareness Campaign

– Performing a puppet show for public awareness on child rights – Campaigning for improvement of national policy framework on child. – Campaigning for GBV prevention and women’s rights

tax deductible donation australia

Tax Deductible Donation Australia

Tax Deductible Donation Australia

The topic tax deductible donation Australia is something that is essential if you’re gathering information concerning give a donation to any charitable organisation.

In the event that you want to make a donation to a charity, and you are serious about it please listen. You need to get more information. Are you already planning to make a donation to a charity? We advise you to keep reading. It’s because some donations (at least, that’s what I have gathered from reliable sources) to charity can be claimed as tax deductions. Isn’t that just a wonderful thing? You made a donation, that means you are helping some needy people and at the same time you can claim them on your own individual tax return on a yearly basis. To me, that’s the coolest thing, ever. I love helping needy. By donating to charity, I will be able to help these people needing help. At the same, it is tax deductible.

Yes, you can claim them on your individual tax return each and every year. Regarding donations, for them to be considered tax deductible, the donation should be given to an organisation that’s endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), and should be a genuine gift. Now, what is considered as a genuine gift? When you say genuine gift, it means that the person who made the donation can not receive any benefit from his own donation. Otherwise, the donation won’t be considered as a real gift. This also means that purchases from a charity that includes items, raffle tickets, or food can’t be claimed as tax deductible gifts. That’s very clear. Now, remember, we’re discussing about tax deductible donation Australia.

good neighbors australian

Good Neighbors Australian Charity

Good Neighbors Australian Charity Organization.

We want to feature an Australian charity organisation today. We’re talking about Good Neighbors. Good Neighbors is an organisation that exists to create a world free of hunger.

Good Neighbors is an international humanitarian development NGO founded in Korea in 1991. It aims to make the world a place without hunger, where people live together in harmony.

Good neighbors is also an Australian charity organisation. The first community development project in Bangladesh was launched in 1992 and currently Good Neighbors is working in 212 communities in 35 countries with our focus on inclusive community development approach and child protection.

In 1994, Good Neighbors established its first emergency response project in the Rwandan refugee situation. There, we provided medical relief teams and established two schools at the refugee camps. This helped the Rwandan refugees greatly most especially their children. Starting with Rwanda emergency response, Good Neighbors has been actively responding to various disaster and emergencies including Kobe earthquake in 1995, South Asia tsunami in 2004, Haiti earthquake 2010, Typhoon Haiyan in 2013 and Nepal Earthquake in 2015. Good neighbors is an Australian charity organisation in case you are still doubting.

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Australian Charity Organisation – Blogging

Writing for Australian Charity Organisation

In the internet age we are expected to blog. People expect regular updates on the groups they are involved with. And blogging is about the most cost effective means of providing these updates. Literally, we can provide information in little more than the time it takes to write it. There is no waiting for the material to be printed and delivered. We simply write and post online, and the information is available.

But what do we write? Some suggestions:

A human face on the charity.

Feature real people who benefit from the charity work being done. Photos can communicate a lot here.

Behind the scenes.

The people who work for the charity will interest a lot of your audience. It gives a sense of involvement to the supporters, and boosts morale for those who are actively involved. Videos and interviews can be good here.

Educate about the process.

Show the audience the importance of you work, and show what is involved. Turning money into food that is delivered to the other side of the world, arranging education in a foreign language – these are not simple tasks.

Show what other can do

There are people who are aware of the problems and who want to know how to help. Others may want to help if they start to understand the extent of the problem.

Encourage networking and conversation

Using interested people to reach like-minded people is an old method, but it has become more powerful in the internet age. Encourage others to reach friends and colleagues.

Promote achievements

If you have achieve a goal, if a certain number of children have graduated from school, then let the public know. Nothing encourages like progress.

Child sponsorship Australia

It’s in everybody’s interests to put a human face on an Australian charity organisation. It show that the charity is about helping people. It encourages generosity as potential supporters can see the person, or type of person, that they help. And it benefits those giving, because they understand they are reaching real people.

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On theTax Deductible Donation Australia

Tax Deductible Donation Australia

The subject tax deductible donation Australia is one that is basic when you are gathering information about making a donation to any charitable organisation. 

In case you are serious and already planning to make a donation to a charity then you need to keep reading. Some donations — at least, that’s what I have gathered from reliable sources — to charity can be claimed as tax deductions. Isn’t that wonderful? Yes, you can claim them on your individual tax return every year. Concerning donations, for them to be considered tax deductible, they must be made to an organisation that’s endorsed as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), and must be a genuine gift. What this means is that one can’t receive any benefit from the donation. Otherwise the donation won’t be considered as a real gift. This also means that purchases from a charity that includes items, raffle tickets, or food can’t be claimed as tax deductible gifts. That’s very clear. Now, remember, we’re discussing about tax deductible donation Australia.