Food Bank Related Stories #ClearAPlate

Today, I’ve seen a couple of stories related to food banks, etc. (as a supporter of Trussell Trust) – this video, featured in the Guardian is a very clever mini-play that very cleverly challenges the thinking that ‘there’s always something that can be made from odds and ends in the cupboard’ (well, you could from mine, but that’s another topic!)

foodbanks

As one of my friends said, the trouble is that these policies are being made by people for whom £20 is a taxi fare, and not the choice between heating and eating.

The other story I’ve spotted is #ClearaPlate – which also seems to have the support of the Trussell Trust:

clearaplate

This seems to be me to be well-meaning, but rather misguided. Surely the issue is about thinking about what we put on our plates in the first place – we certainly don’t want to reinforcing the notions that were common in many of our childhoods “think of the starving children in Africa, don’t waste any of it”. Yes, seek to reduce waste, but not by forcing yourself to eat food that you don’t want. I remember someone once saying, if it’s not waste, it will be waist … and it’s definitely one of the rules that Beyond Chocolate likes to challenge – as it encourages you to be more mindful about your eating .. but not by treating yourself as a dustbin!

I bought a @Fairphone #wearefairphone

fairphone

I knew I was about due the end of my contract with Three, and I’ve had days where I’ve loved my Samsung S3, and days when I haven’t, but I’m guessing no phone is perfect. Was getting excited about the idea of the Samsung S5 as apparently they’d improved loads of things on it, particularly the battery life! However, last year I became vaguely aware of the @Fairphone, and as I often make mention of how to behave ethically/morally online, it’s made me think a lot more about what I own in the electronics sphere (to be honest, don’t own a great deal of other “stuff” of any value), so I started to think about it. Then at #TDC14 the other week, there was a speaker talking about the wars in the Congo – and that most of them are down to fighting over the minerals in mobile phones – so people are dying for our technology.

I need a really good phone as so much of my job is reliant upon digital, so I was nervous about going to such a small brand, but a few more tech-savvy friends (I’m more of the ‘Can I do this with it? Great! Can you do it?’ school when it comes to digital – although there’s an increasing number of tools that are easy to use, and those I work with too) about the spec, and it was said to be at least as good as the S3, probably better – and it’s dual-SIM – maybe I can get an extra SIM card and then have a mobile number to give out for work – I like to impose boundaries on at least some of my tech. Walking into the Three store – one of their staff hadn’t heard of it – looked it up – and said it was a good spec – so now moved to a SIM only deal. Financially, this will work out about £200 cheaper overall once I’ve used the Fairphone for a couple of years … and it appears my “old” phone is still worth about £100 on ebay! I have asked around on Twitter/Facebook quite a lot recently – and people who have them all seem really pleased with them … so an even bigger number of us appear to be diving in this year …  There are 35,000 phones being manufactured ready for July 2014 – right now 13,034 have been sold. 

Ethical Superstore has written a piece on this, ending:

Buying electronics should be no different to buying coffee or tea. If we want to see a fairer world, we need to support the companies that are working to make that happen. Through our purchasing decisions we provide the demand that allows these companies to grow. As consumers we can vote with our wallets…we just need to make sure we vote for the change we want to see.

and Rankabrand defines it as the most environmentally sustainable phone… and most of its sales seems to be on word-of-mouth. Am committed now, so…

Bloggers Take on a Tearfund Challenge in Cambodia #TFBloggers

Last year I had the privilege of visiting Uganda with Tearfund to report back on the work they are doing… I was totally sold – so great to see another team heading out, to Cambodia this time, to “see for themselves“… I’m looking forward to hearing what they get up to…

This March, three UK bloggers will travel to Cambodia with Tearfund to visit communities living in poverty who are being transformed through the local church.

In December 2013, Tearfund launched the Cambodia Bloggers Challenge, which invited bloggers in the UK to be a part of a storytelling trip to Cambodia. They would meet people who are being given a hand up from poverty thanks to the generosity of regular givers in the UK.

Illustrator and designer Rich Wells, writer Anita Mathias and advocacy manager Danny Webster were selected from the long list of applicants by a judging panel of Krish Kandiah (Evangelical Alliance), Reverend Sally Hitchiner (Anglican priest and broadcaster), Reverend Richard Littledale (Baptist minister, blogger and author) and Tearfund’s Head of Corporate Communications Katie Harrison.

“Cambodia is a place I am excited to visit with Tearfund and hear the stories of lives transformed by the generosity of many who sacrifice a little to save a lot,” says Danny Webster, one of the bloggers going on the trip. “I want to tell the stories of how poverty can be overcome, and the daily suffering banished. I want to shine a light on the dreadful status quo, and I want to show what you and I can do to make a difference.”

The bloggers will meet people living in poverty like 13-year-old Seng, who used to worry for his family and about how his mother, Rim, will be able to feed them with no income. With training and support from Tearfund, Seng and his family’s lives are beginning to change for the better. Rim joined a chicken raising group started by Tearfund, and is now learning new skills and earning enough money to be able to provide for her family again.

This social media led trip will challenge the bloggers to use their unique, creative skills to encourage people to donate towards the transforming work of local churches around the world, for people like Seng and his family.

The trip is part of Tearfund’s See For Yourself initiative, which allows supporters to follow a community in Asia, Africa or Latin America, and watch as their donations transform lives before their eyes through regular photo, video, email and prayer updates.

In the same way, people will be able to follow the journey of the bloggers in Cambodia by following their updates on social networks such as Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, as well as Tearfund’s website – creating a very live experience. The bloggers will be using a variety of media to tell their stories, including micro-blogging, video, illustration and photography.

‘Bloggers can change the world, or at the least they can change the way people view the world.’ says Krish Kandiah, Executive Director of the Evangelical Alliance, Tearfund Vice President and member of the judging panel. ‘We hope these bloggers can use their skills to help many people see the country and people of Cambodia through God’s eyes.’

[VIDEO] #EndItMovement

A powerful video from the ‘End It Campaign’, based in the States, which has been raising awareness this year – and now asking for action. On their site:

SLAVERY IS WRONG.

YOU KNOW IT. WE KNOW IT. AS A COUNTRY, WE’VE OFFICIALLY KNOWN IT SINCE 1863. BUT HERE’S SOMETHING YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW — SLAVERY STILL EXISTS. WE WANT EVERY MAN, WOMAN AND CHILD TO KNOW THAT THERE ARE 27 MILLION MEN, WOMEN AND CHILDREN, JUST LIKE THEM, LIVING IN THE SHADOWS. IN BROTHELS. IN FACTORIES. IN QUARRIES. WORKING AS SLAVES. IN 161 COUNTRIES. INCLUDING OUR OWN. WE ARE HERE TO SHINE A LIGHT ON SLAVERY. NO MORE BONDAGE. NO MORE SEX TRAFFICKING. NO MORE CHILD LABORERS. NO MORE, STARTING NOW.

Numbers are also rising in the UK, and the UK government is introducing a new law with harsher penalties. What’s your slavery footprint?