There are two things I couldn’t leave the UK without doing – getting my mum’s blessing (I love it when her eyes light up when I share another travel project with her!), and voting. Yesterday I did both – my journey to Uganda can officially begin!
It’s been a while since I updated my blog – sincere apologies to regular readers. I’ve focused much of the past year on setting up my a platform called Diversity Matters (which also has a blog). Thankfully I’ve managed to find a solution to fuse my passion for travel and the diversity work I do; Diversity Matters Beyond Borders!
This trip to Uganda supporting Doreen Nawejje, founder of grassroots organisation Albinism Crisis Outreach (ACO) is the first official DM Beyond Borders outreach project! I’m feeling positive this trip will spark all sorts of motivation needed to revive documenting my journey on this blog once more… The cause itself feels me with a new lease of life!
I wrote to a number of sun cream manufacturers, distributors and stores which sell sun creams asking for some form of aid towards the Diversity Matters Beyond Borders cause in support of Albinism Crisis Outreach… Some responded saying they have their own charities which they support, others didn’t get back to me, except one – SunSense. I received a special delivery of close to 500 SPF50 samples just in time to be squeezed into my suitcase for Uganda and International Albinism Awareness Day activities beginning next week!
I’ve focused a lot on sun creams as they aren’t manufactured in Uganda making them 4x more expensive due to importation and their target audience who are usually expats. I’ll be researching possibilities of sun creams being produced locally once I get to Uganda.
Roll Out The Barrel Trust are another organisation to generously support the cause by donating 150 mosquito nets and water filters! Malaria remains a major killer of children, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa, taking the life of a child every 2 minutes (World Malaria report 2015). The distribution of mosquito nets and portable water filters to marginalised families with young children will help in reducing fatalities from mosquito and water borne infectious disease.
Special thanks to friends and family who’ve reached out with donations online and items for me to take with me (Ray Jones of Time Out London donated 20 bottles of SPF50 sun creams!) So far I’ve raised £365 which has gone towards purchasing 69 bottles of sun protection creams (I scouted the best deals online for weeks – thank you Ocado for the endless deliveries!) and protective clothing for children and young girls.
There’s still more to be done!
1 out of 10 African schoolgirls skips school or drops out of school due to a lack of menstrual products and poor access to proper sanitation, according to UNICEF. Menstruation should not be a barrier for any woman – anywhere! Which is why I’m hopeful to continue to the remaining amount towards a moderate £750 goal which will help with purchasing sanitary ware from AfriPads, social enterprise in Uganda that manufactures and sells washable sanitary pads, and the facilitation of life skills workshops by local practitioners to young girls.
Each reusable AfriPad kit costs about $5 and last 12months. We’re aiming to donate 50 packs to girls living in rural areas alongside workshops (with refreshments provided).
As the name suggests, Albinism Crisis Outreach also provide financial support towards families and individuals with albinism in crisis. This can be in the form of paying school fees, deposits for rent/housing, covering food items, and small grants towards setting up a businesses. Whatever money raised beyond the target will go to ACO’s crisis fund pot.
I’m looking forward to sharing updates of my trip with you (my flight with Rwandair is this evening – please send over positive vibes that they let me off the few over weight kilos of my cases!)
And please donate via the online fundraiser at www.gofundme.com/diversitymattersACO
Leaving you with an impactful video shedding light on Albinism in Africa…
Share your thoughts with me in the comment box below!