Wednesday, 31 July 2013

Sevenly // End 7

Sevenly is one of my absolute favourite organisations! They have incredible artists and a visionary founder (not to mention the rest of the staff) who together, make it possible for them to support a new cause every week! 

This week, you can help see the end of 7 deadly diseases!

There are 7 diseases that disable and debilitate 1 in 6 people worldwide, including over half a billion children, and it is likely that you have never heard of them. These parasitic and bacterial diseases live and breed in bodies, causing severe weight loss and malnutrition, blindness, and even death. Sadly, these diseases are entirely treatable and preventable. Yet, each day lives are lost because there is no access to the solution: one packet of pills that costs approximately 50 cents and can treat one child for a year.

This week, your purchase provides a packet of pills that treats and protects 14 children from 7 horrible diseases for one year. With your support, we will not only save lives, but end these diseases indefinitely.

So go ahead, treat yourself to a gorgeous tshirt, sweatshirt, etc from the Sevenly Shop and protect 14 children for a whole year against these 7 diseases!


Ronell x

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Litter Cleanup {Mandela Day} 7 / 67 ways to change the world

As promised on Mandela Day 2013 (19.07.13), this is the my series on their 67 suggested ways of changing the world. This one also comes under the category of 'Think of others':

7. Organise a litter cleanup day in your area.

Many of us spend a lot of time complaining about how untidy or full of litter our towns, roads, parks or beaches are, but few of us actually DO something about it! Well here is your chance to make an active difference in your community!

When I went to visit my friend Dawn earlier this summer, I noticed a very good habit that she had: wherever we walked, she picked up litter and put it in the bin, or in her bag until she got to a bin. We went for a lovely walk along Woolacombe beach that evening and, without either of us saying anything, we both started collecting the litter that was washed up on the beach or floating in the surf where we were walking. Now, Dawn didn't have to ask me to pick up the litter, but because of her example all day, it just came naturally to me to pick up litter while we walked. It is something I now try to do as much as possible. 

Dawn's active example (not her complaining) inspired me to help her in what seems like a rather pointless pursuit. If you think about it, every time you inspire someone to pick up litter, they have the potential to inspire more people- in the end we could each be working towards making a HUGE impact in this area! 

So whether you start faithfully picking up litter, or whether you actually organise a litter clearup effort in your area, make a difference today by getting rid of ugly litter (not to mention how dangerous it is to wildlife!). 


Ronell x

The cost of litter to YOU and Britain infographic

Sunday, 28 July 2013

Would You Ask Her..?

Here is another post by Walk Free about how someone's life was saved through a practical, every day response! Please read below about yet another example of how you could save someone from modern day slavery in a practical way.


Ronell x

When your friend is crying, you comfort them. But would you do the same for a stranger? Recently, a woman saw a fellow church-goer in distress. When she got talking to her, she realised she was a victim of modern slavery - and didn't hesitate to help get her to a safe haven. Would you do the same?

SHARE to raise awareness that we can all play a part in helping to end modern slavery - one case at a time.


Photo: When your friend is crying, you comfort them. But would you do the same for a stranger? Recently, a woman saw a fellow church-goer in distress. When she got talking to her, she realised she was a victim of modern slavery - and didn't hesitate to help get her to a safe haven. Would you do the same?  

SHARE to raise awareness that we can all play a part in helping to end modern slavery - one case at a time.


Help the Elderly {Mandela Day} 6 / 67 ways to change the world

As promised on Mandela Day 2013 (19.07.13), this is the my series on their 67 suggested ways of changing the world. This one also comes under the category of 'Think of others':

