31 December 2010

A new home for Boca de Rua

Boca de Rua in Porto Alegre, Brazil, now has new office space to work in. Their umbrella organisation ALICE will work from the new base to run various projects, including the street paper and the children's street newspaper 'La Boquinha'. ALICE is also soon to launch a new website - watch this space!

Learn more about The Oregon Vagabond

One of INSP's newest members, The Orgegon Vagabond, has recently produced a video about their work in Euguene, Oregon. The street newspaper is locally produced and written by the homeless and homeless supporters, to give readers people an insight on street life. Watch the video here.

A funding boost for The Big Issue in Sydney

The Big Issue Australia recently received $1.25 million in funding from the New South Wales Government. In NSW, The Big Issue currently supports more than 100 people through their various programs, and over the 14 years since launching in Sydney has worked with almost 1000 homeless and marginalised people. The $1.25 million funding will support The Big Issue's three social enterprises: the street paper, the 'Big Issue Classroom' and the 'Women's Subscription Enterprise'. The NSW Government will also provide free office space for The Big Issue. Chairman of The Big Issue, Sonya Clancy said it was a great honour to be accepting the cheque of $1.25 million from the NSW State Government. "Since The Big Issue launched in Sydney in 1997 we have provided opportunities for up to 1,000 of the city's homeless and disadvantaged people and I am pleased to say that from today our ability to help more people earn an income and be actively connected back into the community will increase significantly."

Arkady's amazing stunts to raise money for vendors

On 23 February 2011, Arkady Tyurin, the editor and director of the street paper Put Domoi (Russia) jumped through a flaming hoop to raise money to pay for medical treatment for Anatoly Baranov, a disabled vendor. View the amazing video here. In 2007 Arkady did a similar stunt to raise money to buy a hearing aid for Put Domoi vendor Nina Stepanovna Maurina. Watch the video here.

Reality of World Aids Day for Malawian vendors

To mark World Aids Day on the 1st December, the Big Issue Malawi invited HIV/Aids councellors from an organisation called Malawi Aids Counselling and Resource Organisation (MACRO) to carry out voluntary testing and counselling at the Big Issue premises all day long. 27 people were tested out of which 4 were found to be positive. They were offered follow up appointments at MACRO head offices and are now being given regular support.

Collector's edition a record sell out in South Africa

The Big Issue South Africa's 2010 Collector's Edition enjoyed a landslide of sales for the 68-page bumper edition at the end of 2010. The special edition showcased 33 of South Africa's top writers, thought leaders, photographers, poets and cartoonists, all under the theme of "My Big Issue", with a foreword by Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. "The overriding reason for bringing out Collector's Edition a record sell-out The Big Issue's first ever Collector's Edition was to give our 400-plus vendors an exceptional product to sell over the festive season, to enable them to earn their own Christmas bonus," explains Melany Bendix, editor. "The 2010 Collector's Edition exceeded all expectations, selling out within record time. We definitely achieved the objective of helping vendors boost their income, and we now plan to produce a Collector's Edition every year."

Faktum Calendar

Swedish street paper Faktum has published a 2011 calendar for vendors to sell over the Christmas period. The calendar features black-and-white photos of 12 homeless people, shown dreaming of the jobs they would like to have. The series of photographs, entitled ‘När jag blir stor' (‘When I grow up') was the work of well known Gothenburg photographer Patrik Andersson. Read more.

Street Roots celebrates 12th birthday

At the start of December, Oregon street paper Street Roots celebrated its 12th birthday. Since it's launch, it has published 244 editions and has not been closed for a single day (Street Roots is open 7 days a week for homeless people). In the New Year, they will launch a brand new website, which will act as a hub for an online community and be interactive in a way that people will feel more connected to the streets of Portland. Read more.

Straatnieuws video

An information video about Utrecht street paper Straatnieuws recently featured on the respected Dutch radio broadcaster ‘Radio Nederland Wereldomroep'. The video is in Dutch and is available either with English or Spanish subtitles.

