Bricks The Great Wall Appeal envisions a world where the needs of the most abandoned in rural China are cared for by confident and well run local organizations. and supported by people of good will from around the globe.
Bricks The Great Wall Appeal will:
Support existing organisations (or encourage new start ups) to tackle local issues in rural China in an efficient, transparent and accountable fashion.
Use the potential of the Internet to introduce the needs of China’s marginalised to an international audience.
“……….The Management team has been brought together with particular deliberation to ensure synergy of strengths and characteristics of personnel suited to achieve the stated mission of Bricks. They can draw from solid management experience in key roles in a variety of fields, to contribute a combined range of expertise directly relevant to managing the new enterprise. The considerable business administration qualifications and experience of Joseph Loftus and Patricia McHugh, together with Vivencio Mercado’s creative skills, Teresa Zhu’s accounting, training and administration skills, and the IT acumen of Li ShengWei provide invaluable strength and depth to the Team…..” (From the 2009 Business Plan)
Bricks the Great Wall Appeal arose out of an experience of the poverty that still exists in rural China despite the economic miracle that is transforming the coastal cities. We hear so much about the latter, that the reality of the former is often obscured. The following article describes well the situation I have come to know first hand. It seemed both doable and opportune to use the ‘Net to create links between people of good will around the world and those still struggling on the other side of the Digital Divide in China. The initial goals of Bricks were modest and the appeal confined to family and friends. The year allowed me to see where bottlenecks in the process were and where the challenges might be in taking the idea that looked good on paper to reality. The original idea proved remarkably robust and the idea snowballed. By the end of 2007 the idea had helped bring comfort and support to handicapped children and vulnerable seniors in China to the tune of €30,000. Free online software and a very simple structure meant that Bricks could promise that 100% of donations would transfer to the project.
In 2008 Bricks went “global” to see if we could create links between people in need and generous donors across the Internet. The idea remained the same, connecting people across the digital divide, but instead of two projects we achieved 12 by year’s end. Instead of confining the appeal to family and friends, Bricks is inviting any person of good will to make a difference to people in real need and help work with the wonderful men and women of each Brick to build that Great Wall of Charity in China. Because we were in place and well connected in the local NGO sector we were well placed to attend to the needs of those responding to the Earthquake disaster of May 2009.
Going Global required a number of important changes to the initial Bricks idea. While family and friends might trust me to handle their donations wisely, donors generally need to have confidence in the organization. Bricks The Great Wall Appeal is now a registered business name of an Irish company set up for the purpose. We are currently, (May 2010) working on charitable status. Donations through Bricks to each project will be audited and annual reports published. All projects are vetted personally and the integrity of each Brick is guaranteed. Finally, scaling up our opreation has inevitably involved greater costs but we have been able to keep to our promise of 100% transfer of donations thanks to the generosity of a single donor who is underwriting our administrative costs.