With Christmas over and January fast approaching, many of us are already beginning to think about making a resolution or setting some personal goals for the New Year.
And while some of us may even stick to our resolutions, many more of us will set ourselves challenges that we cannot keep.
So why not this year make a resolution that’s both easy to keep and makes a life-changing difference to those less fortunate then ourselves?
In Africa millions of families will go to bed hungry each and every night. Farm Africa is a different kind of charity that is working to end this, not through more food aid and hand-outs but instead by giving African farmers the skills and know-how they need so they can grow enough food for their families – and have extra to sell at market.
You can do your bit – Farm Africa, has a whole range of activities you can get involved with that will make that big difference.
This year you could commit to hosting a coffee morning, arranging a cake sale, or getting your local school or church to take part in a welly-walk to raise funds for Farm Africa.
Or if you want to make a resolution to do something a bit more adventurous, you can run a marathon, or even climb Africa’s highest mountain, Mount Kilimanjaro!
Or you can sponsor a farmers’ group: http://www.farmafrica.org/farmaid/
If you’d like to take on a bit of a challenge, here are just some of the more eye-catching ways in which people have helped to raise funds for Farm Africa in 2013:
Philip Young and Paul Brace drove from Cape Town to London in just ten and a half days in a Fiat Panda, breaking a world driving record. They have raised almost £40,000 this year: http://www.farmafrica.org/africa-record-run/africa-record-run
The self-styled “Three Brothers” from an Oxfordshire farm – Tom, James and Oliver Facon – raised more than £5,000 by organising a quiz in which their friends guessed which of their rams would father more lambs, and by how many: http://www.farmafrica.org/featured-fundraiser/the-three-brothers
Sussex farmer, Tim Jury, put himself through a triple challenge to ‘celebrate’ his 60th birthday. Tim ran the London Marathon, the ultra marathon of 69 miles along Hadrian’s Wall and cycled the 78 miles from his home near Hastings to the Farm Africa office. The money he raised this year means that he has now raised more than £100,000 for Farm Africa since he started fundrising 26 years ago: http://www.farmafrica.org/media/press-releases/post/600-sussex-farmer-nets-100000-for-leading-uk-charity-after-lifetime-of-fundraising
Two twins from Yorkshire took part in a triathlon, despite both being visually impaired. They raised more than £2,000 which was shared between Farm Africa and the children’s charity, Sparks: http://www.farmafrica.org/latest/news/post/574-triathlon-triumph-for-farm-africa-volunteer
Jack White from Barnard Castle in Yorkshire cycled from Cairo to Cape Town over six months to raise over £15,000 for the charity: http://www.farmafrica.org/latest/news/post/614-farm-africa-fundraiser-reaches-cape-town-after-12000km-charity-ride
And while the resolutions we make this New Year will be important to us, they will not perhaps be as life-changing as whether we can put enough food on the table for our family or earn enough money to let our children go to school.
Leonila is a sesame farmer who is looking forward to 2014 with a sense of hope thanks to new specialist seeds that she - along with 1,000 fellow farmers in the Babati region of Tanzania – have received from Farm Africa.
The new seeds can help farmers to increase their harvests by 150% when compared to the older seeds traditionally used in the area.
And for families like Leonila’s, this can make all the difference between struggling just to buy enough food, and being able to pay for medical costs and school fees so that her children can have the education she never had.
She is therefore eager to get some of the new seeds as soon as they are available. And thanks to the new seeds - as well as farming training she has already received from Farm Africa - Leonila is now busy transforming her family’s fortunes. She is busy coming up with ambitious plans for producing larger, healthier sesame harvests that will earn her enough money to give her children the education that, until now, has remained out of reach.
To find out how you can help others to make a life-changing resolution this New Year, please visit: