As many of you will know, I ran the Marathon Des Sables (MDS) in 2007. This event is supposedly the toughest footrace on earth which covers 243km (equivalent to 5 1/2 regular marathons) over 6 days carrying all supplies for the week (except the tent) in a rucksack. Water is provided in stages. 15-20% of the terrain is sand dunes. Temperatures rise to 120o F.
Despite relative success, on my return in 2007, I promised never to do it again after contracting a severe skin infection that took 6 months to clear.
However, in 2009 I became the Co-Chair of a charity called The One Foundation (TOF). One Foundation is a charity that allocates profits generated by a company called Global Ethics to charity partners.
Global Ethics is a unique organisation that sells products under the One brand and then donates ALL profits from the sale of One products to the One Foundation. Donations are allocated to causes related to the product e.g One Water funds water projects, condoms fund HIV projects, soap to sanitation etc etc - all in Africa with a specific focus on Malawi this year . Attached are some basic materials outlining Global Ethics and the One product range.
In the new world that we are in where it will be increasingly difficult for charities to rely on one-off donations, we believe that Global Ethics/One Foundation is developing a model to raise sustainable charitable donations, seeking to generate £20m per annum. Rather than giving donations, people and organisations merely have to chose the One brand over other brands of products that they would acquire to use or sell in any event. At One we seek to change One thing One day at a time
In September of last year I spent a week in Malawi with the Foundation to audit the deployment of TOF donations and to see the actual impact of them on real people. This was a truly moving experience. So much so that I agreed to run MDS again to raise funds for TOF. See video attached which shows how effective the playpumps can be in delivering water to school children and their surrounding communities.
I invite you to sponsor me to run MDS however large or small - definitely for the last time.