When people ask me what my husband does for a living, I usually mumble incoherently about ‘charity’ and ‘marketing’ before raving about CityHill because although we talk about his work tasks and projects, I shamefully don’t know too much about the charity.
I knew that when we started dating 7 years ago he had two dreams 1) to work for a charity called A.C.T and 2) to start a church. I’ve seen a large part of the 10 year journey to start CityHill but I never understood why he was so passionate about this one charity I’d never even heard of… until this week!
African Child Trust (A.C.T) held a charity golf match, last week, luckily catching the last of the September sunshine on the Surrey Downs- skipping the golf but making the time for the dinner (of course!) I was honestly touched by the passion of the attendees. People flew in from various continents to show their support for the widows and orphans who would be left desolate without their support. Hearing about the the charity and it’s aims in detail was a poignant moment for me- I couldn’t believe some of the stories shared that evening; African children learning I.T without computers and solely with the use of books, children living in cargo crates after the death of their parents, and so on..
A.C.T’s mission is to provide education for disadvantaged children and orphans in Africa and to support needy widows so they are able to support themselves and their families in a sustainable way. Focusing on the welfare of orphans and children of needy widows in Africa to enable them achieve their full potential in life.
(Yes I stole that from their website!)
In a recession, people and businesses will normally cut back on support for charities, so to see people digging deep and allowing the life-changing work to continue was inspiring.
I witnessed the same generosity last night when London Irish rugby player Topsy Ojo pledged support for three charities (including A.C.T) in celebration of his Testimonial* at the club.
Hosted by New Era, Shoreditch. The event saw Topsy’s family, friends, fellow players and supporters turn up for an introductory evening of celebration. The first of three events over the course of the year, it was great testament to a humble and hard working player. Testimonials are ALL about the player, their achievements, their dedication to a club and their service- they are under no obligation to involve charities… and in a world where we a taught to look after number one first, the fact that Topsy is keen to give back challenged me. I truly believe you reap what you sow. You may not have much, you may not even be able to support financially, but there are many charities that would benefit greatly from your time. Too busy? Even a simple tweet, share or like on Facebook can help to raise awareness of projects, fund raisers and events; fundamentally, in turn, changing the course of a persons’ life forever.
For more information on A.C.T click here
For more information on Topsy’s Testimonial events – Click here
*What’s a Testimonial match?
A testimonial match, testimonial game or celebration often referred to simply as a testimonial, is a practice in some sports, notably football or ruby and especially in the UK, where a club puts on a match in honour of a player for service to the club. Clubs typically grant testimonials to players upon reaching ten years of service with a club, although they sometimes are given to players with less service as they approach retirement. These matches are always non-competitive. Typically, former greats for the club are invited to participate, either in the match itself or the surrounding festivities. For especially prominent players, some all-time greats of the game may be invited, or the opposition can be a national team. Alternatively, if a player is strongly identified with more than one club team, the testimonial may involve the player’s current and past clubs. All proceeds from the match go to the player; depending on the country.
Some of the proceeds from Topsy’s Testimonial will be split between the charities below: