This is said video.
The P4A was a whirlwind of sleep deprivation and watching heaps of cool charity videos. My video actually got featured on the livestream which is beyond cool and I got so many awesome comments, but one said something quite interesting. They questioned why I didn’t make a video supporting literacy in “Bangladesh, Philistines, Bhutan, Ethiopia, Afghanistan, or something… The literacy rate is genuinely low there.”
That question made me quite defensive at first, but on reflection it was a fair question, especially coming from someone who I assumed was not from Australia. Although the Project for Awesome is done and dusted for another year, I wanted to go a little bit more in depth about why I picked this organisation in particular.
So, backstory: I have been on YouTube since late 2013 and had seen two P4As come and go, drinking up the wackiness and doing what I could to help the fundraising, but never quite working up the energy to make a video of my own. This year though, this year was the year I was determined to participate. I came to this resolution around 6 months and somehow still ended up researching, scripting, filming, editing and uploading the entire thing in one day like the procrastinating masochist I am.
It came to be the day before the P4A and I had not yet picked a charity so it was in a frazzled, somewhat panicked state that I started looking up old P4A videos, previously sponsored charities and generally googling various combinations of “what are some good charities?” I tried to think what cause made me most passionate. I finally settled on something reading/education based.
As anyone who has grown up as a bookworm will tell you, literacy is super important. It’s a massive part of my life in ALL the ways, whether that’s for escapism, excitement and generally revelling in fictional universes or reading journal articles and writing academic essays for uni. I don’t think I need to explain how vital being literate is to functioning in many – most? – societies, but you don’t need me to tell you that of course.
So, I changed my google searches to variations of “literacy charities”.
I noticed that most of the charities I was unearthing in my research were American based charities and I was slightly put off. Of course, these charities do amazing work and many of these charities provide support and education on a global scale, but to me, the P4A was always about discovering smaller charities that are less well-known and therefore receive less funding.
I narrowed my search to “Australian literacy charities”.
I found a few promising charities and looked through some websites, but most of them seemed a little too small-scale for my liking. The reason I finally settled on the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation was for its support of refugee and Aboriginal Australian students. It has programs in place to help integrate refugee students into Australian culture and teach English literacy, as well as helping preserve Aboriginal cultures and save dying languages, how awesome is that?!
To me, the ALNF had the perfect combination of small and large scale goals. The fact that Aboriginal Australians and refugees are still discriminated against so harshly in contemporary Australia is frankly abhorrent, so anything that is trying to fight against those inequalities and close the education and social gaps is great to see!
To bring us back to that original comment, why didn’t I promote a charity supporting literacy in a third world country? Well, who is going to help the people my country is persecuting if not people in that country?
Of course other people need help too. There are so many people who are in need of food, shelter and basic human rights that it is frankly overwhelming. How do you assess who most needs help? How do you help everyone at once? You can’t really. I’m just one person. Instead of getting overwhelmed and depressed by the state of the world, I picked a place to start and moved on from there. That’s one of the reasons the Project for Awesome is so great, because each individual picks a place to start and then together we support so many amazing causes at once!
If you’re interested, here’s the video with all the details about which charities the Project for Awesome supported this year (which is now last year, what?)
Also, if you want to donate to the Australian Literacy and Numeracy Foundation you can do so here.
If you’ve made it to the end of this excessively long blog post, then kudos to you, and thanks!
See you guys more in 2016!!