If you’re like me, your heart has been heavy since Putin invaded Ukraine. Many have asked if Together We Can the World will be getting involved in the relief efforts. While we would love to help, we are clear that our mission is to educate and empower less fortunate women and children in SE Asia. We serve five countries: Malaysia, Thailand, Cambodia, the Philippines and Myanmar. That being said, one of our top five causes is Malaysian Social Research Institute, (MSRI.org.my) where we support 500 refugee kids.
We support a refugee school, a technology center that we have built at the MSRI school and a Together for Good Refugee Film School. We love helping refugee families create sustainability. Many refugees have come to MSRI in the past year from the crisis in Afghanistan and we anticipate many to come in from Ukraine. In that respect, we will be helping out Ukrainian refugees in the near future.
However, on a personal level, I feel so helpless watching people needlessly suffer, wishing I could do something meaningful in Ukraine. I have a good friend, Gennady Polonsky, who lives in Uzhhorod, Ukraine and runs a speakers bureau there. As you can imagine, he is totally distraught watching his country and people be destroyed. Gennady is working with Rotary in Kiev to distribute food, medical supplies and clothing to those who have lost their homes and now living in shelters within Ukraine. I know we all want to continue to help in some way, and this is one awesome way to provide immediate relief to those who have lost their homes in Ukraine. Gennady is totally trustworthy and 100% of the money raised will be personally delivered by Gennady to the victims living in the centers.
If you’re interested, money can be paid directly into Rotary Kyiv’s disaster relief account in Slovakia through Paypal at Corporate.email@example.com. And if you give money to Together We Can Change the World, (www.twcctw.org/donation) for which we always are so grateful, we will continue to support our good causes in SE Asia including MSRI.org.my.
Before Christmas, a devastating typhoon hit the Philippines. Many in the Philippines were already food insecure and jobless due to Covid. Typhoon Odette added a damaging blow!
Given this trying time, TWCCTW created the Angel Fund and Adopt a Family for Christmas. An Angel Fund provides $50 to buy a 50-kilogram sack of rice, vegetables and sardines. That can feed a family of five for about a month. We support those families with the greatest need. The Adopt a Family for Christmas Program was targeted at those impacted by the typhoon to put a smile in their Christmas by providing food and gifts. To date over $13,000 has been given through the program for food, gifts and to help the rebuilding of houses. See related articles below for more info on the programs.
And lastly for this column, I’m so excited to announce our three newest Board members…-Ron Khoo of Hong Kong, Terence Rodrigues of Melbourne, Australia and Jonathan Low of Malaysia. Ron and Terence have been on numerous tours with us providing food for kids at schools through their organization, Food for Good. To date they have provided over 175,000 meals. We are looking forward to increasing that number substantially in the future. Jonathan has been on five or six tours with us and is always supportive of our efforts, especially in Malaysia. As a past-president of both the Global Speakers Federation and the Malaysia Association of Professional Speakers, Jonathan is incredibly well-connected. He will be playing a big role on our upcoming July tour.
Wishing you many blessings throughout the remainder of 2022. Thanks for being on this journey with us! Remember, we cannot do all the good that the world needs, but the world needs all the good that we can do.
Tour update Scott Friedman
I’m as pleased as punch, (do people still say that?) to announce that we will be doing another tour come July! Drumroll please! The dates will be July 18th – July 29th. We will be starting in Singapore with a wellbeing/leadership/The Future of Work conference on July 19th and quickly moving to Kuala Lumpur for another wellbeing/leadership/The Future of Work conference on July 21. We will be spending quality time with refugees at the MSRI School in Kuala Lumpur and with refugee families as well. In Cambodia, we’ll tour the villages where we provide wells, feed kids at schools and meet with leaders.
After spending three weeks in SE Asia last month and another week this month, I am convinced that SE Asia is eager to welcome Together we Can Change the World back. Please write if you’d like more information on how you can participate in July.
Typhoon Odette – Philippines Maria Monsale, TWCCTW
At 5 p.m. on December 16, 2021, Arlyn Secatin’s family was about to have dinner of rice and sardines. Dusk was approaching. A hard rain pounded the corrugated tin roof of the family’s one bedroom home in Kabankalan City. Outside, a harsh, cold wind blew. Initially, the family was not too concerned. They assumed this was just another storm, one of many they had endured.
Outside, a harsh, cold wind blew. Initially, the family was not too concerned. They assumed this was just another storm, one of many they had endured. But when they looked outside, they became frightened: 195 mile an hour howling, gale-force winds uprooted trees, blew off roofs and flattened homes.
Typhoon Odette, classified as a “super typhoon,” one of the most destructive typhoons to hit the Philippines in recent memory, struck with a vengeance. The Secatins and their neighbors were terrified. Flood waters rushed into the family home. In less than a minute, the cold, raging currents were up to their knees. Arlyn knew they had to escape or perish.
