Rise beyond the reef

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A long time ago, I got married. We didn't want a 'big' wedding. So we planned a small ceremony with our immediate family in Vanuatu. The marriage didn't last. But my love of the South Pacific did.
I think it was the Ethiopian drought campaign in the 80s. Or maybe an early realisation that I had it good. Either way, I've always had an interest in the world of international development. So when I was in the typical wedding planning phase, learning about Vanuatu, I was heartbroken. Here was this country, sold as a tropical holiday destination, which had significant poverty.
My passion reignited. At the time I was working in human resources. I got myself a job in an organisation that managed development projects in the Pacific. It was awesome. International Development AND the Pacific. I completed a thesis as part of my Masters on using HR strategies to build organisational capability in developing countries. As my life (aka kids) changed my ability to stay involved in this industry reduced.
BUT, thanks to some amazing ladies I've known for a long time, I have found an organisation that I can partner with. I finally have a way that I can get involved in the development space again. Even if what I am doing now is so different to back in 'the day', I am so excited to be able to do something.
Part of what I love most about what I do is working with women who have a dream and are working their butts off, to achieve it. Helping women be empowered is what I am about. Rise beyond the reef (RBTR) is a charitable organisation that is helping create independent income for women in Fiji. Women make up two thirds of the worlds labor force. Yet, they earn 10% of the worlds income.
Rise above the reef are working to add economic value (aka INCOME) to the craft work - regarded traditionally as unpaid women's work.
Take a look at some of the gorgeous products available. The colours, the craftsmanship, the fun. I love it all.
This is important people! Here's some interesting data:
  • When women and girls have access to education and income (outside the home) they are better able to withstand many of the abuses typical of many patriarchal societies.
  • A woman with her own income is more likely to stand up to physical and sexual abuse. For example, and even a modest income can help a woman free her family from extreme poverty.
  • An educated rural woman who has opportunities available to her tends to have smaller families, and invest more in health and education for their children. This is especially the case for their daughters who may not have been educated in the past.
  • Finally, a higher proportion of women’s incomes stays in the community. This helps improve life for men, women, and children.

So, how am I going to help?

Well, starting today (August 1st)
5% of all branding shoots will be donated to Rise Beyond The Reef.

I will also shout their names from the rooftops whenever I can, and share their journey with you. Also, once I can swing it, I am going to organise a trip to Fiji and try and share with you first-hand some of the goodness going on. 

How can YOU help? 

If you've been thinking about getting brand photos (or know someone who is, because really, the wider we spread this the better) then now you get photos PLUS we give Rise Beyond the Reef a donation and you may get a sneaky little gift from me too. 

What else? You can like and follow Rise Beyond the Reef on all the social platforms and if you're inclined, buy some of their lovely handmade products. 

I am so crazy excited to have you on this journey with me!

In full disclosure: the header image was taken by me on Tanna Island Vanuatu (not Fiji!) and the product images are taken by Rise beyond the Reef website (so, not mine). 
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We acknowledge the Traditional Owners of Country throughout Australia. Including the Jagera people, on whose land we live and work. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

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