BRICKS The Great Wall Appeal arose out of an experience of the poverty that still exists in rural China despite the economic miracle that is transforming the coastal cities. We hear so much about the latter, that the reality of the former is often obscured. The following article describes well the situation I have come to know first hand. It seemed both doable and opportune to use the ‘Net’ to create links between people of good will around the world and those still struggling on the other side of the Digital Divide in China. The initial goals of BRICKS were modest and the appeal confined to family and friends. The first year allowed me to see where bottlenecks in the process were and where the challenges might be in taking the idea that looked good on paper to reality. The original idea proved remarkably robust and the idea snowballed. By the end of 2007 the idea had helped bring comfort and support to handicapped children and vulnerable seniors in China to the tune of €30,000. Free online software and a very simple structure meant that BRICKS could promise that 100% of donations would transfer to the project.
In 2008 Bricks went “global” to see if we could create links between people in need and generous donors across the Internet. The idea remained the same – connecting people across the digital divide – but instead of two projects we achieved 12 by year’s end. Instead of confining the appeal to family and friends, Bricks started inviting any person of good will to make a difference to people in real need and help work with the wonderful men and women of each Brick to build that Great Wall of Charity in China.
RICKS Great wall Appeal is a support organisation for Chinese NGO’s, advising them on domestic fundraising.
It is registered as a charity in Ireland. The current director is Fr. Joseph Loftus C.M.
BRICKS is currently migrating to a 100% Chinese domestic programme Lezhu.org and in future BRICKS will exist to support the new Lezhu venture. Sweeten the Pot is the first BRICKS-Lezhu cooperation.