Our young people are amazing.

Mary and I had our second visit to Our Lady’s School, Terenure yesterday and the atmosphere in the place was electric. We arrived at lunch time and the place was buzzing. They were selling, planning, organizing, praying, singing and full of positive creation. It was exhilarating to be there.
When I was a teacher I would feel that controlling such energy was a problem. Now, that, I’m no longer a teacher, I feel that with direction this force could move mountains.
Direction it has, in Our Lady’s, if their efforts on behalf of Wells for Zoe are anything to go by.
I feel maybe we often fail our children because of our lack of enthusiasm for their wild imaginings. Failing to give directed encouragement. Failing to give good example. Failing to see how amazingly creative they can be. We should allow them to try and fail more often.
Teenagers see issues so clearly. They go straight to the heart of the matter. They tend to see solutions rather than difficulties. They are often told they are naive, simplistic or stupid, but “what if they’re right”.
Many African solutions can be found by ordinary people “going for it”
Childish solutions to global problems may be as good as what we have. Why think of a problem until you find one?
In Ireland, at the moment, we are so obsessed with the latest and best of everything: A 20% increase in spending this Christmas!. It must be hard for children to imagine that the people in M’Bama village may have a little chicken if they’re lucky, with their nsima for Christmas Day but the following day they will be back to Nsima and some beans. There will be no Santa, no presents and still they will be happy if they’re not hungry. The efforts of Our Lady’s will help to improve their situation.
In speaking to the 3rd and 4th year groups we found we had a most attentive and analytical audience, who were prepared and sympathetic. They realized that we weren’t stressing calamity, but hope and that we were offering a solution rather than a problem.
We are the better for meeting them. They reflect well the values of their school and homes.
May you all in Our Lady’s all have a joyous Christmas and enjoy the fruits of the many prayerful thoughts coming from Malawi in the New Year.
Your efforts will make a serious difference to the lives of hundreds of women and children, particularly, 8000km away.
I will talk about the efforts of B5 later. Thanks girls.

What’s in a name

Sue Cansdale said:
Did you know ‘zoe’ means ‘life’?

Wells for Zoe was founded by John and Mary Coyne and named in honour of Jamie Cansdale’s only sister, who was killed in a motorcycle accident in 1998. She was only 22. Her heart valves were used to transform the lives of two little girls. Her cornea restored sight to a young man.

The people of Malawi are desperately poor, even by African standards – but they are lovely people and really deserving of your help. Please be generous with your bids.

Scott Bellware, CodeBetter.com

December 18, 2006 10:42 AM

Auction software now worth $45000

Jamie Cansdale’s Dev Tools Charity Auction
15 December 2006, 07:19:27
Jamie Cansdale (the brains behind the must-have Visual Studio Extension TestDriven.NET) has set up a charity auction in aid of the charity Wells for Zoë and its work in Malawi. What’s better is that he’s convinced many of the other must-have .Net development tools folks to donate some licenses into the pot as well. There is now nearly $45,000 worth of software up for grabs – yes you read me right, that is three zeros on the end of the 45. Now I know the US exchange rate is not as good as it used to be, but still – you could end getting yourself software to the value of a decent car and know that you are giving the money to charity. For me the highlights of the auction are:-

“A TestDriven.NET Mug (along with an invite to a years MSDN Subscription worth over $10k)
A copy of the excellent source control tool, Vault.
A copy of the mouth-watering CodeRush with Refactor! Pro
Wells for Zoë is an Irish Charity set up in 2005 dedicated to the provision of safe drinking water and water storage for irrigation in four remote rural areas of Malawi. The charity’s founders cover all administrative overheads. 100% of your donation will be used to help the people in Malawi.”

What are you doing still reading this – go and bid now. In case you don’t feel like owning some of this awesome software you can also donate here.

This will rock you

We have just added a new video on WATER, which we have borrowed it from Google Video, to our website (www.wellsforzoe.org) and we hope it will ROCK YOU. We are hoping that if you rock we can shake a little money out of you.
In sending this mail we would like you to do four things:

Look at and enjoy the Water video; we think it rocks. “Water in the World” movie

Look at the DONATE page.
Donating is not the important thing here. We would like you to know what we are doing and how little money makes a difference, especially, when all of your donation is spent IN a village.
Of course there is nothing wrong with donating.
We will take any kind of money, any way you like: foreign money, some from inside the sofa, any you’re not using any more. We’ll take used old money, new pocket money. If its dirty we’ll wash it. If it’s hot we’ll put it in the freezer
Donate on line, use an envelope, use a lorry or if it’s a ton of money we’ll collect it.
If money is scarce you could do a pre Christmas hours work for your mother, walk the dog, or the father. We’d be happy with an hours pay even at minimum wage. You could beg for an hour, mortgage your ipod, hold the cat for ransom or sell your pet mouse.
If you are very poor send us a begging letter and we will pass it to Loness in Zambia village, and she will see what she can send you after the harvest. Watch the cultivation of the first ‘village garden’ in Zambia, Mzgora to see what they are doing there to raise money for other projects.

EVEN 1€ WILL PAY A VILLAGERS WAGES AND FOOD FOR A DAY or help to GIVE SOMEONE CLEAN WATER FOREVER. (It may be a drop in the ocean but as the great Desmond Tutu tells us, “even the ocean in made up of little drops“.)

Forward the email to a friend and rock them too. My mother at 80 told me yesterday, “friends come and go, but your enemies are with you forever”, so send them a mail as well.
We would love a little money, but their support would be great.

Spread the word
The more people who visit the website the more help we will get.

You have just read a begging letter. Lots of this is joking but our cause is deadly serious. We are BEGGING but we know that every euro can make a difference.

Have a sparkling Christmas and a prosperous New Year.

Jamie Cansdale has the software world bidding

Jamie, who is Zoë’s brother (wells for ZOË) and a leading light in the software world, decided to hold an auction of some of his highly prized packages. His colleagues in the industry have chipped in with more and the bidding is now fast and furious.
You can take a look at the leading edge range on offer at this link.

Jamie writes in his introduction: “Many developers in the ISV community have kindly agreed to auction licenses of their software to support the charity Wells for Zoë and its work in Malawi.” and later “You may also donate to Wells for Zoë even if you don’t feel you can bid for any of the items”.

Sofa Sity promise support

Finbarr O’Toole has made a most generous personal donation, and promised support us in our efforts next year.
He has just opened a fabulous new outlet on the Naas Rd. and tells me that his latest contract is fitting out and furnishing the new Student Accommodation at RTC, Athlone.

Good luck with your new venture and continued success.

A Friend in Need

A very close friend of ours, Sue Cansdale, has spent the past 18 months working with’ and recording the stories of organ transplant donors and recipients. The result of her endeavours is a wonderful book entitled “Transforming Lives”.
In a few days her website will be live at http://www.legacyoflife.org.uk.

What is ‘Legacy of Life’?

‘Legacy of Life’ is a small charitable group committed to spreading information about transplants, the benefits to recipients AND donor families, of organ and tissue donation and encouraging more people to think about being donors

My husband,Richard, and I started Legacy of Life after our daughter, Zoe, was killed in a motorcycle accident in September 1998. Her heart valves transformed the lives of two little girls and her cornea restored sight to a young man of 24. Knowing she helped these young people is a great comfort to our family.

Often we do not think about organ and tissue donation until someone we love has died unexpectedly. This is not the best time to have to make decisions. By encouraging people to talk about these issues with their friends and family, when the time does come, hopefully after a long and fulfilled life, the decision is easy.