Tuesday 5 June 2012
Here is the secret cake I made for my sisters birthday. In a little while I'll be taking it to the secret picnic we have planned for her with family and friends.
It is meant to be a chocolate box and I made a rough calculation that it is about 10,000 calories!! Haha!
But my reason for posting this image of decadence and luxury is a serious one!
For three years I worked in PR/fundraising for a charity that is building a children's village for orphaned, sick and abandoned children in Uganda. As a close friend of the founder and director, a passionate, innovative, forward-thinking and influential Ugandan man, I was privileged to live in Uganda and be part of this amazing vision from the purchase of the first acre of land. It now houses hundreds of children, schools hundreds more, and supports hundreds more underprivileged families in the community. One of the aspects of the charity I most valued was the transparency and accountability with the way finances were handled. All donated funds go directly to the functioning of the charity on the ground. And built into the plan are projects that mean it will eventually become self financing and therefore not dependant on donations to run.
One of the 'downsides' of this accountability though is that where donations are specifically earmarked they will only be spent on that area. This means that areas that don't capture the interest of donors and sponsors are hard to finance.
The most recent of these is baby milk. Many abandoned babies have been brought to the centre and there are specialised homes to nurture them to full health and development. Since the large majority of ugandan mothers breast feed, formula milk, as an imported product, is very expensive, costing the equivalent of what it would in the UK.
I had been thinking about what I could do about this over the past few days, when on my way to buy chocolates for the cake above, I was stopped by a lady selling the 'Big Issue'. I told her I had no change but asked if she would like anything from the shop? She asked for newborn baby formula milk.
When I handed it to her as I left the shop, she clasped my hands with tears in her eyes and proclaimed a blessing on me and my child! We who have so much and want for so little.
I felt humbled. And provoked.
So today I will be setting up a fundraising web page to raise money for baby milk for the charity in Uganda. No more procrastinating.
If you read to the end. Wow! Thank you!