It’s been just over six months since I joined Restless Beings and thereupon visited the proposed site for a rehab centre and home for the needy yet awesome street kids of Dhaka.
I wrote in my first blog a couple of weeks after my return at how concerned I was at the state of affairs, in fact I stated:
‘Witnessing things ‘on the ground’ reminds oneself that there are many who through no fault of their own have been given hopeless starts in their lives and have a right to a support structure which will give them a chance to attaining respectful self-sufficiency.’
So that was six months ago? What have we done for these kids?
Well I genuinely can’t believe how far we’ve come
In September the ‘Big Ten Challenge’ was launched, an initiative focused on raising £10k for the rehab centre, this was an audacious project achieved in less than two months. ….. And with rising awareness of the organization and its cause, come more and more contributions. The generosity of so many of our donors has been phenomenal….My faith in human nature restored
Well, thanks to all this, the Rehab centre will open next month, with at least 15 kids taken straight from the street, giving them increased control over their futures.
There is still a long way to go, it is essential that we sustain the project through monthly contributions, hence the launch of our latest initiative ‘We Need You’, which focuses on securing a regular cash inflow via standing orders. Without this stable finance the project will collapse and all the children we have promised a change get nothing.
And why should we give?
Simply, we just don’t give enough and now in particular is a time for reflection….
Well unless you’ve been on a Buddhist retreat in Nepal (good for you..) you will know we are in the midst of a pretty serious economic crisis.
And why has this all happened?
To cut a long story short, for too long we have had it too good, as individuals many of us have been able to borrow at will to finance a continued supply of unnecessary wants, often with no regard to our ability to re-pay these debts.
…and so have businesses. The credit tap was switched on max for too long, and now its been turned down to a trickle – the ‘credit crunch’. Now businesses reliant on borrowing have gone down e.g. Woolworths and many others are demonstrating unprecedented caution.
BUT for those who think the current crisis is even more reason to not think charitably, think again…
The current crisis is actually an opportunity, an opportunity for us to re-evaluate our lifestyles, to cut down on wants (which we think are needs but are really wants :)), and moreover to make that sacrifice for those far less needy than us. We can all do it…
As a rule of thumb I do not disclose my own charitable donations – its something v personal however it is wrong for me to sit here and preach about sacrificing luxuries without mentioning my own efforts, so YES…
I have given up 1 session a month with my trainer Joao (despite the positive impact on body and soul it is ridiculous for me to think it’s a ‘need’) so that I can contribute monthly to a really worthy cause. And it feels great………………………….
So instead of giving my cash to Joao (If you’re reading this, you’re a diamond geezer and you’ve done so much for me :)) who lives in a luxury flat in Covent Garden my contribution will provide the children with -
- The safety of having a roof over their head and a place they can rest at night
- Three meals per day to rid the children of malnutrition
- Full medical care and assistance to ensure the children are immunised against major diseases
- Psychological counselling to ensure that any sensitive issues or abuse cases are handled and help the children to overcome their ordeals (including self harm and substance misuse as well as physical and sexual abuse)
- A manageable education, where the children are taught according to their capabilities
- An array of life skills lessons that will empower the children with real vocational ability that they can use. As an organisation we believe in a holistic approach to developing these young people, and the key here is to encourage autonomy and confidence
- Creative Nourishment & Growth: A programme which involves the development of key skills and talents of each child to promote creative growth, which may open the doors to opportunities that these children would not normally have
And I’m so looking forward Insha’Allah (Arabic phrase meaning ‘God willing’) to visiting the centre sometime within the next 12 months to actually tangibly see how my donation is contributing towards a needed change in a helpless child’s life.
So seriously, lets all think about sacrificing our wants so that we can finance their needs. My favourite one-liner of all time is ‘Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth’
Tariq - 2009 - Restlessbeings