Fight poverty. Have a drink.
Looking for a great excuse to go for a beer tonight, how about tackling global poverty?
The team of fifteen, all between the ages of 21 and 27, form part of a growing trend among Gen Y’ers looking for innovative ways to help people and developing countries in need.
“iDrink is basically a tribute to the notion that we can often solve the worst of the world’s problems when we’re surrounded by like-minded friends and a few drinks,” said Clary Castrission who co-founded 40KHome Foundation in 2004 while at university.
“One of my law professors told me the only way to make a difference in the developing world was to get your hands dirty and that really stuck with me,” he said.
Castrission says the main difference between 40KHome Foundation and other not for profits is their focus on projects that meet the immediate needs of impoverished communities.
“At the moment, our focus is India. They are attracting all this attention from the West as it grows as a superpower, but their poverty is getting worse. There are approximately 400 million people living in poverty there, “he said.
Castrission says the group of 14 volunteers, 5 board members and four corporate sponsors that include Freehills Law firm are also committed to being dynamic and honest.
“Sometimes even saying global poverty can be a turn off for people. We try to be encouraging and focus on interactivity, adventure and science,” he said.
40K Home’s most current project is the construction of a community centre in Bangalore that has been designed to kick-start the education of largely illiterate young children living there.
Castrission admits that he is often grilled as to why the focus remains on India and not poverty in Australia.
“My answer to that is that there is no reason that we can’t be doing both. The Australian dollar can stretch a lot further in India. So, we really feel that the money we raise can make more of a dent in the issue of poverty,” he said.
The project in Bangalore started following a 40KHome Foundation visit to the community.
“In Bangalore there are serious issues with bonded labour, child labour and absolute poverty. We wanted to build the community centre for the children we saw who spend most of their days sitting idle while their parents worked in a nearby quarry,” he said.
The project is estimated to cost the approximately $350, 000 and proceeds from tonight’s fundraiser will be put towards the total bill.
“We work with local people and local tradesmen to get as much insight into the community and India as we can,” said Catrisson.
“I’ve been there 8 times and I’d never be able to understand all the intricacies of the country,” he said.
Volunteers are always welcome and there is plenty of opportunity for people who’d like to travel to India and see the communities and issues first hand.
“We take around fifteen people each year to visit our projects in India. We really want to reduce the proximity of our two countries,” Castrission said.
Are you involved in any voluntary or philanthropic causes that you think deserve a mention? Post a comment and share it with us.
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