Support for local refugee initiatives

Regular readers may recall that Zumio has a quarterly giving program where we donate 1% of net profit to organisations doing good within the community.  I just wanted to take a moment to mention who we’ve supported for the past two quarters.

Given the continued attacks on refugee rights that seem to flare up in response to electoral pressures, we decided to theme our giving for this past few months on initiatives that support refugees in our local community.

Asylum Seekers Centre NSW

The Asylum Seekers Centre supports Sydney-based (and in some cases regionally-based) refugees by “providing a welcoming environment and front-line support for community-based asylum seekers.”  The centre receives no government funding and relies on philanthropic support and public donations.  They recently ran an appeal highlighting a shortfall in funding due to a significant increase in the use of their services — so we are grateful of the opportunity to provide at least a little support to help them achieve their fundraising goal.

The Social Studio (Melbourne)

The Social Studio is “a dynamic space where clothing is created from the style and skills of the young refugee community.  Recycled and excess manufacturing materials are gathered from local industry and re-configured into original clothing.”

We loved the fact that the Studio combines so many positive benefits into one initiative — sustainable garment manufacture, refugee support, promotion of “social inclusion, community and vitality” through their mobile shopping carts — and we’re delighted we can be participating in their community in some small way.

Check out the site, consider donating, or if you’re in Melbourne, keep an eye out for their “pedal powered pop-up shops” to purchase some of the clothes produced by participants in the initiative…

Code, NGOs & Nonprofits, Standards


Just a quick note to say that the Web Standards Group FullCodePress is happening again in May this year. What’s FullCodePress?

Web teams from different countries take each other on to build a complete website for a charity in 24 hours. No excuses, no extensions, no budget overruns.

If you’re in a non-profit and would like to apply to be the lucky charity, check out the details and apply before Friday 17 Apr 2009…

Housekeeping, NGOs & Nonprofits, Work

Australia Tibet Council

Zumio is proud to support the Australia Tibet Council (ATC).

I feel truly blessed that the last four donations I’ve made are to organisations I have a personal connection with through friends and colleagues. ATC is no different – my long-time friend Ashley Brown and his wife Tahne are very heavily involved with the organisation.

Both they and the volunteers and staff at ATC have done a tremendous amount of work to increase awareness of Tibetan culture in Australia, including participating in the organisation of visits by the Dalai Lama, as well as advocating for the human rights and democratic freedoms of the Tibetan people.

This included last years team up with GetUp on the Olympic Silence is not Golden campaign.

Please consider supporting ATC so that they can continue their good work.

For those that don’t already know, each quarter Zumio donates 1% of nett profit before tax to progressive causes. ATC is the recipient for the Oct-Dec 2008 quarter.

NGOs & Nonprofits, Work, ANTaR & little and LOUD

As I’ve mentioned previously Zumio’s charter is to donate 1% of net profit to organisations doing good things in the community.

For the July-September 2008 period I chose is a volunteer run organisation that makes the workings of our Parliament more transparent, by transforming the (inaccessible) Hansard transcripts of Parliament into a more accessible (both technically and socially) form.

Ever since I first heard about, when I met Matthew Landauer at Jelly Sydney) I’ve been excited by the project – I see it as a really important part of our Democracy and am dumbfounded why this isn’t something the Government already does. is not yet established as a charitable organisation as yet, so I hope the funds can go some way to helping them achieve that goal.

(You can follow on their blog or via Twitter.


For the October-December 2008 period I chose to support ANTaR (Australians for Native Title and Reconcilation). My friend Priscilla has been working there for some time and I’ve been impressed with their grassroots advocacy work, more recently around Indigenous health.

little and LOUD

On a related note, my wife and I, along with members of our families, don’t do gift giving for each other at Christmas; instead we collectively donate our funds to a chosen organisation instead. This year, we chose little and LOUD, a charity co-run by Rhoda Lazo – a friend and colleague who I met when we both worked at Digital Eskimo.

little and LOUD is “… inspired by children and their natural ability to creatively express themselves in a way that communicates beyond borders and spans all backgrounds, cultures and ages. This is how Little and LOUD began and how it continues to this day.”

They are currently running a project with Fote Primary School in the Solomon Islands. While not directly Zumio-related, I wanted to give little and LOUD’s work a shout-out here as I’m a fan of what they do.

Design, NGOs & Nonprofits, Work

Project H Design and the LifeStraw

I’m a big fan of sustainable design – especially when designers turn their hand to addressing problems such as preventable disease reduction in the developing world.

Some time ago I came across what I consider an amazing product called the LifeStraw. From the LifeStraw website:

Half of the world’s poor suffer from waterborne disease, and nearly 6,000 people – mainly children – die each day by consuming unsafe drinking water.

LifeStraw water purifiers have been developed as a practical way of preventing disease and saving lives, as well as achieving the Millennium Development Goal of reducing by one-half the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe water by the year 2015.

At USD$25 each (for the family version), LifeStraws are a low-cost (by developed world standards) means of purifying water to prevent common diarrhoeal disease.

At around the same time I also came across Project H Design, which:

… is a charitable organization that supports, inspires, and delivers life-improving humanitarian product design solutions. We champion industrial design as a tool to address social issues, a vehicle for global life improvement, and a catalyst for individual and community empowerment.

I saw on Project H a initiative that aims to provide families in Mumbai with LifeStraws – and I thought this would be a great cause to support.

Part of my “charter” for Zumio is to donate 1% of Zumio’s quarterly net profit to a project with social justice or sustainability goals, and for the Mar-Jun 2008 quarter (yes – I’m a little behind!) I’ve put the funds towards this project.

Unfortunately with the Aussie dollar fluctuating so rapidly my donation probably isn’t stretching as far as it could have, but all the same I hope that my small contribution will help…