25 November 2008

Give Festive, Choose Fair, Naturally at The Body Shop

By Katie - The Body Shop - The Glen Manager

The count down is on – 1 month until Christmas Day – a time when we shower our loved ones with gifts, joy and love. In preparation for this festive season our retail team had a meeting. We shared goals, expectations, and motivated everyone for a memorable 4 weeks to come. To create awareness and also to motivate all, I shared with the team a video from our Activist TV – DVD 2 on Children on the Edge.

Its been 6 months since I returned home from East Timor, and I was overwhelmed by my own emotions from seeing this video again, the memories flooded back, along with the tears (and there was a lot) and again I found the need to move and inspire the team to make a difference, to be heard and seen and importantly to make a difference.

Children on the Edge exists for the most vulnerable and marginalised child worldwide, ensuring they are heard and are not invisible, are protected and have their needs met, advocating for all of their rights in accordance with the principles and provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

This year buy a loved one, family and friends a Tri Massager from the Body Shop – Australia. They retail at $11.95 and approx $9.60 is profit.

All the proceeds from the sale of this groovy gadget will be donated to Children On The Edge (COTE) East Timor Programme, creating play space for children affected by post war trauma. A small wooden massage tool makes a huge difference to the lives of hundreds of children that use the centre in the village of Viqueque. As consumers don't under estimate the power that you have.

You can also go direct to the Children On The Edge website and donate directly to the East Timor, and keep updated with the amazing work they are doing in 9 countries.

Not only is this a gift that will give to the children of Timor you will be supporting the community trade partner Teddy Export - which makes the Tri Massager for The Body Shop.

To learn more about Teddy Exports visit: http://www.teddyexports.net/ along with The Body Shops' other community trade partners.

For those that have experienced East Timor share your stories, passion and get others inspired.

Feliz Natal, Feliz Anu Novu! Happy Christmas & Happy New Year.
Katie - The Glen

White Ribbon Day

By Deb Baxter - The Body Shop Values Coordinator

Today (Tuesday November 25) is White Ribbon Day - 'United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women'

I urge you to please show your support for the elimination of violence against women by purchasing a White Ribbon or Wristband from any of The Body Shop stores or directly from the White Ribbon Foundation. You can even send a virtual White Ribbon to a friend. All proceeds go directly to the White Ribbon Foundation.

About White Ribbon Day
The White Ribbon Foundation of Australia aims to eliminate violence against women by promoting culture-change around the issue.
The major strategies to achieve this are a national media campaign as well as education & male leadership programmes aimed at men and boys around Australia.

All funds received by the White Ribbon Foundation will support the implementation of these strategies.

White Ribbon Day - History
White Ribbon Day was created by a handful of Canadian men in 1991 on the second anniversary of one man's massacre of fourteen women in Montreal. They began the White Ribbon Campaign to urge men to speak out against violence against women.
In 1999, the United Nations General Assembly declared November 25 the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW) and the White Ribbon has become the symbol for the day.

From 2000, the Commonwealth Government Office for Women ran awareness activities on the International Day, and, in 2003, the Australian branch of the United Nations Development Fund for Women, UNIFEM, began a partnership with men and men's organisations to make this a national campaign. Ten thousand white ribbons were distributed in 2003.

Today hundreds of thousands of white ribbons are worn by men and women across Australia - men at work; men and women in all Australian police forces; men in national and local sporting matches and organisations; men in the media; men and women in politics; men in the defence forces; men and women in capital cities and in rural and regional Australia.

The campaign continues to go from strength to strength and now boasts more than 230 white ribbon Ambassadors Australia wide, as well as more events across the country and more organisations and individuals participating year upon year.

For more information, visit www.whiteribbonday.org.au/

24 November 2008

Chocolate, Child Labour and Child Sex Trafficking

By Adam Valvasori - Values Manager.

