In the age of austerity, with everyone struggling to make ends meet, the challenge of securing support for overseas aid and development projects can be a tough one. When it comes to securing donations and support, it’s only right that those offering to help some of the world’s poorest people have visibility into how and where their money is being spent. It was a question I put to Bill Gates at the International Development meeting in the House of Commons earlier in the year – I asked him how you can make aid relevant when people are worried about keeping their jobs struggling to pay the rent on time. His response was as simple as it was significant. He said it wasn’t necessarily about asking for amounts of money, but more about explaining to people what a huge impact such a small amount of money could have on some of the world’s poorest people.
Last year, when I launched the Memorial School Appeal after working for two weeks in Sierra Leone, I was stunned by the response from friends, colleagues and Croydon residents. It wasn’t simply a matter of donations of school equipment, but the wider interest and messages of support I received from people keen to learn more and help out.
This year I spent one week of annual leave in The Gambia, West Africa and worked alongside staff from the GLOVE project. The organisation seeks to help train and support villagers to become more self-sufficient, teaching them skills and techniques to raise their own funds and improve living standards.
Today I am launching an appeal to support the villages in North Bank in The Gambia. This appeal is not for money, but for educational materials such as paper, pencils and textbooks and healthcare products such as paracetamol, bandages and plasters to help the Gambian villagers create a better life for themselves. No matter how small you may think your contribution may be, I can assure you it will mean a great deal to them.
Please get in touch and help bring change to some of the world’s poorest people.