Publisher January 2014

Great Year for Great Causes

Another shiny gong, a great cause, and new offices have well started 2014 for Custom Media, publishers of BCCJ ACUMEN.

While still basking in the glow of being voted BCCJ Company of the Year, in November, muchas felicitaciones came from the Madrid-based organisers of the Gourmand World Cookbooks Awards 2013.

All proceeds benefit refugees.

We are proud to have won the award for “Best Charity & Fund Raising Cookbook–Asia”, for producing Flavours Without Borders for the Japan Association of Refugees (JAR) and Macquarie Group Japan.

The publication is a distinctive 104-page global recipe book written by refugees here. To buy Flavours Without Borders (¥1,575), please email me. All proceeds go to JAR.

Established in 1999, JAR annually consults with about 15,000 asylum seekers and refugees, a cause dear to my heart from my pre-desk-bound days as a reporter in southern Africa, the Persian Gulf and the Caribbean.

As an implementing partner of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Japan, JAR offers social and legal help and carries out advocacy, research and public relations.

This year, Custom Media is also chuffed to add Animal Refuge Kansai (ARK) to the growing number of great causes we have supported over the past five years or so.

ARK founder Elizabeth Oliver MBE nearly bit off my hand when I offered her our pro bono services as the NGO’s official media partner, and we look forward to saving some pets with our marketing, promotion and editorial services.

Of course, we will continue to offer editorial and design work to our great friends at Refugees International Japan, led by Jane Best. Congratulations to Jane, by the way, who was awarded an OBE in the 2014 New Year’s Honours list for “services to refugees and displaced people in Asia and Africa”, to go with her MBE.

And, as usual, we’ll be helping promote the annual fundraiser for children’s cancer charity Shine On! Kids.

Finally, we have offered our expertise in editorial, design, advertising and marketing to TELL (formerly Tokyo English Life Line), where BCCJ stalwart Ian de Stains OBE serves as executive director.

If you know another worthy cause that needs help, please contact me.

Shine On! Kids: