Monday, October 8, 2012

Living Proof

So Jen and Michelle (@JHowze of BritMums and Jenography and @MichelleTwinMum of Mummy from the Heart and Honest Mummy Reviewsare in Ethiopia for a week to check out the work of ONE International in Africa. See my two previous posts: Where You Live Determines If You Live; and Lend Us Your Voice. They are seeing, experiencing, tweeting and blogging. There are photos up in a Pinterest file and meme doing the rounds. A whole team of us here on the ground are giving support by tweeting and retweeting, blogging and generally whipping up as much enthusiasm as we can. And of course we invite everyone to join in with any of the above. Here are some tweets from Michelle:

> On the most amazing trip ever, the people of  are so warm. Thank you 

> Yesterday I danced with loads of Ethiopian women and kids and boy did it rock!! #ONEMoms

 > Yes really here and being blown away, the people of  are wonderful 

At the Mary-Joy Organisation
 had the most amazing day yesterday at an outreach community centre in the city. Mary-Joy organisation   

And I have tweeted back to Michelle things like: Have a great day! Enjoy! #ONEMoms

What is going on here?

Millions of dollars in aid are given to Africa every year to try to alleviate the poverty, starvation, sickness and death caused by curable diseases, illiteracy, the spread of AIDS, drought and famine, etc...etc...etc...etc...etc...

And yet this trip feels like one big sightseeing holiday with partying and even a dose of, 'wish you were here' thrown in. What, in light of the above paragraph, in the world is going on here? Well, this is a celebration not a misery trip

What are we celebrating?

The millions of dollars given as part of aid programmes and intiatives are working. You can see it all here on the Living Proof website. Be warned, I popped in to have a quick look around and was caught up in all the personal stories and inspiring transformations over the years. They even address some of the FAQs that cross all our minds, lets be honest... 

Doesn't a lot of aid money get diverted by corrupt officials? It's part of ONE Interantional's brief to follow the money and make sure this does not happen.

Aren't we going to create an overpopulation disaster which will spill over into Europe? It's a proven fact that when life expectancy goes up the birthrate decreases dramatically. Birthrate also decreases with improved education. 

Doesn't monetary aid stop these people from helping themselves? It's not hand-outs that are effective but rather programmes that enable people to help themselves: education, small business intiatives, empowerment for women, engineering, technical, medical and agricultural know-how...

#ONEMoms taking notes
Where does ONE International fit in? 

The best description I've seen among the Ground Support Bloggers is this one from Kylie at Not Even A Bag Of Sugar:

"ONE is different. We are not asking for money. ONE is a grassroots campaigning organisation, that seeks to hold governments accountable for their decisions in regard to aid. ONE is all about voices, using our voice to effect change. By showing that aid is working then this should mean more adherence by governments to the commitments they make. It's easy in a conference to say "yes we will help", but organisations like ONE, to coin a very Australian turn of phrase, are there to "*keep the bastards honest." 

Have you signed up with to lend your voice? (Signing up widget on the right, just scroll down.)

Thank you for your support.


  1. I have been a OneMum for a couple of years as they really do seem to be different from some other Aid Agencies. Well done for writing so many supportive posts....I have one planned anyway!

    1. I'd never heard of it before this venture. It really has inspired me (especially as I'm not in a position to give lots of money). Looking forward to reading yours. xx

  2. Thank you for including my quote. I think we are so used to traditional charitable organsaions in the sector it takes a bit to get your head around One and what they stand for.

    1. I agree - but once you have got your head around it you wonder why you never thought of such a thing before. Thanks for your words. :)

  3. Oh it's lovely to see some the tweets I've missed all rounded up here. I've only just jumped on board but it's such an inspiring mission!

    1. It is, isn't it? And thank you for the word mission - I've been skirting around it all week and writing things like venture and the less-than-adequate trip.