I cried last night. I always cry inside, but very rarely shed tears. Yesterday I shed tears.
BBC has a bi-annual charity programme (sport and comic relief) in which they run comedy skits and other programmes specially created and written for the purpose of encouraging viewers to donate money or whatever they can to the the relief programmes that are run by the relevant charities. The charities that benefit from the money raised are not just limited to the UK but are located all over the world. Most of them are in the 3rd world.
This week has been a particularly busy week for sport relief as people do stuff that they hope will help raise some money towards this cause. Great stuff is done. Some years back, David Walliams (comedian and star of Little Britain) swam the English-French channel in a little over 10hours and raised more than £500k. This year Helen Skelton (TV Presenter) kayaked the entire length of the Amazon and Christine Bleakley (TV Presenter and Girlfriend of Frank Lampard, for Chelsea fans) water skii-ed across the English-French channel in beyond freezing temps and raised £1m. A group of presenters and comedians led by Fern Cotton, rode bikes 1000 miles from Land O’Groats to the lowest point of the UK called, Land’s End in 5 days. they raised more than £1m. Cross-dressing comedian, Eddie Izzard run 43 marathons in 51 days and raised more than £500k for charity. Last year, a group of radio presenters and pop stars climbed Mt Kilimanjaro for Comic relief and raised more than £500k. Truly noble causes. I am very humbled by their efforts.
Then there are the mula de la mulas who just have to dip into their pockets and spare some pocket change (to them) for charity.
3 particular stories made me cry last night.
Chris Moyles (radio presenter) visited a village in Uganda and his heart broke whenhe encountered a 24 year old man outside in a hospital courtyard. He had just arrived with his young wife who was heavily pregnant abut had been struck down by malaria. As they lived miles away from the nearest medical centre, they had to take a journey that lasted 2 days. ON FOOT! She was in the last weeks of her 3rd trimester. They showed the young woman convulsing in the ward as doctors tried their best. As she had been sick with malaria for a whole week before se came to hospital and also the fact that she had to take a 2 day journey on foot, doctors couldn’t do much to save her, and she passed away a day later.
A Sport relief run charity for HIV/AIDS VCT and positive living in Kenya recieved a lady who wanted to have her blood tested because she suspected she had contracted the virus from her errant husband who had 3 other known women and had recently lost one of his lovers to an unexplained illness. She did not mind having the test carried out live on air as some sport Relief Patrons (Duncan Banatyne and Theo Paphitis of the Dragons Den) had visited the medical centre to see how they used the money and drugs given to them by Sport/Comic Relief. When her results returned positive, she broke down and the pain was clear for everyone to see. I cried for her. She wasn’t sure what to do next and even contemplated suicide if not for her children.
She was counselled and offered free medical care for any illnesses that she’d suffer as a result of the HIV and the medical superintendent of the centre was told that they would increase the quota od assitence they gave them so that all HIV positive people who attended the facility would get free nutrition education, free counselling and also free basic medication to ward off any tougher cases like TB.
3 months later when they visited again, their promises had been fulfilled and they met the same woman who had taken on the education she recieved and had even began work at the centre as a counsellor.
Still in Kenya, Alan Shearer (Former Newcastle United and England striker) visited 2 boys, a 16 yr old and his 12 years old brother. They live on their own after their parents both succumbed to HIV/AIDS within 2 months of each other. With no relatives ready to look after them, the boys had no option but to forge on. They wake up early to prep for school, then after school, they passed by a rubbish skip where they foraged for plastics and any other things that they could sell and make some money so that they can buy some paraffin for the lamp at home. They don’t really care about food because they had a meal at school so this is enough to take them until the next school day.
I cried for general reasons but what was especially hard is that the younger boy was still in denial over his parent’s passing. He believes that they went to the city and would be coming back home soon.
One might scoff at charity or any fundraising opportnity as a money grabbing gimmick (and I am not sure of all the money raised gets to where it should be) but they at best, highlight the issue that things are very bad in some places. At least they are doing their bit to help us. Sport/comic relief don’t owe us their charity and money or assistance. Most of these celebrities would happily enjoy good popuparity even if they ignored this. Many do and still go on to have “brighter stars”. They don’t owe us much. We owe us!
I was truly moved by this I went to one of the participating shops and bought 5 pairs the £2 sport relief socks. If I wasn’t this broke, I promise I would have donated a little bit more. But for now, the socks will do. At least £10 pounds can buy more than 10 doses of anti-malaria drugs.
Ok, Baz, I will now leave your residence and hope to return to blogistan as soon as I’m done with my dissertation. speaking of which, I need a mucuba/mercenary/machinery! Seriously.
Have a great week ahead and remember to thank God for everything he has given u.