New Internationalist

Ideas For Action

Issue 113

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CHANGE[image, unknown] Ideas for action

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IDEAS FOR ACTION

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Constituency 1% Groups

Constituency 1% Groups
161 Bishopscote Road
Luton, Beds LU3 1PD
Tel: 53421

AIMS
To enable individuals to respond effectively to the call to give I per cent of their income to the world of world development.

To set up 1% Groups with as many members and in as many parliamentary constituencies as possible.

To use the existence of such groups as a political, practical back-up to arguments for increased aid to the poorest.

To raise significant amounts for the voluntary agencies and The World Development Movement.

METHODS
We offer a four-session Study Course Kit to sell the idea. We also recruit by means of a simple leaflet which invites subscribers to commit I per cent of their gross income, take-home pay, housekeeping allowance, etc.

We supply personalised slips for members. They pay in to a deposit account from which disbursement is made to the agencies they nominate.

We send each subscriber a report every six months, which show's their own contribution, the group total, and the amounts sent to each agency.

SUCCESSES
Twenty-five out of 100 who took the original study course committed themselves to I %-ing. Others have joined since.

An article in a church newspaper produced a positive response from various parts of the UK.

Speaking engagements resulted in three other groups being set up.

Thousands of pounds have been sent to various agencies.

FAILURES
After two and a half years we have only small groups in just three constituencies.

FUTURE PLANS
We would like to see the growth of a Federation of 1% Groups.

HELP NEEDED
We want individuals to respond, by sending an SAE for our leaflet. We want them to get together with 'development-minded' friends in their own constituencies. We want them to begin and give 1% of their income in this way. As our leaflet points out, this is the hardest part. Talking is less costly!

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RAFT (Reunite in Australia the families of Timor)

RAFT (Reunite in Australia the families of Timor)
183 Gertrude St
Fitzroy 3065, Australia.
Tel: 03 419 5588

AIMS
To assist refugees in Australia from East Timor to raise public awareness of the situation in East Timor.

To assist in the reunification of families divided by the civil war in East Timor and the Indonesian invasion of East Timor later that year.

To assist those families to settle in Australia.

METHODS
We find individuals and groups in Australia to assist specific families in the reunification and resettlement processes.

We write on behalf of families to the Australian Prime Minister, the Minister for Immigration and the Minister for Foreign Affairs.

We provide slides, films and speakers for individuals and organisations who wish to stage East Timor information days.

SUCCESSES
Individuals from all over Australia have taken on the cases of individual families. RAFT groups have been set up in Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne. Many church groups and schools have staged information days.

FAILURES
We are not yet adequate in our general support of those who wish to help us. We have not yet achieved regular production of our newsletter.

FUTURE PLANS
To renew our publicity campaign to draw the attention of the Australian Prime Minister to the plight of East Timor refugees and their families. To increase our lobbying of the Australian Parliament to persuade the Government to relax admission criteria and reclassify Timorese as refugees.

HELP NEEDED
One extra person in each State group to help co-ordinate and campaign.

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Register of Engineers for Disaster Relief

Register of Engineers for Disaster Relief
Scott House, Basing View, Basingstoke Hants RG21 2JG, UK.
Tel: 0256 61161

AIMS
To provide engineers and members of associated disciplines to work with relief agencies in the alleviation of the effects of natural and man-made disasters overseas.

METHODS
We maintain a register of professional people (mainly engineers) willing to go overseas at short notice for periods of 3 to 6 months to assist relief agencies in their work.

We interview all those applying to go onto the register to assess their suitability for various types of work (eg: fixing up water supplies and sanitation for refugee camps).

We organize courses in simple sanitation etc. for those who may be asked to undertake assignments.

We encourage the formation of groups within Water Authorities, Consulting Engineers, Public bodies and Contractors to assist recruitment, raise funds and maintain good relations with the employing organisations.

SUCCESSES
We have supplied over 35 engineers to work with relief agencies in Uganda, Somalia, Malaysia, Kampuchea and Italy.

Engineers supplied by the register are, almost without exception, said to have done valuable work and nearly all have said that they found their assignments rewarding and satisfying.

FAILURES
We have so far provided engineers to only five different relief agencies to work in five different countries. We should like to widen our scope.

At present we have only a couple of engineers in the field: with over 350 on the register we could supply more.

FUTURE PLANS
In order to be ready for future emergencies we should like to encourage more young engineers of various disciplines (eg. mechanical, electrical, civil) to apply to join the register and also to increase the number of older engineers with overseas and Third World experience.

To broaden the scope of our activities as most of those supplied to date have been working exclusively with refugees.

HELP NEEDED
If you are a relief agency and need the help of professional engineers please let us know.

If you know anybody who might like to join the register please put them in touch with us.

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