Robot to help nonprofiteers apply for jobs

Robot to help nonprofiteers apply for jobs

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A laundromat for the homeless provided by the Pope

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Pope Francis has opened a new laundromat for the homeless to wash and dry their clothing. The laundromat, near the Vatican, has six washing machines and dryers donated by Whirlpool. It will remain open four days a week and services are free. http://bigstory.ap.org/article/1f6c5814a3df4dc29534fd85ca83e6e5/pope-francis-opens-free-laundromat-homeless

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School desks from recycled cardboard boxes

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Aarambh is using discarded cardboard waste to create school bags which unpack into small desks — designed to improve the posture of children who are used to sitting and writing on the floor. https://www.springwise.com/india-cardboard-boxes-create-school-bags-transform-desks/

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Free “granny flats” as an experiment to address homelessness

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What’s an imaginative way to combat homelessness? Offer to build granny flats on citizens’ properties… for free. A local government in the state of Oregon plans to fund construction of up to 300 miniature (200 square foot) homes on residential properties in the next year. The only catch is that property owners must agree to lease the flats to homeless families for five years. Then, property owners can keep the structures at no cost for any personal use. http://www.wweek.com/news/city/2017/03/14/multnomah-county-hopes-to-build-granny-flats-to-house-hundreds-of-homeless-families-in-portland-backyards

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Better Food, Better Neighbours

Better Food, Better Neighbours

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Idea here is to match Volunteers to the Elderly  so that their gardens can produce home grown food (fruit and veg) which can then be consumed by the resident and/or sold at markets (for a share of the proceeds). The additional labour here could be schools and/or scouts with their incentives being (i) helping the elderly (ii) creating better, cleaner food and (iii) raising funds by selling produce.

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A new way to give light to disadvantaged communities

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The Liter of Light project teaches people in disadvantaged communities how to use recycled plastic bottles and locally sourced materials to light their homes, businesses and streets with solar energy. www.literoflight.org

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An initiative to end indigenous disadvantage in a generation

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GenerationOne aims to break down indigenous stereotypes and negative opinions by promoting stories of success and opportunity. It promotes other organisations that are doing good work in the fields of education and employment. Its flagship initiative is the Australian Employment Covenant which aims to build the demand for an Indigenous workforce by securing 50,000 sustainable jobs for Indigenous Australians, to break their vicious cycle of unemployment and poverty.. http://generationone.org.au/about

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A refugee shelter that looks good

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Developed by the not-for-profit Ikea Foundation with UNHCR , the UN refugee agency, over the past five years, the Better Shelter consists of a sturdy steel frame clad with insulated polypropylene panels, along with a solar panel on the roof that provides four hours of electric light, or mobile phone charging via a USB port. https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2017/jan/27/why-ikea-flatpack-refugee-shelter-won-design-of-the-year

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Top law firm offers free legal service for disadvantaged young people

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The Shopfront Youth Legal Centre is a free legal service for homeless and disadvantaged young people aged 25 and under. It aims to make a difference to their lives through legal representation, social support, education and advocacy and is a joint project of Herbert Smith Freehills, Mission Australia and The Salvation Army. www.theshopfront.org

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Drones for the Royal Botanical Gardens to save

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The Royal Botanical Gardens apparently have a very tight budget. It opens at 7am, which is way too late for most of the city dwellers who would like to walk or run through the fabulous parklands as part of their daily exercise. Over many years we have been told that the Gardens cannot afford to hire rangers who safe guard the precious plants. Apparently, plants do get stolen!!! (My sub-idea is please stop stealing plants from the Botanic Gardens!) Instead of hiring expensive human labour, the Gardens should consider buying drones to monitor visitors. The drones would be equipped with heat sensor cameras to follow visitors, especially around areas where plants are most likely to be stolen. The drones would also have small pumps with the ability to microinject a smelly and bright colored substance on the offenders. The substance would be non-toxic, but the smell and colour would hang around for a couple of days to make the life of the thief especially uncomfortable. A single individual could control up to 10 drones, at an annual costs of under $100,000 (this includes the salary of the human). I expect the RBG spends more than that on the rangers. I would be happy to start the RBG Drone Crowd Fund to get the idea going.

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A free service to help you make ethical decisions

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The Ethics Centre in Sydney has an Ethi-call service which offers you support for difficult decisions you need to take (or have taken) and ethical dilemmas. These range from decisions & dilemmas at work to everyday parenting issues. http://www.ethics.org.au/ethi-call/ethi-call

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Children helping children

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The ‘100 Million for 100 Million’ Campaign established by Nobel peace prize winner, Shri Kailash Satyarthi, aims to mobilise 100 million youth and children for 100 million underprivileged children across the world, to end child labour, child slavery, violence against children and promote the right of every child to be safe, free, and educated, over the next 5 years. http://www.satyarthi.org/

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Help for pregnant women on transport

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Transport for London made life a lot easier for mums-to-be when it brought out its official “Baby on Board” badge, prompting Tube passengers to offer up their seats. However, commuters are often so engrossed in their smartphones that they don’t notice when a pregnant woman boards the train. Now London-based innovation firm 10x has developed an app called Babee on Board, which should help pregnant women get other commuters’ attention. http://www.mirror.co.uk/tech/babee-board-app-prompts-inconsiderate-9677387

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Help for young people facing disdvantage

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What to do when young people are facing disadvantage-not bothering to go to school, not achieving, living where life expectancy is 10 years below other suburbs in the same city? Try building something like The Works in Hunslet, Leeds, UK. The aspirations and expectations of young people in this area have been raised by installing a world class, state-of-the-art skatepark. It literally puts kids at the centre of everything, makes them want to be there, and enables the creation of education services around the Skatepark. http://theworksskatepark.co.uk/skatepark/

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A solution for anorexia

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Teenagers in the US formed a nonprofit called Project Heal to raise funds that help others with anorexia and other eating disorders. It’s now one of the largest eating disorder nonprofits in the country and is working with key players in the academic and technology communities to come up with ways to change public perceptions of the disease and stimulate new ideas. It’s planned that mentees on their programs become mentors in the future to help others. www.theprojectheal.org

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Giving children a voice in the family

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We know that if children grow up in a healthy emotional environment they are less prone to experiencing mental health issues as teenagers, are more able to cope with challenging life situations and are more likely to have rich, productive and professional lives as adults. Preparing children emotionally for the world is as important as teaching them to read and write. Uplifting Australia is a not for profit with a mission to improve the emotional wellbeing and resilience of children and families across Australia. We work with Schools, Corporates and other community bodies with programs that give children between the ages of 6-12 a voice in the family. Our Family Reflection Circles are renowned for creating and embedding an inclusive culture within a family environment. We do this by connecting, empowering and inspiring children to talk and listen in a meaningful way as part of the family during the challenging and often lost years of their lives leading them to become more confident and balanced teenagers and adults. www.upliftingaustralia.org.au

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Reverse mentoring in nursing homes

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Residential and Care Centre Humanities, a Dutch nursing home, has established a programme providing free rent to university students in exchange for 30 hours a month of their time with their aged residents. The programme has meant students in their early twenties sharing lives with residents in their eighties and nineties. As part of their volunteer agreement, the students also spend time teaching residents new skills – like how to email and use social media.

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The coolest company in Australia

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Thankyou is the winner of Anthill’s Cool Company Awards 2016. The idea was born out the observation that over 900 million people didn’t have access to safe drinking water on a daily basis, yet the Australian bottled water industry was worth an estimated $600 million a year. The social enterprise started with a bottled water brand and expanded to others. Each product has a unique code that shows you the exact project that it’s assigned to fund, complete with GPS coordinates. www.thankyou.co

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School in a box

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Over half of the world’s forcibly displaced population are children. Tools like School in a Box help establish a sense of normalcy in camps by providing creative outlets for individual expression and safe spaces for learning. School in a Box contains materials to set up a makeshift school for 80 students. Seen as part of the UNICEF display at MoMA in NY.

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