Twice in the last 3 years I have spent a month volunteering at W B Tshume Primary School in Port Elizabeth, South Africa. The school has very little in the material sense but is blessed with an amazing group of cheerful, warm hearted, caring teachers who do their absolute best in very difficult circumstances.
The ground surrounding the buildings is rough and stony so at present the children are not able to have any PE lessons on site. On my last visit, I visited another school where they were celebrating their rugby team’s forthcoming trip to play in England. What a difference a sports field can make!
The lower school where I work in the UK had given me books and pencils to take to Tshume and offered to do some fundraising to help the school. The sports field was an obvious project for them as the children could readily relate to it. They kindly donated all their charity fundraising for the Autumn Term, which included a Halloween disco, a Christmas raffle and selling second-hand goods, to the Tshume sports field project.
Time for me to do something! I’ve never organised a fundraising event before so I have decided to do a sponsored walk. I found out that the journey we did each day from the hotel to school in Port Elizabeth was about 8 miles. So I am going to walk 16 miles (‘to school and back’) later this month and enjoy the beautiful countryside between Dunstable and Ivinghoe Beacon. I enjoy walking but 16 miles is quite a bit further than I usually walk so it is a reasonable challenge. At present I’m walking the route in sections just to make sure I won’t get lost when I do the full walk!
The uncomfortable bit of asking people for money has proved easier than I expected. A group email to everyone in my address book is producing a good response and I have put a notice up in school, a fair trade shop where I work and my local church. I’ve had several donations from people I hardly know. The next thing I must do is ask the neighbours! My theory is that if I can ask 200 people and they each give me 50p I’ll raise £100. Of course not everyone I’ve asked has responded but then some people have been incredibly generous in their support.
The money raised is all donated through the Travelpledge website – http://travelpledge.org/projects/sports-field-for-w-b-tshume-school-south-africa/
I hope this may encourage others to have a go at raising some money for Tshume or whatever project is close to their heart. Good luck whatever you do!