Friday, October 30, 2015

Is China’s abolishment of their One Child Policy going to make a big difference to the lives of women?

Yesterday saw the huge news that China has decided to abandon its infamous One Child Policy that has been in effect for 35 years! Couples will now be allowed to have 2 children, as due to China’s rapidly aging population there needs to be a way of increasing the younger population to deal with the workload as the economy grows. The One Child Policy was introduced in 1979 when the government saw that China’s population was approaching 1 billion, and they wanted to find a way of reducing the growth. Although on paper this seems like a logical solution, if you then add human rights into the mix it becomes a very controversial approach. So how has this policy impacted on the lives of women and girls over the decades?

For a start, taking away control of their own fertility from women is a violation of a basic human right and one we take for granted in nearly every other country in the world. Whilst looking into the policy, I found real life stories from women talking about the impact it has had on their lives. One women said that her workplace had a ‘quota’ for babies, and when she got pregnant the quota for the year had already been used up so she was forced to have an abortion. It is the highest form of social engineering.

The female population of China has suffered greatly over the years due to the policy, as male children are preferred over females because boys can carry on the family name and provide for the parents as they get older. This has lead to huge number of baby girls being aborted, abandoned and left in orphanages, and in the worst cases parents have actually killed their own baby daughters so that they can try again for a son. Due to this, there are now 30 million more men than women in the country which will inevitably throw up more problems for population growth in the future.

If a couple had a second child they could have been fined at least 159,000 yuan (around £16,000) and that second child would often be denied a ‘hukou’, the China’s identity registration system, making it almost impossible for them to travel around the country and have access to state education and healthcare. It is estimated that there are over 13 million ‘illegal children’ living in China today! Just imagine the difficulties that these people have faced, with no official national citizenship and being shunned by the state. Will the Chinese government now legally acknowledge these people once the Two Child Policy is introduced? And where does that then leave third or even fourth born children? Every child deserves equal opportunities, and China does not yet provide that for its people.

Ripples Foundation welcomes any change in law that will improve the lives of women everywhere, but for many families this new policy has come too late. Although a big step forwards, the country still has a long way to go and a lot of problems ahead to solve before it can fully recover from its past and really make change happen for its citizens. I hope in the future that we will see a new China that sees its women as equally as important as its men, and continues to make progress towards creating a society that does not impose a sense of fear for families or take away control of its women’s fertility. Women will now be able to have 2 children, will not be forced to have sterilisations after their first child and first born female children will hopefully not be viewed as a disappointment.

When the new policy comes into effect, we will just have to wait and see if it really will make a big difference for China.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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3,000 people have now viewed our blog, another milestone for the charity! Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to read our stories over the last few months, your support is very much appreciated. Together we can make change happen for women and communities in Africa. Here's to the next 1,000!
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, October 23, 2015

Send A Box Home Today!

This week has seen the launch of the Ripples Box campaign across Nigeria, and the release of our very first television and radio adverts. The team here at Ripples Foundation are extremely excited that our work and newest project is being seen by thousands of people across Nigeria, and we hope that we can inspire you to get involved!

Our little charity has grown hugely over the past year, first from changing our name down to the expansion of our projects, and we have loved watching the awareness of our work spread both in Africa and in the UK. The Ripples Box is one of our biggest programmes to date, and we believe it has the potential to make a huge difference to the lives of many people living in poverty in rural West Africa.

A shipping container that can be converted into a multimedia classroom, that can be placed in any village regardless of their power supply due to its solar panels. Up to 12 children at a time can use the Ripples Box and get the fantastic opportunity to learn how to use computers and the Internet, and accumulate a wide range of skills that can be used in their future jobs.

