To mark the 40th anniversary of SOS Children’s work in Africa, volunteers from Make a Difference (MAD) will travel from the UK to South Africa in three Morris Minors, taking part in a challenge to raise awareness for our organisation and the orphaned and abandoned children in our care.
This year, Brian Clark will be driving from the UK to South Africa in his car “floppy”, a Morris Minor nearly as old as the first SOS Children’s Village in Africa. In 2008, the journey happened in reverse. Three Morris Minors travelled from South Africa to the UK in convoy, covering a distance of 10 000 miles over two months! Joining him on his journey will be Mr. Biggles Bear, the mascot and Goodwill Ambassador for SOS Children’s Villages South Africa. Brian and Biggles are planning to meet staff and children from various SOS Children's Villages they pass on their route (see map below). In 2008, the cars arrived at their destination without any major hiccups, and the group are hoping for a similar success this time.
Mandy Spies, from SOS Children’s Village Port Elizabeth, says “This is a wonderful opportunity for us to raise awareness of the plight of the African child and the unique challenges and serious issues he/she faces every day, including conflict and war, HIV/AIDS, poverty and the lack of basic services. Too many African children do not have a place where they can grow up loved and protected. SOS Children’s Villages helps provide that comfort and security only a family can give, to children who have lost the care of their parents”.
Funds raised by the Morris Minor challenge will go directly to supporting our work in the country. There are approximately 3.6 million orphans in South Africa alone, 1.8 million of which are orphaned as a direct result of the AIDS epidemic. SOS Children have been working in South Africa since 1982, and have eight Children’s Villages across the country, providing over 1000 children in need with a permanent new home. Spies says “Our aim this year is to get as many people as possible working together toward the common goal of assisting those children without families”.
SOS Children also support thousands of children and parents in their local communities through SOS Family Strengthening Programmes. The programmes work with vulnerable families to help them to stay together and care for their children. We also run SOS Nurseries, Schools, Medical Centres and Social Centres, throughout South Africa.
You can follow Brian and Biggles’ journey through Biggles’ facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/home.php#!/profile.php?id=100002040830427
For more information about taking on a challenge to have an adventure and raise funds for SOS Children, please see page on charity challenges.