December 23rd, 2011
It’s the holiday season and my best wishes are with you whether you are celebrating Christmas, Hanukkah or Yule.
If you are still looking for presents for loved ones, or perhaps are just feeling full of seasonal spirit, I’ve a few suggestions for folk who’d appreciate your support.
I have selected 8 charities/organsations in the areas of sex, relationships and reproductive health. Some are faith based, some secular. You may want to support the one you feel most impressed by – or perhaps give a small amount to several of these very good causes.
And to celebrate the holiday season I hosted a virtual Charity Christmas Concert over on twitter. You can catch up with all the seasonal goodies I shared there at the end of this post – there’s music, comedy, quirky things and the occasional NSFW treat.
Hesperian is a non-profit publisher of books and newsletters for community-based health care. It produces free resources in various different languages on topics such as Where There Is No Doctor, Disabled Village Children and Helping Health Workers Learn. Here are ways you can get involved, which don’t just involve financial donations – you can also volunteer, translate and review books, and let other people know about the work Hesperian are doing.
Jabulani Rural Health Foundation
Jabulani is a non-profit organisation that supports Zithulele Hospital and its surrounding community. Zithulele Village is situated in a remote part of the Wild Coast (Eastern Cape Province, SA). Founded in 2007 by four Christian doctors, our focus is on healthcare, education, poverty relief, environmental issues and care for those affected by HIV/AIDS. Practitioners at Zithulele have introduced a number of innovative programmes for rural health which have been reported in The Lancet and SAMJ and include nutrition, maternal health, occupational therapy and education projects. Donation information can be found here
Become a friend of Zithulele here
A short film about the hospital can be found here:
Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, Scarleteen.com is visited by around three-quarters of a million diverse people each month worldwide, most between the ages of 15 and 25. It is the highest-ranked website for sex education and sexuality advice online and has held that rank through most of its tenure. While Scarleteen is held as a benchmark in quality youth advice giving Founder and Executive Director Heather Corinna explains “we do not and have never had any state, federal or foundational funding, but are supported solely by individual donations. We do what we do with insanely small amounts of money: most years our budget has been smaller than the median household income for one family here in the states. For the majority of the years we’ve been around, our budget has been far lower than that”. More info here . Donate here
Outsiders is a community for people with physical and social disabilities that enables people to meet, make friends, overcome isolation and form relationships. It coordinates local meet ups, provides advice and hosts numerous events to raise funds for greater advocacy for people with disabilities. It also operates a peer support network, lobbies for greater rights for disabled people, and informs health and social care practice around sex, relationships and disability. As well as providing financial assistance there are other ways you can help Outsiders including lobbying on issues around disability rights, and assisting the organisation with research, advocacy and resources. More information on how to give here.
Education for Choice
Education For Choice is the only UK-based educational charity dedicated to enabling young people to make informed choices about pregnancy and abortion. “Education For Choice’s work is focused on the word choice. Whilst we concentrate on the issue of abortion, as it is the issue that receives least attention, we believe that work with young people should value all pregnancy choices equally. Our ethos is that the best outcomes of unintended pregnancy occur when the woman involved has been able to make her own informed choice”. Donate here
The New View Campaign
“The New View Campaign was formed in 2000 as a grassroots network to challenge the distorted and oversimplified messages about sexuality that the pharmaceutical industry relies on to sell its new drugs. The goal of the New View Campaign is to expose biased research and promotional methods that serve corporate profit rather than people’s pleasure and satisfaction. The Campaign challenges all views that reduce sexual experience to genital biology and thereby ignore the many dimensions of real life”. More information on donating and volunteering for the New View, as well as implementing its ideas into policy and practice can be found here
“One in every nine babies in the UK is born premature or sick. That is over 80,000 babies every year. Bliss is the only national charity dedicated to improving both the survival and long-term quality of life for babies born too soon, too small or too sick to cope on their own”. You can give to this invaluable organisation here.
The Miscarriage Association
“Founded in 1982 by a group of people who had experienced miscarriage. They felt strongly that someone needed to provide the support and information which they had found lacking in their medical care, and so they set up a new charity. Nearly thirty years later, the Miscarriage Association has grown and developed in many ways, but we still pursue those founding aims:
• offering support and information to anyone affected by the loss of a baby in pregnancy
• raising awareness of miscarriage and
• promoting good practice in medical care”.
This organisation offers advice and information to women affected by miscarriage and their partners. Giving to this organisation helps offer care and challenge taboos around this area. You can donate here.
I hope you are able to support one or more of these charities/organisations either financially or as a volunteer.
Thanks for your continued support for this blog. Your feedback, suggestions and ideas for content (and how to improve the blog) is always very welcome.
The Charity Christmas Concert
Kicked off with Kate Rusby’s carol ‘Sweet Bells’ (as recommended by @BrightNomad)
At Christmas we love some snow. And also naked men. And tea trays
One for children of all ages – Rudolf the Red Nosed Reindeer
Next up in the concert it was time for Dickie Valentine and his Christmas Alphabet
This is one to save for later, when you have a spare two hours and a stiff drink. Yes it really is THAT BAD – it’s the Star Wars Holiday SpecialThen it was on to a song. A very bouncy version of Joy to the World – from the amazing Klezmonauts.
You probably have a collection of embarrassing family photos. But probably none as bad as this collection. It’s Awkward Family Photos – Christmas Special (watch out for The Full Monty).
The Shepherd Who Stayed – Theodosia Garrison for all of us who sometimes feel our work’s not noticed.
Christmas meets safer sex messaging in this super HOT video – Little Taiko Boy. Turn this up LOUD!
The best ever Nativity, as told by the kids from St Pauls Church, Auckland (and shared with me by my Uncle)
One for the geeks now, Dot Matrix Printers play Czech Carol Nesem Vam Noviny
It’s a Father Ted Christmas – and what could be behind the Advent Calendar door?
Some more music with Vince Guaraldi Trio playing Christmas Time is Here (from A Charlie Brown Christmas).
And a reminder that we live in a Wonderful World
All finished off with my favourite carol. In The Bleak Midwinter (words here).
Wishing you a very Merry Christmas a Happy Hanukkah or a Blessed Solstice. And all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.