Emma will be running to raise money for charities that we think are brilliant. There are so many good quality charities around that it is really hard to decide. Having spent years working and volunteering for different charities, I have a preference for small charities that show real respect for the people they work with, the countries they work in and the people who work for them. If you would like to support the work of the charities below, please follow this link: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/EmmaTimmis
The SEED Project works in Zimbabwe and was started many years by two dedicated and inspirational friends of mine, Jackson and Marie Nazombe. They wanted to create a charity that made people realise that they could help themselves. And this is what they have done. Robert, Project Manager in Zimbabwe, used to be a gardener working for very little in the suburbs of Harare. Jackson saw his potential and worked with him to develop his skills and confidence. Robert was the first person from his village to go through university. He was also the person who came up with the most effective method for reducing the cholera epidemic, recruiting 300 local volunteers to educate more than 73,000 families. Communities, supported by Robert and Nyasha (project worker), have worked together to find long term solutions to problems such as soil erosion and poor health. Communities trained through the SEED Project have gone on to share their knowledge with other communities. If you’re wondering about value for money, then you can be sure you’ll get it with the SEED Project. If you want to find out more, please follow this link: http://www.seed-project.org
After much thought, Emma and I have decided to support Tusk as one of our charities. We wanted to support a charity in every country we travelled through but the troubles in Mozambique have highlighted that we cannot reliably predict our route. It may be, by next November, that we will need to adjust our journey to miss out Mozambique altogether and include Tanzania and Zambia. Tusk gives us that flexibility. Researching Tusk, I also like the projects they support. All the projects have a strong element of local involvement.
I have asked that donations will go to support projects addressing human/wildlife conflict. I have a strong belief in living in harmony with the world around us as much as possible. I appreciate and think we have a need for diversity, as a society we learn from other societies and as humans there are many medicines that have been developed from new plants. Aside from that many people gain great joy from seeing and interacting with animals in the wild. I will never forget being sniffed by a wild elephant or seeing a herd of elephants meet another herd and shake trunks, the babies peeking behind their mothers at each other and the teenagers playing it cool and then getting into trouble and having arguments with each other – seriously – one teenager snuck up on the other and stuck his tusk up the other’s bottom! That one trumpeted in surprise and anger. The first one legged it. So did we … But the fears I have about travelling in Africa, local people face on a daily basis. Children often have to walk miles to school, whilst adults work in the fields. They risk malaria, snakebites, insects and large mammals: In 2010 8 villagers were attacked by lions in Zimbabwe. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-11695824. Local people work hard on their crops, for them to be trampled or eaten. Lets not get human centric or even afro-centric about this, we are also constantly destroying the hard work animals put in to building their homes, often for more spurious reasons than hunger. As humans encroach more and more across the planet, it becomes a delicate balance. Which is why we wanted to support projects that respect both animals and people and enable them to live more harmoniously.
TPD is a charity in the UK set up by Aysha to give people all the skills and support they need when they want to do something amazing to benefit others. The charity was developed as a result of Aysha’s experience as a youth worker and working with young offenders, when many young people wanted to do something positive in their community but often other issues got in the way, such as self belief, homelessness, unstable relationships and knowing where to start. The charity will treat each person as an individual, providing them with the holistic support they need for them to succeed and then use their learning in their future.