3 Scientific Reasons Why Giving Makes You Happy

3 Scientific Reasons Why Giving Makes You Happy

By Logeetha Balakrishnan

Ever notice that warm fuzzy feeling you get when you surprise someone with a gift? Or when you give some donations to the needy?  Your heart feels satiated and you feel like you were part of something bigger than yourself.  *But it’s so fun to get presents!!* Yes I hear you there, but it is much more satisfying to give presents and deep down we all know it.

Footprints in the sand

Footprints in the sand

By Benjamin Soo

Have you ever walked on sand at the beach and looked back to see the footprints you left behind, just to have it the very next moment, washed away by the waves that sweep the shore? Kind of has that slightly “bummed” feeling to it doesn’t it? What about the charities, volunteering and fund-raising initiatives that you’ve given or pledged yourself to? Have you ever wondered if those too were just footprints in the sand? Here today, maybe lost tomorrow? 

Fundraising Made Easy

Fundraising Made Easy

By Logeetha Balakrishnan

Over the past month, we have been overwhelmed with volunteers signing up to fundraise for our Cambodia campaign which is fantastic! However, we noticed while the volunteers are excited about getting involved and joining us on our trip, most are terrified at the idea of fundraising  and pretty much clueless on where to begin. So here are some ideas we have compiled to help get you started!

A shift from 'pity' to compassion

A shift from 'pity' to compassion

By Logeetha Balakrishnan

I was taught to believe the best way to help the poor was by giving them what they didn’t have; money, clothes, shoes, and food.  In essence, I was taught to give material things. Things they could not afford, but which I could. Then I was told that you should teach a man to fish, instead of giving him a fish. That rendered my prior way of thinking moot. 

Why I keep giving

Why I keep giving

By Charlie G

‘I give to others not because I have a lot but because I know what it’s like to have nothing’  

I was born into a poor family. My family lived in a shanty town in Kuala Lumpur in the 70s and 80s. I vaguely remember our lives changing for the better in the 90s. I remember running around our first proper home, a low cost flat, touching the walls and thinking, ‘So this is what it feels like to live in a brick house with proper toilets.’ We had two toilets in the flat. It was a BIG deal.

Humbled in Cambodia

Humbled in Cambodia

By Pakialetchumy Antoni

The trip was indeed an eye-opening and humbling experience for me. The kind of trip that makes you realize how lucky you are and how you should be grateful for what you have. I know it sounds cliché and it’s not that we don’t know such poverty exists, but when you get to see it firsthand, it’s a reality check.

How does MAD select projects?

How does MAD select projects?

By Charu Agarwal

Before we dive into our selection process, it’s important to understand what MAD’s really all about. Close to 3 billion people still live in poverty and we think that’s simply ridiculous. So we’re on a mission to empower everyday people to get involved in reducing poverty by giving them an opportunity to fund and implement poverty alleviation projects.

Poverty alleviation can be a big topic so we’re very specific about what we want to do. We want to reduce poverty by addressing the specific problems that make and keep people poor. These problems are commonly referred to as the Millennium Development Goals and they include issues like access to food, sanitation, clean water, education and healthcare.

A subtle reminder from Pak Made

A subtle reminder from Pak Made

By Charu Agarwal

Taking a break from indulging in the egocentric melodrama of my life, I decided to push my laptop aside and amuse Pak Made, housekeeper of the beautiful villa we were renting in Ubud.

Whenever he comes by, he never misses an opportunity to pull up a chair next to me and start a conversation. I often tune him out because I’m always busy being busy on my laptop.

Pak Made looked confused. “We don’t understand how foreigners spend all day in front of their laptop. Their life depends on wifi connection! How can they make a living sitting in front of a laptop? For us, earning money means doing hard physcial labour,” he said while flexing his muscles.

Dancing my butt off for an awesome cause!

Dancing my butt off for an awesome cause!

By Shereen Hamid

I am happy to report that after one and a half training sessions, several packets of skittles and a trusty hiking stick, I made it to the top of Mt. Kinabalu on 23 March 2014 where I did indeed dance my butt off to not one, but several songs. 

I had previously traveled to Cambodia and got the opportunity to explore the tiny villages bordering Siem Reap. Surrounded by picturesque rice fields and filled with warm and friendly locals, it was sad to see the poor living conditions.

My MAD fundraising experience

My MAD fundraising experience

By Chiann Yi

About a year ago, I was invited to a charity concert by a friend who told me it was a fundraising effort by this crazy guy who gave up his corporate job to build toilets for the less fortunate people in rural areas. I, unfortunately, could not attend but who knew our paths would cross again through an old friend of mine. This friend would go on to convince me that it is not only possible to make a difference to people’s lives in a country 2000km away, but that it can be fun and easy at the same time. Honestly, I was also spurred by the brief water shortage I experienced in KL and could just not imagine living in conditions where there was no running water.  

The biggest lesson the ‘disadvantaged’ taught me!

The biggest lesson the ‘disadvantaged’ taught me!

By Navin Muruga

I’ve spent the last 18 months visiting rural disadvantaged communities  where most families earn less than USD 1.50 per day. In Kenya, I met women who hiked through dangerously rocky terrain to collect murky brown drinking water. In Sri Lanka, I met teenagers who spent their childhood hiding in bomb shelters instead of attending school. And in the Philippines, I sat in the back of a moving truck and watched in shock as men ran after us in hopes of receiving a bottle of clean drinking water. I’ve learnt a lot from these experiences but 2 lessons have stood out from the rest.

 

Just Start!

Just Start!

By Navin Muruga

Just over a year ago I was a senior consultant at a global recruitment firm in KL. In the conventional sense, it was a dream job. I was doing really well and getting paid more than I could have hoped for. The only problem was the fact that I wasn’t happy. I had become jaded by the rat race and one question kept popping up in my head “If I was 50 and looked back at my life, what would I want to see?” I realized I wanted to make a difference in the world but at that point I had no idea how. I just knew I needed to start somewhere. So I quit my job and bought a one-way ticket to the war torn villages of North East Sri Lanka.