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Team Honk Digital Postcard from Tanzania – #LastingChange #iwd2014

You may have noticed recently that I have been posting and tweeting a lot about Team Honk and the Blogger Relay to raise funds for Sport Relief. It's a fantastic cause and so when offered the chance to receive a Digital Postcard from Tanzania to find out how the funds are being used I jumped at the chance. 

Penny sent me my Digital Postcard last night and I couldn't have been more thrilled. And now it's my turn to share that with you…

Lucy #lastingchange Team Honk Tanzania

Meet Lucy!

Here's what Penny had to tell me about Lucy:

"Through mentoring and training the Gatsby Trust gave Lucy the confidence to develop her business and to network after moving from the countryside to the city, She is an inspirational creative who brought out so many beautiful, imaginative handcrafted items to show us. More than that she is a teacher and looks forward expanding her business by training other women who want to start up craft and textile businesses."

Lucy has received training and support from the Tanzanian Gatsby Trust (TGT), a project funded by Comic Relief, and is one of the many inspirational women the Team Honk girls (Penny, Tanya and Annie) have met on their visit to Tanzania to find out where the funding goes and see the real difference it makes to people's lives.

If you've been following their journey you'll know that their trip to Tanzania is to find out how even the smallest amount of funding can make a real #lastingchange through empowering women to help themselves and pass on their knowledge and skills to others. 

Lucy's Creations #lastingchange Tanzania

Take Lucy, for example. She is an extremely talented crafter (something I am sure you all know I appreciate very much!) and the training and mentoring she received from TGT has given her the skills and confidence she needs to build her business and realise her dream of helping other women. Lucy is now able to run a sustainable business whilst putting her teaching and crafting skills to use by sharing them with other women.

This is the 'ripple effect' that Penny so aptly describes in her post yesterday which you can read here

"In order to create #lastingchange, this TGT project selects women who have been in business for two years already, then mentors and trains them so they can take their business to the next level. These women then take other women with them, as employees, or by training and mentoring women keen to start their own business." (Penny – A Residence)

Isn't that fantastic? The money we raise helps so many people, not just those who receive the initial support that funding provides. And that #lastingchange is so worth supporting!

But even more than this, there is a real emphasis here on empowering women to overcome challenges we can only begin to imagine. As a female blogger in the UK I come across many women who are paving their own paths, finding ways to balance work and family life, and doing so with relative ease…

Here we have the same education as men. We have the same rights to accessing bank accounts and applying for loans. And business women are more the norm over here than elsewhere in the world, and that makes it easier for us to network and support each other in building up key skills we need to survive and thrive.

But that doesn't mean change cannot and does not happen!

As Team Honk explain:

"The Gatbsy Trust helps 1000 female entrepreneurs by educating both women and their partners about women's rights and providing support and training. It has been around since 1992…

"Comic Relief has awarded Tanzania Gatsby Trust a grant of £264,959 over three years so they can continue helping women in Tanzania."

Thanks to funding from Comic Relief (of which Sport Relief is a part), women in Tanzania are accessing training in key skills and networking with each other to pass on those skills further. And the achievements of these women are to be celebrated.

Tomorrow (8th March) is International Women's Day and it is a day to look at the challenges and discrimination facing women and what we can do to change that. But also it's a day to look at how much change has already happened and is happening right now. 

70% of the world's poorest people are women, and they own only 1% of the world's property… and yet initiatives like TGT are changing that right now.

Domestic violence is the largest cause of women's injury and death leading to more deaths and disability among women aged 15-44 than malaria, war, traffic accidents and cancer… and yet the millions of pounds raised by Comic Relief will contribute to addressing violence against women.