6. Offer to take an elderly neighbour who can’t drive to do their shopping/ chores.

I am originally from South Africa, so all of my extended family, including my 3 remaining grandparents, are still over there and really don't get to see them very often at all. Every time I see an old person struggling to carry food shopping, hobbling down the street alone or trying to figure out something they have not encountered before, I think of my own grandparents and wonder whether someone would stop to help them if they were in the same situation. I think the sad truth is probably 'no'. 
I am completely guilty of this myself, but we are often so busy doing our own thing and rushing from one place to the next and not often (or ever) stopping to help someone with a practical day to day need. There is a simple solution (I am totally speaking to myself here)! Don't over crowd your schedule and rush so much that you are unaware of anyone around you and unable to stop to help even if you were! This is something I am certainly having to work on at the moment. 
So stop to help the elderly! After years of being 'useful', people often view them as a nuisance or 'pointless' and this is completely wrong! Even if you just stop to chat to them, it may be the only kindness they receive all day (or longer) and it may really make a difference to their day. 
So go on- show some compassion, love and respect and meet an elderly relative, neighbour, friend or stranger's need today!
Ronell x
{photo credit:}

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Read to Children {Mandela Day} 5 / 67 ways to change the world

This one also comes under the category of 'Think of others':
5. Find out from your local library if it has a story hour and offer to read during it.

The Government complains that national Literacy levels are dropping and yet they fail to encourage parents to build the fundamental foundation by reading to their children. I am a teacher and I currently teach 4-5 year olds and I can not overemphasise the clear difference between children who are read to regularly and children who are rarely (or never!!) read to. It is absolutely crazy to me that a parent would not read to their child, but the fact stands that many don't. Reading to a child is the starting point for their Literacy journey because they learn to enjoy stories and the value of reading. 
Give your time (and best dramatic voices!) and offer to read stories at your local library! Here is a blog that gives 10 top tips for reading to children: 
Ronell x
“Books are the quietest and most constant of friends; they are the most accessible and wisest of counselors, and the most patient of teachers.”
― Charles William Eliot

{photo credit:}

Friday, 26 July 2013

You Can Literally Save a Life On The Bus

You could literally save a life on the bus, or a train, plane, etc... you just have to be willing to be available and approachable rather than hiding away behind your book, your newspaper, your magazine, your music or your phone! I am SUCH a big culprit of this!!! I always avoid eye contact and just try to get on with my own thing, but God has really challenged me on this point and today I read an amazing post by Walk Free that just confirmed the value of being available and approachable on the bus (or wherever else)! Here is the post below:

While most people avoid eye contact on the bus, one woman's conversation with a fellow passenger led to the arrest of a Saudi Arabian princess now facing charges of human trafficking.

Believing she was a victim of modern slavery, "Jane Doe" hailed a bus when she fled the home where her employer held her passport to prevent her escape. An everyday hero - a fellow passenger - listened to Jane's story and helped her contact the police. 

Would you do be ready to help if a victim of modern slavery was right in front of you? 

SHARE to raise awareness that we can all play a part in helping to end modern slavery - one case at a time.


So make a difference! Be available; be approachable; don't avoid eye contact! You might be someone's only hope and the only one who could save them from a life of unimaginable anguish!


Ronell x

The A21 Campaign // Hombreros

Hombreros is more than a group of guys that are selling caps. They are a brotherhood that is dedicated to honor, respect, and justice.
This brotherhood began as a group of young men who recognized the injustice in the world and knew that they needed to do something about it.
Injustice in the world can be overwhelming, paralyzing, and discouraging. This did not stop them from doing something. 
As said by Andreas, Hombreros founder, “Even though we know that we can’t do everything, we can do something and every kind act we do will inspire others around us to do the same”.
They set out to design a baseball cap that would be appealing to men around the world who wanted to fight for justice as well. Hombreros is now selling these caps and contributing all profits to The A21 Campaign.
More than simply raising money, Hombreros is trying to create awareness among men about the reality of human trafficking all around the world. Their desire is to inspire other to start their own journey towards bringing freedom and justice.
Hombreros is not for any specific style or type of guy, but for all men who desire to make a difference. Men all around are fighting for freedom as they wear these hats with respect and honor. 
Want to buy a cap? Click here

Help at Animal Shelters {Mandela Day} 4 / 67 ways to change the world

This one also comes under the category of 'Think of others':

4. Help out at the local animal shelter. Dogs and cats without homes still need a walk and a bit of love! 

I have a cat and a dog and I love them to pieces! I cannot even begin to imagine them being out on the street, unfed, cold, alone and unloved! They have been spoiled in my house for 11 years (Mia, moggy cat) and almost 8 years (Lugie, sausage dog) and I struggle to imagine life without them (and sometimes to remember that they are not in fact people...). 
Think of all those cats and dogs who have been abandoned by their owners (often after many years) or abused and left to die who have now found themselves (thankfully!) rescued... but unfortunately it is still not like having a 'home'.

