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Christmas Good Causes: for your consideration

December 22nd, 2010

Dr Petra

It’s nearly Christmas and you may have already got gifts for friends and family. But if you’re still wondering what last minute goodies to buy, or can stretch to one more present, then here’s a few suggestions for charities and organisations who could do with your support.

These are all programmes I feel are often not given much publicity and may not fit in the usual ‘good gift’ type Christmas promotions, but nevertheless do amazing work all year round and deserve our support.

I’ve picked 6 charities/groups who represent various different activities around sex, relationships and health. Some are faith based, some secular. Some are specifically focused to one region or country, others are international. 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.

As well as financial support there are also other ways to help these organisations so do read up on any that interest you and see if you can help them as a volunteer in the new year.

Hesperian Foundation

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.

A short film about the hospital can be found here:

Donation information can be found here
Become a friend of Zithulele here


Scarleteen is an independent, grassroots sexuality education and support organization and website. Founded in 1998, 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.

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.

When young people have opportunities to explore the decisions that can lead to and result from pregnancy they are better able to:
Protect themselves from sexually transmitted infections and unintended pregnancy
Make informed choices
Access appropriate services to support their choices.
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 pharmaceutical industry wants people to think that sexual problems are simple medical matters, and it offers drugs as expensive magic fixes. But sexual problems are complicated, sexuality is diverse, and no drug is without side effects.

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.

The New View Campaign is devoted to education, activism, and empowerment. We invite you to benefit from the information on this website, and we invite your support and participation.

More information on donating and volunteering for the New View, as well as implementing its ideas into policy and practice can be found here

I hope you are able to support one or more of these charities/organisations financially or in some other way.

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.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and all the best for a happy and healthy New Year.

To get people in the Christmas spirit – and the mood for giving, I’ll be sharing carols, seasonal songs and a few sketches on twitter between 1-4pm on 22nd December (GMT) on the hashtag #PsXmasCharityConcert.

If you missed it, here’s the concert in full – please consider giving to one or more of the charities/organisations listed above while you tune in!

We opened with Mariah Carey’s All I Want For Christmas Is You

Followed by Meryn Cadell’s The Cat Carol which you can listen to here. [Not really suitable for young children, anyone who feels a bit hormonal, or people who like cats]

Then it was time for a bit of reading, with the fabulous Joyce Grenfell’s Nursery School Nativity Play And George, Wise Men never do that…

I bet you’ve never heard a better (or madder) version of The Little Drummer Boy than this one by The Klezmonauts.

It’s a Christmas tradition in our house that my dad reads King John’s Christmas as part of our family concert (he does it beautifully). So it felt apt to include it in my virtual Christmas Concert.

Next it was time for some Christmas kitsch – and it doesn’t get much kitscher than Eddie Dunstedter and his organ. I feel like I need a pair of heels, a cocktail and a Christmas pinny to really get into this one…

And if that wasn’t camp enough, it was time for some innuendo with Larry Grayson asking ‘Who’s stuffing your turkey this Christmas?’ (Go on, you can tell me!)

Do you believe in reindeer and the magic of Christmas? Of course you do! It’s only those pesky physicists who try and spoil things with all their logical explanations. Bah humbug!

Another song due after that, and it was over to Si Cranstoun and a very jolly Miss Santa Claus (he’s part of the Dualers – who are fab!)

What could be more seasonal than a song about an Angel Gabriel by LAMB?
I can fly
But I want his wings
I can shine even in the darkness
But I crave the light that he brings

Hoping you have someone in your life who make you feel this way.

On a lighter note I asked if people were familiar with the term Camp As Christmas? You will be after watching Bearforce 1 and ‘Christmas is here’ (which frankly ought to be the Christmas number one IMHO)

Next it was time for an activity for all the family – and kids of all ages. The Santa Application form (which I use in teaching questionnaire design – only at Christmas obviously). Still time to get your application written!

Obviously it wouldn’t be Christmas without a bit of Judy Garland, and the tearjerker anthem Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Last up in the virtual concert was my favourite carol In The Bleak Mid Winter which has the most beautiful words written by Christina Rossetti. I have a bad habit of ruining carol services by blubbing my way through the final verse of this.

Thanks for joining in my charity concert – either here or on twitter, and remember this was all for the good causes listed above, so please give them your money or your time if you are able.

Merry Christmas!

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