A word from the new General Manager
- Adam Whitefield, General Manager of WYI
It is hard to believe I have been in the role of GM for almost 3 months already. I am so blessed and humbled to have walked into a team of dedicated, passionate and committed staff. Terry, Alice, Francesca, Kate, Sarah and Tim have all made my transition into this role so much easier. There is a great energy and optimism around the place at the moment, and I am confident we have the team to take WYI to the next level.
As for some of the other exciting things happening around the place, here's a bit of a snapshot:
- A newly formed WYI Advisory Council (AC). Consisting of 5 key experts in their respective fields - Matt Opie, Linda Jones, Katheryn Curnow, Andrew Boeyen and Stuart Thomson - the AC has been set up to provide independent advice and counsel to myself and the WYI Board. Already they have been worth their weight in gold.
- WYI has engaged a Marketing and Fundraising consultant, the AMAZING Linda Jones, who is currently helping us put together our integrated 'Sustainability for Success' plan. We are also extremely fortunate to have Simone Linehan come on board as well. Simone, a professional graphic designer, will be assisting us develop a range of new promotional and marketing material. Welcome aboard Linda and Simone!
- We've been making some great connections with Adelaide universities and have recently secured the services of three sensational interns. Congratulations to Nick and Adriana (Marketing) and Maddy (Development), and welcome to the WYI team!
- We have just completed our inaugural Safari of the Soul program in Kenya, for 7 women in their 40-60s. The program was led by the unbelievable Inta Sellick who is to be commended for her commitment and belief in getting this program off the ground.
- Step Out Australia's Tip for a Cause Campaign has been our biggest and best yet, with a total of 16 cafes and pubs around the country getting on board in August 2012 and raising thousands. Huge acknowledgements to all the State teams!
- Our brand new Nurses in Action Program, masterfully managed by Kate Breuer, is our fastest filling program ever, with close to three full programs signed up for 2013 already!
- Team WYI in this year's City to Bay raised over $3800 for our 'Walk2Water' campaign. What an awesome effort from all involved.
- The Odede Hospital registration process is coming along well, with Belinda Acott's Overseas Action group having just completed a laundry for the hospital complex. A 40ft shipping container full of medical equipment and consumables has just arrived in Odede, and I want to acknowledge all those volunteers who helped me clean and pack the container. It was a HUGE effort from all involved and I couldn't have done it without you!
- Long time WYI supporter Celia Boyd is madly preparing for her upcoming placement in Odede, Kenya. Celia will be working specifically with the new Odede Hospital Board in a project management capacity which we are all super excited about.
- We've also been attending University work experience fairs; developing corporate partnership proposals; facilitating staff visioning days; undertaking a strategic review; exploring partnership options with a range of local and international NGOs; working on a brand new 2012/13 WYI gift catalogue - wow, the list just goes on, and on.
As you can see, we have so many exciting things happening at the moment, but we need all the help we can get! So if you're sitting there reading this and thinking: "Wow, how could I possibly get involved?" please feel free to give us a call! We'd love to have you on board.
It really is an amazing time to be involved with WYI, and I am very much looking forward to the year ahead
Inaugural Safari of the Soul a success!
- Inta Sellick, Safari of the Soul Team Leader
Inta reflects on the arrival of the Safari of the Soul women in Odede.
It's Saturday afternoon and our best laid plans for the first women's group meeting have been washed out by the torrential rain all afternoon. In the meantime planning for our dinner has become the next best thing to do. So the live chicken arrived with a buzz amongst the women as to how they are going kill it. We couldn't even find it - then Evelyn pulled it out, unceremoniously, by its legs and wings flapping - and I left them deliberating whether chicken really needs to be on our menu or not. Roars of laughter and gasps of horror echoed in the dinning room.
Kisumu delighted and surprised us with complexity, and yet there is a small town feel. It provided us with many first experiences; tuk tuks, ATMs that don't work, and yet the most friendly people you could imagine.
Whilst our arrival was quite uneventful, we left with all the hilarity of something out of a movie - piled up with a weeks worth of shopping, far too much luggage and squashed passengers for any one matutu! Our luggage was roped onto the roof and we squeezed in to the matatu which seemed to be hanging together by its rust only. We headed off at long last to Odede amongst the cheers and waves of everyone we passed.
Click here to read more about the adventures of our SOS women.
An update from Yala
- Rachel Martin, OSP Kenya Participant
When I started out from Australia in May, everyone told me five months would go fast - I still can't believe how right they were. With only a couple of weeks left in Kenya, it's about the right time to be reflecting on everything I've learnt, the things I've seen and done, and how amazing it has all been. I can say without any hesitation that my OSP has been the best thing I've ever done, both for the communities I've worked with, and (perhaps more importantly) myself.
There is so much work to be done in Kenya, and I doubt I've even scratched the surface. But I tried, and for me, that's the most important thing. I will go home having learnt so many things about a wonderful culture and amazing people, never to take anything for granted, and how important it is to pass on what I've learnt to my friends at home. The world needs to hear the stories coming out of Kenya.
