(Posted on behalf of Merry at Patch of Puddles)
In just 4 days this week, from a germ of an idea that started with a video posted on Facebook, just shy of 40 women have raised and pledged around £2,000.
The money will be used to sponsor children through WorldVision; it will change the lives of villagers, parents and children in their immediate area and will be used to bring education, healthcare, opportunity and hope to places which are struggling against the growing desperation which a long term drought has brought to Niger in Africa.
The idea to raise money as a group of bloggers sprung from this heart wrenching video shot by Sian To and Liz Scarff during their #shareNiger trip. They visited a village where women are part of a gardening project which allows them to grow their own food. Sian filmed a mother who had been unable to water her garden following an accident and is consequently trying to feed a family of five on one box of baby cereal a week.
It really doesn’t bear thinking about. Across Niger, mothers are facing the prospect of watching their children die and being utterly helpless to stop it. There is no money, no food, no water. All the rivers have dried up.
With Sian’s approval and the backing of the WorldVision team, who I had met at Cybher in May and spent an inspirational hour talking to, we set up two ways for bloggers to club together and raise funds. Some bloggers, led by @katetakes5 and @nickie72 have pledged £6 a month, taking a quarter share of a child sponsorship each. Sponsorship normally costs £22.80 a month and while it is an amazing thing to do, not everyone can afford that commitment; £6 a month is more affordable. I’m coordinating a group sponsorship so that 28 women and children are sponsoring 7 children. Others have given one off donations and we’ve raised almost enough to sponsor another child for a year.
Eight sponsorships is amazing but when you look at the sheer scale of what needs to be achieved in Niger, it is hard to feel that we have done enough. Bloggers have united and shown that what we do – writing, tweeting, chatting and caring – really can make an enormous difference. There are places in the world that will change for the better because of 40 parent bloggers and their children.
We would love to do more yet. If you feel you could pledge £6 a month to become part of a sponsorship team, or give a one off donation, please visit
http://www.patchofpuddles.co.uk/archives/8097/be-part-of-something-amazing-for-shareniger and find out more out joining us.
You can also lend your support on Twitter by following and tweeting with the hashtag #ShareNiger