Monthly Archives: March 2012

A story from Aware’s director, Stacey!

In 2010, Aware went to Honduras, one of the poorest nations in Central America, to run an art program with orphaned girls to increase self-esteem though self-expression for more information about the project click here.

Hi, I’m Stacey the director and co-founder of Aware. In 2010, I went to Western Honduras, Santa Rosa de Copan, with another volunteer.

While we were there, we painted, drew, crafted, sewed, glittered, and glued.

It was a messy affair!

Despite the glitter in my hair, it was all worth while for a group of young girls to be able to relax for a few hours every week, get creative, and laugh.

The idea of the program was to provide a creative space for these children
to express themselves, with resources and encouragement from us. When their homework was done on Sunday mornings, we would spend two hours together focusing on different creative outlets or modules.

One resounding thing that has stuck with me since working on this project is the
notion of childhood

So many children around the world do not get the chance to have a childhood, where they are free to play and not worry about everyday necessities like their next meal, shelter, and clean water to drink. The children preferred doing the exact same things I did as a child, making bracelets, playing with glitter, and drawing cartoon characters. Just basic playing that goes a long way towards personal development.

As time went on Sunday morning became the girls’ favourite time of the week. And the
older girls took on leadership roles – they passed on the games and skills that we had taught them. We finished the program confident that the girls would continue to spend time together: being creative, teaching and learning, and expressing themselves in a safe place where they could be confident in who they are.

Categories: Honduras, Projects, Stories from Volunteers | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

Karma Keg offers a jump start for a new program!

Friday nights at the Bridge Hotel, Holliava, Post Office Bar Pizza, and Richmond Club Hotel in Richmond, as well as the Prahran Hotel, use a pay-what-you-can-donate method to raise money for community projects until a keg of beer runs dry.

Last Friday, Karma Keg raised funds to start a program for Aware for refugee and asylum seeker children in Melbourne.  Like all of Aware’s programs, this one will be super fun and engaging for children and aims to increase their self-confidence, self-worth, and help them engage with the community in their new city!

A group of Aware volunteers and friends of Aware headed to the Bridge Hotel to drink some beer and help us jump start our program which we hope to launch (with a partner to be confirmed at a later date) in April!

Do you need a bit of good Karma? Well, go ahead and like Karma Keg’s facebook page because what goes around comes around!

Thanks Karma Keg for a fantastic night – we can’t wait to get started on our new project.

Categories: Events, Projects | 1 Comment

Our Partner: Revolutionary Youth and Women Artisans Self Help Group

Aware has been partnering with the Revolutionary Youth and Women Artisans Self Help Group (RYWA) in Kenya since 2008, check out our projects page for more information about our work together.

Since 2008, Aware has been working with RYWA and its chairperson, Raynor Miguda, to empower children so that they can reach their full potential – as is every child’s right.

RYWA was founded by youth and women who were moved by the plight of vulnerable orphans living in the slums of Obunga in Kisumu city. Kisumu is a city of 350,000 who has been effected dramatically by HIV, resulting in a high rate of mortality in adults.  This leaves orphans and other vulnerable children who are in desperate need of empowerment.

The organisation serves children who undergo serious emotional and material deprivation. It was this observation that prompted Raynor into thinking of how to make a change in these children’s lives directly.

RYWA is currently supporting a targeted group of vulnerable children in their pursuit of formal education by; paying school levies and other related education needs; providing of life skills education to the targeted children; giving children support with their academic work; and providing skills in audio and visual arts.

It is the latter in which Aware provides support and materials to RYWA. We’re not usually ones to toot our own horn, but our partnership has helped to implement RYWA’s programs like training of youth, purchasing raw materials for art and craft programs, identifying a market abroad for RYWA’s finished art products, and the facilitation of other activities that support children!

How cool is this soapstone hippo?

We could not be more proud to be in partnership with an organisation like RYWA!!

Categories: About AWARE, Kenya, Projects | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Project Launch – Wool for Women!!

Today, International Women’s day, we are excited to formally launch Aware’s first program focusing on women. Every year on March 8, all over the world events are held to inspire and acknowledge women. In over 20 nations, International Women’s day is an official holiday. Including in Cambodia which is why today, a day that is meant to unite women through a series of vibrant and unique events all over the world, Aware is launching our new project – we’re so excited!

Wool for Women is an Aware project in conjunction with Dorsu and Chumkriel Language School (CLS).

Wool for Women will provide teacher training and skills to women in Cambodia to ensure they can earn a decent livelihood. Building on Dorsu’s amazing work, Aware will be crocheting up a storm with the women in Kampot. We will be making bags, hats, teddies, clothing items, accessories and all sorts.

The project aims to increase the skill set of these women, so that they can earn money and support themselves. Families in this region of Cambodia are facing severe unemployment and environmental struggles, the educated tend to leave the region in search of work. Providing employment, education and earning opportunities within the community makes a huge difference, and allows the people to work towards their own ideal future.

We want you to be involved! I don’t know about you, but we tend to buy more wool than we need for a project or even worse wool for projects we will probably never get to! Do you know someone like us?

We believe in minimising waste.   We want to reclaim that wool and do something really positive with it.

Don’t know any knitters or crocheters, next time you are in an opp-shop, why not spend a few dollars and donate a bag of wool or some needles to Wool for Women.

To get involved, find out exactly what items we need or to hold a fundraiser or wool drive, please contact

Categories: Projects | 4 Comments

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