A year ago I finished my 4-month internship with EFTC, a time which will stay with me forever. The intern experience gave me the opportunity to learn about the work of a small charity, their fundraising and budgeting processes as well as the importance of a holistic approach to their work. I love the way EFTC focuses on not only providing a quality education but also nutritional, medical, and psychological support which is vital to ensuring the children and families benefit as much as possible from the project.
The Covid-19 crisis has affected almost everyone in some way, shape, or form. For me, I was in my final year of University when everything turned upside down: lectures got cancelled, many students returned home, most of our future plans vanished; however, I was also thinking a lot about the people in Central America that I have met on my travels. I have lived and worked in both Honduras and Guatemala and could only imagine how hard the pandemic would hit their populations. Here, in the UK, the situation has been hard and will continue to affect us but the majority still have access to healthcare, food, shelter, and even education (online). In many countries like Guatemala where most people work in the informal economy and the governance systems are much weaker, access to even the most basic of needs is lost in a crisis such as this one. I worried for the families and children I had met and for the charities, like EFTC, who do such an amazing job at empowering young people, as they have lost out on many fundraising opportunities. I wanted to do something to help from afar.
Despite the disruption to daily life, the pandemic gave me time to pick up running and cycling, and making the most of being outdoors. On one of those bike rides, I decided to set myself a challenge, rather 3 challenges, to celebrate finishing my degree and at the same time raise money for EFTC. Over three consecutive days I planned to run a half marathon, cycle two marathons, and walk a marathon. When I told my family and friends they told me I was crazy, but that just made me even more determined to see whether I could complete it. The support I received throughout the three days was amazing and knowing I had raised quite a bit of money for EFTC pulled me through to the finish line. I hope that my challenges have not only raised funds but increased awareness of the amazing work EFTC does every day and continues to do throughout this crisis.
If you have been inspired by Laura and want to challenge yourself get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org. We'd love to hear from you!