Technology is a major tool used by businesses in the modern world, and many children living in extreme poverty in rural villages just don’t have access to the technology to be able to learn how to use it. Entering the job market without the knowledge of how to use IT equipment is the equivalent of swimming in the ocean without a lifejacket: you are going to end up at the bottom. Ripples Box is here to make sure that that doesn’t happen, and to make sure that rural communities have every tool at their disposal so that they can work their way out of extreme poverty. For every year of school that a child takes, their earnings increase by up to 10%! Starting quality education young is a surefire way of ensuring that village children can break the cycle of poverty that has been handed down through the generations, and use their knowledge to build a brighter future for themselves.

But we need your help to make change happen in these communities and to put the Ripples Box programme into action. We rely on donations from generous people to make these projects a reality. There are plenty of wealthy Nigerians who have risen in the world from humble beginnings who have the power to make life better for the people living in their home village. This is the message we want to spread across Nigeria: can you make change happen for your friends and family living in your village? 

We want to spread ripple effect of empowerment and education across the youth of Nigeria, and ensure that they have as good a chance as any to live a life free of extreme poverty.
By sponsoring a Ripples Box, you will be giving village children the opportunity to enter the job market at the same level as their city counterparts, and giving them the chance to lift their family and community out of extreme poverty.

To donate towards Ripples Box please visit or To find out how to #SendABoxHome to your village, please ring 08188 183 959 or email for more information.

If you can’t sponsor a Ripples Box or donate to one, there are still ways in which you can help us! Simply share this blog post, or our pages on Facebook and Twitter and repost with #SendABoxHome. You can help us spread our campaign across the world, and get more people involved with connecting African villages to the world!

You can help us make change happen. Send a box home today.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, October 16, 2015

#BreastCancerAwareness Month

October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, where breast cancer charities put all their efforts in raising awareness of breast cancer and encouraging people to donate and fundraise in order to fund research for a cure and treatment for sufferers. 

Ripples Foundation is right behind this campaign, as we know how devastating cancer is for the patient, their friends and their family, and any drive to raise awareness of what we can do to help stop that pain is applauded. 

Cancer has become a dreaded word in today’s society, the word that you never want to hear. Everyone seems to know someone who has had the disease, whether it be family, friends or acquaintances, and the C-word strikes fear into anyone who hears it. Here at Ripples Foundation, we have lost volunteers and women working on our empowerment projects to cancer, and it is so frustrating to see lives go to waste in this way. Dr Anne Fabiyi (pictured below), a founding trustee of Ripples Nigeria sadly lost her life to cancer recently, and everyone here is so frustrated by such a needless loss of life. 

Obviously a cure needs to be found to stop thousands upon thousands of people dying every year, but just imagine having the disease and not having access to the excellent medical care we have in this country and other developed nations around the world to treat it. 

Sadly, this is the reality for women living in rural African villages, where the nearest hospital is often miles away and inaccessible for villagers. Ripples Foundation holds Medical MOTs for rural villages in Nigeria, Ghana and Cameroon, so that when villagers cannot get to a hospital, we bring the hospital to the village! Our teams of volunteer doctors and nurses give up their time to help us give men, women and children the opportunity to receive a free consultation.

This programme offers potentially lifesaving treatment to villagers, and can diagnose life threatening illnesses such as cancer and offers people treatment. 

Here in the UK or any other developed country, if we get diagnosed with cancer it is still very frightening, but we still have access to either free healthcare on the NHS or excellent facilities that we can use to have every chance of beating off illness. African village women do not even have that luxury. 

We rely on donations from people like you to keep delivering this medical outreach programme to the people of West Africa. Every donation we receive can be invested in sourcing medical equipment and supplies that could save the life of a villager. Can you help us? Donate to the Medical MOT programme today using Total Giving.

So #ThinkPink this month, but also think how you can help spread this message of caring and health to the village women of rural Africa. You can help us make change happen for Africa.
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, October 9, 2015

Guide to Amazon Smile

We are now registered on Amazon Smile, so if you are based in the United States you now have yet another way to donate to Ripples Foundation!

