Category Archives: News from 2013

Big cook-in events raise $5,053 for Sunrise, melted hearts and filled stomaches

Two amazing events were held on 8 and 10 September that warmed the hearts, minds and souls of all those in the room, and the stomachs of those in the wider community. Both events were fundraisers for Geraldine Cox from Sunrise Children’s Villages in Cambodia at Bondi community kitchen, Our Big Kitchen.

The most gorgeous Geraldine captured by SJ Allen

The most gorgeous Geraldine captured by SJ Allen

On Sunday:  55 of our guests were joined by 5 young people from Cambodia who were visiting on a study tour. Needless to say, they stole the show just by being here and being themselves – innocent, appreciative, sincere and humble young people. I started off by introducing the young people, including my personal connection with Waew who has been my sponsor child for 7 years.

I don’t THINK there was a dry eye in the room when 17 year old Waew sprung from her seat when I, ‘mum Sue’ invited the kids up to introduce themselves. Courageous young woman Waew is, I could not have been prouder of her. Her joyous spirit shone bright and she was able to tell the whole room what life is like at Sunrise. She was joined by her sisters and brothers who introduced themselves despite their shyness and emotion and performed a musical number. You can share this moment with us here.

The groups then went off into the kitchen to start chopping away! On the menu was: Tom Yum soup, fish balls with angel hair pasta, fried rice and Anzac cookies. After the chopping and prep was complete and while the cooking was being done in the kitchen, Rabbi Slavin spoke to us about community and connection, Geraldine told us more about her life, Cambodia and the work of Sunrise helping children.

 Sunday photographs by Laurachel Ventus

Tuesday’s event was a business gathering and had a very different vibe.  I opened up the session by talking about my personal journey in life, realities of business, my commitment to Geraldine and children as my family, efforts to redefine my purpose in life, living it in my business with community at the core.

On the menu was Tom Yum soup, meatballs with tomato sauce on pasta, fried rice and apple strudel! While it was all cooking, Geraldine and Rabbi also spoke about our connections to each other, the practicalities of running, supporting and financing community organisations. In order to continue on – it requires action and involvement from others.

Geraldine frankly described the heart wrenching decisions  and pressure she faces daily to run her three  centers, being mother to over 300 children, and having to raise over a million dollars each year to keep it all going. The stories she recounts include the brutality of sexual assault, trafficking and abuse of children who suffer at the hands of a corrupt and damaged culture in Cambodia.

From my own point of view, I’ve heard these stories many times, and it still shocks me to hear them. Being a face and a friend to many of these children at Sunrise – you would never know of the horrors that they have lived through already in their young lives because their joy and positivity really shine through. They know how lucky they are to be with Geraldine and the caring Cambodian staff at Sunrise and many do make the best of  the opportunities they have, to learn English, go to school and be part of a truly unique family.

Strong connections were made amongst all of our guests from Sunday and Tuesday and conversations are already happening amongst us, about how to continue to support Geraldine with her great work in growing up these young, inspirational people.

And for OBK – I know that the experience of being hands on and feeding our vulnerable communities struck a chord with everyone and many amongst us will return to the kitchen to lend a helping hand.

Tuesday photographs by SJ Allen

Sunrise-Tues-8455

 With love everyone,

Sue xxxxxxxxxx

MONEY AND MEALS

  • $5053 raised over the two events and ( so far) 3 sponsors!
  • 770 MEALS PREPARED: 430 Sunday and 340 on Tuesday. The food was distributed to Chapel by the sea, Jewish Crisis Centre and to families at the Children’s Hospital

THANK YOU: to all of those who participated with willing hands, open hearts – and wallets!

  • Sarah-Jane from SJ Allen Photography donated her time to photograph on Tuesday as well as donating the prize for the guessing competition. The photographic session valued at $395  was won by Worren from Qi Wealth. Congratulations!
  • Laurachel Ventus donated  her time and expertise to photograph on Sunday.
  • Amanda Blake and Leslee Stroud assisted with book sales  and guessing competition – well done ladies
  • Volunteers and staff at OBK – amazing job and thank you all, particularly Rabbi and Laya Slavin and Greg Fisher.

STAY IN TOUCH!

