June 2019: Support your tribe – SurfAid

Nothing like a bit of an incident when you’re travelling in a remote area to provide a sharp reminder of how lucky we are to have the health care we do in Australia. And how many people in other places are going without that level of medical support and resources.

We recently got back from a ten-day family holiday in Indonesia. Highlights included meeting lovely people, relaxing overlooking gorgeous tropical views, and escaping Melbourne’s freezing winter for a while. As with any travel to less developed countries there was also a healthy dose of guilt involved: environmental damage via our flights, inequality of lifestyles, the ability to pay for activities geared exclusively to tourists.

The one activity our kids had their hearts set on was surfing. We’ve all surfed before, but by no means are anywhere near proficient… as evidenced by our collection of surfing injury stories. The fact that we have surfing injury stories should have been warning in itself, but off we went surfing again nevertheless. Because it’s so much fun!

And as a result of our hedonistic pursuits we have a new surfing injury tale to add to our set. Whoever saw that coming?!

Being injured on a remote third-world island, a good hour or two by boat and road from the nearest hospital, brought home rapidly how lucky we are to have the healthcare we do in Melbourne.

So of course it was top of mind when thinking about where to make this month’s charity donation – it had to go to some sort of effective health care charity, preferably in Indonesia.

It completely tickled my fancy when we found SurfAid. What could be more perfect for this month’s donation, than a tribe of surfers who have banded together to push a wave of support to the health, well being and self reliance of people in isolated regions, including Indonesia?

SurfAid aim to provide very practical support – think materials to build water tanks, water taps and toilets for clean water and sanitation, mosquito nets to avoid malaria, materials for community health posts to support pregnant women, mothers and children, and materials for evacuation roads to help communities escape to safety if another tsunami hits. They are aiming to build the capacity of community members, schoolchildren, community health volunteers and relevant government staff to increase the independence and health status of communities and reduce the risk from natural disasters.

It’s a big thank you to the SurfAid tribe from us for their work in these remote communities. And for now, maybe we’ll just be sticking to dry land for a while.

April 2019: Water, water everywhere…

It seemed only fitting that as our kids have decided the last two months’ charities, it was time for Dave to have a turn. Despite a ridiculous schedule of full time work, volunteer soccer coaching which takes more time than the full time paid work, and a dash of overseas travel sprinkled on top, he managed to find time to research a great charity for April. Over to him to explain…

charity:water gives 100% of donations to clean water projects around the world.

In April it was my task to choose our charity donation for the month. As ever the task was to find a charity that did the most good with our money.

In researching I came across charity:water.  The charity was founded by a New York nightclub promoter Scott Harrison who burned out after a life of drugs and alcohol and decided to do something positive with his life. https://youtu.be/V4E1t2yIZlc (warning – video is ten minutes long so don’t start watching it when you’re rushing out of the house as we did…)

With 663 million people, or one in ten people in the world, without access to clean water, charity:water funds projects across the world to stop people having to drink dirty and polluted water, in turn preventing disease. Having access to clean water allows families to go to school, work and reduces stress on health care systems.

The charity is funded by private donations, with 100% of all public donations going to projects to provide clean water.

To date they’ve funded 38,113 water projects for 9.6 million people across Africa, Southern Asia and South America, and all projects are mapped and registered.

https://www.charitywater.org/our-projects/completed-projects

Like many fortunate people our family take for granted access to clean water at home, so this month the Tapping Family donated A$898.96 to charity:water. The money will help progress the vision of providing clean drinking water to the remaining 653.4 million people around the world who still do not have access to clean water and have to drink dirty unsafe water… putting their health and futures at risk. 

September 2018: High-quality healthcare in the Himalayas

In September and October we were lucky enough to have a family holiday to Nepal. A fortnight of exploring Kathmandu, mountain trekking, whitewater rafting and national parks. It is a beautiful place.

It is also poor. So much poorer than I expected. And the poverty seemed fairly universal.

With poverty comes self-sufficiency. More than 80% of Nepalese people still live in rural areas, and often grow their own food. In the areas we trekked there were no roads so any food was either grown locally or brought in by donkey.

With rural living comes isolation. And a lack of access to essential services, such as medical treatment.

We met a waiter who told us he looked after his mother and his sister as his father had become ill and they couldn’t afford the medical treatment he required so they had to ‘let him go’.

We knew we wanted our monthly donation to help in some small way.  We found Possible, an organization that provides sustainable health care to Nepal’s poorest communities.

And our monthly donation will provide 15 patients with quality healthcare they wouldn’t otherwise receive.