Posts Tagged ‘Iraq’

Bees Without Borders

I love this organization. Bees Without Borders teaches beekeeping skills to impoverished communities around the world, giving fresh access to a sustainable source of income via honey, honeycomb, and beeswax (for candles and other products). Bee hives don’t take a ton of space and don’t require as much care and feeding as other animals…plus they help the surrounding agricultural stakes with increased pollination. The folks at BwB launched in 2005 with a trip to Iraq to train and assist Iraqi beekeepers. 2007 was a project in the Niger Delta in Africa. 2008 had beekeepers in Tamil Nadu and Kerala in Southern India learning from the BwB team, and right now they are gearing up for an education trip to the Ukraine.

If you’d like to become part of “the hive” and learn more or pitch in, sign up for the newsletter, hold a fund-raising honey tasting, buy local honey, volunteer locally or internationally (volunteers pay their own travel expenses and live in the homes of project beneficiaries), and, of course, donate to this cause that is helping alleviate poverty.


War Child

I’m sitting in the gorgeous, spacious lounge of the Doha, Qatar airport. It was an interesting feeling as we flew over areas of the Middle East that have become so familiar on the evening news. The animated airplane that tracked our progress winged along silently past Kabul, Baghdad, and more…amazing to think how peaceful it was on board as Ryan Reynolds and Sandra Bullock cavorted on the movie screen…and what was likely going on below. child_soldier1.jpeg

War Child International is a network of independent organizations working to help children directly affected by war (and important distinctions….for I contend that ALL children are affected by war). Currently there are three main hubs of their activities, based in Holland, the UK, and Canada. There are currently at least 30 wars and armed conflicts raging in the world…over 80% of the casualties of war are civilians…disproportionately women and children.

From the site:

Children are amongst the first casualties of any armed conflict, always the most vulnerable and innocent of victims. In the last decade alone 1.5 million children have died in wars. Four million have been disabled and a further 10 million traumatized.

The severe psychological wounds that war inflicts on children can scar them for life, crippling the very generations that must one day rebuild their devastated countries. For the future peace of the world we must do everything in our power to help these war children.

There are rehab and counselling services, emergency services and ongoing assistance for kids who are brutalized, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and all of the above. The programs go out to the confict zones from Afghanistan to the Sudan, Iraq to the DR Congo.

There are ways to be involved from home, by donating and by spreading the word, possible even holding an event to get the conversation going. By exploring the dark, difficult stuff, we can begin to trudge through it and look for the other side.

One of the main taglines for WarChild is:

You can take a child out of war…

…but how do you take the war out of a child?

Adventure Philanthropy

rm_sidebarROAD MONKEY

A former New York Times Iraq war correspondent formed Road Monkey in 2008 as an alternative way to travel off the beaten path. His trips are adventure excursions (2009 offerings include biking through Vietnam with days of service work at an orphanage for children born with HIV, and climbing  Mt. Kilimanjaro with project efforts to build a clean water system and do local school improvements) with a great get-your-hands-dirty service element built in. Travel groups are kept small and projects are in partnership with local community organizations so efforts and energy are not diluted through lots of middlemen. The founder, Paul von Zielbauer, leads each expedition personally and has a refreshing “We are explorers on a journey, not tourists on a schedule” philosophy. Participants are asked to fund-raise (US$500 tax deductible donations from your own social/work network) as a contribution for the community partner organizations in the destinations.

I would do his Tanzania ADVENTURE PHILANTHROPY trip in a heartbeat.

Shall we plan to meet there?