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UBUNTU song/fundraiser. *UPDATED* on 1/15/13
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21596
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Specialist wrote:
would you recommend a more general long-term charity involved in Durban?


One reason it took me so long to release this track is because I've been waiting to find a charity I could trust in this specific area. I've asked around and I've come up with nothing. In this instance, I felt like the best option would be to send the money I raised to the people I trust most in Durban as they are the ones who visit the children and keep me updated on how they're doing and what they need. The people I'm talking about are a married couple who were commissioned to shoot and edit the documentary I was initially invited out to South Africa for.

I suspect I'll run into some problems by taking in a bunch of money that I will then have to pass onto someone else who will then have to pay other people, especially with taxes and fees hitting us from every angle, but I couldn't come up with a better plan. At least I know who the money is going to and how it is used.

I'm cautious to recommend any charities that are religious-based. One of the major problems with their involvement, other than their obvious agenda of expanding their church and following, has been their tendency to preach abstinence and ignore the whole "condom" topic altogether. I couldn't help but notice how taboo the word "condom" seemed during my time out there. They were almost NEVER mentioned, and when they were it was almost done under a hushed tone. So, yeah...that's something.

In regard to other charities, someone once sent me the following email. I can't vouch for the recommendation as I haven't investigated it, but you should check into it if you're interested:

"If you want a larger charity to donate too then my sister strongly recommends the Gift of the Givers, she's in Human Resources and big into researching this sort of stuff and that's who she gives to. I just checked out their website (http://www.giftofthegivers.org) and although their primary thing is disaster relief management they have LOTS of projects, and some specifically for Primary Health Care, Education etc that you specify you want the money or goods to go to."
Post Mon Dec 03, 2012 9:22 pm
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Specialist



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
Posts: 89
Location: Bristol, England
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Sage Francis wrote:
Specialist wrote:
would you recommend a more general long-term charity involved in Durban?


One reason it took me so long to release this track is because I've been waiting to find a charity I could trust in this specific area. I've asked around and I've come up with nothing. In this instance, I felt like the best option would be to send the money I raised to the people I trust most in Durban as they are the ones who visit the children and keep me updated on how they're doing and what they need. The people I'm talking about are a married couple who were commissioned to shoot and edit the documentary I was initially invited out to South Africa for.

I suspect I'll run into some problems by taking in a bunch of money that I will then have to pass onto someone else who will then have to pay other people, especially with taxes and fees hitting us from every angle, but I couldn't come up with a better plan. At least I know who the money is going to and how it is used.

I'm cautious to recommend any charities that are religious-based. One of the major problems with their involvement, other than their obvious agenda of expanding their church and following, has been their tendency to preach abstinence and ignore the whole "condom" topic altogether. I couldn't help but notice how taboo the word "condom" seemed during my time out there. They were almost NEVER mentioned, and when they were it was almost done under a hushed tone. So, yeah...that's something.

In regard to other charities, someone once sent me the following email. I can't vouch for the recommendation as I haven't investigated it, but you should check into it if you're interested:

"If you want a larger charity to donate too then my sister strongly recommends the Gift of the Givers, she's in Human Resources and big into researching this sort of stuff and that's who she gives to. I just checked out their website (http://www.giftofthegivers.org) and although their primary thing is disaster relief management they have LOTS of projects, and some specifically for Primary Health Care, Education etc that you specify you want the money or goods to go to."


Thanks for the reply Sage. I'll do some research on Gift of the Givers.
The agenda the church is promoting sounds shameful. Sadly, I can't say I'm surprised.
Post Tue Dec 04, 2012 4:03 am
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Flossin



Joined: 28 Jul 2009
Posts: 580
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Is UNICEF not in favor around here? I know they work in most African countries and their main focus is helping the children, and the children living with the HIV virus are one of it's biggest concerns. And they're the largest organization devoted to that, worldwide. I don't know, maybe you guys have some reason not to like UNICEF. I used to do voluntary work for their campaigns for children in Africa and Haiti, my brother worked there for 5 years. I'd say it's a good organization to support and they really do plenty of good work, but maybe it's not what you guys are looking for.
Post Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:01 am
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Bodi



Joined: 03 Dec 2012
Posts: 2
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Flossin wrote:
Is UNICEF not in favor around here? I know they work in most African countries and their main focus is helping the children, and the children living with the HIV virus are one of it's biggest concerns. And they're the largest organization devoted to that, worldwide. I don't know, maybe you guys have some reason not to like UNICEF. I used to do voluntary work for their campaigns for children in Africa and Haiti, my brother worked there for 5 years. I'd say it's a good organization to support and they really do plenty of good work, but maybe it's not what you guys are looking for.


