Challenge #1 – Raising £5,000 for charity
Trying to raise £5,000 for charity in one year isn’t easy but is most definitely worth the effort. While most of my fundraising activities are to support My Chosen Charity, the Charlie Cookson Foundation there are others that I am proud to be supporting too.
Back in October, to coincide with the Rugby World Cup, I was lucky enough to be involved in raising funds Tyume Valley Schools. This is a project that supports young people in a very rural area of South Africa so they can go to school.
The project is supported by a very dear friend of mine called Archie Sibeko, also known as Zola Zembe. This week I had the privilege of presenting him with a cheque for £550. This was money we raised in October plus some from books that I had sold on his behalf.
You see Archie is no ordinary man. Because Archie was, and I suppose in some ways still is, a freedom fighter. In 1956 he was one of over 100 people who stood trial in South Africa alongside Nelson Mandela. Archie spent a year in jail, sharing a cell with Mandela and many others before spending most of his life actively fighting apartheid in South Africa.
He is one of the most inspirational people I have ever met. At 88 years old and having fought many battles before witnessing the first free elections in his home country he has earned the right to relax and put is feet up. But no, not Archie. Today, even though he now lives in the UK, he is still fighting discrimination and striving for equality and fairness – though his methods may have changed.
Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. And by actively supporting Tyume Valley Schools, Archie is giving the poorest children from the area in which he grew up the key to unlock the door to freedom and opportunity.
You can learn more about Archie’s story by purchasing a copy of his book Freedom in Our Lifetime. The book costs just £10 (for £2 more you can have a copy signed by the great man himself) with all money raised going to support Tyume Valley Schools.*
* Special thanks go to UNISON Northern Region for re-printing Freedom in Our Lifetime meaning the full amount from all books sold will be donated to Tyume Valley Schools