I've now returned from my first placement in India and hope to return next year with a fellow Prestonian. I plan to use my Preston-based social enterprise, Global Amigos, to help promote the work that Chennai Challenge does and possibly recruit volunteers for future years. (The work is incredible; even more so given it's achieved in such a short space of time.)
The small UK-based Charity have ventured out to the South of India every year since 2007 to support a couple of schools & offer educational & fun activities for orphaned & underprivileged children. These children live in nearby slums or are based in a nearby home for destitute kids. This year saw funds raised pay for the following:
- A sump for the destitute home: this stores and treats human waste and prevents it from spreading across the road / school field during heavy rainfall
- A four day holiday for the kids in the destitute home; a chance for the boys to head to the mountains and get to be boys - plus eat as much as they like at dinner time
- Train the trainer workshops for charity, Oasis, to empower their community leaders who are based in the slums
- A broad range of necessary equipment for the destitute home and school - from light bulbs and fans, to cooking utensils and stationery.
- A farewell feast for the boys; to celebrate their time with Chennai Challenge, share their passions (song and dance) and fill their bellies one last time with an unlimited meat dish (for the rest of the year they are fed only non-meat meals due to the cost)
As well as helping to deliver the above, in 2017,, I also acted as Mentor for the team; ensuring volunteers gave & got as much as they could out of the experience. (A role I plan to carry into 2018) Plus I helped manage the grassroots' charity's social media platforms - again, something I'm keen to carry on with throughout the next 12 months.
Earlier this year, I 'Pimped out my Services' in exchange for donations. Some requests came through my marketing consultancy work (...instead of invoicing businesses for my assistance, they made donations to this page.) Others were for manual labour, decorating jobs & for general support in their work places... Can I take this moment to thank EVERYONE who utilised me in some respect!! (And thanks to those who donated without asking for anything in return) For 2018, I'm planning a similar range of activities so not to rely on 'donations for nothing'
The more raised each year, the more is taken to spend in the community (...it could mean the difference between buying stationery for the kids & building a completely new roof for the school at some point...)
SMS donations are available at any time - text 'LYFE89 £5' to 70070 for it to come from your phone & go directly into the charity's account.
Big Preston Raffle - UPDATE
- September 9th was meant to see the Big Preston Raffle get drawn at Roper Hall. However, the venue is under new management and has just had a new sound system installed. Needless to say, there were various technical issues on the night which meant the entertainment started 90 minutes late. As 1am approached, and after speaking with those present, we decided to postpone the draw. It will now either take place via Facebook Live or at our next hate crime outreach event on the Flag Market (September 29th) *Watch this space* (...I organised the raffle as a means to generate funds for several causes close to my heart including Chennai Challenge, Preston Pride, Disability Equality & Global Amigos)
Thank you - and if you can't donate, please share? xx