Fundraising prospects in Q2 began with promising activity and results. However, as our responsibilities include lengthy stays in-country, I am not always able to keep track of my correspondence here in the UK. Whilst away in the 1st quarter the bank closed our charity account because I was unable to reply to a bank query by post – something quite challenging when one is 4000 miles away! Anyway, after my return to the UK I have been able to re-open the account and can continue fundraising as planned.
Meanwhile preparations began as soon as I got back. Mitcham Carnival, held on a lovely, warm sunny day (until the rains came!) enjoyed a wonderful community atmosphere. Our stall, selling not only students’ art work obtained in Q1 but also African curios that I can pick up so reasonably in Tanzania, proved very popular for visitors. The curios seemed to be the most popular for fund-raising so I decided to allow buyers to choose a picture for free when they buy a curio, a ploy that enhanced our sales of the curios – a curious turn of events!
One of the most important aspects to our presence at events like this is networking, of course. I was able to introduce our charity to Merton borough Council and particularly the mayor, Councillor Brenda Fraser, who was delightful and very supportive. Many people came and introduced themselves, including someone interested in doing a charity climb of Kilimanjaro-something I would eventually like to set up for our fundraising efforts. Having climbed it previously, I’m in a position to give advice or even to arrange a climb! We wish all climbers well.
A second entertaining venture will see us at the Morden Family Funday (see here for information). This is an annual event and last year proved very successful both for the borough and for charity stakeholders. £15,000 was raised last year with nearly 2/3rds of that going back to charity participants, including ABCDreams (UK).
So, with current fundraising efforts we hope in Q3 to resume the school uniform project, to renew consumables for our neediest students, including pens, pencils and rubbers generously donated by Raymond Newman of Caterham, Surrey and his daughter Angela Hammond of Aldershot. We are also hoping to kick-start a new infrastructure project similar to the toilet block and kitchens we built over the last 2 years as well as to finally set up an Information & Communications Technology (ICT) training unit for the village. More of this to come in my next update.
Meanwhile, I’ll let my students say thank you: