The strong support from unions and union members for UnionAID has been very exciting and encouraging.
There is clearly a strong identification with our objective of helping workers in our neighbouring countries in the Asia Pacific.
And our two projects, in Tamil Nadu and in Thailand, already provide clear evidence of the benefits which can result from a relatively small investment.
This quarterly newsletter is one means of letting you know what we are doing, what benefits our projects are providing, and how we are spending the money which you are donating. I take that responsibility very seriously.
Kiwi Solidarity Members are collectively giving almost $1,500 a month for project funding. That is a tremendous start, and I hope that all 400,000 union members in New Zealand will consider giving a small monthly amount to help fund our work.
A little money goes a long way in developing countries, and for our KOHA projects, such as Tamil Nadu and Thailand, the Government matches every dollar we raise with four dollars.
Already, generous foundation grants from several unions, totaling almost $60,000, are providing us with a vital financial base with which to build our organization.
But we are going to be mean and lean with administration. Staff support is currently being provided by the CTU and volunteers, and our objective is to continue to ensure that all individual donations are applied to project work.
I am very proud that, through UnionAID, the NZCTU has taken up this challenge.