The Tonj Women Association in Victoria has conducted a very successful campaign on Saturday 6 July 2019 to help raise fund for a maternal health clinic in Tonj State in South Sudan.
Close to $50,000 was raised in one night when several women collaborated to deliver the fund-raising event in Melbourne, with the support of many other members of the South Sudanese community, including those not native of Tonj state.
Tonj Women attending the fundraising event in Melbourne
The organisers of the event, led by Achol Deng Ading, are positive that the fund raised will provide critical support in the area of maternal health care for thousands of vulnerable women, whose communities have been ravaged by war in South Sudan over the last two decades or so.
“We are working hard to collect enough funds to build a hospital for women and children in Tonj state” said Achol Ading.
“Many women and children are dying at birth in our communities in Tonj state and we want to do something about it”, she added.
Increasingly more diaspora communities in Australia and around the world are becoming active in charitable causes and donating money to support the less privileged communities, back in their countries of origin. Academic research in this space indicate that diaspora communities are more likely to be influenced by cultural, religious and ethnic factors when donating money and they tend to donate more through collective community events than any other means. Often collective fund raising events provide an encouraging environment where compassion and pride both contribute to people opening their pockets and donating larger amounts than they would otherwise do if they were asked to donate online or through a door to door campaign.
African diaspora communities already send large sums of money back to their countries of origin through remittances to support their families, but more studies are highlighting the significant positive effects that the funds collected through charities are having on poor communities in Africa.