Thursday, January 22, 2009

January Update

Welcome to 2009!

The beginning of a new year is an opportune time for us to make resolutions and set new goals. However to do this completely I believe we first need to let go of anything in 2008 that held us back or prevented us from reaching our full potential - perhaps it was your own self doubt, or a negative relationship, maybe a burden? Let's all take this opportunity to let it go... whatever the barrier was... just let it go... and then together let's embrace this year with an open heart and a renewed passion so we can all be the change we wish to see in the world this year!
Here is just a sneak peak at some of GVN's exciting goals and plans for 2009 that I hope you will continue to be a part of.

Volunteer (Africa, Asia, Americas, Europe, Oceania)
In 2002 we placed 250 volunteers, and in 2008 we placed almost 2000 volunteers. With programs in 22 countries, our goal for 2009 is to place 2500 volunteers.

Join the Machu Picchu Fundraising Trek (August)
The 2007 Trek raised over $38 000 that went towards building new bathroom and shower facilities at the Children's Home. In 2009 we hope to increase this amount and build a dining room and kitchen for another needy orphanage that assists 400 children through a lunch feeding lunch program. Space on the Inca trail is limited, so participation in the hike will be dependant on the availability of trek permits. To secure a spot, we recommend applying ASAP.

Sign up to Eat So They Can (October 17-18)
In 2008 the Global Fundraiser raised over $57,000 for the Africa Children's fund. In 2009 we hope to double this and raise $100,000 to help children in need.

Join our Be the Change Course
In 2008, GVN held our first Be The Change Course for budding social entrepreneurs in New Zealand. In 2009, we are going global and offering the course in two additional locations - USA and Jamaica.

From all the team at GVN, may you find peace and happiness in 2009.

Colin Salisbury
Chief Executive Officer

Monday, January 19, 2009

Hello friends,

I enjoy this time of year for many reasons - the sun is shining in New Zealand; I go on holiday with my family; and the spirit of the season brings out a joy and quality of generosity in people that I find incredibly uplifting. It is also the perfect time to reflect on the changes that have taken place around the world over the course of the year and recognize what has been achieved.
In 2008 humanity was faced with some serious challenges, yet I am so proud of GVN and all of our volunteers, donors, partners and supporters who rallied together during these difficult times to help those who need it most.

We watched the global food crisis rock the world and force a 100 million more people to join the ranks of the extremely poor. GVN and GVN Foundation sprung into action and stepped up our 'Eat So They Can' fundraising campaign and hundreds of hosts signed up from all around the world. We raised a record $55, 000 US that will go towards alleviating child in poverty in Africa.
The post election turmoil in Kenya left over 600,000 people displaced and the economy gutted; disaster for a country already laced with multidimensional problems of poverty, disease and hunger. In response, GVN Foundation launched an emergency appeal for people living in IDP camps and raised over $7 500 which purchased desperately needed food, blankets and other supplies for many families who had lost everything.

The global financial crisis that hit was reported as "The worst of its kind since the depression" and inflation and world unemployment reached historic levels. Yet despite the credit crunch, 1700 committed volunteers gave their time to assist communities in need. In addition, 35 brave trekkers tackled Mt Kilimanjaro and Mt Everest Base Camp as part of our fundraising treks, contributing over $70 000 to the Africa and Nepal Children's Fund.

Do you believe you can make a difference? Do you believe you can change the world?
History was changed recently when Barack Obama won the election and became the first African-American president of the United States. His brilliant acceptance speech still gives me tingles. He said,
"Don't tell me we can't change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can change. Yes, we can. Yes, we can heal this nation. Yes, we can seize our future."

I believe we can.

On behalf of everyone at GVN, I would like to wish you a safe and happy holiday, and I look forward to seizing our future with you in 2009 and continuing to be the change we wish to see in the world.

Colin SalisburyChief Executive Officer