Posts Tagged humanitarian

Thanksgiving, a time for reflection

Well, here in America we are heading into the holiday season starting with Thanksgiving in a couple days.  As always people tend to reflect on what they are grateful for, and some might even get a head start on planning their new years resolution.  I have seen many friends on Facebook do countdowns of gratitude.  And all around have seen great things in people wanting to help others.  It truly is a great season.

There are a couple things I am grateful for as well.  Teachers that have taught me skills that I can apply in work, for showing me how to find opportunities, and for the opportunities that have shown up as well.  These are actually quite numerous so I won’t post all of them here.  But one of the opportunities I am most grateful is to help on is a senior project that will help out a place I hold dear.  I have already said I help out with a nonprofit called Help Cape Verde Africa, but a group from my school is going to help out with our efforts.  And since we will be able to help more families and have better outreach to improve conditions, that makes me happy.  And I get to take some awesome footage for some projects of my own.

Check out the fundraiser here http://www.indiegogo.com/african-gardens

And a facebook event is here http://www.facebook.com/events/297610703688957

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IndieGoGo Campaigning

So right now I am in the middle of an IndieGoGo campaign, and man is it tough and easy to get a little discouraged.  But never fear, it is still in the beginning of the campaign, only four days have gone by.  For those who want to know what it is, it is a fundraiser to help the NPO Help Cape Verde Africa to teach african families how to grow a garden in urban conditions. It is a great project and worth anyone’s time and effort, cause it not only helps educate african families, but this project we have students from UVU who will be helping us and contributions help them to develop their talents.

So far we have had over 200 people look at the campaign, today we reached $200 in which was put there by a seventh funder. What makes it kind of discouraging is knowing that if everyone who had saw the campaign gave $5 we would be over a quarter of the way to our goal.  I know times are tough and not everyone is in a position to give, and it could be the case that people want to give but need to wait until payday.  It is that kind of optimism that someone needs to do these things.  And I am confident that we can get there, we have 36 days left and are campaigning with the student group from UVU.

Wish me luck and please find a little to give, a little goes a long way in helping these families improve their nutrition and finances.

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The Fruits of Labor: Update on the Sustainable Agriculture Experiment

Things are coming along with the bucket garden, the zucchini plants are producing zucchinis now.  Today I picked two that were ready, and a little bit down the post you’ll see what I did with them.

First things the appearance of the plants are now really varied, some are doing quite well while others aren’t doing too hot. The ones that aren’t doing too hot are the ones that were planted in regular soil.  They are still growing but at a slower rate than the others that were planted in a medium that naturally absorbs water, not drains it.  Another thing worth noticing is how much the soil has compacted, or settled, in each bucket.  The bucket doing the worst right now is the regular soil with newspaper as the wicking medium, it has compacted a little over two inches.  This is followed by the regular soil with jeans as the wicking medium, this being compacted at around two inches.  The others are doing just fine with their compaction being between 1/2  and 3/4 inches.  Also now the plant in the cocopeat mixture that started out yellow is now a healthy shade of green and doing great.  The other cocopeat mixed with regular soil is the plant that is doing the best and has grown the most.  The potting mix zucchini has the darkest green leaves of all of them.

cocopeat mixed with bullcrap

Cocopeat mixed with manure

cocopeat and regular soil

Cocopeat and topsoil mix

topsoil with jeans

Topsoil with jeans as wicking medium

potting mix

Potting mix

topsoil and newspaper

Topsoil, newspaper as wicking medium

As you can see there were a few zucchini on there. I picked two that were ready today. And here is the best part of the experiment, eating them.  What I did is I turned one of them into long curly strands and used them as noodles.

zucchinisnoodles made out of zucchini

And finally the masterpiece, not quite vegetarian but still pretty good.  Garden fresh is the best.

zucchini spaghetti

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Update on the Sustainable Agriculture Experiment

So it took a while to get started I must admit.  My brother just couldn’t deliver the buckets so I went and got them myself.  And since I was in a hurry I didn’t get any compost for the cocopeat. But I did manage to get some good old fashioned bull crap to put it in it.  After planting the zucchini it took a while for them to come up since it was a bit difficult to keep the top layer of soil from drying out, so note to not start from seed next time.

They’re all doing pretty good, the potting mix was the last to sprout and the cocopeat I didn’t add enough nutrients so the new leaves start out yellow before turning green.  But all in all it is coming along.

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Trying an After Effects Animation

Sorry it’s been almost a week, had a lot of stuff going on.  But now I am back.  After giving some thought I decided it would be worthwhile and fun to do an animation in After Effects CS5.  I’m going to be doing this because I need the experience of creating something and also to add a little flare to the next video I plan to do for my nonprofit.  So far it’s mostly been watching tutorials to find out what I want to do, but I have decided on one element and have started the necessary parts in Photoshop.  So here we go, it should be fun.

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The Importance of Education

My philosophy towards education has always been that “Knowledge is Power.” I guess I have School House Rock to thank for that, but in all actuality it’s true.  The more a person knows, the more that person can do, to better his life and the lives of those who surround him.  In the nonprofit I’m a part of, Help Cape Verde Africa, we stick to that philosophy.

Last year we were able to collect enough school supplies to assemble 115 kits, these kits just had the basics: pencils, pens, paper and folders.  But it helped children who weren’t able to purchase these items because of the poverty they live in. This year we collected more supplies, enough to make over 200 kits.  And we had fun doing it as well as you can see below in the video I filmed and put together.

So why do we do this? It’s kind of simple really, charity.  Charity is a word that is stronger than love, for if we have not charity we are nothing.  And we realize that these children over in Cape Verde will not be able to improve their lives and their families’ lives if they cannot learn the necessary skills that allow them to succeed.  Who knows if one of these children we help could become to Cape Verde what Napoleon Dzombe was to Malawi.

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Fundraising to test the soil in Cape Verde

So as a project that our nonprofit wants to do is to test the soil in Cape Verde.  What this does is it allows the native people to know  what they need to do to allow their soil to grow food.  Only 11% of the land in Cape Verde is suitable for farming because it’s very dry there.  As a result 82% of their food is imported, not a very comforting thought, just imagine if you were over there and all your imports got cut off for some tragic reason, there wouldn’t really be a way to survive.

So help us out, it would be greatly appreciated and you’d be helping to tackle a big problem.
http://www.indiegogo.com/project/widget/26056?a=131011

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