Today marks the mid-point of the month of plenty, and I’ve been blown away by people’s support. Not only generous sponsorship, but also by people joining me in giving things up.
My favourite examples so far have included colleagues giving up fancy Costa coffee in one case, and not-so-fancy daily hot chocolate from the machine at work in another. And my sister and brother-in-law opted for home cooked fish and chips rather than shop bought ones, and donated the difference. These sound like silly examples, but every penny makes a difference, and to know that others are entering into the spirit is a real encouragement.
So what exactly is the money being used for? Hopefully you know by now that it’s going to St Peter’s Lifeline, a small charity which supports a rural community in Kenya. It does this in lots of different ways. St Peter’s Primary School is open to children throughout the area who are unable to afford the costs of attending a government school. A micro-finance scheme offers loans to women to start small businesses, giving them a source of independent income to save and to support their families. An alternative rites of passage programme aims to eradicate the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.
More specifically, money raised as part of the month of plenty will support a new feeding programme to give a daily lunch meal to local primary school children at their school during term times. Although lunch is provided at St Peter’s school, it’s not at many of the other schools in the area. This means that children simply do not have the energy or motivation to go to school, and may instead be required by their parents to work the family fields. This problem is especially acute during the frequent times of drought which hit the region.
Just £8.81 is enough to feed a child on every one of the 205 days they attend school in a year. A hot lunch guarantees attendance at school, and so ensures that child gets the education they deserve.
All of this makes the month of plenty worthwhile. I’ve now completed the second of my half marathons, which – despite having a stinking cold at the time – went by six minutes quicker than last week. It struck me as I staggered my way around the route early Sunday morning quite how many pubs I pass. So I shall leave you with a handy guide to half marathon pub running, handy for anyone else in Bracknell running a half marathon each weekend, but who hasn’t given up alcohol as well. You know who you are.
Thank you again to everyone supporting the month of plenty, the giving page is available here.