An African Reading Club in Australia

Reading Club 1

G’day from wintry Melbourne. I am now past the halfway  mark  through my assignment with Save the Children Australia. When I first told my friends that I was doing a Pulse Assignment in Australia most people raised their eyebrows and looked a bit surprised. Do Australians need help from NGOs? I guess the normal man on the street doesn’t but remember that there are huge numbers of migrants in Australia. The children of these migrants struggle to keep up with learning English so Save the Children run classes after school hours to help bridge the gap. I attended as a volunteer this week in one of their classes. There were about 30 kids of African origin, all very keen to be there to  read the books, hear one of their friends read and then make a little book about themselves. I saw that the mums also enjoyed a respite as they gathered at a corner to chit chat. This kind of program doesn’t take a lot of money but it was gratifying to see the happiness it brought to the young faces. This is just one of the many programs run by Save the Children Australia in Australia, Pacific Islands & in other parts of the world.

One thing I learned from my assignment so far is that fund raising is tough. I was just thinking how different it was to commercialise and sell our GSK products and how the NGOs raise funds, both are really marketing functions. In the commercial world you can always find some competitive advantage in your product be it efficacy, safety or price but when it comes to fund raising I believe you actually have to sell your cause and whether donors believe in you and your cause. It’s tough and we need to support these guys whenever we can. Cheers!

 

9 comments

  1. Nice explanation as to why NGOs are present in first world Australia, Agnes. The second paragraph particularly resonates with me too. There seems something dreadfully wrong with NGOs having to market their cause and the best cause wins the most money.

  2. Hi Agnes,

    Great insights! Thank you for representing GSK and for all the hard work at Save the Children Australia. We are very proud of our association with Save and they undertake important contributions to many communities on our Region.

    Hope you are enjoying Melbourne .

    Best regards,

    David

  3. It’s great to read about your experiences Agnes. Continue writing the blog, it helps us remember that there is a world out there that benefits from the good work that we do. Can’t wait to read the next one!

  4. Dear David, thanks for the kind comment. I’m enjoying Melbourne indeed & now know why it’s gained the title as Most Liveable City. Regards, Agnes

  5. What a great cause to have the extra classes set up after school to help bridge the gaps. The confidence and help this is giving the children is so worthwhile. I cannot imagine the challenges in fund raising. I am a sales representative and you were so right about the 3 things that help our products stand out and generate sales. But finding the right people to believe in the cause and then give financial support requires a lot of energy and resilience. Keep up your great work and thanks for sharing!

  6. First off I’d like to congratulate you on this remarkable project well done! I’m currently working on a digital platform for African comics and book, most of our content is digital but a lot of it is free especially the comics. We’re still working on the books section but the comics section is live:

    http://beta.kugali.com/category/comics

    I’m not sure if this will be useful for you guys but I thought it was worth sharing.

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