UNICEF is certainly solid.

From my experience, Mercy Corps - www.mercycorps.org - is one of the best organizations I've come across. I'm really cautious when it comes to where my donation goes, as I'm sure most of you are. They meet my criteria of:

a) Almost all the money going directly to people that need it. In their case, 88% goes to the people/countries, 12% to fundraising and the staff.
b) They are not pushing a religious agenda. Just there to help.
c) They are historically in many countries where other organizations are hesitant to go, or have no presence. (DR Congo, Darfur, etc.)
d) They are highly transparent with their funds, and you can direct them to individual programs.
e) Maybe most importantly for me, they don't just provide money, food, and aid, but they also foster economic growth within the community by working closely with the locals, especially women. The result is that the community they're helping is less likely to become dependent on foreign aid. See: http://www.mercycorps.org/countries/drcongo/15890

Anyway, thems my two cents, for whatever they're worth.
Post Tue Dec 04, 2012 10:37 am
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Bodi,
Thank you for sharing that information. You're doing a lot of incredible work and I'm glad you're taking the time to keep people in touch with what's going on.

Flossin,
I love everything I've heard about UNICEF. They certainly seem to be the most accepted and respected charity that does great work worldwide, helping save children from preventable diseases. But since I was asked if I could recommend a long-term charity involved in Durban, and I have yet to find anything trustworthy or specific enough to that area, I decided to just do this myself. Raising this money right now and using it where I'm choosing to use it is obviously very specific to my own experience and travels. But that's its strength. This is something I can overlook and give updates on as it moves along. Hopefully this specific story can give light to a much larger problem, not just in South Africa but in all parts of the world.

Since Saturday we have raised $1600. Once we reach $2000 I am going to send out this package along with the money:
https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10152330265260377&set=a.10150216488590377.438624.159174620376&type=1&theater

One thing I know for sure that they need is a roof that works, so that will be the first place where the money goes toward fixing. Every time it rains the water comes pouring down. As there are (now) 8 people sleeping in the same room, on the same mattress, I'm sure that this gift will come as a great holiday surprise. I just wish I could be there to see their faces.
Post Tue Dec 04, 2012 3:35 pm
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Specialist



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
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Location: Bristol, England
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Made my donation for now. Wish it could have been more, but the bank and city council are all over my ass for money. Thanks, though, for inspiring me to look into a charity in this area for the half marathon next September. I'll keep you posted.
As regards the song, it really is a tear jerker. I love the beat too, and I think the verse about the World Cup is just brilliant, and sadly true. FIFA are off to Brazil and Russia to do similar next.
Post Wed Dec 05, 2012 7:35 am
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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Someone donated $500 last night. Got me all misty eyed just before going to bed. Whoever you are, good on ya mate.
Post Wed Dec 05, 2012 1:38 pm
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Captiv8



