I'm Ray, a Senior Consultant at Discovery Graduates. I am about to set off on an adventure through Africa and wanted to give you the inside information.
In the year of the first ever World Cup in Africa, motivated by a love of football, music, travel, exploration and setting myself a challenge; I decided to combine these loves together by organising a 5 month African safari whilst trying to raise money for 2 lesser known but nonetheless worthwhile charitable causes.
I am flying to Nairobi, hoping to buy a vehicle there to drive down to Cape Town. Whilst in South Africa, I'll be cheering on England, watching a bit of the World Cup, participating in a bit of teaching and charity work, before driving and travelling back through Namibia, Botswana and Zambia and on to Malawi, where I will be DJing at the Lake of Stars Festival which is a festival that was originally founded to increase the levels of tourism in Sub-Saharan Africa and attracts many renowned local and international bands and DJs. After this, I will be travelling through Tanzania, hoping to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro, the highest walkable peak in the world, the summit of Africa, and reputably an experience more painful than childbirth (thankfully I won't have to experience this though!).
Africa is a fascinating continent, home to a multitude of cultures, people, languages, religions, landscapes and wildlife as well as being the birthplace of the human race. Despite this, it is a troubled continent and home to widespread poverty, disease, famine, crime and corruption, but we cannot simply turn our backs on these problems. Nor can we simply throw money at these problems in the hope they will go away. The best way we can help Africa and Africans is to help them to help themselves and I believe that the two charities which I have selected do this in their own unique and positive way.
Balls to Poverty is a charity than not only has a fantastic name, but also has links to my native Nottingham. It’s about sport and community and raising the aspirations of young people. It gives young people free access to sport in a safe environment in their communities, which has been very positive in the reduction of crime and young people turning to gangs. In the year of the first World Cup in Africa, this is also one of the Professional Footballers' Association (PFA)'s official charities.
The MicroLoan Foundation is a charity providing small loans, business training and guidance to women in sub-Saharan Africa. Access to funding for and basic knowledge and understanding of how to run a business on a small scale is something that is not readily available in Sub-Saharan Africa. Giving small loans and business advice is a way to help people to empower themselves and to lead themselves out of poverty.
If you would like to make a donation to either of the above charities, please visit my Just Giving pages -
I thank you for taking the time to read this and look forward to seeing you all soon.