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Caritas Australia Appeals For Donations To Feed Africa’s Starving

climate change

In a pastoral letter written by the Bishops of South Sudan, they have said their people are simply struggling to survive and have expressed a desperate plea for help. Recently the United Nations declared famine in parts of the country and according to Paul O’Callaghan who heads up Caritas Australia, if there is no concerted political and community action, it is likely the famine will spread throughout the region. He added that there are over 20 million people at risk of starvation and this could well end up being catastrophic without immediate attention.

It is important to deal with the problem before it is too late

Mr O’Callaghan says it is critical for us to do whatever is possible before it is too late. The situation is unprecedented and is arguably the most serious food security event that has occurred since the 1984 famine that devastated Ethiopia. As a result, Caritas has launched an Africa Emergency Appeal as it seeks to raise money to help those who need it. The aid agency is working with partners throughout the Caritas International network to deliver aid to the affected countries in Africa.

Unique reach

Mary Wachira who is Caritas Australia’s representative on the ground in South Sudan says Caritas has a unique reach through the Church and is able to deliver aid to the most vulnerable communities which means it is ideally placed to provide help to those who need it. Australians have time and again shown their generosity and this time round the money they donate will be used to provide people with food and water as well as allow Caritas to continue its long-term development work so that communities end up being more resilient to possible future threats.

Climate change is a major problem

This latest food crisis is in large part driven by conflict in many areas alongside high inflation which is driving food prices sky high. In addition, climate change is making the problem of drought throughout the Horn of Africa more acute. The long-term impact of climate change means the entire region is finding it more difficult to endure extreme weather which puts thousands of people at risk of hunger and disease.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Praises Australian Government Over Refugee Resettlement But Says More Needs To Be Done

Syrian Refugees

Oxfam the aid agency said the Government of Australia should allow more refugees into the country following the announcement that 12,000 visas were awarded to Syrian and Iraqi refugees.  The Australian Government runs a resettlement programme for refugees and Oxfam reiterated it was pleased with the decision to resettle all the refugees the country had committed to doing back in 2015 said Oxfam spokesperson Nicole Bieske in a statement.

Fleeing the violence

The civil war in Syria has taken a dire turn recently with the alleged use of chemical weapons on civilians by Syria’s military. The conflict has resulted in more than 5 million people fleeing the violence. Tony Abbot the then Australian Prime Minister announced a one-off resettlement programme in 2015 that sought to take in 12,000 Syrian and Iraqi refugees. That commitment was made in addition to Australia’s annual intake of 13,750 refugees.

More refugees should be accepted

Ms Bieske added that considering the success of the resettlement programme as well as the ongoing fighting and humanitarian disaster in both countries, Australia should be striving to settle more Syrian and Iraqi refugees. Ms Bieske pointed out that there is a growing resistance towards refugees and policies have become more restricted in the US, UK and EU. She said she would prefer to see Australia doing much more to help properly assessed Syrian refugees and offer more support in local communities to assist their integration into Australian society.

Resettlement should not be based on religion

Bob Bowker who previously served as Australian Ambassador to Syria said in an interview, that Australia’s response must be based on common humanity and not on the basis of religion. The resettlement programme has come under criticism by identifying persecuted minorities for resettlement and was actually showing a preference for Christians over other religions or sects.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Ex Manchester United Stars Lose To Australian Legends Team In Charity Match

Manchester United

Recently a charity match between a star-studded Manchester United team made up of ex-players against a team of Australian legends was played in Perth. The Australian legends team managed to beat the Manchester United XI team 3-0. Paul Scholes led out the Manchester United team into a stadium filled with 12,000 fans. However, the Australian legends team manged to score three goals during the second half produced a comfortable win for the hosts.

The Australian team was much younger

Dwight Yorke, Ronny Johnsen, and Dwight Yorke wore the Red Devils strip for the game and the United side was managed by Bryan Robson who himself is a former United and England captain and also played in the match during its later stages. The average age of the Australian side was 35, which was 9 years junior to that of United. The age difference showed as United lost Quinton Fortune and Paul Scholes to injury.

Three goals in the second half

Nick Carle opened the scoring for the Australian team with shot that curled into the top corner from the edge of the area. Bobby Despotovski added to the Australian team’s lead by shooting from close range whilst Con Boutsianis deflected a shot into the goal from just six yards out to make for a comfortable win for the Australians.

