Stories of Extraordinary Kindness

Stories of Extraordinary Kindness

A personal blog project to showcase the amazing stories of kindness I’ve been hearing from all the people I meet in life.

I felt that more people needed to hear these stories, even if it were just to provide a small pick-me-up in their day.

Not everybody who told me their extraordinary stories were the most fluent of writers. I found that this was one small way I could give back to those who gave their time to share their stories with me.

Posts:

How Clean Water Does More than Just Quench Thirst

How Clean Water Does More than Just Quench Thirst

How Clean Water Does More than Just Quench Thirst

Original Post published here.

THE POWER OF CLEAN WATER

Clean water does so much more than just quench thirst.

Clean water means healthier children who can attend school. It means higher quality crops to provide better nutrition and income for families. It means more than 2 hours of travel time saved every day from having to collect water from a pond far away – time better spent on personal development.

And in Trailblazer’s case, clean water can even mean enabling people to start businesses, or fund their hospital bills.

MEET TRAILBLAZER

Trailblazer is an organisation that helps develop impoverished villages in Cambodia from the grass-roots level. They are also one of B1G1’s amazing Worthy Causes.

The organisation started back in 2005 when their founders travelled to Cambodia looking for a way to help others in the most sustainable manner. They went to a village and asked a simple question:

“What do you need?”

Though the villagers said they wanted a school, the Trailblazer team realised that villagers were sick and crops weren’t growing. What the villagers desperately needed was access to clean drinking water. So, they set off installing bio-sand water filters and PVC wells.

The organisation sends teams to the villages once a month to conduct baseline surveys and check on the water filters.

Having a well and water filter on site makes a huge difference to the lives of villagers. They no longer need to walk long distances to retrieve dirty river water, nor do they have to rely on a small pond that might dry up at any time.

GROWING NEEDS, FLOURISHING LIVES

With easier access to clean water, the villagers started growing healthier crops.

They then started to request for farmers training to build their farming businesses.

As the needs of the people they supported developed, so Trailblazer’s activities evolved together with the community. The growth of quality crops catalysed the birth of Trailblazer’s farmers training programme.

Study Tour Cambodia Water Filter Trailblazer

Lonsey and Caitlin from Trailblazer demonstrating the use of a PVC well

Lonsey is one such individual who benefitted immensely from the support provided by Trailblazer in various forms.

When Lonsey was young, he frequently fell ill due to various water-caused diseases such as malaria, dengue, and diarrhoea.

After receiving better quality healthcare education from Trailblazer, he learnt to change his habits of consuming dirty water and to take better care of his living quarters to prevent the breeding of mosquitos.

“For me, if I don’t have Trailblazer, I don’t have today.”

Trailblazer also supported Lonsey’s education from primary school through to university, so he decided to work for the organisation as an economic developer after graduation.

CREATING SELF-RELIANCE AND SUSTAINABILITY

All of Trailblazer’s initiatives require a buy-in from their beneficiaries – a small amount that gives them a sense of ownership over their water filters and wells. But these contributions don’t go to Trailblazer; they go back into the village fund.

Whenever any village member requires money to go the hospital, or to buy resources to start a business, they can always borrow money from this village fund at a 2% interest rate. This further allows the village fund to grow, creating a cycle of self-reliance and sustainability.

“We can change people by training them how to help themselves.”

Thanks to organisations like Trailblazer, more and more individuals can now achieve higher standards of living and develop themselves to their full potential.

SUPPORT HUNDREDS OF OTHER GREAT CAUSES LIKE TRAILBLAZER BY BEING A PART OF THE B1G1 BUSINESS FOR GOOD MOVEMENT

A New Way to Get Rid of Pests: Meet Combat Pest Control

A New Way to Get Rid of Pests: Meet Combat Pest Control

A New Way to Get Rid of Pests: Meet Combat Pest Control


Meet the most unconventional business in B1G1 – A pest control company, started up by ex-military men, whose main purpose for being in business is to help educate children in conflict areas.

Michael Coates and Des Fraser started out serving in the British Army for over 10 years. During their time there, they saw firsthand various types of conflicts and their effects on children living in affected areas. Many of their friends also suffered from post traumatic stress from their experiences.

They wanted to help – to raise awareness. To assist children in conflict zones. And to employ and support veterans and reservists.

So, they founded Combat Pest Control in December 2015.

“This is not a company that gives…we wanted to give so we made a company up.”

It started out as a long-term vision – to start a business hiring ex-military people that also creates positive global impact. As a tiny pest control company in London, they thought it would take them 10 years before they could build their business up sufficiently to be able to effectively assist children in conflict zones.

Then, they discovered B1G1. And that vision became a reality immediately.

They started doing things that they thought would be impossible for a small company to do.

With every pest they eradicate, every time they send an invoice for a job, they support education for a child in Afghanistan through B1G1. On top of that, every time their team members receive a great recommendation for a job, they reward them by giving an additional 10 days of education to a child.

This is not charity. This is a part of us. We don’t give to charity. We give to other human beings around the world.

Since joining B1G1, Combat Pest Control has created over 45,000 giving impacts to date. They’ve also become recipients of the ERS Gold Awards 2017 selected by UK’s Ministry of Defence, landed on B1G1’s top 100 Giving Businesses in 2017 list, and are up as an award winner for the Soldiering On Awards 2018.

This is just the beginning of their journey to create positive global impacts as a business for good.

Like B1G1, Combat Pest Control believes that any business can transform its giving mission, and envision a world where giving back is the norm for businesses. Your business can be a part of this journey too.

JOIN THE B1G1 BUSINESS FOR GOOD GIVING MOVEMENT. 

10 Weird & Wacky Things to do in Japan

10 Weird & Wacky Things to do in Japan

10 Weird & Wacky Things to do in Japan

Original post published here.

Every country has its quirks and eccentricities, but few can compare to Tokyo when it comes to peculiar and unique activities! Here, we round up the wackiest of the lot.

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1. Zauo 

Zauo serves fresh fish dishes, but it’s totally different from any other fish restaurants. Why? Because you have to catch fish by yourself! There are various types of fish swimming around a huge pool in the restaurant where you can enjoy fishing. Right after catching your fish, chefs on-hand will help you cook and serve the fish in the most delicious way. Prices vary depending on which fish you catch. Put your fishing skills to the test at this uniquely themed restaurant!

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2. Campy! Bar

Japan is a relatively conservative country, but Shinjyuku 2-chome district is an exception. You can find many gay bars in Shinjyuku 2-chome and Campy! Bar is the newest bar in town. “Beautiful ladies” with flamboyant personalities will warmly welcome you when you enter. You’ll have a lively unforgettable night talking and having drinks with these lovely “ladies”.

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3. Vibrator Bar

Many people might be embarrassed or uncomfortable at the mention of sex toys. In the Vibrator Bar, you can view the different kinds of vibrators without inhibition or judgment, and even have a drink from a vibrator-shaped glass! In addition, you can buy vibrators at a discount from their sister shop, to bring home as a quirky souvenir.

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4. Robot Restaurant

Japanese state-of-the-art technology culminates in the Robot Restaurant in Shinjyuku. Robots and beautiful dancers will perform and entertain you in a pandemonium of bright laser lights and pulsating music! In addition to the crazy performance, you will be served a Japanese style dinner box and a drink. Take a step into the future and enjoy the incredible show of robots, beautiful ladies, and pure insanity!

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5. Japanese Pop Idol Performance 

There are tons of idol groups in Japan, and many of them came from one city- Akihabara, known as the Japanese pop culture mecca! You can catch pop idol themed performances from girls singing anime songs in the main performing hall in Akihabara called “Dear Stage”. Experience the otaku (nerd) phenomenon amongst the performers’ most ardent fans, whose legendary cheering and showers of support have spawned a notable subculture of its own.

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6. Become a Ninja

As a child, didn’t you always dream of becoming a superhero, fireman, or a ninja? Not many are aware that they can actually Become a Ninja in Japan! A qualified ninja who has been succeeding the ninja tradition will teach you basic ninja movements and techniques. As a bonus, you will also get to dress up in black ninja gear and bring home photos of yourself showing off your newfound ninja moves!

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7. Become a Sushi Chef

Sushi is not only healthy and delicious, it is also fun to make. You can Learn how to make Real Japanese Sushi from a professional sushi chef, who will teach you basic Japanese cooking methods to create your own amazing tasting sushi. Moreover, you can bring your awesome sushi-making skills back to your country and open your own sushi bar in the future!

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8. Ear Cleaning by A Cosplay Girl

In Akihabara, there is a secret place that you can go to relax- An ear cleaning cafe! Cleaning your ears using a ear pick is not very common in other countries, but it’s actually very comfortable and quite addictive. A cosplay girl trained in cleaning ears will help you with it, so don’t worry about damaging your ear drums. After this experience, you’ll feel like buying your own ear pick home to enjoy this relaxing activity everyday.

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9. Karate Lesson from A Black Belt Master

Japanese martial arts is well known around the world, and Karate is agreeably the coolest of the lot. Let a Black belt Karate master teach you basic Karate moves and train your mind and body while you get a glimpse of the Japanese martial arts culture.

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10. Eat Jiro Ramen

Ramen is eaten all around the world, but not many foreigners have tried Jiro Ramen despite it being the most notorious ramen in Japan! With a thick layer of oily tonkotsu (pork bone) broth, huge amounts of noodles, and a mountain of cabbage on top, finishing this bowl of ramen without toppling it is definitely an accomplishment! Some Japanese even refer to eating Jiro ramen as a “sport”, because you have to “dig” your way to the bottom of the large serving. In some outlets, if you cannot finish you large size Jiro ramen, you have to pay extra! This ramen is a must-try in order to experience the real food culture in Tokyo.

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Other than these 10 listed, there are still many other unique experiences to be found in Japan. Come to Japan and create your own memorable experiences with us.