Homelessness in Montpelier, France

I found out from a Facebook Forum, that Babeth is doing a great project for people experiencing homelessness in Montpelier, France this christmas. I got in contact with her about her project, and this is what she had to say:

Ever since I arrived in Montpellier, I noticed the amount of homeless people in the streets. Every single time I pass them, I feel bad, especially with Christmas coming up. When I see them sitting on the floor, with a paper cup in front of them, begging for money, I can’t help but wonder what they will do with Christmas. Will they be on the streets, begging for food and money? Or will there be a person who provides them with food. So I thought, why not be that person. Why not make this into a project and give those people a Christmas they will never forget.
My goal is to raise at least 500 euro’s, to be able to buy all the nessecary supplies to make great dishes with a few amazing volunteers on the 1st or 2nd day of Christmas in Montpellier center. I’m going to try to convince my boyfriend to let me use his restaurant to be able to prepare for everything with the volunteers.

Why should you help?
With your help, we will be able to give the less fortunate an amazing Christmas with some wonderful food. To provide a light in their already dark days. The more money we raise, the more we will be able to buy and make for them.
Don’t you think that everyone deserves to have a wonderful Christmas? A Christmas that is about peace and sharing? This will be your opportunity to help and make this happen for them.

On my blog I will keep everyone updated, about the entire progress, the funds and ofcourse the day itself will be documented as well. To share to the world that we need to be there for eachother.

Anyone can help, from anywhere in the world. Even 1 euro can already make a difference, if 500 people are willing to give just 1 euro, this project will be able to come to life and bring happiness to the people in need.

I think this is a brilliant way of giving back to the community. Sadly, I am not in Montpelier, so I can’t really help out physically. I did however want to get involved, so I wanted to spread the word. I urge you to help out if you are in the area!

World AIDS day

Today is World AIDS day, and as you might know if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I’m interested in homelessness, drug use, sex work, and all sorts of ‘deviant’ behaviour…sadly, a side-effect of much of this is AIDS, so today deserves a special place on this blog. Instead of boring you to death with all sorts of statistics, and facts and figures on the issue, I’m going to let the TED community do that for me.

I’m only joking.

I’ve done some research on the website, and came up with my two favourite talks on the topic. One is by my long-term quantitative data crush (which I’m not supposed to have because I breathe qualitative research, constructivism…) Hans Rosling. He has a LOT of really cool data talks on a huge range of topics on the TED website, but what’s even cooler is that the data is open-source, and that you can access them and play with the data on Gapminder. I wouldn’t suggest going on there if you have lots of stuff to do…I’ve wasted a good few hours on that site…so don’t say I didn’t warn you!
So, I’ll shut up and just give you the TED video. Here it is: Hans Rosling, Insights on HIV

As the second video, I’m going to post a rather long TED video. Don’t be put off by it’s 20 min length, it’s DEFINITELY worth it. But let me introduce it first. Elizabeth Pisani is one of my academic crushes. I found out about her from a friend I met in a hostel in Albania. We got talking about academic interests, and I told him that I had just come back from Romania, researching homelessness, and that AIDS and Hepatitis were extremely prevalent. He recommended a book titled “The Wisdom of Whores” to me. Of course, I went on my trusty kindle as soon as I had reliable Wifi to download it. I finished the book within two days. It’s great academic reading that feels like you’re reading a story, Pisani’s journey in finding out the truth, rather than reading a dry academic text. So it’s definitely worth a read…If you don’t want to give up a day of reading, at least give up 20 mins. of your day to watch her talk about her findings. Her talk might be even better than her book!

So remember, today’s World AIDS day. Protect yourself and others.
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“The Protection is Prevention” Foto Credits: Jacinta Lluch Valero