Ben Clare – a Man with a Mission

Papua New Guinea

Ben Clare, who is blind, was working as an IT Instructor in a TAFE college when he was asked to go to PNG to help at a school for the blind there. And so began Ben’s love affair with the Pacific Islands, about 12 years ago. Ben has volunteered several times in the Pacific – in the Solomon Islands, Samoa and Kiribati through the Australian Volunteers for International Development (AVID) program - as well as East Timor and PNG with other development agencies. Ben not only teaches braille but with his knowledge of IT he installs and then teaches students how to access software that helps blind people read screens – a life changing opportunity for them as it opens up a world of knowledge. It has also been a life changing experience for Ben: “You make a lot of friends when you go to these places, and when I am back in Australia I send money to support these new friends and organisations. I didn’t have a lot of money to send, but what I send, I want the people to get as much of it as possible, and that wasn’t happening, so I began researching the cheapest options for sending money. There had to be a better way. That’s when I heard about SendMoneyPacific - and it’s a great service.” SendMoneyPacific is a free, Australian and New Zealand government funded website you can use to quickly compare the fees charged by different money transfer operators and how long it takes for the money to reach its destination. It also shows how much money is received at the other end in local currency. Sending Money Overseas – How does it work? When you send money overseas, not all of your money makes it home.  Money transfer operators and banks naturally charge fees to send money, but many people don’t know how these fees work, which means the person you are sending to may not be receiving as much money as they could. Ben: “Over the years I have saved literally thousands of dollars by knowing the options available. There are mobile money services which are cheaper, quick and reliable, and I wouldn’t have known about them if I hadn’t discovered the SendMoneyPacific website.”

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