Jodie O'Shea Orphanage Fish Community Solutions

Thank you Thursday: Hearts and Smiles from Bali

This month’s #ThankyouThursday is one from The Fish Chick archives. In 2014, Bianca experienced a life-changing stay at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage:

Arriving at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage last month wasn’t the easiest of tasks, even my driver got a bit lost. It’s in south Denpasar, Bali, and not at all in a tourist area, so I knew I was in for an eye-opening experience.

Jodie O'Shea Orphanage Fish Community Solutions

The Jodie O’Shea Orphanage was established in August 2005 in loving memory of a young Australian woman who was a victim of the 2002 Bali bombing. It reminds us all that even out of the most tragic events, truly wonderful acts of kindness and humanity can blossom and bring light to the lives of many.

I was here for almost a week, and most of that time sharing a room with two other volunteers, and I’m happy to say, I was in the top bunk! (A place I haven’t spent much time for many years!) My first morning I was awake about 7am, and I could already hear the kids running around outside. It was a Saturday, but they were already up and about, getting breakfast and ready for school. Some had already left to get to school for a 7am start! The 70 children here range from two years old to about nineteen, and go to nine different schools in the region, attending school six days a week.

Jodie O'Shea Orphanage Fish Community Solutions

There are some really fantastic volunteers spending their time here, including one very lovely young woman I met, Lauren, who is from London. Every afternoon from about 2-5pm they have activity time, organised by the volunteers. Some days we did arts and craft activities, including making masks, and other times we played games and even did some musical activities. Each day, the children have an hour of reading time, spent enjoying both Indonesian and English stories and, on a rotational basis, with an English tutor also.

The kids here are beautiful. Well looked after, they are given three nutritious meals a day, plus vitamins, and an environment that really is just like a big family. (Or an enormous family – with 70 other siblings hahaha.) Even the older kids that have left in recent years and started working come back to visit on the weekends, often staying over on the Saturday night. Like all siblings there is occasional bickering and tears, and often it’s the teens that are stepping in to sort out the younger ones.

Jodie O'Shea Orphanage Fish Community Solutions

I’ll be honest, my time at Jodie O’Shea’s was somewhat challenging, but an experience that while short, will stay with me forever. It opened my eyes a little more and confirmed that while there is hardship there is still much kindness in our world.

So this Thank You Thursday, I’d like to give a big shout out to everyone at the Jodie O’Shea Orphanage. Thank you for welcoming me during my stay. Thank you for the love and support you provide to such beautiful children. And thanks, most of all, to the kids who showed me that with big hearts resilience can always have a big smile.

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.

Bianca Crocker Collins and Co Conference for Not For Profits

The Fish Chick at the Collins & Co NFP conference

The Fish Chick was chuffed to present not once, but twice, at The 2018 Collins & Co Not-for-profit Conference in March.

Bianca’s two presentations, The Power of People and Key Tools for Small Charity Success, were well received and some attendees provided some really lovely feedback.

And now you can see those presentations below, along with the other presenters at the conference here.

‘The Power of People’

 

‘Key Tools for Small Charity Success’

Thank You Thursday: 72,000 Books and Counting

The passion and gusto of young people can be astounding, but Canadian sisters, Emma and Julia Mogus, have so much enthusiasm for making a difference that it is nothing short of inspirational. The teenage girls founded an organisation called Books with no Bounds, in 2011 and have been helping Aboriginal Canadians ever since.

Fish Community Solutions Thank you Thursday

Later this month, on April 23rd, it is World Book Day so we thought it would be a great time to share this story about their passion for helping Canadian children living in remote reserves who are in need of reading material and education resources. An initiative organised by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO), to promote reading, and publishing, World Book Day is in its 20th year.  One of the reasons UNESCO decided upon this date for the annual event was because it was the date that William Shakespeare died in 1616.

Books With No Bounds believes that every child deserves the opportunity to read and should have access to an enormous supply of books. By providing reading material and other learning tools, the organisation refreshes the shelves of Aboriginal school libraries, community groups and organisations, ensuring children and teens have access to good books, regardless of where they live.

Now in its fourth year, the organisation has distributed 72,000 books to communities in Ontario, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, British Columbia, Quebec, Nova Scotia and even as far away as the Philippines, India, Ghana and Uganda, Africa.

Books are donated by publishers, authors, schools, individuals and other organisations. They’ve been getting some great publicity for their tiresome work including this feature on CBC News:

This Thank You Thursday, we give a big shout out to Emma and Julia and their incredible work with their charity Books with no Bounds. Keep up the fabulous work!

See you in the pond,

The Fish Chick.