Monday, September 7, 2009

An Ordinary Life... A worthy humanitarian cause

I have recently been made aware of a project, of an amazing woman, Cate Bolt. Her website is titled 'An ordinary life', though it's anything but (ordinary, that is). I have been so inspired by what Cate and her family are doing, so I wanted to share this.

Cate is a mother of 9 from Queensland who is working toward a special project. Here is a little about the project (from Cate's website):

We love children, and we raise our children to love and respect the earth. I’m passionate about children and it pains me to see children suffering in any way. For those of you with children under 5, or even older, try this simple visualisation exercise for a moment:

Imagine taking your child into a crowded street at dusk, walking away from them and never going back. Imagine the fear in that child when they realise you’re gone. Imagine them wandering scared and hungry through the streets…imagine their life now, day after day.

If you can do this exercise without tears, then you are stronger than me, but for 1.8 million children in Indonesia, this is reality. Every night 1.8 million children in Indonesia sleep homeless. For most of us that number is unfathomable.

Over 50% of Indonesians survive on less than $2US per day. Of the 500,000 children in Indonesian orphanages today, almost 90% still have a living parent. They just simply cannot afford to feed them and out of desperation, many of these children are dumped in hope that someone more fortunate may be able to give them a better life.

Well, I am someone more fortunate and while my family is not wealthy, by any means, we plan to make a difference. My husband and I are both self employed, we have 9 children and we live, like many people, week-to-week. In a country like Indonesia where so many people are so very poor, a lot can be achieved with less money than one might expect. We are ordinary people, living an ordinary life – we are no different to you.

I don’t expect everyone to give up everything. I don’t expect everyone to build an orphanage. But EVERYONE can do something. Whether you donate to our project, or one of the dozens of other aid agencies, whether you just extend the hand of friendship to a colleague or stranger or whether you just take a “man in the mirror” moment and be the change that you want to see in the world. EVERYONE has the power to make some change in the world.


We are counting on the kindness and generosity of the greater community to raise a large percentage of the money required for this ambitious project. I have also started a program which will be continued by the house mothers in the village to raise a residual income to maintain the program – this is recycling unused/unwanted clothing and fabric items and making them into saleable fashion and homeware items, such as bags, placemats, quilts, aprons, pillow covers etc. We are also making wedding items from donated wedding dresses (including my own). I should have enough stock made up for a decent stall at the Eumundi Markets by summer (hopefully mid-late October) continuing indefinitely.

Other than that I have committed all the profits from my art & photography sales, and my husband and I have committed to donating 50% of the profits from our small online business also. Long term we plan to start a sponsorship program – as the major foreign aid agencies do.

We will be setting up an affiliates page on the website in the coming weeks, if you click on these links and make a purchase a percentage of your purchase will go to the IO&WR project.

Look out for charity events in 2010!

Amazing people, right? I have been touched by Cate and her family's generosity, and have just sent a box of bits that I don't need up to hopefully help with the project. Cate doesn't ask for monetary donations. The address for donations is also on the website.

Amazing. I am so glad to know that there are people out there who are so willing to give unto others. It takes a very special person to do what Cate is doing, and I hope that she gets all the support that she needs. Good Luck Cate!

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