By using Amazon Smile, Amazon donates 0.5% of the price of anything you buy to the charity of your choice. It’s the same Amazon with all the same products on offer, but whilst you shop you can do some good as well! You do not have to pay any extra, Amazon themselves donate a portion of their profits from your sale. It's a win/win situation!

Getting involved is easy, simply visit and sign in as you would with your normal Amazon account, or register if you do not yet have an account. Unfortunately Amazon Smile is currently restricted to the US, but we hope that that will change soon.

You will be prompted to choose the charity that you would like to donate to at this point, and if you start typing Ripples Foundation into the search bar you can select our charity as we appear.

After filling out the remaining forms your registration is now complete, and any purchase that you make can be used to make a small donation to Ripples Foundation. We will use that money to deliver projects for women and youths living in poverty in African villages, to empower them to make change happen for themselves and transform their lives.

So next time you find yourself needing a bit of retail therapy, remember us here at Ripples Foundation and send a smile our way.

Happy shopping!

Alysha Bennett Web Developer

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Friday, October 2, 2015

What can you do to help children living in poverty?

Unfortunately it is always children who have to face many of the world's problems. Below are just some statistics showcasing the harsh reality for children living in poverty.

1. A child born in the world's poorest nations has a 1 in 6 chance of dying before their fifth birthday. In high-income countries, the odds are about 1 in 165

2. 66 million primary school-age children attend classes hungry across the developing world, with 23 million in Africa alone.

3. Every 10 seconds, a child dies from hunger-related diseases.

4. 88% of all children and 60% of all women living with HIV are in sub-Saharan Africa.

5. Diarrhoea and pneumonia together kill more children than AIDS, malaria and TB combined.

By looking at these facts you wouldn't be alone in thinking that there is no hope for change. After all, what can one person do to solve this huge problem?

But there is something you can do!

You can help us improve the lives of children living in poverty by supporting our Ripples Box programme. Nelson Mandela once said that “education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”, and the Ripples Box is designed to do just that. The world we live in now is so reliant on technology, and it is crucial that you know how to use basic software if you want to secure yourself a good job. Children living in rural African villages just don't have the access to the facilities they need to be able to learn how to use this technology - until now! A Ripples Box can be placed in any African village and gives the youth of the community access to computers and the Internet in an exciting and engaging setting. When you’re young, your brain has the ability to soak up so much information - and the early years are crucial. By securing quality education for young people and making sure that they can use basic technology, we can spark an interest for knowledge in them that they will carry with them into their adult lives. 

Better education = a better job and a good income. Free education is a godsend to parents in rural villages in Africa, and finally offers their children the chance to break free of the cycle of poverty that has been handed down to them for generations. They will become adults equipped with the knowledge they need to improve their communities facilities, in areas such as clean water supplies, business and agriculture, and if enough people are educated to this level they have the ability to boost economies. Everyone deserves an equal education regardless of their social standing, otherwise we are throwing away so much wasted potential. Who knows, maybe a child that has been educated in a Ripples Box could even find a cure for HIV one day? How will we know if we don't try?

But we can't do this without you.

As a charity we rely on donations from people like you to be able to put our projects into action. Click here to donate to our Ripples Box programme today and help us #MakeChangeHappen in African communities. Even the smallest of donations can make a big difference to someone's life, and contributes towards one more child being given the chance to live a life free from poverty.

If you can't donate, why not help us promote our campaign online? Simply share this blog post or one of our photos on FaceBook or Twitter, and use the hashtag #SendABoxHome to spread the word to your followers. With your help, we can do our bit to end extreme poverty in Africa and change the lives of children. Now that's a good cause to celebrate!

Thank you.

Facts sourced from:
Alysha Bennett Web Developer

Morbi aliquam fringilla nisl. Pellentesque eleifend condimentum tellus, vel vulputate tortor malesuada sit amet. Aliquam vel vestibulum metus. Aenean ut mi aucto.