“I had never witnessed this strong of wind before,” Arlyn said, recalling that horrific day Odette made landfall, threatening their lives. “Let’s leave this house or we will all die,” she told her husband and children. Arlyn, five months pregnant, hurriedly gathered her eight children. The family waded against the stiff currents, avoiding floating debris, and struggled not to be swept away. Somehow they managed to escape and headed for an evacuation center.
By the time the typhoon moved on, it would kill more than 400 people and leave another 243,000 homeless across the Negros Occidental province. These left homeless sought shelter in one of the 100 evacuation centers, enduring cold and hunger and an uncertain future. They also experiened the paralyzing psychological trauma that often accompanies such disasters.
In the aftermath of Odette, the Secatin family faces many challenges, not the least of which is how they can clothe and feed themselves and have water to drink. Now, too, they are more vulnerable to sickness and disease. Where will they stay? Will they rebuild? Can they even afford to rebuild, given the meager salaries Arlyn and her husband make? Arlyn is a part-time vegetable vendor and her husband, Demetrio, is a tricycle driver. Their daily combined income is 350 pesos a day, or about 6 to 7 U.S. dollars. That is on a good day. Often, they make less than that.
The Secatins are hardworking people forced to live hardscrabble lives. They, and thousands like them, must now rely on the goodwill of others to help them survive this natural catastrophe. If there ever was a time they needed help, now is that time. Together, We Can Change the World was happy to answer the call thanks to your donations to the Angel Fund.
The Power of the Human Spirit
The power of the human spirit has triumphed over one of the strongest and most destructive typhoons to hit the Philippines in many years. Our humanity was on display as people came together to help the many victims of Super Typhoon Odette.
Together, We Can Change The World came to the rescue of Typhoon Odette victims in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Together We Can Change the World’s Relief Assistance for Victims of Typhoon Odette (Rai) helped alleviate much suffering.
Last December 25, 2021, our Together We Can Change The World volunteers delivered relief assistance of water, packed meals for kids, fruits, and basic goods to several affected Barangays in Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental. Kabankalan is one of the many cities and municipalities in Southern Negros that have been hard-hit by Typhoon Odette.
Odette caused widespread flooding, destroyed property, and caused extensive economic damage to farming and fishing villages. The affected communities still have a long way to go to recover from this catastrophe.
We will help provide badly-need materials to repair and rebuild victims’ homes. The typhoon flattened and destroyed most of them. We also want to provide fishing and farming tools and equipment to help people in these villages resume their livelihoods.
To our donors, sponsors, and partners, we are grateful for your continued support. May God bless your generous hearts.
A million thanks go out to our team for a job well done. Together, we can overcome any challenge. Together We Can Change the World. Click on this link to watch the video : https://youtu.be/LqB7cWBN2Cw
On February 6, 2022, Together We Can Change The World volunteers, went to Sitio Ondol, Barangay Camugao, Kabankalan City, Negros Occidental, the area Typhoon Odette destroyed December 17, 2021. The team consisted of a doctor, two pharmacists, and 11 volunteers.
When the team arrived about 10 a.m. more than one hundred program recipients, including young children, teenagers, adults and senior citizens were waiting patiently, enduring the dust and the heat. The program provided free food, medical consultations, medicines and clothing.
The program’s success exceeded our expectations. We had planned to provide free medical consultations for up to 50 people. Nearly one hundred were seen. Many of them needed immediate medical attention.
Most of them were diabetic, had high blood pressure, hypothyroidism, were anemic, and had other medical conditions. After the consultations, the patients were given medicines and vitamins. Everyone was given porridge and bread, and clothing that the volunteers donated.
These people, often having to live a hand-to-mouth existence, had suffered through a horrific natural disaster that claimed hundreds of lives. Despite this, they were still able to manage a smile and muster hope and courage for a better day. They greatly appreciated all the help and care they received that day.
This was our second project for this barangay or neighborhood. We hope to increase our efforts and have even larger programs. For this team of volunteers, helping others is its greatest reward.
Our Together We Can Change the World donors, supporters, and partners made this miracle of love and brotherhood possible. Thank you for your untiring support to the people of Negros Occidental, Philippines. Kudos, too, to the volunteers! God bless you all! Click on this link to watch the video :https://youtu.be/Sb9OfibxKWA
Thank you, Rhonda Faught While it’s exciting to add three new members to the Board from around the world, it’s always difficult to say goodbye to those beloved members who have served. After 5 years of championing the newsletter, guiding social media and keeping the minutes, this cherished member of the Board is leaving for greener ranches. How exciting to be moving to a hay farm along the Pecos River 40 miles outside of Santa Fe. Rhonda, good luck with farming, ranching, and raising chickens and a few eyebrows along the way.
Thanks, Rhonda for your contagious spirit, positive outlook and your servant leadership mindset. We can’t wait for you and Tom to come on a tour with us in the future.