Regional Development in Latin America

The first meeting of Brazilian street papers took place on 6th and 7th November 2010 at OCAS headquarters in Sao Paulo. Delegates from the 3 Brazilian street papers attended to discuss plans for regional development and how street papers in the region can work more effectively together. The meeting was an important opportunity to exchange ideas and information.

‘Art made in Buenos Aires'

In November, Hecho en Buenos Aires held an art exhibition featuring painting, sculpture, writing, music and experimental art from local artists. The exhibition ‘Arte Hecho en Bs As' (‘Art made in Bs As') was a play on words of the name of the Argentinean street paper and aimed to raise awareness of poverty and social exclusion.

I think of home...

Apropos (Satzburg, Austria) recently published a book and an audio book for vendors to sell over the Christmas period. The book, 'I think of home...' was compiled from texts by 15 vendors, with the help of Salzburg writer Walter Müller. The book will sell for 12 € and the audiobook for 8€, with half of the cost going to the vendors.

Spare Change News branches out

Through a collaboration with the Worcester Homeless Action Committee, Spare Change News recently branched out in the state of Massachusetts, with an edition distributed in the city of Worcester. The edition features regular content of Spare Change News plus four pages of stories and photos specific to the Worcester area. The initial plan is for the Worcester Edition to be printed bi-monthly, with the possibility of going monthly by the beginning of 2011.

The Big Issue Malawi's Omega is the latest 'Red Petal'

The Big Issue Malawi's Omega Chanje-Mulwafu is the latest 'Red Petal' to be interviewed for Eleonora Terrile and Sylvie Garrone's project aimed at highlighting the role of women in promoting human rights. Read the interview here. Omega is the sixth 'street paper' woman to be interviewed for the Petali Rossi website, joining Samba Yonga (The Big issue Zambia), Lisa Maclean (INSP Executive Director) and Maree Aldam (INSP Network Services Manager), and Sabina Eleonori and Elena Parasiliti (Terre di Mezzo, Italy).

HEMPELS' Jo Tein is honoured by German Government

Jo Tein, the founder of HEMPELS street paper in Keil, Germany, is to be awarded the 'Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany', the highest tribute that can be paid to individuals for services to the nation.

The award is to recognise achevements including the founding and developing of HEMPELS, the organization of the 1st German street soccer championships, the co-founding of "Anstoss - German association for social integration through sports" as well as the co-founding of other social initiatives, and the successful installation of day shelters for street-people with alcohol problems in Kiel (this concept is new in Germany - accepting alcohol abuse, offering help only on request and employing poor and homeless people as experts in the field - and a lot of media coverage and nationwide debate is currently going on. The UK's Independent recently ran a feature which can be read here).

Jo will travel to Berlin on the 14th December to receive the order in an official ceremony.

The Big Issue Zambia website

The Big Issue Zambia has recently launched its website www.thebigissuezambia.org which includes information about the latest issue, all the latest news, and several vendor profiles, click here for a photo gallery of vendors on Flickr.

The Women's Subscription Enterprise

The Women's Subscription Enterprise is The Big Issue Australia's new social enterprise that provides employment, training and pathways opportunities for disadvantaged women.

Through the sale of subscriptions to The Big Issue magazine homeless and disadvantaged women are employed to work as Dispatch Assistants, sorting, collating and inserting magazines for distribution to subscribers every fortnight. As well as paid employment, the women will also receive ongoing training and pathways opportunities, and the chance to develop their skills in a safe, secure and rewarding environment. Read more.

The Big Issue Malawi as a Scottish Government case study

The Big Issue Malawi is currently featured as a case study on the Scottish Government website.The project is funded through the Scottish Government's International Development fund, which helps to support the street paper running costs, including vendor workshops and the printing of the magazine.

Thanks to Scottish Government support, around 500 people living in poverty have received training and employment opportunities, with 51 men and women vending regularly for the Big Issue Malawi. 255 family members (dependants of vendors) have also benefitted from access to a regular household income. Read more.

