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Posts Tagged ‘disability’

Global Poverty Project

Thursday, July 2nd, 2009



Who are they?

A UN-backed movement to end global extreme poverty has reached New Zealand, and those involved are determined to break the apathy they see present in the country’s global conscience.

The Global Poverty Project (GPP) is the brainchild of Australians Simon Moss and Hugh Evans (former Australian of the Year); a team who were also behind the MAKEPOVERTYHISTORY campaign last year in Australia.

Instead of gathering aid, the project is aiming to educate and inspire people to make achieving the Millennium Development Goalsa reality by delivering engaging presentations. The GPP presentations, staged around the world, are expected to culminate in a documentary-style film of the movement, narrated by Australian actor Hugh Jackman.

How can I get involved?
There are GPP committees in Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, and Dunedin, but you can create your own too!

Go to the GPP website to become a Global Poverty Project Advocate. Advocates can:

  • organise and promote events
  • form groups, including giving groups, and invite friends to join
  • network with other advocates
  • lead the grassroots movement to end poverty, starting in their local area, place of work, study or worship!

Get Creative! Make a statement about poverty with whatever skills you have.  Upload a video, song, artwork, poetry etc, and the best ones will be featured on the GPP website.

For more info, check out the website above, or watch this trailer:

YWCA of Aotearoa-New Zealand (YWCA and Y-Dub)

Friday, February 20th, 2009


What do they do?
The YWCA of Aotearoa-New Zealand work to empower women, especially young women, to reach their potential. They acknowledge their Christian and women’s heritage and commit themselves to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and to addressing all forms of oppression so that women together may attain social and economic justice.

How can I get involved?

There are nine YWCA Local Associations around Aotearoa-New Zealand, each offering valuable programmes and community services.

Check out the local association web sites here to discover what they are doing in your community.


Friday, February 20th, 2009


What do they do?
The New Zealand YMCA is a community organisation, based on Christian principles, which aims to enable individuals and families to develop physically, mentally and spiritually and enjoy a healthy quality of life.

How can I get involved?

YMCA is represented all around NZ, and they run a variety of programmes depending on the needs of that particular community. One programme that is currently run in many YMCA centres is ‘Raise up and Represent’.

The aim of Raise Up is to support youth in being physically fit, to encourage personal ownership and leadership, and to foster a sense of pride and respect for themselves, and the communities in which they live. YMCA are often searching for student leaders to help plan and implement Environmentally focused youth initiatives and activities for youth in their community. Contact your nearest YMCA for more info.

UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund)

Friday, February 20th, 2009


What do they do?
UNICEF - the United Nations Children’s Fund - is the world’s leading agency for children. UNICEF works closely with children, women and communities as well as governments, other UN agencies, faith-based groups, non-government organisations and the private sector to create a better world for every child.

How can I get involved?

Fundraise – Put the ‘fun’ back into fundraising!  Take part in a run, cycle, or swim while raising money for UNICEF.  It’s easy to make your own fundraising web page!

Campaign for Change - Make some noise and help shape better policies and practices for children.  Whether you write to your local MP about an issue affecting children, fill out one of our surveys or sign a petition, you’re helping affect change for a new generation of kids.  Join UNICEF’s Campaigners for Change by emailing takeaction@unicef.org.nz for further updates.

Buy an Inspired GiftDoes your Dad need another pair of socks?  Why not help girls in Ghana go to school instead?  Purchase a bicycle for a girl in Ghana from our online shop and help give a better future to children!

- Your donation will go further with UNICEF! For every dollar donated, we can leverage $10 for children who need your help.

