I've been asked by Action Aid to publicise this on my blog, and very happy to do so. It's part of a campaign to get 1000 new sponsors in the Bristol area to support children in developing countries. I've been sponsoring a little boy, Baraka, in Tanzania, for a couple of years now, through Worldvision. In his first letter to me (written by an adult) he told me how he hoped to go to school one day; I now have pictures of him posing proudly in his new school uniform. It really is a rewarding experience, seeing how your donations actually make a difference to the life of the sponsored child, their family and their community, and worth doing if you can afford it.
Here's the press release from Action Aid:
"ActionAid is urging people in the South West to send in self portraits for a major public artwork before it’s too late. The deadline to ‘Make Your Mark’, and send a self portrait on a specially created template is Monday 17th May.
Unveiled on Bristol’s College Green on 1st June, a sea of West Country faces will make up this giant mosaic of the face of 5-year-old Enid from Uganda. Enid hopes to make her mark on her village by becoming a teacher. But first she needs to go to school. Making Your Mark and submitting a self portrait will help to raise awareness of the 72 million children around the world, like Enid, who do not attend school because of poverty.
West Country celebrities have already made their mark by submitting self portraits, including Bristolian comedy writer and actor Stephen Merchant; comedian Mark Watson and none-other-than Darth Vader himself (Bristol actor David Prowse).
Leading anti-poverty charity ActionAid is holding the event to help find a thousand new child sponsors in Bristol and the West Country, so they can support children like Enid and their communities. ActionAid works with communities to create an environment in which children can thrive. Regular donations from sponsors help communities turn that support into whatever’s needed most – whether it’s a new school building, trained teachers, healthcare services, clean water supplies or help to build sustainable livelihoods.
Mark Watson: “As a comedian I spend my life talking about myself, so I thought drawing myself would make a nice change.” [Despite his flippancy here, Mark Watson is very involved in this, and will be blogging and tweeting his way through Senegal for Action Aid soon - on Twitter as @watsoncomedian].
Bristol writer and actor, Stephen Merchant:
“I sponsor a child in India. My donation each month helps to support her and her entire community - it’s such a rewarding relationship.”
Liz Waldy, Head of Supporter Marketing at ActionAid:
“Sponsoring a child is a unique way of getting help direct to the people who need it most. ActionAid works with the world’s poorest people, helping them access many of the things we take for granted like education, healthcare and clean water.”
More info & self portrait templates available on the Action Aid site."