So, what’s been going on with the Tribewanted Dream Foundation then ? Does it still exist ? Have we spent all the money on beer and flights to Fiji ? Have we raised enough money to do anything useful ? Are we a registered charity yet ? What’s on the agenda for 2009 ?

Well, to find the answers to these questions, read on.

Contact the Dream Foundation and DONATE here

The Trustees have been continuing with the mind-numbingly boring process of jumping through all the administrative hoops required to be recognised as a charity by the Charities Commission. This includes setting TWDF as an incorporated company in it’s own right and submitting ourselves for a criminal background check. Luckily we all have super-clean aliases in place so no dirt should be raised on that front. To all intents and purposes the paperwork is complete for final registration by the Commission, and the final hurdle is to show that we have annual receipts in excess of 5,000 pounds per year. This has come as a bit of a setback as we were hoping to be registered below this figure as many people like to see the benefit of Gift Aid when donating, something we can’t claim without registration, so it’s a bit of a chicken and egg situation.

Rather than see this as a big problem we want to use it as an incentive. The goal is to push on regardless and raise enough money in as short a time as possible to implement a key project – that project being the construction of composting toilet blocks for the school and villages on Mali. As many of you are aware the New Year saw some serious flooding in the Fiji Islands, and this exacerbates the problems of hygiene and cleanliness. Composting toilet blocks would be a big improvement on existing facilities, and have the added benefits of being reasonably cheap and simple to construct, as well as being eco-friendly.

The latest estimated cost-per-loo is estimated at around FJ$1,300. There are at least two villages plus the school that would benefit from these facilities, so we are looking at around FJ$4,000 to complete this work.

A follow-up project for additional fund-raising incentive is the provision of water tanks, and again this is key to hygiene and cleanliness so dovetails quite nicely with the composting toilet project. These are more costly to construct and there are at least two sites which would benefit, so a successful campaign to raise funds for this project would take us safely through the £5,000 mark.

Tribe meke with Mali SchoolOn the non-fundraising front we are looking at putting together a non-executive board of people who want to take an active role in running and advising TWDF. This includes helping co-ordinate volunteers, seeking out possible partnerships and fundraising opportunities through contacts/companies, on-the-ground co-ordination for projects, and generally widening our pool of knowledge and expertise into other areas.

These are the main items we want to focus on right now to push TWDF forward and make a difference in 2009, a year which has started rather badly for the people of Fiji. We know everyone is continually bombarded with requests for donations to help charities in the UK and abroad, and for most Fiji is a long long way away. But, there are around 1,750 of you out there who have joined Tribewanted, or have joined the Tribewanted group on Facebook, plus another 6,250+ who have signed up as Free Members. Around half the paying members have travelled to Vorovoro and have first hand experience meeting the people of Mali. Next time you go to the loo and then turn on the tap to wash your hands, take a minute to think about helping out people you actually have a personal connection with who currently do not have these “luxuries”…..

The simple maths is that with a neglible impact on your lifestyle you can greatly improve that of a great many others. With a pool of 8,000 Tribies out there who have signed up in some form what could we achieve if everyone was to contribute something ?

£5 – Composting toilets for the school and villages plus one water tank
£10 – Two more water tanks
£15 – Toilets, water tanks, plus community hall, plus funding towards initial study for seawall defences
£20 – All the above, plus sponsorship of local co-ordinators, teachers

If you would prefer to volunteer with us your support can help us strengthen the charity, by helping us fundraise, deliver on our projects and build our profile.

So, if you can help out in any way get involved. A little can go a very long way !

Contact the Dream Foundation and DONATE here