Saturday, 13 June 2009

The Big Issue

Ever heard of The Big Issue? I'm sure you must have and if you haven't, The Big Issue is a magazine which offers a huge help to homeless and vulnerably housed person.

From the magazine's website you can read:
The Big Issue exists to offer homeless and vulnerably housed people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income. We produce a weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine which vendors buy from us for 70p and sell to the public for £1.50, keeping 80p for themselves.

The magazine first started out in the UK in September 1991 by John Bird and Gordon Roddick. The magazine is now published in eight countries. It is written by professional journalists and sold by homeless persons. The vendors, of course, have to abide by some codes of conduct to be eligible to this offer. For instance, they will have to be clean of alcohol or drugs while they are acting as Big Issue vendors.

I personally greatly admire the Big Issue initiative. Imagine offering the homeless and needy the opportunity to earn a living, and in this case they are really earning it. It's not a grant, it's not charity. They are employed and they get their due.

In Mauritius people are often blaming the authority for not providing enough help, this is no news. It would actually be great if we could do something like The Big Issue around here or in any country for that matter.

Ah dudettes and dudes, do you think I'm unrealistic to be thinking about the Big Issue in Mauritius?

Big Issue


  1. Hi!

    This is indeed a good model that may be applied here in Paradise Island.

    I'll keep note of it :P


  2. Hello,
    Thanks for passing by Dilraj. ;)

  3. "They have to be clean of alcohol and drugs"

    In Mauritius, I dont think we have this problem of homeless etc... Sorry, but we must admit it, most of them are lazy and want to earn a easy living without doing any effort.
    Note : There exist genuine cases, but they are rare.

    You just need to have a look at those who are either begging, or claim to be homeless

    Who would believe that they are "ill" or unfit to work? Do you?

    However, an initiative like this one is possible in Mauritius.
    I believe the most suitable group would perhaps be rotary and rotaract clubs since they are mostly involved in this community life. Its only a suggestion...

  4. The big issue is also published in South Africa.

  5. @ Yashvin, The Big Issue is not about homeless people only but the vulnerably housed as well. And that, we have in Mauritius and in great number.

    The thing about Big Issue is that it does not help all homeless gain a salary but it does help out those who are willing to leave their situation and make an effort.

    Those who are lazy or don't want to work will remain as they are unfortunately.

    Yeah the rotary clubs could initiate such a thing or the local press agencies? Cause professional journalists are not easy to find in Mauritius, except there. :P

  6. @ Damaria Senne, yeah SA forms part of the 8 countries where the Big Issue is published. ;)
    Thanks for passing by.

  7. Yes, I've bought a few ... I remeber when I was in Eltham I use to chat with this guy near Sainsbury's I bought the old issues he could not sell ... they buy it for 80p and sell it at £1.50 ... but I do not like the content of the Big Issue ... to socialist for me ... I just buy it to help the guys.

  8. If a big issue applied in mauritius is managed like the other big issues then yes, it can work. ;)
    need a good management and marketing team for that.

  9. perhaps nobody wana venture investing in that
    needs lots of funds and support to carry out something like that
    but for me i am pro big issue. even if it helps barely a segment. it helps and that's what matters, right?

  10. I like the idea. Giving something to do to homeless people is a good thing. It gives them something to do and to be proud of (I believe they are).