Zulu will be running more cook-in events at OBK as well as further opportunities to support Sunrise. The best way to stay in touch is via facebook pages:

Zulu’s Campaign for Sunrise ’13 aims for $8000 for medical expenses

Sue and Sunrise

Sue Liu is hoping to raise $8000 for Sunrise Children’s Villages between September and December which will be for ongoing and extraordinary medical expenses. Sunrises cares for children with conditions like HIV/AIDs, cerebral palsy, brittle bones and acid burns amongst other things. The need for special equipment, operations, medications, therapy and care often outweigh the budget.

She will raise these funds from the two events in September as well as through her online candle shop Candles for Community where she makes and sells a range of 100% soy candles, donating 50% of profits to Sunrise. The new Candles for Community shop will open in October with a stunning range of new candles for Christmas.

Events in September at OBK

Cambodian children will be the focus at Bondi community kitchen, Our Big Kitchen on Sunday 8 and Tuesday 10 September when Geraldine Cox  and  six young people from Sunrise are guests of honour.

The special cook-in fundraisers will allow people a rare opportunity to meet Geraldine, a colourful and much loved Australian personality who since 1993 has provided a family, home, education and loving care to hundreds of Cambodia’s orphan and vulnerable children. Sunrise currently has three centres with a total of 400 children in their care.

The visiting teenage children are participating in an educational and cultural exchange program on the Central Coast, will travel to Sydney for the Sunday event. It will be the first time they get to see what mum gets up to when she’s away from Cambodia on fundraising tours. They will be joined by one of their ‘older brothers’, who currently lives in Sydney, about to take his final exams and become Sunrise’s first University graduate.

Having suffered great adversity before coming to Sunrise, these inspirational young people, will share with participants how their lives have changed, the opportunities they have due to the education, love and support they receive, and their hopes for the future.

Serendipity leads to building closer community relationships

Co-incidentally, Sue was introduced to Our Big Kitchen in June this year and became a volunteer. On meeting Rabbi Slavin, the two quickly realised that they had a common friend in Geraldine Cox having met a number of times at other Sunrise fundraisers.  The Rabbi and his family have had a close friendship with Ms Cox and consider her part of their family.

 “It was a natural, heart-warming choice, to host this year’ events for Sunrise at Our Big Kitchen.” said Sue “I’m bringing together people to celebrate and support my Sunrise family. The fact that Geraldine is also a part of Rabbi Slavin’s community made sweet and complete sense to us all.” she continued.

Sue went on to say that she also loves bringing people to OBK because it enables people a practical, hands-on opportunity to contribute support to the most vulnerable members of Sydney’s community.

“People are really seeking this connection and with OBK, everyone benefits – it’s how community should be”

Keep up to date with all of Zulu’s opportunities by following our facebook pages.

 

Zulu celebrates 12 years with this new website!

On 1 August, Zulu Communications celebrated its 12th birthday by quietly launching THIS new website.

It WAS quiet, with no fanfare, parade or media release. It was just a gentle “here I am” on the back of the bigger announcement of  the launch of Geraldine’s Big Cook-in fundraiser. I felt that the event itself – was far bigger news than saying that Zulu had a new look and website.

ZULU IS focusing  more on community – that’s the BIG NEWS.

I hope that message is clear! I am passionate about bringing change to the world and providing creative and innovative ways to bring people and communities together. I hope you’ll engage and particpate in our events, that’s really where you’ll experience the heart and soul of community.

Zulu's new website

Back to the website….yes THIS website you’re reading – is NEW.

I worked with some designers and programmers based in Mumbi, India using Elance for the first time. I can’t say it was all smooth sailing. We certainly had our issues, as to be expected with the development of any kind of project like this. Yet, overall I am very happy with the look and feel, and the level of functionality!

Content wise – I decided to bring over 90% of my blog posts – that I deemed as relevant, completely rewrote 60% of my site and reconfigured the other 40%.  I couldn’t bear to lose that history, gloss over my campaign and community achievements or bland myself out!

It took approx 6 weeks from briefing the design team – and included two solid weeks working long into the evening to build content. It probably is NOT perfect and if you find a glitch -please DO let me know!

As with every online marketing tool – its going to need constant work and attention. Yet I’m proud to say that this version of Zulu’s website ( which is, since 2001 – V4) is fully responsive to tablet and mobile, and will in the future host at ticketing system, once I find the right package that will not conflict with my programming.

So,  onward and upward for Zulu and Zulu’s Community for this, our 13th year.