Monday, 15 June 2009

Isn't life funny sometimes....

There are two things in life that I am very passionate about (Actually, there are way more than just two but for the purpose of this post....). The first is my art and the second is volunteering. (Seriously, I think everyone should get involved in their local community....the world would be a much better place if they did!!). Anyway, having been inspired by Mark to get going on my art last week I was then given the proverbial kick up the arse on the volunteering front too and it came in the form of a TV programme!!

BBC 3 have been running a series recently called Blood, Sweat and Takeaways (I don't know if any of you saw it) which was bloody brilliant. It was basically a documentary series that followed six young Brits, each with a passion for food, who were sent to go live and work alongside the workers in the south east Asian food industry. The first two episodes followed them as they went to work in Indonesia's tuna and prawn industry (which was fascinating and horrifying!!) and the last two followed them to Thailand where they worked in the rice and chicken industry. I watched the last two episodes over the weekend on BBC's iPlayer (They are still available to watch...I think there is 3 days left on the first two episodes and a week left on the last two).

Those of you that read 'Only in Thailand' will already know about the different charity work I did there.....well, if you really want to get a feel for what I did, where we stayed and how Moon's family earn their living then watch the rice episode. It took place in rural Issan (north Thailand) and really highlights how much hard graft, and how little money is involved, in producing the rice!! (The houses featured are similar to those in Moon's home village and making rice is how her husband earns his living. That's why Chris and I still send her money every month to help with the schooling of her kids....if we didn't then there is no way either of them would ever have the opportunity to go to University). If your interested in seeing the slum that I worked in (I was going to link to my first post about visiting but decided that that was waaay too depressing so you can read about one of our success stories in the area instead. Click here) then watch episode four when the six travel to Bangkok to look for work and end up in the Klong Toey Slum. What really got to me was that I knew one of the women sitting behind them....when I visited the Mercy Centre she would always come over and say Hi (She called me Mrs Carol and always pinched my arm for luck!!). When the programme finished I was in tears.

Now, just before I left Thailand I suggested that the BWG set up a couple of projects that were close to my heart (They involved helping Thailand's Hill Tribe Community....I don't think I ever got round to finishing writing about my trip but you can read about it here , here and here.The second link is the one to go for if you really want a feel for how they live and the 3rd one is what my suggested project is all about!!). At the time I had offered to run them from the UK but I didn't want to stand on any one's toes so I had not been in touch to renew my offer.....I had a call from my lovely friend Caroline who has taken over the running of all things welfare since I left and she said that, because the new people were still finding their feet and she was rushed off hers as a result, no-one had done anything about getting them off the ground. I got in touch and guess who's now getting them going? I feel so much better now!!!

I'm actually trying to come up with some fund-raising ideas so if any of you clever lot have any suggestions.....

12 comments:

  1. On a totally different subject I picked up a copy of the Fashion show DVD for you today. I will bring UK bound ...

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  2. Oh Cool!!!! It will be great to see it....thanks hon :-)

    C x

    Ps. When you coming over?

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  3. Erm...books? A signed book raffle? Get authors you know (like Peter May, ahem!) to donate signed copies of their books for you to auction off?

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  4. Ps. When you coming over?

    As soon as I get an invite.

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  5. Could not watch those programmes Carol, being a veggie, and being as soft as a brush, I would not have been able to sleep had any animal been hurt or eaten.

    Though funny that, I never feel that way about a box of Thortons toffee, I seem to care very little for what that toffee must suffer, as I chew.

    Usually auctions are very good fund raisers, whatever you decide, count me in, as long as you don't have me knitting things, or sewing anything, then I'm your gal.

    Carol, the woman who died yesterday from Swine flu, such a terrible shame, and her little son died as well, she comes from Thornliebank, quite near to where my family come from.

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  6. I missed that programme so will try to catch up before they take it off.
    Agree with DJ and Ann - auctions and raffles are good.

    And well done for volunteering. You're a star:-)

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  7. Brilliant that you are involved in your project again!

    How about a used book sale.

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  8. You know that you can do an online raffle from a web page - so people can donate from all over the world - and you can take the payments through Paypal. They have a "donate now" button you can put on the page.
    I set one up for our village fund-raiser to restore the communal bread oven and we raised over a thousand Euros. A lot of people just stumbled across the site via the search engines, and bought a virtual ticket!
    If you can get a few donations for prizes, then in the end you could make more money per prize through the raffle, imho, than auctioning each individual item separately...

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  9. DJ - Ha, funny you should mention that!!! As you can probably see...there is a competition running today to win a signed copy of Snakehead :-)

    But that's not a bad idea for a fund raiser...hmmmm

    Helen - Hahaha, I thought you might say something like that!!!

    Ann - If you are ever in my neck of the woods then you would be more than welcome!!

    Ann - Yeah, as a vegetarian I wouldn't recommend you watch the programmes....they are interesting but harrowing. In a couple of them there is not much difference between the conditions in with the animals and people live!!

    LOL re the toffee :-)

    An auction is a great idea and thank you for offering to get involved. (No knitting or sewing I promise!!). I'll get my thinking cap on....

    I know. I saw it on the news yesterday and my heart when out to the family. Such a tragedy!!

    Lane - It was very good....eye-opening!!

    Yes, I think that might be the way to go (and sounds waaaaay less painful than the idea of having to climb a mountain or some such thing!!)

    Blu - I'm really pleased that I'm doing something useful again!!

    A used book sale...Ooohhh, that's a good idea too!! I really am going to have to sit down and think this through properly!!

    Janice - That's a really really good idea!!! Hmmmm....don't be surprised if you get an e-mail asking for the web address :-)

    C x

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  10. Good for you for volunteering. I was a VSO volunteer ages ago and spent some time picking rice in my holidays ( I was a volunteer teacher).. very very hard work.

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  11. Ladyfi - I never tried picking rice when we were in Thailand but I watched it being done!! *takes hat off to you* for giving it a go and for being a volunteer with the VSO!!

    C x

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