Contribute to charitable organisations
Contributions from business to charitable organisations doing good work are one additional way business can make a difference. This approach links businesses to the broader interests of the wider community. At Money Matters our charity of choice is Oxfam, an organisation we are particularly close to through Rodger having served as a Director of Oxfam (NZ).
Money Matters and Oxfam
Most recently we contributed to an Oxfam campaign related to helping young people in Vanuatu. In this campaign the New Zealand Government matched every $1 with an additional $4. Most young people in Vanuatu can’t get anything more than the most basic education. Without it their futures are bleak. A lack of schools, training and education keeps entire communities trapped in poverty. Through this campaign Oxfam is helping rebuild desperately needed Rural Training Centres (RTCs).
Each year these RTCs give up to 500 students across Vanuatu the opportunity to learn practical skills that will help them get jobs and a decent future. An example is 25-year old Charlie Misa, who lives in the village of Lenakel on Tanna Island. A graduate of the Lorakau training centre, today he’s a busy mechanic with a growing reputation for working wonders in old trucks worn out by Vanuatu’s punishing roads. Another example is Julienne, who, after attending the Lorakau training centre, now works fulltime at Tanna hospital and provides comfortably for her two children.
Oxfam New Zealand and the Vanuatu Rural Development and Training Centre Association (VRDTCA) have constructed cyclone-proof Rural Training Centres in six communities. Of these, four have water and sanitation facilities and the remaining two are under construction. These new water and sanitation facilities have greatly improved the training centres, making them more appealing to teachers and attracting more students.
Making a difference in the community
Willy Naieu, manager of the Rural Training Centre in Lorakau Village, says that Oxfam’s support has made a significant difference to the community. “Before, the community had to go down to the creek to fetch their water, but sometimes the creek would be dry. Now, with our new water tank, when it rains the tank remains full and the community and students just come to get it.” Willy also explains that cyclone-proofing the facilities has made a significant difference: “Before, the centre was made of local materials and the school was not safe, especially the books, and the community had nothing to shelter in. But now the community is very happy because in the future when they have to face a cyclone all the school equipment and the students will have something to hide inside. In the old buildings, even when it rained all the books would get wet, as we didn’t have louvres, just open windows, and each time we would have to source new teaching materials. Now we have an office and storage room that’s safe and dry.”