Who We Are and Why We Do It
LifeNets began in Australia in 2001 in the smallest and simplest way, with a small “Gold Coin” collection to support the work of LifeNets International, an overseas humanitarian agency. Donations were sent to LifeNets International to support self-help projects.
Since then, “gold coin” donation centres have increased in number, income has steadily grown, individuals have donated larger amounts, and other donation programs have been introduced. It eventually became necessary to establish a legal entity to ensure transparency and accountability.
On 1st July 2016 LifeNets Australia was incorporated under the Victorian Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012 (#A00962521) and registered with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (#50354879153).
Deductible gift recipient status with the Australian Tax Office is pending. When approved, this will mean all donations in excess of $2.00 can be claimed as an offset against individual or company income tax.
LifeNets International, based in the United States, is a 501 (c) (3) not-for-profits organisation developing programs throughout the world.
LifeNets encourages those it supports to pass on to others aid, skills, training and services, and be living examples of “paying it forward” to their communities.
LifeNets Australia Incorporated voluntarily associates with LifeNets International. There are no legal, management or financial links between the two organisations, the relationship being a cooperative one, based on a mutual desire to achieve the motto of “helping others to help themselves”.
No individual receives any pecuniary benefit or other reward for their participation in the work of LifeNets Australia. Legitimate, approved out-of-pocket expenses may be reimbursed but the services are provided on a voluntary basis.
It is exciting to see the lives of people transformed. Giving and sharing with others reflects the kind of heart and hope that defines the kind of people we are to be. When those we help can help others, the circle of giving is complete.
We believe in:
- Meeting humanitarian needs to relieve suffering.
- Generating hope through opportunities to become self-sufficient.
- Working on the basis of mutual respect, honour and dignity with recipients and donors.
- Delivering services through local leaders whom we know and trust.
- Being culturally sensitive in the type and amount of aid we deliver.
- Leveraging donations by partnering with organisations who sell us their products at a fraction of the wholesale cost.
- Creating a circle of ongoing benefits.
Concerned individuals and relief groups from an informal network of churches across the United States began LifeNets International as a humanitarian relief organisation in 1999 to better and more effectively serve needy and disadvantaged peoples around the world.
In 1996, Victor Kubik, a Ukrainian/American pastor joined with Maurice Frohn, a retired English surgeon and Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons, for an investigative trip to the Chernobyl region. Dr Frohn had received disturbing reports about rapidly rising rates of thyroid cancer in children irradiated by the Chernobyl nuclear power plant explosion 10 years earlier. As Kubik was fluent in both Russian and Ukrainian, Dr Frohn asked him to accompany him as a translator.
What they found was horrifying. Thousands of Ukrainian children were afflicted with life-threatening radiation-induced diseases. Determined to do something to help, Frohn founded The International Chernobyl Children’s Trust (ICCT) in England. Kubik was named a trustee of the Children’s Trust and returned to the United States where he began informally organising relief shipments to the Chernobyl area.
Kubik’s efforts in the United States, together with some funding from the ICCT, have resulted in 160 tonnes of clothing, medical supplies, used computers and other items being shipped to needy regions in the Ukraine, Eastern Europe, Africa and elsewhere since 1996.
As the informal relief efforts expanded in the Ukraine, Kubik became aware of other situations where aid could be sent. A full-time Christian minister with the United Church of God, Kubik was encouraged to formally create a registered non-profit relief organisation in order to better utilise government and other resources not generally available to individuals.
As the first (and now former) president of LifeNets International, Victor Kubik continues his pastoral work, but devotes much of his free time with other volunteers in developing aid programs, and gathering and shipping relief supplies around the world. The LifeNets network continues to build, drawing on the resources of many service groups and churches.
More information about LifeNets International can be found at www.lifenets.org.