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Flight of the Conchords - Feel Inside (and stuff like that)

Jemaine and Bret were asked to write a charity song for Red Nose Day NZ 2012 in aid of CureKids - a charity that funds medical research into life-threatening childhood illnesses. The lyrics incorporate interviews with school kids that were recorded before they wrote the track. The song, produced by the legendary Printz Board, was recorded at Roundhead Studios in Auckland, New Zealand and features numerous New Zealand artists.

The song is only available to buy from iTunes New Zealand, but anyone who makes a donation at http://www.curekids.org.nz/make-a-donation will receive a free copy of the song.

The Problem With Invisible Children Inc.

I’ve seen a lot of people posting / forwarding / retweeting Invisible Children Inc.’s KONY 2012 video over the past day or so.  It’s a horrible issue, and one well worth highlighting.  Something needs to be done to stop it, and that will require money.

The problem is the Invisible Children Inc. are nowhere near the best people to give that money to.  As a charity they have been criticised more than once for their lack of transparency over how much of the money they raise actually goes towards action for their cause.  As a registered not-for-profit their financial information is publicly available, and makes for interesting reading.  

The expenses listed on page 6 show that in the year to June 2011 Invisible Children spent $8,894,632; a not insignificant sum. However, only $2,810,681 (32%) of that amount went towards direct services (i.e. the cause).  Which means that for that 12-month period they incurred expenses of $6,083,951 -  316% more than they spent helping the children of Uganda.  In my opinion that’s pretty despicable. 

And that’s not to mention the fact that they want to use whatever money that actually does make it way to Uganda to help fund the Ugandan army, who are very nearly as dangerous to the women and children of Uganda as Kony’s LRA are.

It’s not much of a solution, is it?

If you do feel moved enough by the video, and the plight of the Uganda children, that you want to do something, I would recommend you donate money to a more worthy charity such as water.org.  Whilst they don’t get involved in the fight against Kony themselves, their efforts are focussed on actually improving quality of life in the area, which in the long run is a much better goal.

And as for Kony and the LVA?  Supporting Uganda’s army is not the answer.  As responsible nations it’s up to us to step in and do something.  So write to your MP.  Express your concerns, and state that as a responsible country, with a senior position in the UN, Britain should not let this happen.  Tell them you want the UK government to back the US’s efforts to hunt down Kony.  Either by providing our own military support, or pledging financial support to match that of the Obama administration.  Make sure they bring it up in Parliament.  And if they don’t, then write to them again.  And again, and again.

Above all else, do your own research.  Don’t just give your money to the people who have the most effective video.  It might not be going where you think it will.

Clifton Shufflers | Action Medical Research

A group of people from my office are raising money for Action Medical Research, a great children’s charity dedicated to improving the health of babies and children in the UK.

For almost 60 years the charity has been behind numerous breakthroughs such as the UK polio vaccine, ultrasound scanning in pregnancy, and more recently the fetal heart rate monitor a new state-of-the-art device that could help save thousands of at-risk babies.

Action Medical Research relies entirely on donations to fund a range of research projects that address serious childhood conditions and improve quality of life for children with disabilities.

You will also be supporting research to reduce premature birth, prevent pregnancy complications that threaten babies’ lives, and find the best ways to care for sick and vulnerable babies.

Please tick the Gift Aid box if you are a UK tax payer as the UK Government will contribute an additional 25% on the money that they have raised.

Thanks.

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