Welcome to our new Board Members
Terence Rodrigues Board Member at Large
Terence Rodrigues is a registered professional engineer with over 18 years of experience in railway rolling stock design and manufacturing. Based in Melbourne, Australia, Terence’s engineering experience comes from working with multinational rail companies and spending time working with rail customers in Asia and Europe. Currently, he has moved into the customer’s space as a Senior Manager at the Department of Transport for the Victorian State Government, overseeing major train and tram projects for the state. Terence has been part of TWCCTW since 2015 and has joined the team on various adventures in Cambodia and Thailand. He is also part of The Food for Good Project (www.FoodForGoodProject.com) founded by his good friend and schoolmate Ron Khoo, which provides meals to disadvantaged children. Terence loves field hockey and is still active on the field. He is also a keen scuba diver and is very passionate about conservation of the seas and marine life. http://www.FoodForGoodProject.com/
Ron Khoo Board Member at Large
Ron Khoo is an accountant by training who stumbled upon the world of fine wine and gourmet food. He left the numbers and headed towards liquid wonders. He has been a fan of TWCCTW since 2014 and has, on average, been on at least 1 trip per year to visit the projects. Ron is currently based in Hong Kong and takes care of wine & spirits for Cathay Pacific, one of the world’s best airlines. When not musing about food & wine, his other passion is to provide meals to disadvantaged children through The Food for Good Project (www.FoodForGoodProject.com) which started in Malaysia with a one-for-one restaurant. All the meals go towards TWCCTW projects and at least once a year we physically visit the projects and serve the meals there ourselves. Ron also sits on the Asean Advisory Panel of the Cambodian Community Dream Organization (www.TheCCDO.org). You may find his musings at www.HeroicsLair.com http://www.FoodForGoodProject.com/
Board Member at Large
Jonathan Low CSP, ICF PCC, MBA centers his conference speaking and executive coaching work with organisations and senior executives to measurably improve their leadership effectiveness and business performance especially in the areas of Service Quality, Sales Performance, Leadership Communication and Team Development.
Jonathan has been consistently ranked within the Top 3 in Global Guru Hospitality for the last 6 years and is a past recipient of the Global Training & Development Leadership Award and the 100 Best Global Coaching Leaders. He is also the international author of “Winning Clients’ Loyalty – 7 Proven Practices to Convert Clients into Amazing Fans.”
A Certified Speaking Professional (CSP), Professional Certified Coach (ICF PCC), and one of Asia’s leading Sales & Service Conference Speakers and Leadership Success Coaches, Jonathan has successfully delivered his high energy, fun and highly engaging programs to international participants (ranging from executives to senior managers and directors) across Asia Pacific, Australasia, EMEA, North America, besides being a transformational speaker at numerous international conferences. He was also the President of the Global Speakers Federation 2015/2016, Past President at the Virtual Speakers Association International (2020/2021) and the Malaysian Association of Professional Speakers.
Jonathan has earned accreditations and certifications in the field of leadership, executive coaching, team coaching, emotional intelligence, mental toughness and wellness, trust-building, resilience, from Six Seconds EQ Intl, Global Coach Group, Mental Toughness Research Institute, International Coaching Federation, Reina Trust-building, HDX Simulations, Marshall Goldsmith SCC, Business Today, TRACOM Group, Identi3, Association of Talent Development, John Maxwell Team, Canfield Training Group, National Speakers Association USA, International Professional Managers Association (UK), Corporate Coach Academy & e-Cornell University.
A longtime supporter of Together We Can Change the World, Jonathan has been part of many TWCCTW tours to Cambodia, Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, and Singapore over the last 10 years. https://www.GlobalSuccessLearning.net
TWO WAYS TO GIVE WHILE YOU SHOP It cost you nothing but it helps our causes
You can support Together We Can Change the World every time you shop on Amazon by using Amazon Smile! .5% of the cost of eligible purchases will be donated to Together We Can Change the World. All you have to do is use the link below to select TWCCTW as the charity you support through your Amazon Smile purchases!
To continue supporting TWCCTW’s projects across SE Asia, all you have to do is remember to use smile.amazon.comevery time you make a purchase through your Amazon account. We would greatly appreciate your donations!
With Giving Assistant, you can donate to Together We Can Change the World while shopping like normal. Sign up with Facebook or email, and the Giving Assistant app will be added to your browser. It will let you know when your purchase is supporting TWCCTW at no additional cost to you! Just follow the link below, sign up, and click ‘Support This Cause.’ http://bit.ly/GiveToTWCCTW
Tax Deductible Contribution
Together We Can Change the World is a registered Coorado state non-profit corporation and a public charity exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All contributions are tax deductible to the extent allowed by current law.
Well over 95% of your contributions go directly to support our carefully selected organizations involved in educating and caring for women and children in SE Asia. We keep our overhead costs to an absolute minimum, consisting primarily of fees charged for credit card processing.
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