Monday, 5 December 2011

That time of year

It is my birthday this week, and I know you were going to put a large, expensive, heavy present in the mail for me. Well, I'd like to ask you to re-consider on the gifts and instead support the work of Cuso International this holiday season.

Note: For those of you paying attention, you will notice that CUSO-VSO has now become Cuso International. This shift represents internal organizational politics, but does not affect my placement or the general work of this organization.

I have been asked to raise $2000 as part of my volunteering committment. I am willing to forgo the shiney bobbles and trinkets you were going to send me for Christmas if you can dig into the pockets of your pants and send whatever spare change you have my way. 

Seriously, if you give at this time of year, please consider Cuso International.  Every dollar I raise is matched by that Canadian International Development Agency, nine to one. That means that if I reach my target of $2000, $20,000 will be available for Cuso International, which is about 80% of the cost of sending a volunteer overseas for a year.

Visit here to donate now and receive a tax receipt.

From my own experience I can say that being an overseas volunteer is a life-changing experience - my own, and the lives of others affected by the work that I do. Here in Jamaica, volunteers are making a difference with children who are victims of crime, women with husbands or sons in prison, Jamaicans facing police brutality and other human rights violations and more.  Volunteers are also helping spread alternative ways to deal with conflict, working to give youth better leadership skills and developing technology platforms to strengthen non-profit organizations. All of this happens within a framework of transferring skills and knowledge to Jamaicans - this is truly teaching people to fish, not just giving them fish.

I thank you in advance for your support!

The orchid outside my back door

Tamara, my neighbour, and myself enjoying dinner out
Thanks so much to friends and family that already supported Cuso International by making a donation and taking some of my stuff at my "garage sale"!

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