There is so much change already happening, and we can support that change in as many ways as we possibly can. So do you want to get involved? Yes? Well here's how you can…

  • Only got 5 mins to spare? No problem – simply RT, share or support any updates you see using the #lastingchange hashtag!
  • Free at 1pm today for 30 mins (Friday 7th March)? Great – why not join in with the @BritMums #lastingchange Twitter Party 
  • Want to donate? Fantastic! You can sponsor the #TeamHonkRelay here
  • Want to get involved? You star! Sign up for your local Sport Relief event here.

 

This blog post is a Digital Postcard sent by Team Honk all the way from Tanzania. 

"Team Honk is about bloggers raising money and awareness for Comic Relief. To celebrate International women's Day #iwd2014, Tanya, Annie and Penny are in Tanzania finding out how donations to Sport Relief last year have created female entrepreneurs and #lasting change for women, their families and communities and beyond – rippling out #lasting change in Africa."

You can follow all the updates on Twitter using the #lastingchange hashtag.

The Team Honk Relay for Sport Relief reaches Grantham

The first ever Sainsbury’s Sport Relief Games take place from Friday 21st to Sunday 23rd March 2014. The public can join the fun and games by running, swimming or cycling their way to raising cash at over a thousand venues around the country, including the landmark events at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park.

As one of the biggest fundraising events, Sport Relief brings the entire nation together to get active raise cash and change lives. The money raised by the public is spent by Comic Relief to help transform the lives of some of the poorest and most disadvantaged people both at home in the UK and across the world.

Today I met an incredible group of people…

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This inspiring bunch have just cycled 25 miles to bring the Team Honk Relay Baton from Baston to Grantham. They are part of the Peterbrough Team and handed over the baton to Lucy who will be joining the Nottingham Team on Tuesday for a 30 mile cycle from Grantham to Nottingham. 

But why, I hear you ask?

Well, it's all in aid of Sport Relief. Over 200 bloggers from across the length and breadth of the country are coming together to carry the Baton from Lands End all the way up to John O Groats. The Baton left Lands End on 12th January and has already travelled well over 1000 miles to get this far and has at least half that distance again to go before it reaches it's final destination! 

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Here come the Peterborough Team finishing their final leg of the relay. The Team have already walked 16 miles from Peterborough to Stamford and then cycled 6 miles on their Penny Farthings! And all of this has helped the team raise a staggering £1,123 (as of 23rd February) for Sport Relief. That's 224% of their target, how fantastic is that?

The entire Team Honk Relay Team from across the UK have raised an even more staggering £19,298 (as of 23rd February) which is 96% of their overall target of £20,000. Let's hope we can smash that target over the coming weeks before the Baton finally reaches John O Groat's on 23rd March!

The bloggers taking part (and their families) are such an inspiration. It isn't just those who are taking part in the physical parts of the relay, but also all those people who have worked so hard to organise the route and supported the teams on social media all along the way. This whole relay has reminded me just how powerful it is to come together and work for a good cause. I may not be able to take part because of my ongoing ill health, but I can cheer people on and sponsor them and ask others to sponsor and share the news.

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So what are you waiting for… do you think these amazing people deserve some sponsorship for their efforts? Do you want to support Sport Relief? Well read on…

The money raised by Sport Relief goes towards helping people both here in the UK and abroad.

£15 can buy vaccines that protect three children from deadly diseases
£30 could pay a sports coach to hold a sports session for young people in a deprived area of the UK, helping them stay away from gangs
£50 could help a mother living in poverty in Bangladesh set up her own small business and provide for her family

Every donation helps make the overall amount larger – £1 here and £1 there add up so quickly and it could all make a massive difference to so many people the world over. 

So why not sponsor your local Team Honk Relay Team? You can find your local team on the Team Honk Team's page.

And if you want to follow the Baton's route through the rest of the UK then you can follow it on twitter by using #TeamHonkRelay or following @team_honk. If you're not on twitter you can follow everything on Facebook by liking the Team Honk Page at https://www.facebook.com/teamhonk

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For now, the Baton is having a short break with Lucy, before heading off with the Nottingham Team on Tuesday… I can't wait to cheer them off!