After working on the streets of Cambodia with girls who’d been trafficked, exploited, raped and beaten, Australian woman Julie Dowse felt her heart breaking. Desperate to help the innocent people before her, she set her sights on preventing their exploitation in the first place by focusing on the one thing she knew could make a difference – education. Through her charity AusCam Freedom Project, Julie has helped educate hundreds of Cambodian girls and given them new hope for a life off the streets – a life of purpose, happiness and meaning.
Australian charity Echo International Aid is bringing new hope to the lost people of Burma. These people have escaped the civil war of their home country to live out their lives in hiding in the Thai jungle, with little to no access to education, health care or hope for a better life.
Australian charity Hair Aid is helping slum-dwelling parents in the Philippines to learn the arts of hairdressing and sewing. In doing so it’s enabling parents to earn the money they need to feed their starving children and prevent lives of child prostitution, starvation and crime on the streets.
Everyday Perth women are stepping up as philanthropists to help disadvantaged women across the globe to live safely, with access to health, education and economic freedom, thanks to the creation of a collective giving charity – 100 Women. How and why are they having such an impact?
A new Western Australian charity is transforming the lives of autistic children by introducing them to the magic of surfing. Parents cannot believe the change in their autistic children, as surfing with Ocean Heroes transforms their kids from shy, depressed and anxious to carefree, confident and happy.
Penny Elsley’s Welcome Dinner Project is transforming lives by bringing together international students, refugees, asylum seekers, migrants and established Australians for dinner. As they connect over food these groups of strangers are reminded of their common humanity. The resultant feeling of connection is, quite simply, changing lives.
What began as an impulsive bid to see if Andrew Costello could help one poverty-stricken Cambodian family has morphed into a charity that is changing the lives of hundreds of rural Cambodians. Cows for Cambodia breaks the poverty cycle by donating the one thing that can make a massive difference to rural Cambodian’s long-term prosperity – cows.
When a young Aussie girl visited Africa two decades ago with dreams of helping the less fortunate, even she would never have guessed at the way her life would unfold. Yet Gemma Sisia went on to found The School of St Jude, which has put two thousand kids through school and boarding, funded students’ university education, and sparked promising futures for young adults who were born into poverty-stricken rural homes or garbage-ridden urban slums.
When Nick Maisey realised the pain of disconnection and loneliness that scars so many people in our modern society, he created a social network that would welcome people from all walks of life to experience the joy of friendship. That network, Befriend, has now transformed the lives of thousands of diverse people united by one simple craving – to truly connect with a fellow human being.
Shocked at the shame homeless women suffered at being unable to access pads and tampons during their monthly period, Queensland woman Rochelle Courtenay launched Share the Dignity to provide sanitary items to those in need. Along the way she learned of the link between homelessness and domestic violence and so turned Share the Dignity’s attention to also helping families grappling with violent homes. This once every-day mum is now embroiled in some of the country’s most traumatic domestic violence cases, but is driven by seeing the difference that restored dignity makes to people’s lives.
Convinced of the power of women scientists to change the world, Fabian Dattner launched a women’s leadership program with a difference. This program, Homeward Bound, would take women scientists to Antarctica, equip them with the tools for change and give the voice to help them halt the destruction of the natural world.
Perth man Peter Sharp of Liberators International has become an internet sensation with footage of his public acts of ‘social art’. He has sparked impromptu dance parties, train dance fests, free hug offers and public meditations as part of his quest to encourage people to embrace fear and experience the joy of connection. These acts are about much more than gaining Facebook likes – Pete hopes they are encouraging viewers to trust, to love, to remember their shared humanity.