“The Aussies were, without doubt, the stronger team.,” Irwin told MUTV. “They were stronger than us, fresher than us, younger than us. It didn’t help that Quinton and Scholesy got injured in the first half but they were better than us. The crowd have come out, they’ve enjoyed the night and we’re disappointed we got beat 3-0 but it’s all for a good cause. It’s always for a good cause and the lads always love turning out. It’s been a good night. It was humid out there but I enjoyed playing.”

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Australian Charities Say Millions Of Dollars Wasted In Trying To Comply With Regulations

Charity Image

As much as $15 million every year in charity donations is being wasted on admin costs instead of being delivered to those people in need or victims of disaster. The charity sector is worth $134 billion and argues that it is simply drowning in red tape. There is so much bureaucracy that as many as 45,000 registered charities are being forced to break the law because they simply find they cannot comply with multiple regulations.

Too much red tape

Over 100 of the country’s largest charitable organisations such as the RSPCA and the Smith Family have written an open letter to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull asking him to fix what they have dubbed an “almighty mess” The letter goes on to add that Australian charities wish to do the right thing but brush up against the rules which work against them. There are regulations at the Federal, State and Territory level and those Governments need to work together in order to provide charities with one set of coherent laws that are consistent nationally. The new laws should be modern and fit for the purpose of the fundraising regime as Australia continues is present review of consumer laws.

Charities run by honest people

The aid agencies say that action is needed immediately, so that their donors who support them can operate under a 21st century nationally consistent and fit for purpose regulatory regime. Over the last couple of years, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission withdrew the legal status of 37 organisations which resulted in the loss of Commonwealth tax concessions. Susan Pascoe, the commissioner said despite this fact, the vast majority of organisations registered with the Commission were run by dedicated and honest people.

There were a number of signatories to the letter which demanded fundraising reform. These include:

  •  Oxfam Australia,
  • World Vision
  • The Law Council of Australia
  • Mission Australia
  • The Australian Council of Social Services
  • The Australian Institute of Company Directors
  • Philanthropy Australia
  • Mission Australia

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Get Free Shipping On Orders Valued At $50 Or More From The Oxfam Shop – Offer Ends 28-05-17

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

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"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Calls Australian Juvenile Detention System A National Disgrace

Juvenile Detention

Oxfam Australia chief executive Dr Helen Szoke has responded to an interim report by the Royal Commission into juvenile detention in the Northern Territory. Dr Szoke says that the report documents a wide variety of evidence which suggests that children have been appallingly mistreated, most of which are Aboriginal young people who find themselves in custody. She adds that the report is a damning indictment of a justice system that does not work for children that have been entrusted to its care. The reports description of the conditions children face is both harsh and bleak which is likely to leave children in the system more damaged than when they came in.

Over-representation of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in detention are chronically over represented which Dr Szoke says is a national disgrace. These children are 25 times more likely to be detained than non-indigenous juvenile offenders. She adds this is a crisis which has a devastating impact on the lives of young people and the country should be ashamed of itself. The crisis requires an urgent national plan of action.

Punitive rather than rehabilitative

Dr Szoke says the report is confirmation that the juvenile detention system is meant to punish instead of giving young offenders the chance to rehabilitate. She adds that Oxfam Australia is partnering with more than 100 organisations in urging Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to assume a leadership role and engage with the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities so that immediate action can be taken to improve the country’s youth justice system

“Oxfam is urging the Federal Government to adopt the Change the Record Coalition’s ‘Blueprint for Change’, a concrete plan for the Federal, State and Territory Governments put together by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander and non-Indigenous organisations to change the record on soaring Aboriginal imprisonment rates and high levels of violence. “

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Australian Branch Of Effective Altruism Has Been Launched

charity

Peter Singer the philosopher and philanthropist has launched the Australian branch of Effective Altruism. Mr Singer says the organisation is targeted at an emerging global movement of people who on one hand really want to make a difference in the world but want to do so on the basis of evidence of what is the most effective thing then can do. These people according to Mr Singer look at research to suggest what really is going to be the most effective thing to do.

Thousands of charities

There are more than 54,000 charities registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and it is estimated that combined the sector is valued at $103 billion. Effective Altruism is not a charity by itself. Instead it promotes partner charities that it says has been thoroughly vetted by making use of supporting academic literature.

