Mar(k): Travel, Hiking, and "Doing Good"

musings on our life of travel and volunteering

Our collective voice CAN make a difference!

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One of the things that we do now, as part of our “professional volunteer” lives, is to be active in supporting causes that matter to us!  This is something that is made easier in this global world, with email, blogs, facebook, twitter and other online social media to help us get messages out there to help others less fortunate than ourselves, or (in the case of animal welfare), to give a voice to those who cannot represent themselves. 

A few cases in point come to mind recently, where the seemingly small actions by a few (or a few hundred thousand, as we saw recently), can and does make a difference in shaping government action and the political will is bent in the activists direction!  yay!  

A great case in point was some fabulous investigative journalism done by someone at Animals Australia into the horrific treatment of animals that are shipped to Indonesia.  A television documentary (with shocking, very graphic video showing the unbelievable treatment of the animals) really resonated with people.  They WANTED to do something, and what was a small,  modest campaign quickly became the voice of hundreds of thousands of Australians who demanded the government end live export to Indonesia. 

The government listened!  Very quickly, the Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator the Hon. Joe Ludwig, announced the suspension of the export of livestock to Indonesia.

As the government advises, “This suspension will be in place until the Government and industry establish sufficient safeguards which provide a verifiable and transparent supply chain assurance up to and including the point of slaughter for every consignment that leaves Australia. The trade to Indonesia will only recommence when the Government is certain that industry is able to comply with that supply chain assurance.”   Well done, everyone!  Our collective voices can and DO make a difference!

Another case in point was an online “petition” which we signed, which advocated for the provision of vaccines for children in developing countries.  Something that can mean the difference between life and death for over 4 million children!  We were 2 of over 300,000 people worldwide who campaigned.  The result?  World leaders and private institutions promised a remarkable $4.3 billion to fund vaccines over the next 5 years – well over the target of $3.7 billion! 

Here in Australia, our voice was heard by our government, where our country’s pledge was increased from $60 million to $200 million.  And not bad, when Bill Gates decided to contribute a cool $1 billion to the cause, as well!   And his decision was partly influenced by the strong support gathered online from this petition!

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step!  Get out there and campaign for what you believe in!  it really can make a difference!

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Written by Mar(k)

June 20, 2011 at 7:02 pm

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