Image via: www.checkoutfairtrade.org.nz
The farmers in Kuapa Kokoo are proud of the cocoa and their motto is ‘pa paa paa’ which means the ‘best of the best’ in Twi, the local language.

Starting in August 2009 The Body Shop’s global campaign will be ending child trafficking.

According to World Vision, almost every country, including Australia, is implicated in the shocking trade in human lives - either as a place of recruitment, transit or the destination for trafficked people.

The victims of trafficking are sometimes tricked and lured by false promises or physically forced into horrendous situations. Many are trafficked into bonded labour and made to work as virtual slaves to pay off a family debt. Countless women and children are trafficked into the commercial sex industry to work as prostitutes.

What's The Body Shop doing about child trafficking?
  1. The Body Shop’s strong commitment to human rights means all our suppliers must verify they don’t use child labour.

  2. We will be launching a campaign in August with Child Wise, Australia’s leading child protection agency, to eliminate the especially heinous crime of child sex trafficking.

  3. About 70% of the chocolate we eat comes from cocoa beans farmed in West Africa. Sadly, thousands of children are being trafficked and forced into labouring on these cocoa farms. Since 1996 we’ve been supporting a fair and ethical alternative, by buying Community Trade cocoa beans from Kuapa Kokoo Ltd Cooperative in Ghana. The Body Shop uses cocoa in many products, including our famous body butters. We pay a fair price as well as a social premium, so farmers can afford to send their children to school and not to work.

  4. We encourage all our staff to purchase fair trade coffee, tea and chocolate and participate in World Vision's Don't Trade Lives campaign. Many do and go so far as to outlaw "slave bars" from their store's back room.

What can you do to fight child trafficking?

  1. We all eat chocolate and drink tea or coffee. Buy products with the fair trade label and you can rest assured that no child labour was used in making the product.

  2. Contact your favourite chocolate manufacturer and ask them to adopt World Vision Australia’s recommendations to end child labour in the production of the cocoa they buy.

  3. Watch and promote through your circles of influence, the new child trafficking videos I've embeded below from World Vision. Bubbles of Nothing is about the real cost of chocolate. I love it! It's cheeky, original and very effective at getting the message across! Postcard from Narak, Cambodia gives us the opportunitiy to see the issue of child trafficking from the front line. Narak's story touches on the issues of unemployment, poverty, land mines, domestic violence and trafficking but also shows you the positive impact you, via NGOs working in developing countries, can make.

Bubbles of Nothing

Postcard from Narak, Cambodia

21 November 2008

Our humanitarian responsibility

Image: Dr James Orbinski returns to Rwanda and visits the site of a mass-grave.

Last night I went to the Human Rights Film Festival to watch Triage, the story of a humanitarian Doctor with Medecins Sans Frontieres who saw the worst things imaginable during the 1994 genocide.

“I still have, and I always will I think, a nearly uncontainable rage about what happened in Rwanda, in Somalia and in many other parts of the world and about what's happening now in many parts of the world. To see mothers and fathers and children dying of indifference, dying of neglect, of abuse, of somebody's political calculation, that that doesn't matter. It fills me first of all with just profound sorrow that they have to live that and die it. And then it fills me with rage, frankly. And the question then is what do you do? What do you do with that?” - Dr James Orbinski

I highly recommend this movie and the Human Rights Film Festival. We're so lucky to be able to watch these stories and not have to live through them. I love any movie that opens my eyes and heart to the realities of the world. Because it gives you a context with which to frame your own challenges and problems. It also leaves you to question your life's role and responsibility on Earth. Dr Orbinski had a great quote for this too:

“We are responsible for our lives and for our world. And if we don't engage that responsibility, no one else will and we will live or die with a legacy of our failures.” - Dr James Orbinski

So have you seen any movies lately that have rocked your world in this way? Maybe think about it next time you're deciding what to watch at the video library or cinema.

20 November 2008

WSPA's really wild photo competition

Hi everyone. Just a quick note to inform you of an international photo competition www.wspa.ca is running.

