John Reynolds runs 4Basra which aims to get aid to a childrend Hospital in the bruised and bloody country that Iraq now is. This is his guest post:
â€œThere are so many needy causes out there and I prefer to support the ones that do more than just ask for donations.â€
Ouch. That has been the only negative response Iâ€™ve had so far. Iraq has edged out of the media spotlight, as Brian Cathcart in the New Statesman pointed out last week, but thankfully there are people willing to support a cause there. Initially Iâ€™d hoped 4Basra would somehow find an idea for a social business â€“ like Heart of Africa, for example â€“ that meets the following aims:
- Provides a return to an investor or existing business (on which we might piggy-back to minimise start-up costs)
- While also generating a profit that can be used to help provide medicines and supplies for a childrenâ€™s hospital
- Has some connection to one, some or all of the key themes of supporting a childrenâ€™s hospital in Basra: children, medicine and Iraq
Many readers of this blog are good with ideasâ€¦do get in touch if you have any. In the meantime, Iâ€™ve been lucky enough to have some kind help from the following people:
- Two UK-based doctors; the founders of Media Lens, and a couple of their supporters
- John Pilger at the New Statesman, who will shortly be writing about the situation in Iraq.
- The Irish Medical News and the Irish Medical Times
- Dr John Teeling and Stephen Teeling, of Cooley Whiskey and David Horgan, of Petrel Resources, who have kindly donated a case of special edition rare Irish whiskey for us to raffle.
- Senator David Norris
- Piaras Kelly at Edelman PR
Iâ€™d love to be able to say that Iâ€™ve come up with a social business model that means I wonâ€™t have to ask people for any more donations or support. The reality is that I havenâ€™t. The only way we can help at the moment is by fundraising, to help pay for vital medicines and supplies. So weâ€™re also hoping to get enough doctors – here in Ireland, in Britain, and possibly in Switzerland and Austria â€“ to sign an appeal. If we have enough support, we stand a chance of getting back in the media spotlight â€“ if even only briefly â€“ as the two doctors who are helping me did in the London Independent, on 19 January this year. If youâ€™d like to support us, or make a donation, or have a chance of winning that case of whiskey, and a number of books Iâ€™m hoping will be donated shortly, please email me on john at 4basra.org