Want a Big Aussie Tweetup for Tweetsgiving '09?

Are you interested in making a difference? Here’s a great idea care of @staceymonk and @meshugavi. Simply turn your end of November Tweetup into an extra special “gratitude event” and help build a classroom and orphanage in Tanzania!

Last year people around the world joined in #Tweetsgiving and helped to raise $11,000 US in less than 48 hours online for nonprofit Epic Change. The funds raised from the last TweetsGiving have now built a classroom in Tanzania where the Twitter handles of donors are painted on the walls!

Epic Change helped a woman called “Mama Lucy”Kamptoni. Mama Lucy once sold chickens, and from what little money she earned built a school near her home in Arusha, Tanzania. She started in 2003 on rented land with only 6 students, and has now built a school that serves over 350 local kids. Last year, the school participated in national exams in Tanzania for the very first time, scoring #1 in the Arusha district, ahead of 116 other schools, including some internationally led with millions in funding.

From Tanzania, Stacey Monk writes,

“The funds raised this year will be used for a dormitory/orphanage, an additional classroom for students to move into Class 7 (the school doesn’t have enough classrooms to have a Class 7 today), as well as the school’s first library and cafeteria. The school has now grown to over 350 local students ages 3-13, and these new facilities are much needed.

We hope that money raised during TweetsGiving will help us find and fund new Epic Change partners and fellows in other parts of the world. Beginning in 2010, our current plan is to begin searching for additional changemakers and social entrepreneurs like Mama Lucy who are transforming their own communities in remarkable ways. We believe there are remarkable people like her who create hope in all parts of the world – and at Epic Change, we intend to invest in their efforts.”

You can continue to donate online and this year you can even help by throwing a gratitude party/Tweetup on November 24th or 25th. From the event details page “Organizers also reach out to local businesses who are willing to make cash or in-kind donations of venue, food, music, and other resources to make your event a success. Epic Change will facilitate online ticket purchase and promote your event on the TweetsGiving community website.

We simply ask that every party provide an opportunity for guests to celebrate and express their gratitude – whether it be for one another, members of your community or unheralded changemakers in the world at large.”

This is where YOU come into the picture. While I’d love to see this happen, Tweetsgiving needs your help. The organisers are leaving it up to each party in each city to come up with a gratitude event idea “You can plan an art project, a concert, an act of guerrilla goodness, a letter writing station, a novel way of highlighting the work of a local changemaker, or something else entirely – we’ll share our ideas with you soon and we can’t wait to see the joyful ideas you all dream up!”

If you have an idea, or would like to be involved in organising a Tweetsgiving event in Australia (or anywhere else) please leave a comment so we can talk about ideas together or get in touch with the Tweetsgiving organisers directly.

Will you join in to create a Big Aussie Tweetup? :)

Images used with permission by Epic Change