Sunday, May 15, 2016

This is where I live.

Last weekend was mothers day and the weather was beautiful. My niece, whose mother is overseas this year on her own adventure, decided to come and spend the weekend with me (cheaper than going os). We had a lovely time visiting Newcastle's Olive Tree Markets, having lunch at the Honeysuckle Wharf watching boats in the harbour, and strolling along these beaches, and rock pools.

Because I travel alot with work, and spend nights in the big smoke, i love to return home to my garden and my town. I pinch myself often as I remind myself.... I live here!!!

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Relative Value and Costs

High School Students living at Barathi Girls Hostel
One of my joys in life has been to have spent time with these girls in Tamil Nadu. Since 2007, I've been volunteering with ODAM India to support the girls education program and hostel accommodation for high school girls. These girls have come from incredibly poor families, who have traditionally been unable to send their kids to school. Many of these girls were actually bought by local factories with a promise of work until they got married, and a dowry. The truth is, very few actually get their rewards for their lifetime of service.

ODAM negotiates, sometimes with payment, to have the girls released into their care to live at the primary school (partly government funded) to get their essential schooling. Then ODAM offers a hostel for girls who wish to continue their education at the local public high school. They will also support girls to go on to University or other vocational training programs.

Many of these girls are getting a better education than any other member of their family - which means they will have greater choices in the future, and greater capacity to help their families in old age.

The hostel is based in Thiruchuli - a small town/village - where buses and trucks pass through on their way to other places. But few families actually have their own transport. Recently, ODAM employed a full time warden at the hostel for security and maintenance. But they don't have transport options for the warden. We've been asked if we can help raise money to purchase a scooter. The scooter would help the warden and other hostel staff to attend to the day to day needs of the hostel - but more importantly - assist with getting sick girls to the local medical clinic at all hours of the day/night.

Scooters or motor bikes are affordable transport options for the small town.
It's all relative isnt't it? I've mentioned before how I'm studying business ethics at present. I was not surprised to learn about relativism in ethics. But here, I see an issue of relative value. What is quite expensive in Australia (a scooter) isn't so expensive for us in India. Althought it's a little out of reach for ODAM. So, I've started a fundraising page, for friends and family, and supporters, to contribute to this simple and easy target. We just need to raise AUD$1500. That's just $50 each for 30 people.(or $25 each for 60 people) ... easy!

Click here to go to our fundraising page...

Help out if you can - or pass this link on to others - put it on facebook - whatever.... it's appreciated :)