Tourists in their own city

Celebrating their win, four of the six
top sellers: (from left) Alice Pina Ncata,
Ntombikhaya Phandle, Lizo Qatase
and Prisca Munhenga
In celebration of World Tourism Month in September, Cape Town Tourism ran the My Cape Town Weekend campaign, which encouraged Capetonians to experience their own city from a tourist's perspective. Cape Town Tourism and its partners handed out thousands of vouchers for the city's top tourist attractions, and The Big Issue vendors also got a piece of the action with the 25 top-selling vendors of the magazine carrying details of the My Cape Town Weekend being awarded with vouchers for Table Mountain cable car, the Two Oceans Aquarium and Kirstenbosch Gardens. The top six sellers got doubly lucky; they were each awarded tickets for two people to the Two Oceans Aquarium and a Table Mountain cable car trip for two.

Journey Home's 16th Anniversary

Journey Home's Director Arkady Tyurin
In September Journey Home street paper celebrated its 16th anniversary. Journey Home vendors, staff and volunteers celebrated with a small party held in Journey Home's distribution office with cake, coffee and a shared cigar.

The Big Issue Kenya needs IT equipment

The Big Issue Kenya have asked the membership for support to purchase IT equipment. They require the following items, with a total cost of £2,600. If you can help, please contact Maree.
  • Apple Macintosh Computer (iMac)
  • Canon Digital Camera (10 Megapixels)
  • HP 4-in-1 Laser printer J3680 (With black & white printing, scanner, fax machine & photocopier)
  • HP Laser CP1518n Colour Printer
  • Office Laptop (HP CQ61 415E1, Duo core 2.2 Ghz)

Changes at Factor S

INSP's Uruguayan street paper has recently changed its name from 'Factor S' to 'La Callejera'. The paper has been running for 9 years and has published 91 issues. According to the project's Gonzalo Gutierrez, the new magazine will be on the streets of Montevideo in October, "with a new name but with the same spirit..."

10th anniversary for Buenos Aires street paper

Hecho en Buenos Aires recently celebrated their 10th anniversary with a special event. The anniversary celebrations included a press conference, discussion forum, photography exhibition and writing workshops. For more information, click here.

Happy birthday to The Big Issue

The Big Issue (London) celebrated 19 years in business this month. The magazine currently circulates over 146,000 copies every week, and since its inception in September 1991, has helped thousands of people to take control of their lives.

Strassenfeger's 15th anniversary

Strassenfeger are celebrating their 15th birthday on the 4th September in Berlin. INSP would like to pass on best wishes for the event and is proud to have such a rich and well established network of street papers in Germany.

English classes for Warsaw vendors

Seven vendors of the Warsaw based WSPAK street paper are currently taking English classes. They sell the paper at the city's main railway station, where they often come across foreigners who are familiar with street papers from their home countries. These meetings are usually short and sweet because of the language barrier. But now, in exchange for half a page advertisement, a leading language school has agreed to run a crash course in conversational English for the vendors. The vendors involved are enjoying the course and the confidence boost of conversing with their customers in English.

Streetvibes boycotts its own award

The Cincinnati Human Relations Commission announced it would present an award to Streetvibes on July 26 for giving job opportunities to people who have disabilities. But Streetvibes declined to attend the award presentation because it was on Fountain Square, where vendors are prohibited from distributing the newspaper. Read more.

Blankets donated to Malawian vendors

The Big Issue Malawi recently established partnership with Gift of the Givers Foundation which saw vendors receive blanket donations in a Winter Warmth Promotion. Malawi experiences winter from June to July hence this was very timely and appreciated. The event was covered by television media in Malawi as well mainstream radio stations.

Bébé signs for Manchester United

Manchester United have signed an ex street soccer player from Portugal. Bébé used to play for a team organised by INSP's street paper CAIS, who also manage Portugal's Homeless World Cup team. Read more.

Arsene Wenger is confirmed as the President of the Paris 2011 Homeless World Cup, which takes place August 2011 at the foot of the Eiffel Tower. Read more.