5 years ago I made a list. On that list were many things that I wanted to before I died. You’ll probably know this as a bucket list and there was a movie of the same name starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. Both are elderly gentlemen and both could easily play the role of the kind of person that would want, or indeed need, to write such a list. In my 30’s I didn’t really fit the mould, but I wrote a list all the same. The reasons behind it are now no longer as important as they were to me then, but it’s a list I’ve been ploughing through as best I can ever since.
That brings me to today. To Africa. To Zimbabwe in particular. This is the start of a massive journey that started those 5 years previously and now, with my finacee Nicole by my side, today is day one of 48.
Amongst other items on the list were:
Go to Africa (where wasn’t really important at the time)
Do some volunteer charity work.
With these in mind it seemed the perfect idea to combine them both. I get to see Africa whilst also giving back and doing some charity work whilst there. The perfect way to tick off two separate items from my list at the same time.
Zimbabwe wasn’t chosen by random though. It wasn’t the result of a pin in a map. I’m happy to accept that I can be a bit rash at times but choosing to come here in particular wasn’t at all by accident. Using the power of Facebook (very very useful in my experience) I put it out there that I wanted to do some volunteer work in Africa and I was inundated with a ton of companies looking to make money from me, and seemingly very little of the money would actually go to the people you’d be going to help. More like a glorified holiday with good intentions but very little in the way of actual end product in helping people. I saw through these schemes pretty quickly, however, and they just left me even more determined to find something that fit the bill.
Eventually a connection via an old school friend put me in contact with a lovely lady called Helen who would help me all she could with what I had in mind: raising money and putting that money to good use personally. No “charity” would be in the middle, just money raised by us would go directly to those in need by way of travelling to Africa ourselves and putting the money in the hands of builders, booksellers and to actually pay for the tuition of those most in need. Cut out any middlemen who might want a cut to make something happen at all and concentrate of children who are the most vulnerable.
That brings us today and sitting at the airport in Cape Town. We’ve had our last few days of “western” living before we are thrown in at the deep end in a country that no one wants to help because of their political system, and a country that receives so very little aid at all because of widespread corruption.
As we step off into the void, this blog aims to give you a day to day run down on what has happened, where your money (if you have donated at all) is going and to hopefully inspire new people to donate too as we go along. It’s never too late to donate and the more we receive, the more we can do. Right now, we have $6500 and counting. ALL of the money raised will go towards helping some schools for underprivileged children and even an orphanage for AIDS orphans. All our own personal costs will be covered by ourselves or by the fact that we’ll be staying with volunteer host families or on site at the schools themselves, eating school dinners wherever offered too.
So… with a bit of background information, hopefully you’ll be back to check in on us from time to time. Hopefully you’ll share this link, tell your friends about it and hopefully you’ll be inspired to donate if you haven’t already. 99% of donations have come from my friends and family as I’ve done random things such as not shaving for months, running a marathon, walking for 11 hours, putting on charity events and auctions amoungst many other smaller things. Hopefully with this blog I’ll breakaway from my incredibly generous circle of friends and family and we’ll get strangers to see and appreciate what we are trying to do here with our time and efforts and donate too. Could this be you reading this now? I hope so.
For now though, I’ll leave you with the link to donate and even though it may take a few weeks for people to really get to understand what it is we are doing here and how each donation can help, we have to start somewhere.
Thank you for reading and I’ll update more each and everyday where possible.