Did you know that with a small donation you could help fund vital support for people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in Africa? It's true! My birthday is coming up in a couple of weeks, and this year I've decided to dedicate it to support this vulnerable and chronically ill community in South Africa - and I'm counting on you to help me do it!
Why Raise Money For My Birthday?
I'm not sure who first came up with the brilliant idea of dedicating one's birthday to a charitable cause, but it's been happening all over the internet for years now and I have enjoyed doing it the past couple of years too.
Instead of asking for presents for my birthday, I've been asking for donations to a worthy cause. There are people in much more need than me and this year's cause highlights that more than the previous causes I've supported.
In the past I have raised funds for M.E. research in the UK and the US, but this year my focus is on the urgent and very practical needs of people with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis in Africa!
Supporting People With M.E. In Africa
This year I have decided to support The ME CFS Foundation of South Africa. Those who have been following my story will know that I was born and raised in South Africa, and a huge part of my family still lives there, so this is a cause that is close to my heart.
The foundation was created by Retha Viviers, a person with M.E. herself, and is the only organisation of its kind in South Africa.
They have been doing amazing work raising awareness in the media and reaching out to health care professionals and patients to make sure they have the most accurate and up to date information about the illness and the support they need.
In this video is an example of the type of advocacy they are doing in Africa. This is a popular and trusted investigative journalism show in South Africa doing a segment on M.E. in collaboration with The ME CFS Foundation.
Why Their Work Is So Important
South Africa has little to no support systems in place for people with M.E. There is no national health service and there are no disability benefits available, so many families are plunged into poverty when one or more members fall ill and are unable to work.
The problems these vulnerable families face are not only health related, but they are then faced with homelessness, no power or running water and no transport. These things only lead to further stigma, neglect and isolation from society.
This is where the ME CFS Foundation plays a vital role - they not only provide valuable advice and information about the illness, they also provide counselling and practical support like transport to appointments and making sure these families have groceries, blankets and medication to help with symptom management.
In the photos above you can see how a family lives in a Wendy House (a Wendy House is generally used as a play house for children, what some might call a garden shed). The Foundation, through dedicated fundraising, was able to help this family install a ceiling to help regulate the temperature in their home.
As you can imagine, a corrugated iron roof would make the space very cold in winter, very hot in the African summer and terribly noisy when it rains or hails. Things like this can make a world of difference to somebody who is suffering with this debilitating illness.
Fundraising For The ME CFS Foundation, South Africa
With most of my contacts being in Europe or The United States, and the exchange rate being what it is, we have a great opportunity to make a huge impact in a community that is in desperate need of our help.
If each of us can donate just 5 Pounds/Dollars/Euro - or even just 2 if it's all you can afford - we could easily double my goal of £600!
Donations are made through a secure JustGiving page.
The fundraiser will end on Sunday, 13 October 2019.
I will transfer the total sum collected to The ME CFS Foundation on 30 October 2019.
All money collected through this fundraiser will go to the ME CFS Foundation.
At the time of writing, my goal of £600 works out to approx. R10 927.00
Curious about what your donation could do?
Here are just a few examples of what your donation could afford in South Africa:
- £1 could pay for enough fuel to travel 20 miles - helping isolated patients.
- £6 could get a patient a Neurobion injection - provide symptomatic relief.
- £14 can pay for 2 tins of meal replacement shake - feeding the severely ill for a month.
- €2 can buy enough fuel to travel 26km - reaching isolated patients.
- €5 could buy a patient basic food for 2 days!
- €5 could also pay for 20 double sided, colour A4 prints - providing awareness resources.
- $3 can provide a patient with basic food for 1 day!
- $15 could buy a month's supply of Magnesium supplements.
- $17 can provide 2GB of data or airtime for a month - keeping patients connected.
Giveaway - Something For You
Since it's my birthday, I'm also hosting a my first giveaway!
Each person who donates at least £5 (or equivalent) will be entered into a giveaway for a chance to win an A5 painting or hand lettered ink drawing by me. Each £5 donated will earn you an entry into the giveaway.
If you share this fundraiser on social media and tag me, I will add an extra entry for each share. Your shares will only be entered if you have donated at least £5.
I will get in touch with the winner at the end of October so they can choose their prize.
Note: If you donate anonymously I will not be able to include you in the giveaway as I won't have access to your name and email address.
Spread The Word!
You can help me get the word out about this fundraiser by sharing the link on your social media, maybe even on WhatsApp and email.
The link to share is:
You can also download any of the images on this page to share.
Remember to tag me on Instagram or Facebook @ChronicallyHopefulBlog and on Twitter @Chronic_Hopeful if you're sharing, so I can count your share towards the giveaway!
Thank you so much for your support of this worthy cause!
I've worked out the approximate exchange rate for $ and € so that you know how many £ you can afford to donate as the donation page only works with GB £. If you have a different currency, you can find your exchange rates at www.xe.com
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