Click here to read more.
An update from the Overseas Action Program Coordinator
- Alice Johnson, Overseas Action Program Coordinator
Our June Overseas Action Programs to Peru and Kenya have just come to an end!
Belinda Acott, Phoebe Ely and their team in Kenya took part in two projects over the June to August period. The first half of their program was based in Alego, approximately 100km northwest of Kisumu in Western Kenya, where they constructed a classroom for Sirinde Mixed Secondary School. The second half of the program was based in the lakeside village of Odede, where the group erected a laundry building for the new community hospital there.
In Peru, Tina Nikolova and Alex Kary led the OA team in constructing a large community centre for the small mountain community of Picol. This was a huge undertaking which required the group to be based within the one village for the full ten week period. The group also built nine guinea pig farms for disadvantaged families in the local community.
Our hearty congratulations go out to all of our participants and Team Leaders for their magnificent achievements in Peru and Kenya. We are very proud of their hard work, dedication and passion for helping others.
To read more and to meet the newest OAP Team Leaders, click here.
News from Step Out Australia!
Step Out Australia's first ever national campaign Tip for a Cause was a huge success throughout the month of August as 17 cafes, bars and restaurants around the country signed up to donate their entire months tips to Step Out!
The campaign which was founded in 2011 by Step Out Queensland coordinator Nick Rodda, went national this year and Step Out teams in WA, SA, ACT, and VIC worked hard approaching business owners and explaining the purpose of the campaign; to raise funds for community development projects and to spread the work of World Youth International and Step Out Australia. Each café was given a choice of a specific project in different countries overseas to donate their tips to.
In other Step out news, current National Coordinator Kyla Raby is finishing up her 12 month contract in the position and therefore Step Out Australia is seeking a new NATIONAL COORDINATOR!! We would like to acknowledge Kyla for her tireless contribution to Step Out this past 12 months, and she walks away knowing that Step Out is positioned better than ever to take itself to the next level. A new National Coordinator will definitely help that become a reality. Kyla has these brief words to share:
"I would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has supported Step Out Australia since its inception. To the incredible, inspiring leaders who are creating amazing things in each of their states, to anyone and everyone who has ever attended a Step Out meeting or event... THANK YOU. I have absolutely loved my time over the last 12 months at the national coordinator and having the opportunity to work with so many amazing people has been a highlight." - Kyla Raby
Click here for more information on the position of National Coordinator, and to read more about Tip for a Cause and other Step Out news, click here.
Fair Trade in Odede
- Kate Houghton, Mammas Craft Group in Odede
In 2011 I spent six months in Odede, Kenya and one of the things that I identified was the lack of potential for the women to earn an income. When I arrived in the village I brought 53 knitted teddy bears with me. I didn't know what I would do with them, but I did need someone to sew them up and fill them with stuffing. They became the catalyst for the beginning of a craft group.
Soon there was a group of women who would turn up twice a week to create a variety of goods that were used to test the market. We settled on a small range of products as resources were limited and it quicky became apparent that they were very eager and were prepared to work very hard to earn an income especially so they could educate their children.
To read more about the Mammas Craft group projects, click here.
Spread the Word... WYI's new STA Travel Deal!
- Adam Whitefield, General Manager of WYI
It is with great pleasure that I'd like to announce an exciting new promotional campaign we've got going here at WYI.
In partnership with our good friends at STA Travel, WYI will be providing a $100 incentive for people who refer their friends and family to WYI programs!
Read more here...
WYI Board and Advisory Council Report
- Matt Opie, Chairman of the WYI Advisory Council
In recent months, there have been some changes at Board level (with Mark Veitch taking on the role of Chairman) and at management level, with Adam now in the General Manager's chair.
To support Mark, Adam, other Board Members, and WYI in general, the WYI Advisory Council (AC) has been formed. The aim of the AC is to provide independent advice on management issues and offer a 'sounding board' for those who may need it. A sort of informal, free consultancy service!
To read more about the Advisory Council, who is on it and what it does - click here.
WYI Partner with MAD
- Michael Foldi, MAD Director
Over the last 12 months WYI has been lucky enough to benefit from Make A Difference Office Supplies in Melbourne (MAD). Not only did MAD make a large donation to the community in Odede they have also organised a fundraiser and supplied a large amount of items that were packed in the container filled with medical supplies being sent over to the cooperative.
The MAD team are very passionate about doing everything they can to help others in need. They do this by donating back around 2.5% of their sales. What is really exciting is that the customers of MAD earn "MAD Giving Points" and they decide which cause they want to support. The customers really feel the "gift of giving"! It is their decision to use MAD that makes the giving possible.
The MD of MAD, Michael Foldi, says "Office supplies really are terribly boring! However saving lives and creating opportunities for people in need around the world is worth jumping out of bed and shouting from the rooftops everyday."
If you can influence a business to buy their office supplies or photocopier from MAD then please contact them directly on 1300 78 3316 or go to the MAD website. Every new account generates $500 in product donation directly to WYI!