Counting Hope

Sunday, 20 December 2015

I've only been blogging for eight months, but it's already opened a lot of doors for me and enabled me to get involved in some awesome projects and collaborations. But I never anticipated such an amazing opportunity as Counting Hope when an email came flying into my inbox recently.

The email came from a young man named Andy Green, who was looking for my help with the non-profit organisation called Counting Hope. He'd found me through Twitter, had a look at my blog and decided that I was the right person to work with.

Counting Hope is in its infancy at the minute, but has an incredible vision. It all started when Andy was on a family holiday on Sal Island in Cape Verde. Although a beautiful island, the people there live in absolute poverty, with families barely scraping by, next to no medical care and schools with crumbling walls and no where to safely store food for the children to eat.

The devastating poverty that Andy saw inspired him to start Counting Hope, with a mission to empower people through education. For me, education is one of the most powerful tools in the world, so when Andy told me this, it really struck a chord with me.

What makes Counting Hope different is that the idea is to make Sal Island self-sufficient rather than simply throwing money at them. The end goal is for the people of the island to say "hey, thank you very much for your help, but we're okay now, we can take care of ourselves!" The island relies heavily on tourism, but only a tiny proportion of the profit from the tourism industry goes back into the community of itself. But, Andy wants to help to provide people with the tools they need to source exports and build safer, more efficient schools and hospitals.

After exchanging a few emails, Andy and I met to talk a bit more about Counting Hope and where he wanted to go with it. We had a really good two hour chat and I was so inspired by his vision. The kind of work that he wants to do is so important, and it was so refreshing to hear about someone who wanted to make a real change rather than just sending a cheque and forgetting about it.

So where do I come into it all? My job for the time being is to get the word out, starting with this post. The more people who hear about Counting Hope, the more it will grow and we want to achieve as much as we possibly can. In the next couple of months, I'm going to be getting in touch with newspapers, radio stations and anyone who can help us raise awareness of Counting Hope and its goals.

In the New Year, Counting Hope's first event will be happening in Grimsby, which will be an amazing opportunity to start raising some funds and get people on board. In the meantime though, a bank account has just been opened and the first committee meeting has just taken place, and I'm so excited for the project to hit the ground running!

Now, my lovely readers, what I would love for you to do is help me spread the word. Andy is a remarkable guy, he's started this project at just 18 years old, and Counting Hope is one of the most refreshing and inspirational projects I've ever come across. I'd love nothing more than to see it get off the ground. If you could simply pay the website a visit (countinghope.org), and retweet or share this post. I'm going to be getting more content out there as soon as I possibly can, so keep your eyes peeled for that, and pretty soon you'll be able to donate and help us raise some money to send some resources over to Sal Island.

I really hope you can all get on board and support Counting Hope in any way that you can.

Love,
Sian Kathrine xo

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