As 2020 drew to a close and the world began to re-open, we at The White Feather Foundation focused on the path forward. Though our collective recovery may take time, we recognize the importance of every impact we can make toward our mission to Conserve Life, no matter how great or small.
What follows is a re-cap of how the TWFF community of supporters, ambassadors, partners and friends exemplified our commitment this year.
The Preservation of Indigenous Cultures
In January, we caught up with rising star, Kunumi MC, of the Guarani tribe, who uses his voice to fight for Indigenous rights.
In March, we shared an update from our partners at Amazon Conservation Team, which showed how the donations from our Action for the Amazon Covid-19 Relief Campaign helped save lives across the region. As the pandemic continues, our campaign remains active for those who want to provide additional help.
In the wake of the discovery of mass graves at former First Nations Residential Schools across Canada, Julian and Tassoula discussed the best ways to Restore, Respect and Revere the people in Native cultures in their essay on Indigenous Peoples’ Day.
In September, we announced our partnership with the Love Is … Project to create beautiful feather-themed jewellery made by Indigenous artisans across the globe. Sale proceeds from the three TWFF styles available benefit both organizations and support the local communities where the items are produced.
In November, Julian and his co-author Bart Davis, released their fourth book together, The Morning Tribe. A graphic novel for middle-grade kids, the book centers around Indigenous twins who take great care to protect their Native lands. The foreword was written by Elder Bunna Lawrie of The Mirning People, who was present when the original white feather that inspired our charity was given to Julian in 1998. A limited number of first-edition, signed copies of the book are still available from Premiere Collectibles.
That same month, we welcomed Indigenous advocate Kim Kindersley as our newest TWFF Global Ambassador. Read about his journey here.
Health & Education
In 2019, we began a campaign to help Mothers of Africa build a nursery school in Zambia. We’re pleased to announce that with the help of other donors (who gave directly to their organization), this project is now fully funded. Stay tuned for an interview with the Mothers of Africa team and progress updates in the coming months.
From Uganda, we received an update from recipients of our 2017 Village Ambulance donations, which are still in use, serving those communities today.
An HIV/AIDS prevention course at Studio Samuel that we funded in 2020, but was paused due to the pandemic, resumed this year. Julian and Tassoula also (virtually) represented TWFF at Studio Samuel’s annual International Day of the Girl event in October, which raised critical funds for the organization.
In January, we expanded The Cynthia Lennon Scholarship for Girls to American art students, with a call to artists. These young painters and photographers were challenged to create a work to capture the essence of the theme “Conserve Life.” We received an overwhelming response of over 1200 entries, from which Julian selected the top two winners. We awarded the scholarships to Marion Kamara and Tota Garboua, respectively. You can view their stunning artwork here.
In March, we named Cura Orphanage the 2020 recipient of The Cynthia Lennon Scholarship for Girls. The funds will help six young women who are attending high school in Kenya with tuition, boarding expenses, safe transportation and necessities.
We raised additional funds for the scholarship through The Cynthia Lennon Mother’s Day & Birthday Auctions, which will be added to our total sums collected through year-round donations for the yet-to-be-named 2021 recipients.
In May, Julian and Tassoula emphasized the importance of spreading awareness to Make Lupus Visible in an essay honouring those who suffer from the condition.
In October, Julian and Tassoula shared the importance of removing stigmas surrounding mental health in their essay on World Mental Health Day.
In April, we spoke with Jo Ruxton about her evolving organization, Ocean Generation, which originally began as Plastic Oceans UK. Watch in the coming months for additional information about their progress.
On World Environment Day in June, Julian and Tassoula marked the occasion with an essay detailing the history of the observance and tips on how we can all help advance the goals that were set forth in its inception.
That same month, we spoke with Felicity Aston, MBE, who is leading the all-female B.I.G. North Pole 2022 Expedition, sponsored in part by TWFF, which will study sea ice effects from climate change and the mental health of the team as they endure life-threatening conditions on this unprecedented mission.
In July, we announced a partnership with earth steward Rebecca T. Dickson, who through her Witchy Women® Magic Shoppe, produces small-batch, TWFF-themed, ethically sourced candles and smudge kits to help benefit our environmental area of giving.
Following a devastating earthquake in August, we spoke with Karen Nicolas of The Haiti Tree Project and shared ways to help the community rebuild.
In October, we partnered with Barefoot Books to present a Planet Protector Pack for kids, which contains books, educational materials, a tree-planting kit, a sustainable tote bag and a letter and frame-able photography print from Julian to inspire young environmentalists to care for the planet.
On World Water Day in March, Julian and Tassoula discussed the history of TWFF campaigns to bring water to underdeveloped regions and offered solutions for the path forward.
In May, we launched our Bring Clean Water to Cameroon campaign to help a community in Africa that hasn’t had access to clean water since the early 1980s. You can still donate to the cause here.
In August, we provided suggestions about how to help following a traumatic humanitarian crises in Afghanistan, which included sending relief supplies such as clean water in addition to shelter, medical assistance and transportation to safe countries.
For the Betterment of Life
In February, we celebrated our TWFF Global Ambassador Sue Flood as she took the top honour in the Climate Change category of the Royal Photographic Society Science Photography Awards. View her winning photo here.
That same month, Julian was a featured guest in the ‘Hope Rising’ event hosted by Creative Visions, which aimed to inspire positive action.
In partnership with Folklore Poetry, the first-ever Julian Lennon Prize for Poetry took place in the spring, with the winning poems selected by Julian and a team of esteemed judges. Proceeds benefitted TWFF.
In July, Julian received the “Outstanding Impact Award” at the Monaco Streaming Film Festival for his TWFF work. Representing our charity at the event was our Global Ambassador Joakim Odelberg, who gave a powerful talk on the topic of taking action for our endangered planet. View his full presentation here.
On the International Day of Charity in September, Julian and Tassoula emphasized how small every-day actions can make a significant impact in this time of worldwide crisis.
Also in September, Tassoula interviewed General Public Founder/Acclaimed Actress Portia de Rossi about her partnership with Julian and RH that brings his photography to RH stores nationwide (a portion of the sale proceeds benefit TWFF), and how her company makes art accessible to collectors from all walks of life.
On World Literacy Day, Julian was honoured with the International Literacy Award for his contributions to literacy through his work with The White Feather Foundation.
As we reflect back on all that was achieved in 2021, we thank our supporters, ambassadors, partners and friends for their help. We couldn’t have done it without you.
We look forward to more projects and progress in 2022, filled with action, compassion and empathy.
Happy New Year to All …