Showing posts from January, 2010

Volunteering anyone?

Volunteering anyone?
Japanese fluency is required by most groups for event, client and office support, but many organizations working internationally, such as Human Rights Watch Japan and JEN (formerly Japan Emergency NGOs), also need people with English-language skills, particularly for communications, fundraising, outreach and PR. Some, such as Amnesty International Japan and OXFAM Japan, have specific groups for volunteers who may not be fluent in Japanese but want to contribute to the organizations’ missions. Amnesty International Tokyo English Network (, for example, is an active local chapter of Amnesty International Japan. The OXFAM Japan International Volunteers Group ( organizes its own monthly events while also supporting OXFAM Japan campaigns.

Skills in other languages are also in demand. Both Multicultural Center Tokyo ( and Polaris Project ( are always in need of people with Chinese or Korean ski…

Sharing an email from a friend ... about giving and Haiti

Below is from an email recently sent by a friend ...

Most of you have received updates (albeit, brief ones) from me either via email or Facebook over the past week. I have heard from or of nearly all my loved ones in Port-au-Prince and can only rejoice in the fact that there have only been relatively minor scrapes and bruises.

In other words: we are alive, but still in great pain.

Yes, there has been dramatic loss of life (estimates are now at 70,000, and rising) and homes. But Haiti suffering from the extreme unequal (under)development which is typical of many Third World countries, most of the state, cultural, economic and intellectual resources that were concentrated in the capital have also disappeared.

In such a context, there are many ways you can help.

Person to person
1) If you know someone who has yet to hear of their family or friends and are trying to reach them, please send me their phone numbers and I will try my best to contact them and report back.

Resolve to get involved this new year

More on Haiti and useful websites

The Humanitarian Times

The mission of The Humanitarian Times is to share news, knowledge and experience on subjects that span the broad spectrum of humanitarian action, among humanitarian workers in all corners of the globe. The Humanitarian Times is an independent not-for-profit publication sent free-of-charge to humanitarian aid professionals in over 100 countries. To Unsubscribe or Subscribe email
humanitariantimes@erols.comCharity Navigator has some tips as well as orgs they suggest. They also have a ranking of groups.
Tips For Funding Haiti Earthquake Relief EffortsAvoid Newly-Formed Charities and Give To An Established Charity That Has Worked In HaitiDo Not Give To The Haitian GovernmentDesignate Your Investment as for HaitiDo Not Send SuppliesBe Careful Of Email SolicitationsSeek Out The Charity’s Authorized Website
Consider The Nature Of The Charity’s WorkBe Inspired By Social …

TEXTING Haiti donations:

Donating by text messaging is really successful this time around but there are a few questions to ask:

1. Is all the money going to a particular organization for the cause?
Intermediaries often keep a percentage of donations as a service fee – it might be a flat fee or a %.

2. When will the money be sent to the organizations of your choice?
Often intermediaries pass the funds on to organizations up to 3 months after billing you for the donation. While large organizations may be able to handle this, for smaller ones this poses a challenge as in emergencies the first 2 weeks are key for all relief operations. It is during the set up phase when big money is also needed to get things started.

You can avoid these issues by giving directly to an org through their authorised website.

Haiti needs our support

For those of you wanting to keep abreast of what humanitarian groups are doing in Haiti be sure to visit: the site specifically aimed at humanitarian and emergency relief news.
Up to 3 million people may have been affected by Tuesday's earthquake in Haiti.The Haitian Red Cross believes 45,000 to 50,000 died but others estimate the number is likely to be closer to 100,000 persons.People are in desperate need of food, water, medical support and shelter As we approach the 15th anniversary of the Awaji-Hanshin Earthquake - let us not forget that a tragedy can also be an opportunity for us to come together and help others. Yes we can have an impact on other’s lives by just giving what we would usually spend on a night out or a few days worth of lattes.

I know many of you are interested in helping out and you might be unsure where to start so I have put together a list of useful links.

Alertnet has a links to major organizations all over the world that are involv…

Human Rights in Japan Article

My Article in the Winter of Human Rights Defender
Amnesty International Australia