Tuesday 25th June 2019

Archive for the ‘Charities’ Category

UNICEF

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

UNICEF

UNICEF - Advance Humanity ImageWith Enduro Africa, they’ve clearly tried to pick charities that represent a cross section of the vital funding that’s required for such a country as South Africa.

It’s a sobering thought that any money raised by Enduro Africa is a mere drop in the ocean, but whatever contribution I manage to make, I’m glad the funds will be distributed so widely across the whole charity sector.

Touch Africa and Sentebale are very much grass roots charities; at the sharp end, making a real difference at ground level. With The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, it’s about tackling those policies influenced by society in general and the Government. And likewise with UNICEF, the fourth charity choice, which in its own words, acts as a “…driving force that helps build a world where the rights of every child are realized.”

UNICEF is big and powerful and such an influential body that Governments and peoples have to listen when it speaks. In that way I see it very much as a real protector of children, one that is organised to play on the world stage and understands that sometimes charity is all about influencing layers of Government and state bodies first, before any of the real work can begin.

It works actively in nearly 200 countries and its on-the-ground initiatives are too numerous to list here. Suffice to say that when kids have UNICEF on their side, they have a very powerful ally indeed.

And I am delighted that UNICEF are in the list of four charities that receive support from sponsorship raised for Enduro Africa.

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Support The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund

Saturday, April 23rd, 2011

Nelson Mandela Children's Fund ImageHe of course needs no introduction and when I first planned my Enduro Africa adventure, this was one of the charities that I really felt strongly about supporting.

For me, ever since I first read the Enduro Africa web site, this charity, established by the great statesman Nelson Mandela, was top of the list.

Who cannot be moved by what such a man has done in Africa; bringing together a disparate country racked with troubles and with little identity, to a nation which has not only a strong soul, but also a sense of purpose? And embodying that nation is the great Nelson Mandela, a man always happy to put others first, especially children.

South Africa still has its problems of course, but here is a nation that is working together to sort out its issues and looks forward to the future. The Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund was created in 1995 with a simple dream; to end the suffering of children and help build them a solid future.

And between 1996 and 1998 alone, the charity raised over R36 million which went to nearly 800 individual projects. It was a great start and in between 2000 and 2005, the charity realised that to make a real difference, it would have to develop into a fully fledged funding and development agency which tackles society’s treatment of children.

In other words, it handles some of the big issues of child poverty and for that, it certainly gets my vote as a charity that needs all the support it can muster. Another very strong reason to support Alan’s Enduro Africa.  

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Sentebale – A New Approach

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

Harry in Africa Sentebale ImageThere are moments of doubt when I think about Enduro Africa. Mainly when I wake up in the morning and think what have I let myself in for, but all you’ve got to do is quickly remind yourself about where the raised money is going, and it all makes sense again. Note to self: I must keep telling my body that as it groans with pain!

As part of my Enduro Africa adventure, I will be supporting four charities and one of the most interesting admits that it’s trying a new approach, hoping to combine thoughtful aid with sound and effective businesslike methods.

The charity is called Sentebale and its ambitions are simple, to help transform the lives of Lesotho’s vulnerable children and orphans, and is perhaps best known for being formed by two well-known characters: the UK’s Prince Harry and Lesotho’s Prince Seeiso.

With patrons like that, you’re bound to get a good start for your charity! But the charity needs all the help it can get, because it has to cope not only with victims of poverty, but also the tragic effects of the Aids/HIV epidemic which is currently scything through the kingdom of Lesotho.

Consider these facts for a moment. Lesotho is literally fighting for survival. It has the third highest Aids/HIV rate in the world and that horrifying statistic translates as one third of the population being infected. It’s a statistic which defies our Western perimeters of life, but it’s reality for the people of this small Kingdom with less than two million people. There are around 400,000 orphans and life expectancy is roughly 35 years.

So, when I question whether my middle aged body can cope with the strains of Enduro Africa, I answer the question by thinking what the team at Sentebale have to cope with.  

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Adopt A School With Touch Africa

Tuesday, April 19th, 2011

Adopt a School ImageYou can’t blame British school kids of course; I was the same at their age, whining about school, being told to get up in time and remember my homework, and generally spending the day doing tedious lessons.

But spend five minutes looking at some of the most deprived areas in Africa and you get a wakeup call, one of the key reasons I started my Alan’s Enduro Africa.

For a lot of African kids, school is not a place to complain about and focus on leaving at the end of the afternoon. For many of the kids in Africa, school is a sanctuary, a place where they can get the things that they can’t in their own homes and which we take for granted.

Touch Africa is just one of the four charities supported by Enduro Africa and once I saw what they have been achieving over the years, I had to give them my support.

Just think for a moment if you had to look to your school for access to warmth and a chance for a wash and tidy up. For these kids, these basic facilities are only provided at their schools, as many homes don’t have electricity, water, or any heating whatsoever.

One of Touch Africa’s key projects is called Adopt a School and it aims to improve as many schools as possible to a level where the kids not only want to attend, but where they will improve their lot. Where they can watch educational TV, make use of desks and chairs, and even eat fresh fruit and vegetables from the school’s own gardens.

The more money I can raise on Alan’s Enduro Africa, the more I can give to charities like Touch Africa to help with their work in schools and a large number of other projects. Like me, take a quick look at what Touch Africa is trying to achieve and next time your kids moan about the horrors of having to attend school, gently point out that for many kids in Africa, school is the only place that might possibly be keeping them alive.  

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Whose Bright Idea Was This Then?

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

It’s strange how the kernel of an idea can sometimes suddenly blossom into a full blown project in the blinking of an eye.  

This particular project gathered a momentum of its own almost as soon as the thought entered my head. Like most people, I start every New Year full of good intentions but as time progresses I somehow manage to find a whole raft of excuses that get in the way of actually taking any real firm, sustainable action.

Not this time… In a rare moment of madness, inspired somewhat by the shocking scenes of poverty broadcast by The Beeb in Comic Relief’s ‘Famous, Rich & In The Slums’, I picked up my mobile and called Enduro Africa to ask if I could get involved. It wasn’t long before I’d handed over £2500 to cover travel and accommodation and (gulp!) all of a sudden I was committed.

Impulsive? Yes. Worthwhile? I hope so. Foolish? Well, I think I’m about to find out!

It transpires that most of the participants embarking on this little adventure have been planning, fundraising and generally preparing themselves for at least 6 months already.  They all clearly have a huge head start on me.

It also transpires that my many years of motorcycling experience count for virtually nothing when it comes to riding 2000 Km off road through some of Africa’s wildest, most challenging terrain. Apparently, we have several mountains to climb, numerous rivers to cross and mile after mile of really rough ground to somehow stumble through.

So I’ve been advised to take up some formal off-road training before I even think about attempting the route. Add to this the fact that I’m hardly at my peak of physical condition…

So here I am. Contemplating the scale of the task ahead and wondering if I’m up to the challenge.  I just need to get fit, lose 20 pounds, re-learn how to ride a motorbike AND start a campaign to raise £2500 in sponsorship.

Should be a walk in the park!  

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