Posted by | December 30, 2010 | Amy's Blog | No Comments

Grazia Magazine News Feature

Small Steps Project was absolutely thrilled to be chosen as Grazia’s Christmas Appeal this year and we are really hoping to reach loads of new people and try and raise more money for the projects. The whole project has been funded by the public and the amazing Small Steps team, a collective of people who donate their time and skills to make the project work.

Obviously as it grows from a very small project in Cambodia to a global aid project, Around The World in 80 Dumps, we are looking to raise the profile and get funding for the project, so we can get to the countries, deliver the aid and pay staff.

So a huge thank you to everyone who has read this article and sent a Christmas donation. Just so you know for £15 we can provide shoes, a hygiene kit, food and a mosquito net for each child.

There are approximately 80 dumps in the world, with between 200-2000 children on each, so your donation really make a difference, it really goes to those in need, this project is changing lives.

We are always trying to find out about where dumps are and how many children are living on them, so if you know of any, have visited in person, or are want to do some research please do and send it to us, or post it here: /around-the-world-in-80-dumps/

We have had loads of people offering to volunteer and it is fantastic, every email will be answered.

Just for the record, Sophie Dahl and Gael Garcia Bernes did not fund the first project, the public and family and friends did, however the celebrities have donated their shoes for auction this summer check out the Celebrity Shoe Auction page. However if there are any celebs out there reading this who want to donate hard cash with their shoes we would very gladly accept it! Because of the nature of the project we are able to deliver exactly what children need to them, with no middle men or overpaid directors. This is a real project, with real people making a change.

As well as the next project in Nicaragua, Hannah Hughes, my PA and events co ordinator is in Vietnam searching for dumps as we speak. And Jen Goodall who volunteered for the Cambodia Project and trained as a project and distribution coordinator, spent Christmas Day on a rubbish dump in Bali. Look out for her report and what she found there soon.

Finally loads of people have asked if they can send me donations of clothes and shoes and I want so much to say YES but at the moment we do not have a company who will deliver the aid to the countries or and airline to support the project but if you have any ideas or contacts we will use them, the idea of recycling things that people don’t need here and do need in so many places is great, it stops waste ending up in landfills and instead means that those things help children on landfills.

Another question I keep being asked is ‘Where does the rubbish come from? Which country is responsible?’ Well we are finding out as we go but we do know that only Scandavian countries deal with 100% of their waste and Australia and NZ do very well with 98%. Unfortunately the UK only deal with 40%, so where does the rest go? Yes we would like to know too.

But you know it is not just countries but big companies who are contributing to this problem so Small Steps are of the oppinion that maybe they should put back some of the money they are making into finding solutions for the people that deal with the mess they make.

On a certain flight I took recently the air hostess kept giving me plastic cups, i said’ no i am fine , I will use the same one.’ I also take an empty bottle because did you know that on the average flight of *******airlines they give out 1000 cups minimum, they have 50 flights a day, that is 50,000 plastic cups. Do they recycle them? No they do not, I asked several workers. Could they? Of course. Where does the rubbish end up? You guessed it, rubbish dumps. Will this airline donate any flights to the project so we can deliver aid to the poor children wading knee deep in toxic waste to sort out their cups? No again, will they fly any aid over for free? Again no.

And what about shoe companies? We are asking all the major brands: Nike, Hunter, Reebok, Crocs, DM’s, Timberland, Adidas…what happens to your seconds? Do you through them away? Why not give them away so Small Steps can redistribute them to the people that are working barefoot on waste from those very same factories.

These are all things that we need help with, we are a very small team, so if you want to help, or get involved and you juts write one email today, write one on behalf of small steps to any of the organisations I have mentioned, every small step helps- you can help.