In just three weeks’ time, I will be having my very last practice swim before driving to Blenheim Palace to complete the triathlon there.
I am now entering the stage of my fund-raising where I am wanting to appeal to those of you who have said you would sponsor me but haven’t managed to do it yet, as well as those of you who haven’t had the time to think about it much.
I am SO very grateful to all of you who have already sponsored me.
Thus far, I have raised £500.00 but with Gift Aid, this means that Viva (my charity and the organisation I happen to work for part-time) will receive £600.00.
This means that to reach my target of £2,000.00, I need another £1,200.00 net to take me through the £2,000.00 threshold, once the 20% Gift Aid is added. There are more than a hundred people who receive this weekly blog and I hope I provide some value most of the time, and that by the time you finish reading most weeks, you are glad you did so.
That is a long-winded way of saying all I need is twelve people to sponsor me £100.00.
Or twenty four people to sponsor me £50.00.
Or forty eight people to sponsor me £25.00.
You get the idea. It is not a huge amount of money but it will make a huge difference.
In fact, any amount will make a difference.
Who knows, maybe, one person will sponsor me the whole £1,200.00 and then I can smash the target and we can all contribute even more and make an even bigger impact?!
How much can you give?
And to make it a little bit more personal at the Viva end of the equation, here is an account of just one of the more than 1.4 million vulnerable children that Viva exists to serve…
Murder rates in Central America are the highest in the world. Violence has become normal, and this tragically even extends to children in their own homes.
Helena is 11, the oldest of three children whose daily lives have been defined by violence, volatility and sexual abuse at the hands of the men their mother brought home. Their father had been long gone.
But Helena has real courage. Instead of staying silent, she told a teacher about her home life.
The teacher contacted Viva’s partner network, Red Viva Guatemala, and a counsellor went to visit.
Despite her mother’s denials, the counsellor confirmed the abuse Helena had reported. The children were taken to a children’s home – also a member of the network – where they are now safe.
This isn’t the end of the line for Helena’s family, however. Viva knows that children belong in families, so network members are working hard to help Helena’s mother deal with her addictions, find a new job, and turn her life around so her children can come home.
Red Viva Guatemala’s work has won the attention and trust of the government, who have authorised network members to enter homes to rescue children and investigate reports of abuse. Psychiatrists, teachers and social workers from the network donate their time and skills to help keep children safe.
It is this joined-up approach – harnessing social capital and government resources and authority – that means significant change is possible.
Viva has launched a new six-city programme across Central America to keep 35,000 children safe from violence and to bring about a fundamental change of attitude, so violence against children is no longer an everyday norm.
Viva’s big dream in Guatemala City is to see children grow up free from violence and domestic abuse.