Providing the research

Mr Singer dismissed the criticism that such an approach to giving which is calculated and researched may go against the spirit of charity for some people. He argues when we want things for ourselves, normally we do our homework. If we want to buy a laptop for example, we do the research. This is what Effective Altruism is attempting to do. Put the research out there on the web which shows which are the most effective charities people can donate to.

The approach has its critics

The approach by Effective Altruism has been criticised for being “moralistic” and driving donations towards larger more established charities. It is argued that the approach claims the moral high ground in giving decisions without justification according to Ken Berger and Robert Penn writing in the Stanford Social Innovation Review. Mr Singer who himself is a professor says the underlying philosophy was just about ensuring each dollar makes the biggest impact and in fact many smaller organisations do make the cut. Professor Singer responds that smaller groups are far easier to evaluate because they tend to do just one thing such as distributing bed nets, or perform cataract operations. This makes them easier to assess whether you are getting your money’s worth

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Caritas Australia Responds To Crisis In The Horn Of Africa

famine africa

Famine has been declared in South Sudan and Caritas Australia is doing its bit to provide support to the people that live there. At the end of February, the United Nations formally declared famine in two counties within the state. The areas included the Northern-central region of the country where approximately 100,000 people face the prospect of starvation. The UN World Food Programme reckons about 4.9 million people are in desperate need of food throughout the country.

Multiple countries affected

The potential for famine in not limited to just South Sudan, countries across the Horn of Africa are also being impacted. This includes Somalia, Uganda, Tanzania, Malawi, Ethiopia and Kenya. The continuing conflict which began in South Sudan back in December 2013 has had a major impact on the crisis. There are as many as 1.85 million people internally displaced and farmers have been unable to plant crops. This has resulted in severe malnutrition rates. Climate change has also not helped the situation either.

Caritas Australia coordinating with other agencies

Caritas Australia runs programs in South Sudan as well as the other countries that comprise the Horn of Africa including Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Caritas Australia is also lending its support to both the global and local Caritas network in a coordinated response to the crisis. The agency’s work in South Sudan has concentrated on delivering food security as well as providing hygiene. The agency is also ensuring HIV and AIDS patients receive treatment as well as focusing on Disaster Risk Reduction, emergency assistance and peace-building. Caritas Australia remains in close contact with the agency’s partners in the countries affected by the countries and is ready to participate in the emergency response.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Free Shipping From The Oxfam Shop For Orders Over $50 – Offer Ends 17-04-17

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

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How To Get This Deal

  • Visit the Oxfam Shop before 17th April 2017
  • Spend $50 or more
  • Enter coupon code EASTERFREE50 at checkout
  • Get free shipping on your order

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"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

Oxfam Australia Urges Government To Develop New Relationship With First Australians

Oxfam Australia Says The Country Needs To Do More To Fight Climate Change

Aid agency Oxfam has expressed its support for calls that urge the Australian Government to develop a new relationship with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as well as commit to funding the National Congress of Australia’s First Peoples. The calls came at a breakfast event last month at Parliament House. The event saw Torres Strait Islander and Aboriginal peak organisations formally hand over the Redfern Statement to Malcolm Turnbull.

Still getting the short end of the stick

Helen Szoke Oxfam Australia’s Chief Executive said whilst there had been some improvements during the decade since the community driven initiative to Close the Gap first started, Indigenous Australian still continue to receive the short end of the stick on a range of measures which is unacceptable. According to Dr Szoke the life span of an Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander Peoples is more than 10 to 17 years shorter than non-Aboriginal Australians. They also claim the highest suicide rates globally and are being imprisoned at unprecedented rates.

The relationship needs to be reset

Last June Oxfam joined forces with several indigenous and non-indigenous organisations across Australia to show its support for the launch of the Redfern Statement. The Statement calls for the relationship between the Government and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to be reset. The statement also urges the Australian Government to provide funding for Indigenous programs and adopt the policies proposed by Indigenous leaders and organisations.

The Government has been cutting funding

Dr Szoke says that decisions taken by the Federal Government such as more than $500 million in cuts to Indigenous programs and the defunding of the National Congress suggest that policy makers were talking the talk but not walking the walk. Dr Szoke added that many Indigenous leaders are labelling the present situation a crisis. They argue that the Government is simply paying lip service to Close the Gap targets. If the Government does not meaningfully engage with the community, another generation could be condemned to face the acute poverty and injustice of present day Aboriginals.

"Please note, any prices mentioned in the Charity Gifts blog are correct at the time of posting. Please check the relevant website for the latest pricing information."

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