Flying high to boost appeal

Emma Scott with the women who run an orphanage in rural Liberia.
Emma Scott with the women who run an orphanage in rural Liberia.

THERE is still time for residents to take part in a daredevil fund-raising challenge in Morpeth.

And the organiser of the zip wire for Oxfam’s Mother Appeal, local businesswoman Emma Scott, is urging people to support those taking part and come along to the event after seeing how it supports women in an African country.

Zippers will get a view from 150ft before taking the plunge on Sunday at Morpeth Rugby Club on Mitford Road and there will be other attractions for all the family.

The mother-of-two recently returned from a two-week trip to Liberia with Oxfam. It is one of the world’s poorest countries and the population is trying to recover following two devastating civil wars.

One was spent in rural areas seeing how communities receive support through the Rice Cultivation Project and meeting some of those who have benefited from the Saving for Change initiative.

Women in a village form a group and they agree how much money per week they will pay into the scheme. Each member is allowed to take out a loan from the group with a small interest rate.

The other week was in the capital, Monrovia. Oxfam’s WASH (Water, Sanitation and Health) project provides equipment and education to help prevent people dying from water-borne diseases.

She also saw some inspiring women, such as a group that runs an orphanage – they use music and dance to help new children settle in – and Gertrude, who started off as an apprentice seamstress and has now set up her own shop and employs four women.

“I thought that the population would be very unhappy because they are so poor, but they were not as I expected,” she said.

“I found a country full of energy, vitality, colour, noise and vigour. A people who outwardly are hospitable, happy, full of life, very proud, resilient and have a determination to succeed, but underneath are worried about their future as they don’t have the necessary tools or education.

“However, after two weeks out there, I can say categorically that Oxfam’s work in Liberia is changing lives. What I saw changed my opinion on Africa, on Liberia, on community spirit and it has changed how I view my own life.”

The zip wire event, which marks International Women’s Day, starts at 9.30am and there will be stalls, crafts, activities and refreshments to create a family fair feel.

Those who wish to take part will need to raise £75 in sponsorship.

Emma, who runs a bunting business in Morpeth, said: “I’m very excited for Sunday and I think it will be even better than last year. The money raised will go directly to projects supporting women, many of whom are mothers, across the world.”

“Businesses have been very supportive and I’m grateful to the manager and staff at Morrisons, as well as generous customers, as we recently raised more than £660 from a bag pack at the store.

“If anyone wants to go on the zip wire, they ideally should call me before Sunday on 07963 542313.”