The Stroumboulopouli

The Stroumboulopouli

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Friday, October 13, 2006

Stand Up

Think back to July 2, 2005. What were you doing? Typical Saturday morning routine, get to sleep in and relax? On that particular morning I awoke at 5am in Vancouver and promptly turned on CTV, the Live 8 concert was starting in London. The concert had made the headlines for weeks, bands quick to sign up everyone wanted to help, show their support. The concert was an attempt - before the 2005 G8 summit - to apply pressure to the world leaders towards relieving poverty. The music was just the backdrop.

Since that day, not a day passes where I don't see a white band on someone. I regularly get emails from the Canadian Make Poverty History campaign, and was thrilled when I read this;

Dear Make Poverty History supporter: ?This time we aren't asking you to send another letter to a politician. We just wanted to report back on how much we have accomplished with your support and participation. And we want to remind you to participate in the Stand Up Make Poverty History events on Oct. 15 and Global White Band Day events on Oct. 17

On Tuesday I'm going to be one in the many of people taking part in Stand Up. I'm participating here in Kingston, doing a building wrap. Remember you can participate physically or symbolically. Wearing the white band helps more than you might think.
For more information on the Canadian campaign click here and here for the International one.


Barbara Bruederlin said...

That's great that you and so many others are keeping this in our collective conscience. I wish you and your fellow participants in Kingston much power to rap that building. I'm not sure if I will be doing anything so dramatic, but I will find something meaningful.

Thanks for the reminder.

Barbara said...

I will check out the Toronto event this weekend and I hope to let you know how that went.

Allison said...

Barb B - Thanks! I just hope this horrible rain lets up.

Barbara W - Please do, look forward to hearing about it.

hilary m. said...

During Live 8, I was in London. The day before, I signed the big petition in Leicester Square. I haven't done much to help poverty... I've done the 30 hour famine a couple of times, donated money. But I do know what's going on now in many places around the world is wrong.

We walked to Hyde Park on the day of Live 8 (we didn't have tickets, because you had to be in Britain at the time they were given out). I'm so glad that this campaign has gotten everyone's attention. It's so important we all are aware of what's going on.

Toccata said...

My question is how much from the sale of buying "red" or buying a white wristband actually goes towards the fight against poverty. I cannot find actual numbers. Does anyone know? I sometimes worry that we are backing the wrong effort. Not the idea of ending poverty because obviously that is a no brainer but the agencies and celebrities with which we put our efforts. For now I think I will continue with putting my money and time with the local food bank. My city has an ever increasing homeless problem and far too many of the homeless are now under 18. At least working with the Mustard Seed I can see a direct line from my donations to the actual helping of people. I also wish everyone had it as good as I did growing up. The older I get the more I realize just how fortunate I have been to be born here in Canada and with absolutely awesome parents.

Take care everyone.

Barbara said...

Toccata all charities in Canada must submit their budgets as a matter of public record. You do have the right to access this information and anyone can inquire about this. Many local food banks and local poverty directed charities are involved in the organisation of these events. Check out the links for your local event and you may see familiar charities you are comforable supporting...

Allison said...

40-50% of the sales from Project Red are going directly to help buy AIDS drugs in Africa. The numbers are on most information websites.

Allison said...

And I agree that charity starts at home, in our own communities. However we also must look to other communities that don't have the networks that we have in West.

Toccata said...

Thanks for the info. Didn't mean to tick people off but when I looked on the Gap site I couldn't find the info which may have more to do with my "great" computer skills than their trying to hide anything. Still, 40-50% isn't that much. Not really.

My first teaching position was in an isolated community and man I got to tell you the living conditions were deplorable and the infrastructure almost nonexistent. So, yes we do have some serious work to do here as well.

She's Crafty said...

I am looking forward future purchases towards the red campaign. I have some friends involved with World Vision. I have my white wristband. I certainly appriciate the opportunity to make a little diffence in the world, even if it is just through the things that I buy (so far anyway).
I would like to begin to make contributions to the Stephen Lewis Foundation at some point in time.
Good on you Allison, look forward to hearing more?!

Allison said... is a better site. I can't remember where I read that figure, it may have been under the 'Global Fund' part.

I'm not disputing the fact that conditions aren't bad here. I wish more contributed in their own communities, we seem to have the best of intentions here, but no action seems to happen...

Serah - I'm interested in checking out a Gap store, and the Apple store. I want to see the range of products. I normally don't shop at the Gap, I'll have to make the exception!
If I write more I'll let you know.

Toccata said...

Thanks for the site info Allison.

Here's a direct quote from the site: "If you buy a (red) product or sign up for a (red) service. At no cost to you. A (red) company will give SOME of its profits to buy and distribute anti-retroviral medicine to our brothers and sisters dying of aids in Africa.

It also states that it is NOT a charity.

I think the concept is great, I just would like a bit more info on the distribution and exactly how much money is going towards the issue at hand.

I feel like I'm ticking people off here and I honestly don't mean to but I have questions and I'd like answers. Sorry if I've offended anyone with my questioning attitude.

Barbara said...

I went to the event listed for Toronto today. The information in our link was wrong on some key counts. The event starts at noon until 5, not 10 until 6 like reported. The stand up part was not going to happen until 4pm.
The event was scaled back quite a bit because the organisers could not get a permit from the city for a larger event. They are just learning how to do this and next year should be much bigger. I was there around noon and let's just say the crowd was the organizers and their dogs.
I talked with someone from the Daily Food Bank of the GTA.
The link if you would like to check them out is
She gave me a brochure all about the growing need for food banks in the Greater Toronto Area. People go hungry here everyday. I was walking down Queen St East and I definitely saw this for myself. At 4pm I will stand up and think about how I could support the people who are doing something about poverty.

Allison said...

Events differ for each city, I'm pretty sure I just linked to the Make Poverty History website.

Toccata - Its the concept that I like, and I agree, I'd like an exact breakdown of costs too.
You haven't offended me, healthy discussion is always welcome! I'm sorry if my comments are a little short, I've been talking this issue to death for the past couple of days, and its always on the defence.

If you find any other breakdowns let me know, and vice-versa.

Deb said...

All I can say is...YOU GO GIRL! Excellent/very important post Allison. Sorry to be commenting "after the fact", but I wanted to acknowledge it anyhow.

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