Have you ever met a remarkable woman? I am sure many of you have and in fact I am sure you all are. For me it happened a few weeks ago, whilst attending a meeting of a women's group I belong to,
The Australian Women's Club of London.
Women making connections...
The AWC is a group of Australian women and those with Australian connections who are making the most of their time whilst living in London. We meet regularly, in cafes, art galleries, museums, historic homes, gardens...the list goes on. It has been a pleasure getting to know them all.
Women raising money...
We also raise money for the CCLEF (Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund). The CCL works for the rights and interests of women in the Commonwealth Countries. Our primary focus is the CCL Education Fund, an organisation that sponsors bright needy girls to give them equal opportunities for secondary/high school education in their own countries. The CCLEF have been able to help over 3000 girls in 30 countries to date and my aim is to help them increase that number. If you find that overwhelming, I admit I did as well and then I met Ladi and listened to what she had to say.
A remarkable woman...
What can I say about Ladi? She is a remarkable woman. In 1988, in her home country of North Central Nigeria, she benefited from the CCLEF. She was the young girl, who was identified as bright and needy, who if not assisted, would be living in very different circumstances. The CCLEF opened the door to an educated life for Ladi. In fact, it was the students of Burntwood School in Wansworth, South West London who made the difference for her. They raised money to give her a chance. She took that chance and made the most of it. On completion of her secondary education, Ladi went on to put herself through University and now holds a Masters Degree in Management. So grateful and eager to help others like her, she is now working for the CCLEF in support of helping other girls reach their full potential. Her message is clear... 'Support a girl and you support a family, community and country'.
You can read more about Ladi, here.
A remarkable cause for girls....
Ladi has put her name to a brilliant initiative to raise funds for girls like her.
She asks one simple question.. What if?
What if we could find a thousand schools to each support one girl?
What if 1000 schools helped 1000 girls like Ladi?
In Ladi's words...
"What if we could find a thousand schools to each support one girl? What a splendid revolution we would start! You do not need a lot of money to make a difference, get your school involved, do fun stuff and raise money to help change the course of history. You are capable of starting a massive wheel of change, you cannot leave it to someone else; you can cause change to happen! Sponsor a girl today and see the difference you would make to lives, communities and nations.
From Pakistan to Papua New Guinea, Guyana to the Gambia, Bangladesh to Botswana, The Solomon Islands to St Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago to Tanzania, Ghana to Grenada and beyond, the girl child needs your help and support! Join us in being part of the Thousand School for a Thousand Girls Initiative!"
As you can see, Ladi's story touched me. I respect her commitment to the young girls she helps, being a recipient of the funds herself, she is a shining example of what can be.
Women getting involved...
Having traveled to some of the countries Ladi mentions above and hating to see opportunities for change passed by, I got involved. Small steps, but I believe each step can make a difference. Our family is supporting three girls and I have joined Team AWC in the ASICS British 10K London Run on 11 July 2011 to raise funds for the Thousand Schools for Thousand Girls initiative.
I am going to put on my all time favourite runners/sneakers
and doing the talk/walk/run to the finish line.
Team AWC is ready to spring into action.
Actually, to be honest, it may be more of a power walk and talking for me...
but I am ready to spring into action none the less! We set a financial target
and are busily working away at it. If you can help, we would be delighted!
A little bit goes a long way. From just £10.00 to buy pens and pencils for a year
to £100.00-£450.00 to pay school fees for a year. If you know of a school in the UK that
would be interested in participating in the Thousand Schools for Thousand Girls initiative,
please contact Lady Dariya via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
She would be delighted to hear from you!
Lastly, from Ladi...
I asked Ladi if I could share her recent letter to us and she was happy for me to do so.
You girls have gone beyond amazing I am at a loss for words ( this seldom happens) to express my appreciation for what you are doing to change lives!
I know first hand, how hard it is to ask for money; I also know first hand how important it is to bite the bullet and just ask. It is the courage and the strength and the giving and the go-getting of women like you that make women like me and my gratitude and admiration knows no bounds.
Our girls who know what goes into raising the funds for their education are full of wonder at your strength of character and spirit.
On behalf of our girls whose lives you have given new meaning and those whose lives you will change as you run; Thank you ever so much!
Very warm regards,