Volunteer - There are a number of ways that you can get involved with UNICEF NZ as a volunteer:

  • You can help out in their Wellington office with administration duties
  • You can help them with fundraising events
  • If you think you have some specific skills and experience that will be of value to them then you can apply for an internship

Save the Children

Friday, February 20th, 2009



What do they do?
Save the Children are a humanitarian organization that fights for children’s rights, both in New Zealand and overseas. They desire to see a world which respects and values each child, a world which listens to children and learns, and a world where all children have hope and opportunity.
How can I get involved?
Sponsor a Child - Help transform the lives of vulnerable children. You can either sponsor a child in a region of your choice, or nominate the money to go to the area of greatest need.
Shop – there are 33 shops all across New Zealand, which all sell quality products for mums, dads, children, grandparents and friends at competitive prices. They are run by volunteers and the funds raised help with Save the Children’s work around the world.
Volunteer your time – You can help with a wide variety of fund-raising activites, such as advocacy and awareness raising, staffing a STC shop, or collecting during their Annual Appeal.
Apply for a Small Grants Fund - Save the Children will fund local initiatives that make lasting benefits for children and young people by building their capacity to reach their full potential. If you are under 18 you can still apply, but you are required to partner with a registered organisation for financial and other support.

Cluster munition survivor turned campaigner

Wednesday, March 5th, 2008

An interview with Soraj Ghulam Habib
By Mava Moayyed

It’s difficult to envision the turmoil that Soraj Ghulam Habib experienced six years ago. To lose both legs is terrifying in itself, but the lasting implications of such an injury are far greater than the initial blow. Imagine absolute dependence on a hunk of metal with wheels. Imagine realising that this did not have to happen to you. At the tender age of ten years, Soraj experienced more grief than an average New Zealander would experience over their lifetime, but he has emerged strong and positive, “I never thought I face this kind of problem, but it happened and only God knows why. I am angry, but it is done and I’m always happy that I am alive,” he says.
Soraj Ghulam Habib
Now a sixteen-year-old teenager, Soraj radiates joy and passion. His presence at this conference is twofold—he serves as a reminder of the devastating effects of cluster munitions but even more importantly he is an ardent lobbyist and campaigner against the weapon. Dubbed a “wheelchair warrior” by the Wellington newspaper, Soraj says, “I feel I have a big role to play here because of the countries that are asking for transition periods and interoperability—I will lobby against them.”

Soraj’s desire to have cluster munitions banned with no leeway or margin for compromise comes from his firsthand experience of the social and economic effects of the weapon on his family and community. “I have bad feelings towards cluster munitions. In those areas where cluster munitions have been used, the community is affected greatly. There are people that have lost their lives forever. People who were injured have become disabled, but they have also lost all the dreams they had before,” he explains.

As a child, Soraj anticipated he would grow up to serve his community and work towards peace in Afghanistan. After surviving a cluster submunition explosion, Soraj felt that he had lost the ability to fulfil his dreams, “When I was lying in the bed in the hospital I thought I won’t be alive in the future because I lost a lot of blood from my legs and finger. I was so close to dying.” With his family faced with the challenge of a son in a wheel chair, Soraj felt guilty and angry that he could not do anything for them.

Soraj is, however, fulfilling his dreams. He is a key figure in the campaign against cluster munitions and has no intention of slowing down, “I have a lot of big plans for the next ten years. In Wellington, I am trying to lobby with the bad guys to convince them to ban cluster bombs When I go back to Afghanistan, I will campaign to convince my government and my country to dispose of these and other weapons.”

Soraj directs his last piece of advice to the leaders and government attending the conference, “I call on all to see my reality and ban the use, production, stockpiling, and transfer of cluster munitions. It really harms the civilians and the communities that just want a peaceful life.
Do not destroy your child’s future. Do not destroy your communities’ future. Take a moment and really find the opportunity to stop the devastation.”

This article (and the photo) originally appeared in Cluster Ban News, Vol 1 Issue 3, 20 February 2008


Oxfam campaigns against Cluster Bombs
Aotearoa New Zealand Stop Cluster Munition Coalition site
Wikipedia entry on Cluster bombs
Human Right Watch collection of documents on Cluster bombs