Help to make an animal shelter their home by caring for and loving on some abandoned and rescued cats and dogs today! Or, even better, adopt one (or more!) and give them an actual home!


Ronell x
{photo credit:}

{photo credit:}

Thursday, 25 July 2013

Fill Pot Holes {Mandela Day} 3 / 67 ways to change the world

This one also comes under the category of 'Think of others':

3. Volunteer to help fix the potholes in your street or neighbourhood.

It is amazing how much we all (myself included) complain about the number of potholes there are, but when we honestly consider how fortunate we are or how able we are to change this, we should rather stop complaining and start making a change! If you are not able/allowed to physically help to fix potholes, donate money to help it get done. You could even club together as a neighbourhood and raise money for particularly bad sections of road in your town. It doesn't (and shouldn't) stop there though! Remember countries and communities filled with less fortunate people, and maybe even fundraise or volunteer to help fix up their potholes instead. 


Ronell x

"If you travel around America you see different sections of highways donated by this or that person, and that's a slow beginning of what may end up being a situation common in the Third World: some sections of highways in wealthy areas are beautifully maintained and other parts are just dirt-strewn potholes." {Robert D. Kaplan 

{photo credit:}

Tuesday, 23 July 2013

Read to Someone {Mandela Day} 2 / 67 ways to change the world

This one comes under the category of 'Think of others':

2. Read to someone who can’t. Visit a local home for the blind and open up a new world for someone else.

We all take reading (what we consider a basic skill) for granted and don't realise that there are so many who never have the resources of opportunities to learn to read properly.
To read is to fly: it is to soar to a point of vantage which gives a view over wide terrains of history, human variety, ideas, shared experience and the fruits of many inquiries. 
 - A C Grayling, Financial Times (in a review of A History of Reading by Alberto Manguel)

Share your gift today!
Ronell x

Don't Drink and Drive! Inspiring / Touching Story

I read this on facebook today and was so touched that I had to share it!


Ronell x

I was walking around in a Big Bazaar store shopping, when I saw a Cashier talking to a boy couldn't have been more than 5 or 6 years old..

The Cashier said, 'I'm sorry, but you don't have enough money to buy this doll. Then the little boy turned to the cashier and asked: are you sure I don't have enough money?''

The cashier counted his cash once again and replied: ''You know that you don't have enough money to buy the doll, my dear.'' The little boy was still holding the doll in his hand.

Finally, I walked toward him and I asked him who he wished to give this doll to. 'It's the doll that my sister loved most and wanted so much . I wanted to Gift her for her BIRTHDAY.

I have to give the doll to my mommy so that she can give it to my sister when she goes there.' His eyes were so sad while saying this. 'My Sister has gone to be with God.. Daddy says that Mommy is going to see God very soon too, so I thought that she could take the doll with her to give it to my sister...''

My heart nearly stopped. The little boy looked up at me and said: 'I told daddy to tell mommy not to go yet. I need her to wait until I come back from the mall.' Then he showed me a very nice photo of him where he was laughing. He then told me 'I want mommy to take my picture with her so my sister won't forget me.' 'I love my mommy and I wish she doesn't have to leave me, but daddy says that she has to go to be with my little sister.' Then he looked again at the doll with sad eyes, very quietly..

I quickly reached for my wallet and said to the boy. 'Suppose we check again, just in case you do have enough money for the doll?''

'OK' he said, 'I hope I do have enough.' I added some of my money to his with out him seeing and we started to count it. There was enough for the doll and even some spare money.

The little boy said: 'Thank you God for giving me enough money!'

