Image credit: The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund
Early in my fundraising for Enduro Africa, I emailed representatives from each of the four charities the ride will support. Here's the moving response I received from the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund:
From: Rachael Ward
To: Andrew Forsyth
Sent: Friday, March 13, 2009 11:20:09 AM
Subject: RE: Fundraising in tough economic times
Great to hear from you and thank you very much for supporting our work through your parcticipation in Enduro Africa 2009.
As you have pointed out - despite economic downturn and crisis in the developed world, the work that we are doing in South Africa with children in very great need continues.
Perhaps if I give you a few facts about the situation in South Africa that we are trying to deal with, that might help to support your requests for funding support:
South Africa has the largest number of people affected by HIV in the world (5.4 million) . Women of child bearing age bear the brunt of this and that means that children are badly affected too.
Approximately 250,000 children under 14 are living with HIV and Aids and have contracted it from their mothers at birth. Many are now being managed with anti retroviral drugs but that is still a huge strain to live under.
In South Africa 2.5 million children have lost a parent and orphan levels could reach 5 million by 2015. Children without parents are so vulnerable to abuse and are more likely to miss out on education and health care.
The Nelson Mandela Children's Fund is working hard, and effectively, to tackle this issue in a number of ways.
We run a programme to help communities to develop the social and economic systems that mean they can identify and take care of vulnerable orphaned children. This means children are fed, clothed, educated, and hopefully, adopted by a member of the extended family or community.
Our work with older children and teenagers is about life skills and education to ensure that they do not become infected with HIV.
As well as the most vulnerable children, we are also working with disabled children to have them admitted to mainstream school.
Our programmes of skills development and leadership and excellence aim to develop young people's skills for work to enable them to have a more secure future.
Please let me know if you have any questions or I can help in any way.
With very best wishes