Wollongong’s Mark Dombkins and Elise Jensen, of Forever Projects, are celebrating the New Year bouyed by growing business support for the charity.
Forever Projects empowers generations of families in Tanzania by helping them start their own business and generate an ongoing income.
While attending an end of year office launch at MoneyQuest Mr Dombkins and Ms Jensen were presented a $1200 donation from Paul and Julie Wright and their team. That was then generously matched by MoneyQuest’s head office.
Mr Dombkins said the $2400 will be put to good use. “This will enable two families to be empowered out of poverty through our 12-month journey towards independence. We will connect Paul, Julie and their team to the family they support via and initiative called The Journey.
Mr Dombkins said the videos were done using WhatsApp.
The MoneyQuest office launch was also a chance to tell others about The Journey. In some cases it is the people in a workplace that all chip in to collectively fund a 12 month journey for a family. They then get real time updates from the family using WhatsApp.
“It is like a subscription model donation that you do with people you care about here. But instead of three months later getting a letter from someone over there it is instant. And it is not filtered so you get all the good and bad news straight away”.
Forever Projects sees The Journey as a partnership.
Wollongong restaurant Kneading Ruby was one business that signed up in 2018. Forever Projects made a video with the Crown Lane eatery to help bring its journey to life for others.
In 2019 the charity will showcase more Illawarra businesses supporting the cause in a bid to encourage many others.
Some do it by holding fundraisers and using them as team building opportunities for employees.
During Christmas some families gave themselves a gift of a subscription so they can help another family for an entire year.
In 2017 Ms Jensen was one of four people from the Illawarra who traveled to Tanzania to film a documentary. It was designed to help change the lives of families through education and supplies to ensure adequate nutrition for newborns. The documentary told stories to raise awareness to saves lives.
Ms Jensen said the need is great. More than 8000 women die during childbirth in Tanzania every year and 20 newborn babies are at risk of starvation every day. There are also 3.1 million orphans in Tanzania.
She said she got involved because it provided an ongoing sustainable solution to helping families.
“And with Forever Projects 100 per cent of your donation goes to the families,” she said.
Mr and Mrs Wright plan to join Forever Projects trip to Tanzania later this year.
Mr Dombkins said having lived in Tanzania and seeing firsthand the immediate impact the charity made to families was a real motivator for him to spread the word about how much good can be done.