Then he looked at me and added, 'I asked last night before I went to sleep for God to make sure I had enough money to buy this doll, so that mommy could give It to my sister. He heard me!'' 'I also wanted to have enough money to buy a white rose for my mommy, but I didn't dare to ask God for too much. But He gave me enough to buy the doll and a white rose. My mommy loves white roses.'

I finished my shopping in a totally different state from when I started. I couldn't get the little boy out of my mind.

Then I remembered a local news paper article two days ago, which mentioned a drunk man in a truck, who hit a car occupied by a young woman and a little girl. The little girl died right away, and the mother was left in a critical state. The family had to decide whether to pull the plug on the life-sustaining machine, because the young woman would not be able to recover from the coma. Was this the family of the little boy?

Two days after this encounter with the little boy, I read in the news paper that the young woman had passed away.. I couldn't stop myself as I bought a bunch of white roses and I went to the funeral home where the body of the young woman was exposed for people to see and make last wishes before her burial.

She was there, in her coffin, holding a beautiful white rose in her hand with the photo of the little boy and the doll placed over her chest. I left the place, teary-eyed, feeling that my life had been changed for ever...

The love that the little boy had for his mother and his sister is still, to this day, hard to imagine. And in a fraction of a second, a drunk driver had taken all this away from him.


Monday, 22 July 2013

Make a new friend {Mandela Day} 1 / 67 ways to change the world

As promised on Mandela Day 2013 (19.07.13), this is the beginning of my series on their 67 suggested ways of changing the world.

It comes under the category of 'Think of others':

1. Make a new friend. Get to know someone from a different cultural background. Only through mutual understanding can we rid our communities of intolerance and xenophobia.

“All good people agree,
And all good people say,
All nice people, like Us, are We
And every one else is They:
But if you cross over the sea,
Instead of over the way,
You may end by (think of it!) looking on We
As only a sort of They!” 
'We' and 'they' are dangerous terms, but as Rudyard Kipling explains in his poem above, they are only as relevant as you make them. In a time where there is a lot of crime or violence targeted on people based solely on this idea of 'we' and 'they' (differences in religion, race, nationality, etc), be a voice and an example and engage with people who you may not naturally spend time with. The more people who behave in this loving (or at least non-judgemental) way, the bigger the difference we can make!
So embrace you innner Miss World contestant and do something active to help bring about 'world peace' :)
Ronell x

{photo credit: Getty images} 

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Corrie ten Boom // Saving Jewish Orphans

I read this passage by Corrie ten Boom, posted by The Corrie ten Boom Museum and had to share it!

"People ask me, 'How did you save 100 Jewish babies?' 

... in the Jewish orphanage in Amsterdam we heard 100 babies had to be killed just because they were Jewish. Sometimes, there came to us good Germans who were soldiers, who were in the army. And they said, ‘We don’t like any longer to work for Adolph Hitler. Will you help us?’

‘Sure, I will help you – just come in.’ I said. 

We took their uniforms and gave them civil clothes to change into. THIS is how my boys stole 100 babies. Hallelujah!”

-Corrie ten Boom, Her Testimony

Visit to hear more extraordinary stories. Witness the Corrie ten Boom Museum Virtual Tour, FREE, from the comfort of your own home. Pass the stories of these remarkable children of God on to the next generation.

I hope this inspires you to make any difference that you can!


Ronell x

Friday, 19 July 2013

Mandela Day: Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day

Today has been declared Mandela Day in honour of Nelson Mandela, former South African President, who has spent most of his life as an activist fighting for freedom.

You might ask, "What can I do onMandela Day?". Well, there are some good suggestions including: 67 ideas to change the world (I will cover these as a series next) and a host of informing and inspiring videos.

They say about Mandela Day: 

"The overarching objective of Mandela Day is to inspire individuals to take action to help change the world for the better, and in doing so build a global movement for good. Ultimately it seeks to empower communities everywhere. “Take Action; Inspire Change; Make Every Day a Mandela Day.”
Individuals and organisations are free to participate in Mandela Day as they wish. We do however urge everyone to adhere to the ethical framework of “service to one’s fellow human”."

Stand together and fight for freedom! Make every day a 'Mandela Day'!


