Urgent Evoke

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On encountering the mission for ACT6 - to "help empower one girl or woman with better access to education or economic opportunity", I was overjoyed. I would like to take this opportunity to share a project that myself and my mother have been involved with for several years now.

In my city there is a residential home* for women who have been victims of domestic abuse. The residents of the home are women who have fled violent relationships and left everything behind. Most arrive with very few possessions and many bring children with them of varying ages.

A all-year-round project, Wearside Women in Need, collects donations for the Women's Refuge. They also help women and their families move into safe new homes and make a fresh start.. The charity also campaigns for more help and support from the government and the local council for victims of domestic abuse. While WWIN takes monetary donations, it also accepts donations of food, clothing, furniture, toys and so on for the women and their families, who so often have next to nothing and would struggle without help.

More than that, donations of new goods and presents can help to bring joy back into lives of mothers who can't afford to buy their children birthday and Christmas presents. WWIN runs a Christmas Toys Appeal every year, asking the public to donate presents for the displaced children, and for their mothers and/or fathers.

Every year we get involved with another charity fundraising event, Operation Christmas Child, which has restrictions on donated items (e.g. really big soft toys, liquids etc). Due to shipping regulations we sometimes can't send certain items, so instead we donate these to WWIN instead. My mother also bakes a Christmas cake!

Getting involved with a local charity like this is a lot of fun, very rewarding and an ongoing opportunity to give in a very efficient, personal way. I'd heartily reccommend other agents to look around in your local area for this kind of project!

* I can't share the name or location of the residential home because I don't know it myself. It isn't advertised purely to protect the residents living there.

Views: 22

Comment by Iyamuremye Jean de Dieu on April 15, 2010 at 8:23am
you are right but this is one of the solutions.
Comment by Edwige Lelievre on April 15, 2010 at 9:25am
This is a great project Riko. Does this program also includes something to help women learning a profession ? I think that having a job will help them being independant from their husband but also from charity's money, and is more viable for long term.
Comment by Chris Ke Sihai on April 15, 2010 at 10:51am
I'm involved with a similar project, at a distance. (I work with the head office, not the shelters directly.) Generally the emphasis is on providing a stepping stone from a bad situation to a better one. So immediate care is the priority, followed by nurturing to mend broken spirits so that people start to believe in themselves and develop the resilience they will need out in the real world again.

'Sheltered employment' is a big part of it. Giving people the opportunity to earn their own money - often for the first time in their lives - is very empowering. And, of course, every time an employee quits to go and pursue a better job that's a victory.

But it all starts with feeling loved. Baking a cake for someone is a great way to brighten up a life, not least because you're giving of your own time instead of just writing a cheque. It's personal, and means a lot more.

Well done. I wish I could give you more than one point.

PS DON'T publish the address. One of the issues faced by charities helping people in their own communities is that they usually can't publicly identify the recipients of the donation. They have to protect the victims, at the expense of them remaining 'faceless' and therefore less compelling than the little kid in Africa who gets the new shoes. It's a pity, but it makes your effort all the more important.
Comment by Riko Kamachi on April 15, 2010 at 12:50pm
@Edwige - I think the various programmes that this charity runs are more aimed towards crises, helping women when they are at their most vulnerable during and following an abusive relationship. I do agree with you, but in this case the charity engenders help from other organisations who can help when the needs of a resident are more than they can provide for. I am going to ask one of the local co-ordinators more about this though as it is possible there is something like this in place.

@Chris - I totally agree. While material problems can be fixed with money the emotional wounds take much more time and care to truly heal. *nods* I wasn't going to publish the address for that very reason, even if I find out what it is :)

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