‘Tis the Season for Giving: The SET Foundation

The SET Foundation
The SET Foundation

Giving back…

Once upon a time there was a British guy who became a rare farang (non Asian) monk in Thailand.

His name was Peter Robinson, but he became known as Phra Farang.

After he left the order, Peter continued to give back to Thailand. And he did this by creating the SET Foundation (more about this later).

When I moved to Thailand, I too expected to do a lot of giving back. And I have.

But it was the SET Foundation that really caught my western fancy.

And as I mentioned on my Thai blog, Women Learn Thai (please don’t forget the ‘wink’), the SET Foundation has an amazing record:

Every Baht you give goes directly to help our students: SET has very low overheads and administration costs – no staff wages, no office rental costs, no staff vehicles and no fundraising expenses. In 2008, less than 3% of income was spent on administration.

500 Baht (US$15) will buy a pair of school shoes.

800 Baht (US$24) will buy spectacles – often badly needed by some students. 800 Baht will also pay a month’s rent in a shared student dormitory.

1,000 (US$30) Baht will pay for a school uniform or will cover the cost of books or tools for a year.

2,500 Baht (US$75) will pay for lunch at a school canteen for an entire semester.

2,500 Baht will also usually cover bus fares for a year (two semesters).

3,000 Baht (US$90) will support a student at high school for one semester or one semester for a college student studying for a Vocational Certificate.

5,000 Baht (US$150) is the typical value of a SET welfare grant for one semester for a college or university student. The grant will usually cover the cost of accommodation, food and bus fares.

If you are a Westerner – American, Brit, European, Canadian – then you might have noticed just how little it takes to contribute to an education.

And what is especially noticeable is how practically nothing is skimmed off the top. Yeah, there be a lot of skimming going on in the west…

Dunno about you, but I was impressed. Totally.

I’ve tossed in 5000 baht (US$150). And my buddy Talen of Thailand, Land of Smiles has tossed in 5000 baht too.

So, would anyone care to match our bahts, toss by toss?

But truthfully, even a half a toss, or a half of a half a toss, would do.

Enjoy…

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Faces of Design Awards 2010

Faces of Design
Faces of Design Awards 2010

Launch of a new design competition

This is fantastic news all. The Faces of Design Awards is a design competition that does not ask for spec work!

We are proud to announce a new interdisciplinary design competition, the Faces of Design Awards 2010. Our goal is to create career opportunities for talented designers worldwide, by increasing their international visibility.

The Faces of Design Awards are based on candidates’ existing portfolios, and culminate in the publication of a printed volume, showcasing the 25 most promising design talents, by design discipline (e.g. graphic design, fashion design, product design).

This collection of profiles will be distributed to over 1.000 key decision makers at more than 300 companies, including firms such as vitra, IKEA, the Richemont Group (including prestigious brands such as Montblanc, Cartier and Chloé), designers’ studios such as the Campanas’ and Bouroullecs’, design institutions, and the international design press.

Enjoy…

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Design Altruism Project: Arguing With Success

Designers With Borders
Design Altruism Project Arguing With Success

When I moved away from paying work and into probono full-time, I didn’t realise that it would eat at my every available moment. But it has. And that’s my excuse for not keeping up with DWB.

This morning I woke up to an email from David Stairs of the Design Altruism Project. I scanned through, then got stuck into my day job.

Several hours later, Google Alerts jostled me to take another look at what David had cared enough to send.

And it was this look that brought me here. To DWB. To share with you…

Arguing With Success: My concern with the popularity of Facebook design groups and socially conscientious design blogs is that, rather than muster wider awareness, they will cause both a false sense of general accomplishment, and result in donor-fatigue.

The growth of a category of what are called “slacktivists,” people who use their interest in design/politics to justify joining online groups and building websites for remote non-profits, fails to address the world’s problems with feet-on-the-ground solutions.

At the end of the day isn’t it the person with the most mud on his or her shoes, not the one with the most conference speaking engagements, who is doing the important work?

Agree or not, you have to admit that it is certainly something to think about.

And now, if you’ll excuse me, I need to go off and rustle up a few generous souls

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Creative Opera

Creative Opera
Creative Opera

Manda Szewczyk
Manda Szewczyk

There is nothing quite like opening an email from a talented blogger. Especially when they sharing a blog of the quality of Creative Opera.

Creative Opera features creative advice and inspiration for graphic designers and web designers.

Creative Opera is a blog for new designers, future designers, and anyone who loves design. Creative Opera posts are full of useful information, creative inspiration, and professional advice.

Because Manda spent years teaching design, many of her posts are targeted toward students and new designers. It is fantastic, however, when experienced designers stop by to add to the discussion by sharing their own experiences and advice.

Manda is hoping that Creative Opera will continue to grow as a collaborative environment where designers can find inspiration, lively discussion, and the advice and motivation needed to help them succeed in the design field.

Manda covers many subjects on Creative Opera, so I wasn’t sure whether to put her. In the Web design category, or in the Graphic design category? So Design it is.

Looking through Manda’s Popular section we have some beauts: Design Trends: Self Portraits, Beautiful Design Resumes & their Matching Portfolio Sites, and 7 Reasons Why All Designers Should Twitter.

So now we know that Manda twitters. And of course I twitter. Do you?

Enjoy…

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