Ronell x

The Guardian // Modern Day Slavery

Slavery is a $32bn industry so why aren't we following the money trail?

{from The Guardian Online}

Drug money
Human trafficking generates huge profits, but legislation falls short on confiscating the cash and prosecuting ringleaders
Money talks … cash confiscated from drug traffickers in Mexico City. Could money made from human trafficking also be recovered? Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
All too often slavery in some of its more contemporary manifestations – human trafficking, the exploitation of migrant workers, the buying and selling of women and girls into the sex trade – is considered a labour or human rights issue. Ultimately, though, modern-day slavery is at heart a booming economy – a thriving business in human life.
Unless this discrepancy is recognised and addressed in the same way as other global crimes, such as those involving drugs and arms, there is no hope of combating the issue.
Legislation is in place to try to curtail modern-day slavery, a multibillion-dollar industry that operates almost entirely by cash and is estimated by the International Labour Organisation (ILO) to earn profits of $32bn each year (pdf). However, while a number of conventions and laws have been passed internationally in the past 10 years to try to stop the business – such as the Council of Europe convention, 2005 (pdf) and the EU directive on trafficking, 2011 – there is no consistent will to implement these measures fully or support them with proper budgets.
Across the board, there has been a fundamental failure to address the reality of modern-day slavery – an estimated 21 million people are trapped in some form.
UN member states and the UN Office on Drugs and Crime do not effectively implement the UN convention against human trafficking, signed in Palermo in December 2000, which could be making a real difference in combating the issue.
The World Bank could be more insistent in its approach to money laundering across the globe. Although cross-border legislation exists, there seems to be no real push to find out where the cash is being banked and confiscate it.
Due to the scale of human trafficking, we know there are huge profits being made. At the same time, the ILO has estimated that global slavery is responsible for more than $21bn of unpaid wages each year. Yet no one is making consistent strides to confiscate the profits and prosecute the ringleaders profiteering from the sale of human beings. Without strong action, criminals will continue to pursue this crime because of the enormous proceeds.
Let's turn to the legislation supposedly in place to prevent trafficking and bring the perpetrators to justice.
The US state department's Trafficking in Persons report, the principal diplomatic tool to engage foreign governments on human trafficking, is based on the Palermo convention, still considered the backbone of global anti-slavery legislation. The convention does not, however, promote true cross-border action, and there is no mention of the recovery of cash from the profits of human trafficking.
The 2005 Council of Europe convention and the 2011 EU directive on trafficking are much stronger. Both have been consolidated and include cross-border prosecutions and recovery of money. Despite this, only limited work has been done to implement them, with the amount of money recovered very small.
Ultimately, no number of declarations will end the business of human trafficking. We need real investment from governments, and the involvement of people who are trained not only to spot human trafficking but also to follow the money.
At the root of all this inaction is a lack of political will to address global slavery. Many governments remain in denial that the problem even exists. Why? Put bluntly, it is because there is no public demand for money to be spent on the issue. Amid the global economic crisis, the 21 million people who remain trapped in slavery are being ignored.
It isn't only criminals who are profiteering from the trade in human labour. Modern-day slavery is an underground business, intrinsically linked to global supply chains. Individuals and companies are making a huge amount of money out of this business and can make it extremely hard for campaigners and governments to chase the cash back to its true source.
Dealing with the murky links between forced labour and global supply chains is perhaps the only real chance we have of cracking the business of slavery. All private companies should be required to sign up to theAthens ethical principles against human trafficking. By signing this agreement, they will be contributing to the eradication of human trafficking and emphasising that this form of business will not be tolerated.
Conventions and laws have been passed over the past few years – including the British Finance Act – that incorporate strong legislation to combat money laundering. However, more explicit laws on the route of money sourced from human trafficking are needed.
Until the profits of this business are monitored and confiscated, no real progress can be made towards ending human trafficking. Ultimately, it's only by cutting off the money that we will stop it.
• Mary Goudie is a senior member of the House of Lords and a global advocate for the rights of women and children. She chairs the UN's women leaders' council to fight human trafficking