It has really cool prizes so if you take a nice picture why not have a go? I entered the above photo of Chloe.

Good luck!
~ Adam

17 November 2008

Our House of Violence

We are proud to continue speaking up against domestic violence and in particular, violence against women. From today you can buy a white ribbon or a 'not violent - not silent' wrist band at The Body Shop. Please show your support and add your voice to this important human rights movement.

You can make a difference by referring men who use violence in their relationships to get help. The Men's Referral Service website is an excellent starting place. As you read yourself from the article below, the problem has not gone away.

via The Adelaide Advertiser:

ONE in every three boys believes it is acceptable to hit girls and many children are routinely exposed to domestic violence, according to a disturbing survey.

The unprecedented survey of violence and attitudes shows one third of boys believe "it's not a big deal to hit a girl". One in seven thought "it's OK to make a girl have sex with you if she was flirting".

The survey also shows one in four teenagers lives with violence at home, prompting calls for domestic violence education programs in schools. The study, which reviewed data from the past seven years, including a survey of 5000 12 to 20-year-olds, found up to 350,000 girls aged between 12 and 20 – one in seven – had experienced sexual assault or rape.

Almost one third of girls in Year 10 had experienced unwanted sex.

The survey, An Assault on Our Future: The impact of violence on young people and their relationships is released today by the White Ribbon Foundation, which campaigns to end violence against women.

Report co-author and sociologist Dr Michael Flood said research revealed watching a violent parent could be just as damaging as a physical assault.

"We used to distinguish between children witnessing violence and children experiencing violence but that implies that seeing your dad or mum being violent is more trivial," he said. "In fact, the evidence is that it can be just as harmful, powerful and traumatic as the physical impact."

Living in a violent home was linked to depression, increased aggression, delayed social and emotional development and poorer education and employment prospects, he said. In South Australia, 22 per cent of young people surveyed reported witnessing an act of physical violence against their mother or stepmother. This included throwing objects or hitting or threatening them with a weapon such as a knife or gun.

More than half (58 per cent) of those had witnessed their father/stepfather yell loudly at their mother/stepmother, while 28 per cent witnessed acts of humiliation and 8 per cent had seen their father/stepfather stop their mother/stepmother seeing her family or friends.

Just over 6 per cent of SA women interviewed had experienced some form of physical or sexual violence in the previous 12 months – which is above the 5.8 per cent national average.

Figures for 2005/6 found 11 women in SA were killed for motives classified as domestic. Exposure to violence was increasingly recognised as a form of child abuse, estimated by Dr Flood to cost the country about $4.9 billion each year.

White Ribbon Foundation chairman Andrew O'Keefe said violence would not end without challenging the views that tolerated it. "If we are going to succeed we must start by challenging these attitudes while kids are still young," he said.

"We know that adults who hold these attitudes are more likely to use violence."

The Premier's Council for Women chair Pat Mickan said more than 90 per cent of acts of violence were committed by an intimate partner and most were occurring in the home.

"Adults are modelling it for children because you are seeing this emerging among our younger people," she said.

"I suspect it's not different in our state, compared with any other. "It happens within the home and (the statistics) suggest it's occurring in front of children, so children become victims of it and let themselves become perpetrators of it."

She said organisations such as the White Ribbon Foundation were addressing domestic violence, so she was optimistic future studies would record improved results.

Well-known male role models who spoke publicly against violence was one campaign she believed would work.

"It's not just women pushing the issue as women as victims, but men challenging society that it's damaging and it's destructive, not just for the family and those who are exposed to it," she said.

White Ribbon Day, November 25, is the United Nation's Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Visit whiteribbonday.org.au for more information

13 November 2008


We all love our Facebook and checking out our friends status updates, recently I saw a status which I thought ... I can help!

Jo is still in Mae Sot and would like to know if anyone would like to plse bring some warmth to orphaned Burmese children this Xmas...if u do let me know!!

Thinking about what can I do on a personal level and what more I could achieve with the support of fellow bloggers.

My buddy Jo works with COTE based in Singapore and has recently returned from Burma, where there is a need for blankets for the Burmese refugee children for this christmas.

If anyone here in Australia would like to make a donation to the cause or has a contact with a blanket manufacturer I would love to hear from them.
There is no need to donate old blankets as it would cost more to ship them to Singapore and then onto Burma - where as a donation would be more effective. Thou saying this, there are many amazing groups in Melbourne, or your city that would love blankets for homeless for next winter. So jump online and check out The Salvo's, Red Cross or The Smith Family charity to name a few.

Having worked along side with Jo in East Timor with the COTE 2008 Play scheme I am in awe for her passion, comitment and compassion for these people. This is something that Jo is doing as an activist not a COTE employee, which again shows her love of the work that she does, hence why I want to contribute.
I feel that by spreading the word we can make a difference no matter how big or small the action may be. This is a personal appeal by Jo - I am just using the tool of the blog to spread it further in my cirlce of influenece. (Thanks Ads - I learnt this in the values session)

To learn more log onto: http://www.shanwomen.org/

Hope to hear from you soon,
Cheers Katie

Feel free to contact me at,
TBS The Glen Victoria

06 November 2008

60 Years of the Declarion of Universal Human Rights

By Adam Valvasori - Values Man

Article 26: Everyone has the right to education.

Article 27: Everyone has the right to cultural life.

These are just two of the four brilliant posters we are rotating in our window between now and Christmas supplied by Amnesty International Australia. If you're not sure what they are on about. It's important you know the basics... I've carefully snipped this from Wikipedia:

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) is a declaration adopted by the United Nations General Assembly (10 December 1948 at Palais de Chaillot, Paris). The Guinness Book of Records describes the UDHR as the "Most Translated Document" in the world. The Declaration arose directly from the experience of the Second World War and represents the first global expression of rights to which all human beings are inherently entitled. It consists of 30 articles which have been elaborated in subsequent international treaties, regional human rights instruments, national constitutions and laws.

So it's basically the most important document ever created that you will ever read. Read the whole declaration here.

The Body Shop has been 'going steady' with Amnesty International for a long time. In teen years it's probably considered a life time. I know no one talks like that any more... sometimes you just have to indulge me. So anyway you can help everyone in the world gets to enjoy their universal human rights by buying your Christmas Cards at The Body Shop. 100% of the profits go to Amnesty International.

On a kind of side note:

Congratulations to Barack Obama on becoming the next President of the United States and Good Luck! (you're going to need it). One of the first things he's promised to tackle is terrorism. Amnesty International has made his job easier by producing this human rights check list - USA: Counter Terror with Justice. They include closing Guantánamo Bay and eradicating their use of torture tactics.

We hope they're all on the top of his 'things to do' list.

05 November 2008

The Body Shop cares about climate change

Don Henry (ACF), Louisa Trombin (The Body Shop) and 17,000 postcards for Kevin.

A partnership between the Australian Conservation Foundation and The Body Shop resulted in more than 17,000 signed postcards from The Body Shop customers telling Prime Minister Kevin Rudd that they care about climate change.

Where’s your postcard?

The postcard that you signed, along with more than 17,000 postcards signed by other The Body Shop customers, was delivered to Kevin Rudd’s office by ACF CEO Don Henry and The Body Shop People & Values Manager Louisa Trombin (pictured above) on Wednesday 22 October.

The Honourable Anthony Byrne MP, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, accepted the cards on behalf of the Australian Government.

As you know, climate change is one of the biggest challenges facing Australia and the world. We need urgent and strong action to cut our carbon pollution to avoid dangerous climate change and it’s up to all of us to make this happen.

Who on Earth Cares is a campaign from ACF where you can put yourself on the map and show why you care about climate change.
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