News

New project: Sea AES

Pagan Aid has just launched its next crowd funding campaign to raise £500 for Sea AES (pronounced Sea Ice). Sea AES are working on a project to protect the environment around the Hudson Bay.

The new crowdfunding campaign is available here: https://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/environmental-stewardship-sea-aes

Stuart Jeffery, chair of Pagan Aid: “Sea AES is a Canadian charity working with Inuit and Cree communities to address issues of food security, safety and environmental stewardship for sea ice and marine ecosystems.

“We will also be raising funds for the Transition Town movement in the UK over the coming months.”

Patrick McCullom appeal raised £500

Our first attempt at crowd funding has successfully raised £500 for the Patrick McCullom Foundation and his work in India.

Patrick has been focusing on bring the wisdom of the elders of indigenous tribes from around the world to India to prevent the rapid environmental destruction that is happening alongside their economic growth.

From his website:

The McCollum Foundation For Peace is pleased to share our newest project toward creating a better world. In February 2019, we will be taking an international group of Indigenous Elders to the Kumbh Mela in Allahabad India, to be seen and heard by over one hundred million attendees. This is part of our long-time commitment to helping raise up the voices of Indigenous Peoples and to empower them to be seen, heard, and appreciated!

The elders will be honored guests at the center of the largest gathering of human beings in all of history, with a projected expectation of as many as 125 million people coming. There will be a sacred Kiva built at the center of the Kumbh Mela to honor the presence of the Elders at the heart of the event, and they will meet world dignitaries, and address huge audiences.

Patrick McCullom India Project Appeal Launched

Pagan Aid is aiming to raise £1000 through crowdfunding to help with the next phase of Patrick McCullom’s India Environmental Project. This is the first time that Pagan Aid has used crowdfunding to raise funds for a project.

McCullom’s project so far has worked to try to save the environment and the animals of India threatened by India’s entry onto the global economic stage. Working with Jane Goodall, the first stage was teaching children of the importance of protecting animals and the environment. The second part was the Save the Ganges Cremation Project with the designing and promoting new furnaces for Hindu cremations with greatly reduced or zero wood. Instead of depositing the ashes into the Ganges as per custom, a pot containing a seedling tree is provided whose dirt is combined with the ashes and a small amount of Ganges River water to be planted.

The current phase is to bring indiginous leaders to the next Kumbh Mela where 130 million people will be gathered. These leaders will be teaching the importance of ‘original instructions’, how the Earth is sacred and how our actions affect all life. Their teachings will be both environmental and spiritual and will be given to the biggest gathering of people that has ever happened.

Please help us support the Patrick McCullom Foundation by donating a small amount today.

Himalayan Permaculture Centre

Pagan Aid has donated £1000 to the Himalayan Permaculture Centre (HPC), a grass roots non-government organisation set up by trained and motivated farmers from Surkhet district (Mid-Western Nepal) in 2010 to implement sustainable rural development programs in Nepal.

HPC is now supporting 32 villages in the Surkhet and Humla districts of western Nepal. This support takes various forms including training, loans, improving women’s health and literacy programmes.

HPC supplies various basic tools to farmers’ groups enabling them to implement activities in their villages. These include grafting knives, secateurs, irrigation pipe, sprinklers and plastic for hot beds and small polytunnels. Groups are involved in implementing various types of practical work in their houses and fields to increase household self-reliance.

This video shows some of the work that HPC does:

PaganAid gives to Black Flag’s relief work in Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico on 20th September last year. Despite Puerto Rico being a US territory and suffering from severe poverty, the response from the US Government and Red Cross was poor. The Pagan news blog, the Wild Hunt, alerted us to Blag Flag Search and Rescue who were on the ground in Puerto Rico helping those who have lost everything. We decided to aid their efforts with a donation on behalf of PaganAid’s supporters..

Black Flag have been in Puerto Rico for a few months now and have been providing shelter for people whose homes have been destroyed plus much needed water purification filters. These are basic needs that are not being properly met by other bigger organisations. 

Several of the Black Flag team are Pagans and Solar Cross Temple, whose president is T. Thorn Coyle, have also been actively supporting Black Flag’s Puerto Rican effort. 

Before heading to Puerto Rico, Black Flag were providing humanitarian support to protestors at Standing Rock and in Houston following Hurricane Harvey where they worked in areas that other rescue workers wouldn’t go. If you want to learn more about their work visit their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/groups/118484358879049/

Rights of Mother Earth

Today, Nature is treated as property under current law. Nature has no standing and therefore cannot be represented in a court of law. However, Nature is a living being, in all its forms, with the right to exist, persist, maintain and regenerate its vital cycles. We must stop considering Nature as property – a resource to be consumed.

PaganAid is proud to be a supporter and friend of the campaign for the United Nations to adopt a Universal Declaration on the Rights of Mother Earth. We urge you to join us and sign the petition at http://petition.rightsofmotherearth.com/. 850,000 people have already signed – the target is one million.

 

Annual Report for 2016-17

The Board of Trustees are pleased to share with our supporters and the public our PaganAid Annual Report 2016-17 for the year 2016-17.

