My wife and I hope our very different marathon efforts will raise thousands of pounds to help India’s poorest people become successful entrepreneurs.
We live in Brightons and will swim and run our first ever marathons together to help raise funds for Christian Aid’s In Their Lifetime fund.
This will help people make a living instead of having to rely on traditional aid
I will run the Loch Ness Marathon in September, while my wife Ruth, a GP with Camelon Medical Practice, will swim the equivalent 26 miles over a period of 21 weeks. Together we hope to raise £10,000.
The inspiration to complete our marathons came after we visited one of Christian Aid’s innovative new In Their Lifetime projects in southern India in November 2015.
I have a background in telecoms consultancy and was drawn to the business model behind the In Their Lifetime projects. I liked the concept of startup funding to help people from marginalised communities to make a living instead of having to rely on traditional aid.
Basically, the scheme encourages development through sustainable enterprise.
I started running six years ago after I was diagnosed with coeliac disease. Now on a gluten-free diet, I’m fully fit and looking forward to taking part in my first marathon.
Ruth visited India as part of her training to become a doctor and was keen to help fund a Christian Aid project there. Despite suffering a serious heart problem 10 years ago and having to take a slower pace when it comes to exercise, she hopes her new swimming regime will not only raise thousands of pounds for Christian Aid but also inspire her patients to become fitter.
She said it’s just about finding something that works for you.
In Their Lifetime funds an organic farming project in Tamil Nadu state which has so far helped 1800 farmers from excluded communities to form co-operatives and to convert to organic farming, ensuring a better future for themselves and their families.
By increasing yields, and linking producers and consumers, the project aims to increase the income of 5000 farmers by around 40 per cent. Already, during the last two years, incomes have increased by 25 per cent and cultivation costs have decreased by four per cent.
When we visited the project last year we found the farmers, “agripreneurs” as they were called, very inspiring. They were all so enthusiastic. They showed great team work and it was great to see young women from these marginalised communities who have been trained at the agricultural college talking to groups of older men and the men actually listening.
People can visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/David-Rogerson4 for more.