How would you like your company name on one or more of our kayaks as they travel down the Medway from Tonbridge to Upnor? Or perhaps you would like to sponsor some T shirts with your company name/logo! At least 3 kayaks will be on the trip and others are welcome to join us. Going to the gym tonight to step up the training programme!
We have just completed our first training session by kayaking from Yalding up towards Tonbridge, although I couldn’t make it into town. My upper arms are killing me and it has made me realise how much training I need to succeed in this challenge.
We have now decided that the trip is to be from Tonbridge to Upnor, a total of about 30 miles. Mark has agreed to buy me a plate of fish and chips when we get to Upnor but I said that he may need to feed me as I may not be able to lift a fork to my mouth after a day on the river!
With regard to showing your support by making a donation, we are now in the process of setting up an account on the website Just Giving and will soon be able to tell you how to make a contribution. Of course, if you would rather do it in a more traditional manner, that is fine. A cheque made out to St Peter & St Paul, Shorne with a covering note saying what the money is for will still find its way into the right pot.
The account at the High Five Club will be up and running early in May.
The BBC reported on their website on 17th February 2014 the practice of 'jaboya' on the banks of Lake Victoria in Kenya. This is where women who are so poor, that they cannot pay for fish to feed their children, so they purchase food with their bodies. This is a humiliating and degrading practice which also exposes these women to a high risk of contracting HIV Aids.
There is at least one charity that is supplying some women with the opportunity to purchase their own fishing boats so that they can then employ fishermen to fish for them and the income that they earn allows them to pay the men, pay for their boat, bit by bit, and also have fish for their families.
I was so moved by this story that I want to raise money to purchase as many boats as I can to try and put an end to the misery of these women. I asked the congregation at my church to decide what they thought that I should do to raise the money and they decided that I should kayak along the River Thames. Having only been in a canoe once in my life, around 50 years ago at the age of 14, and never in a kayak, you can probably understand that this is indeed a challenge for me. I have also been suffering with Tennis Elbow in both arms for several months, which is adding an extra element to this event.
I am a supporter of The High Five Club, a charity that works with those in need in several African countries, including Kenya, and they have agreed to match fund what we raise, up to another £500.00 which will enable us to provide even more boats.
So I am appealing to you to help me raise some money to support these women and allow them to lead a life where they can support themselves and provide food for their families in a dignified manner. Please dig deep and make my canoe trip a success for the women of Lake Victoria.
My friend Mark Bottomley, who goes to St Peter & St Paul church, Shorne with me, is providing the kayaks and will accompany me, along with my friend Neal Welch who also kayaks regularly. Mark is also going to set up the account where donations can be made, or they will be able to be made via the High Five Club who will have an account. Please do not send me donations direct.
We are going on our first training paddle this week on the River Medway. Wish me luck! At that time we will try and decide the final route on the Thames.