All posts by Graeme Esau

Bandanpally

thisvillage works to address poverty in one village at a time. We focus all of our efforts in the one village in order to build relationships and work as effectively as possible. Once both we and the village feel as though effective poverty reduction tools are in place, we will move on to work with another village.

For those that do not know, the first village that we are working with is a small village in India called Bandanpally.

Located in Andhra Pradesh, India, here is some information on the village of Bandanpally.

easelly_visual— Graeme Esau

 

Let’s build some wells

What:

We are doing a month-long fundraising campaign in order to raise money for three much-needed water wells. The overall goal of the campaign is CDN $2,400.

Where:

Bandanpally, India. For those that don’t know, Bandanpally is the first village that thisvillage is working with. There are a number of projects that are planned, including these wells.

When:

November 4th – December 4th. This is the only period where donations to the campaign can be received.

Who:

You! This can only happen with the generosity of people like yourself. And for every person that make a donation, you will receive a reward of some kind (see details below).

Why:

The importance of providing clean water to a community may seem obvious. We know the benefits it will have on people’s health and agricultural production. But here is a reason that you may not have thought about. In most villages in India, women and children are primarily responsible for collecting water. Since there are too few sources of water in Bandanpally, women and children have to travel far and spend a lot of time collecting water for daily life. If we can provide more wells, women will have more time to care for their families and to earn money, while children will have more time to study or just play with friends.

This recent blog post details some of the reasons why we think this campaign to build water wells is so important.

How:

Starting today, you can donate to the project by visiting this link: startsomegood.com/wells. While we always appreciate donations made on our website, no donations made on thisvillage.org can be used for this specific campaign.

The total goal is $2,400, which will build three wells. There is also what is known as a “tipping point,” which is set at $800. What this means is that at least $800 must be raised in order for thisvillage to receive and use any of the donations. If $799 is raised by the end of the campaign, we receive nothing. $800 will allow us to build one well, but we’re aiming higher. So let’s build three. Anything raised above $2,400 will be put towards other important projects in Bandanpally, such as building toilets or doing literacy training.

Rewards:

As with all campaigns hosted with StartSomeGood, rewards are offered for incremental donations. Here is a breakdown of what you will receive when donating to this important campaign:

  • $5 – Regular updates on the wells in addition to personal stories from the village.
  • $25 – A thisvillage button. Plus all previous rewards.
  • $50 – A personal thank-you card from thisvillage. Plus all previous rewards.
  • $100 – 8×10 photo from Bandanpally. Plus all previous rewards.
  • $250 – A bottle of thisvillage‘s very own wine (Chilean Pinot Noir). Plus all previous rewards.
  • $500 – Video thank-you from Bandanpallly. Plus all previous rewards.
  • $1,000 – Your name engraved on a well, with a picture. Plus all previous rewards.
  • $10,000 (because why not think big) – You get to come to the village of Bandanpally. You will receive airfare, housing, food, and transportation for one person. Plus all previous rewards.

The End:

To give to the campaign and to find out more information, please visit startsomegood.com/wells. We also made a video about it.

— Graeme Esau

International Day of Persons with Disabilities

PicMonkey Collage.jpg

Today, December 3, marks the 20th International Day of Persons with Disabilities. This is an area close to my heart, and one that thisvillage considers extremely important.

My Dad worked most of his life with persons with disabilities, eventually managing a region for Assisted Income for the Severely Handicapped – a government program in Alberta that provides much-needed assistance for individuals. My Mom grew up with a brother that had developmental disabilities, and this uncle lived in our home for a number of years. It was his death in late 2008 that made me want to work with this disadvantaged group.

I found work in Alberta at some great organizations, including Employment Placement and Support Services. I was at EPSS for 13 months where I worked as a Community Inclusion Specialist. It was a pretty remarkable job. I got to work with persons with disabilities, with my objective being to help them meet their volunteer and recreational goals, increase their independence and help them integrate into the community. My days were spent swimming, working out at the gym, coaching on the use of public transit, volunteering at animal shelters, etc. I saw great changes in people’s lives and felt as though I had made a measurable difference.

Fast forward a few years and I find myself still working part-time with persons with disabilities with an organization in Ottawa. I know that this group of people have major barriers in Canada, so I am happy to do what I can. But I also know that the situation is far worse in many developing countries. There is simply a lack of resources to help persons with disabilities in countries such as India. Families do what they can to help individuals, but they can only do so much. More often than not, education is not specialized for those that need it; facilities lack wheelchair ramps; employers discriminate against persons with disabilities; and, some people are simply unable to work like everyone else.

While visiting India, we had the pleasure of meeting a few individuals that had a disability of some variety.  We saw firsthand the struggle they went through each and every day just to survive. thisvillage is committed to helping persons with disabilities in rural India. I believe that my experience in working with this demographic has given me the know-how to address many of the problems facing these individuals, but it has also given me the heart and determination to actually get it done. Living with a disability is full of obstacles and barriers, but thisvillage commits to providing people with the means and ability to succeed in life.

— Graeme Esau