Joined: 25 Aug 2006
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Location: Third Coast
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Out of curiosity, how far does the rand go in securing the things these kids need? I understand the US to ZAR conversion rate is pretty favorable, but sometimes that's not always an indicator that things are cheaper. I'm sure any amount will be useful, of course.
Post Wed Dec 05, 2012 2:09 pm
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
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The dollar does stretch pretty far in South Africa. The person I'm working with in Durban has a guy who will do the roof work and other handy work at a favorable price. When I have specifics I will share them, but I made sure all of that was in place before raising the money. At this point it looks like there will be enough money left over for clothes and school supplies along with other things. But, yeah, when I have the specifics I will certainly post them. I believe I'll send this package out to them tomorrow which SHOULD arrive before the holidays (even if it gets held up at customs for whatever reason.)
Post Wed Dec 05, 2012 3:27 pm
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Sage Francis
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We have raised $2500.00 for these children in LESS THAN A WEEK! This money was sent out to the children yesterday. Now that there are 9 of them sleeping under a roof that gushes water every time it rains, the roof will be the first thing that gets fixed. The rest of the money will go toward other basic necessities and school supplies. As many of you know, there are millions upon millions of people who are living in abject poverty in this world. Children who are dying of preventable diseases.
Some may live next to you. Some may live in a neighboring state. I just so happened to fall in love with this particular family while I was in South Africa. To be sure, they represent a much larger contingent that deserves our help and attention. My aim is to reach the folks who are willing and able to provide that support, all while raising awareness about an issue that is often ignored by the media. I found myself wondering how I could do this. Since music is my craft, I did my best to do it through song.
After facilitating a small circle of logistic support, and finagling a way to get the money to the kids as directly as possible, I did so. And that’s when other people came into play to help out. And a lot of those people are you. For that, I THANK YOU. The funds will continue to be raised and good work will continue to be done. I will post updates as we go.
At this very moment I just want to thank you. Thank you.
www.tinyurl.com/sagefrancisubuntu
Post Thu Dec 06, 2012 11:18 pm
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Sage Francis
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$3000 raised so far.

Humbled and proud. Thanks to everyone who contributed.
Post Tue Dec 11, 2012 2:01 am
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girardem



Joined: 06 Dec 2012
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When I listened to this song and read the cause behind it the day it was released, my heart melted. Such a big piece of my heart remains in South Africa after spending four months there just over a year ago. I have personally experienced the events this song speaks to. Hearing the names of the kids and seeing their faces through the video reminds me immediately of the children I spent my time with in that beautiful country. The children in South Africa have amazing hearts. They have such strength through all of the struggles they face. Their energy, smiles, and laughter are unbelievably contagious. My time with those children certainly made me reevaluate and be the best possible version of myself.
The amount of money that has been raised so far is more than many children in this family's situation would ever dream of having. Those funds will do wonders to help provide a functional roof and so much more for the family in Durban.
I am grateful for the work Sage is doing to not only raise money for the children in Durban who are in such dire need, but also for the profound awareness that this song is creating as it continues to be shared. Not everyone has the opportunity to be a part of these children's lives, but this song and this cause have created discussion and action in a matter of days. This is truly amazing to me.
Post Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:10 pm
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Specialist



Joined: 18 Mar 2008
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Location: Bristol, England
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Sage, I'm the production editor of a magazine on Linux and open source software. I'd like to give Ubuntu (also the name of a Linux distribution) a mention in the magazine, and give the download link - I think our readers would be happy to donate if they about the song and the story behind it. The only thing is, we aren't on sale next until Jan 3 - we're just finishing the issue now. If you're happy for me to do so, and the link will still be live then, can I give it a mention?
Post Thu Dec 13, 2012 5:52 am
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AdamBomb



Joined: 05 Mar 2004
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Location: Louisiana
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Man...what a heart-wrenching story and situation. Sage, props for caring and putting the effort in to make a difference in these kids' lives.

I wish the media did put more attention into things like this. You go about your normal life, and you don't even realize this is going on or put faces to it.
Post Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:08 am
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Sage Francis
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Joined: 30 Jun 2002
Posts: 21596
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*UPDATE AS OF 12.28.12*

So far we have raised $3,672.81!!! Instead of one single bed, the kids now have TWO separate bunk beds.

Once the holidays are completely over, a person has been commissioned to fix their roof and other faulty items in their house. This is all thanks to the help of my friends Iain and Karen Robinson, who are facilitating everything for us on the ground in Durban.We’ll continue to raise money, put it toward the bare essentials, school supplies, medical care and whatever else we can. The kids are incredibly grateful. This was a great holiday for them thanks to your generosity.

All background info is at www.tinyurl.com/SageFrancisUBUNTU
Post Fri Dec 28, 2012 6:39 pm
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