Monday, 3 August 2009

Doing it for the kids - Support Zimele UK

A few years ago, one of my best friends left the UK for 9 months to work in an orphanage in South Africa. I remember her leaving party and how proud I felt of her for doing such an amazing thing – something I didn’t think I could ever be strong enough to do. My friend, who has a medical background worked with children who had been orphaned due to the HIV and AIDS pandemic that is strife across Africa. Many of the children carried the virus and had to be given drugs every day, Peta campaigned for their treatment and drove the children miles to see doctors in a area that was unsafe to be in. During her time there, it was heartbreaking to hear news of not all the children surviving. I admired Peta so much for what she was doing and wrote every month and sent packages for the children – little things like sweets and cartoon plasters, all of which were really appreciated and something new.

I have always wanted to do something like Peta; to do something where I feel I can make a difference, but even my mum tells me I don’t have a strong enough heart to do so. Maybe in a few years when I have a little more wisdom on life and confidence in myself I would like to think I could.

Peta wasn’t the only one who shared this experience and since returning, she has joined three other volunteers who worked in the Kwa Natal communities of South Africa, and set up the UK arm of a charity called Zimele which provides support through projects and skills to the adults and guardians allowing them to look after the children. It is an amazing charity that with little steps and efforts by some very committed people, provides help to those struggling with poverty and who have lost loved ones.Again, wanting to be involved and to help where I can I have become a trustee to provide the marketing support to get the charity off the ground. As with all these things, it takes time and time seems something that gets lost every day. We are all trying to do our bit – from selling the handmade crafts from South Africa at local markets and fair-trade events to writing press releases and arranging fundraising events. Which leads me onto number one of my Things to do before I am 30 list – I have set up my fundraising page and sent it out to all friends and family committing myself to jumping out of a plane at 14,000ft in September. Yikes. I am hoping that I can raise a good amount of sponsorship which will give the projects a great boost and set Zimele UK on the way to being a registered charity (which was another item on my list!)

So, if you are reading this and would like to sponsor me, please go to my fundraising page and donate what you can – even if it is a pound – it makes a difference, and gives me what I need – because believe me, I am going to be shaking like a leaf, with my heart in my mouth as that plan goes up and the doors open.

Thank you ; ) x

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