The accounts show that we received £1,780.45 in donations over the year, incurred admin costs of £140 and made a charitable grant of £1,000 (see below).

The report also summarises our activities over the year:

Fundraising

PaganAid has received donations from individual supporters and from sympathetic organisations. The trustees wish to express our profound thanks to all who have given us support.

A particular mention goes to Malcolm Brown, who raised £350 by donating the total proceeds of the download sales of his music, and to The Druid Network who made a generous donation of £500. Thanks also to the Pagan Federation’s Wessex region and Devon & Cornwall region for the donations they made in 2015-16.

Grants

In August 2016, we made our first charitable grant. We gave a donation of £1,000 to Tree Aid to support its Women’s Forest Livelihoods programme in the Sahel region of Africa. This project will work with 950 women in the Passouré province of Burkina Faso to improve incomes and environmental sustainability. Our grant helped to:

  • Increase reliable household incomes by helping women to run enterprises based on neem, saba and shea tree products
  • Protect the forest and empowering women by legally registering women’s forest management groups
  • Reduce deforestation and demand for firewood by training women how to make fuel saving stoves

Organisational Development

During the course of the year, we took a number of steps to develop the charity, laying the groundwork for the future and the recruitment of more supporters and volunteers.

IT Systems

As part of our policy to keep our administrative costs to a minimum, we have moved the hosting of our website and taken the systems maintenance in-house, to be done by our IT Officer Chris Funderburg.

Volunteer Policy

Our Volunteer Coordinator, Alan Jones, developed a Volunteer Policy for PaganAid. The policy was created to emphasise our desire for supporters to be actively involved in running the charity and raising funds. It helps us to ensure that all volunteers will be treated in a fair and consistent way and will help our volunteers understand what support is available to them and what they can expect from us. We will be conducting a volunteer recruitment drive in the second half of 2017.

Public Liability Insurance

To ensure that volunteers and the public are protected, the Board has purchased (in July 2017) the Small Charity Connect Insurance Policy from Ansvar Insurance. This includes the following cover:

  • Public & Product Liability – £1,000,000
  • Employers Liability (for volunteers) – £10,000,000
  • Trustees & Directors Indemnity – £100,000

The insurance only applies to the UK, and so for the time being we will only recruit volunteers based in the UK.

Communications Policy

In March 2017, the Board approved PaganAid’s Communications Policy. This policy guides and supports the officers and volunteers of PaganAid to communicate effectively with internal and external audiences so that

  • PaganAid’s values and beliefs are expressed both in what we say and the way we say it;
  • our audiences have a clear understanding of what PaganAid is, what we do and how we do it; and
  • we increase support for sustainable development in general and PaganAid in particular.

We would like to thank everyone for their most generous support, and we look forward to building on these foundations and bringing on board more volunteers and supporters in the year ahead. We will also be making more grants on behalf of the Pagan community to projects that protect Mother Earth and help reduce chronic poverty – watch this space!

Thanks to The Druid Network

Belated and profuse thanks to The Druid Network for a most generous donation of £500.

The picture shows Bish from TDN handing over the cheque to PaganAid’s Ian Chandler at the Harold Stones, a series of three ancient standing stones in the village of Trellech in SE Wales.

Annual Report for 2015-2016

In March, as required by UK law, we submitted to the Charity Commission our Annual Report covering the period from 1st July 2015 to 30th June 2016. That period saw us set up the website and payment platform as well as our Facebook page, leading to us launching PaganAid to the Pagan community in August 2015. We received £1,905.11 in donations during the year thanks to the generosity of our many supporters. Our costs were £337, mainly for the setting up of the website and payment processors. That gave us net assets of £853.11. We didn’t make any donations during that financial year – our first donation wasn’t until August 2016. You can download the report here: PaganAid Annual Report 2015-16

Stuart Jeffery, our Treasurer, gave an update to our last Board meeting, telling us that in the six months from July to December 2016, we raised a further £1,182.11 with expenses of just £20. After our grant of £1,000 to Tree Aid, we had net assets of £1,015.72.

Expect a new financial update soon, with our Annual Report for 2016-17 to be completed later this year.

Thank you for your support.

Ian

Volunteer Policy

At its meeting in March, the Board approved a Volunteer Policy for the charity, drawn up by our Volunteer Coordinator Alan Jones. The policy was created to emphasise our desire for supporters to be actively involved in running the charity and raising funds. It helps us to ensure that all volunteers will be treated in a fair and consistent way and will help our volunteers understand what support is available to them and what they can expect from us. You can download it from our Policy page here.

There has been a delay in publishing this policy and putting it into action because one of the prerequisites is for us to have suitable insurance. Sorting this out fell to me, but my work and my involvement in the local and national elections in the UK has distracted me, so that’s taken a while to sort out, for which I apologise. The insurance we have been able to secure only covers us in the UK, so for the time being, the volunteer policy only covers volunteers in the UK. We will investigate means of extending this to other countries in the future.

Now that the policy and insurance is in place, we will renew our efforts to recruit a team of volunteers to take PaganAid to the next level. Watch this space.

Blessings,

Ian