Mo Farah campaigning against global hunger
After a trip to Somalia last year, the double Olympic gold medal winner Mo Farah set up a charity called The Mo Farah Foundation. The Foundation works to help save lives and support people affected by the worst drought to hit the Horn of Africa region in over 60 years. The disaster has claimed thousands of lives in Ethiopia, Kenya and Somalia and there were several reports earlier in the year by Oxfam and Save the Children that claimed a slow response to warning signals was to blame for the high death toll.
The Foundation has set up programmes in Emergency Response, Water and Sanitation, Health and Medical support, Livelihood programmes to support farmers to be more self sufficient and break the cycle of dependency, and Education programmes. By providing these services Mo hopes to reduce the amount of suffering and also give hope to the people in the region. Many of those affected are migrating long distance towards refugee camps with some not surviving the journey. Mo said:
We deliver food, water, water wells, so I am trying to give back as much as I can because I know there're a lot of kids out there who would love to have a chance.
Mo Farah was born in the Somali capital Mogadishu and moved to London to live with his father when he was eight speaking little English. Despite leaving his war torn birthplace, many of his siblings stayed there and he communicates with them daily including his identical twin brother Hassan. Mo's success was cheered on by his family in northern Somalia and his foundation will give Somalis and there regional neighbours more to hope:
I am very lucky, I came to Britain just as a kid, but there are kids out there who would love to have a chance and I know they are good at running. But for me, when I went not long ago to Somalia and then I saw the kids, the poverty was very bad. I set up the Mo Farah Foundation which is a charity (and) which supports them.
As the celebrity guest on ITV's The Cube, Mo raised £250,000 for his foundation and became the first person to beat The Cube. Currently 7,560 people have been fed by the charity and 10 wells have been built with the aim of building a further 40 by the end of this year.
The Foundation's websites states that they want to provide a month's supply of food to at least 20,000 people, medical supplies for 40,000 people, and support agricultural development. So far the foundation's funds appear to be reaching those that are in need of it most rather than being siphoned off by corrupt officials.
His charitable efforts earned him an invite to 10 Downing Street for the 'hunger summit'. This campaign plans to reduce the number of children left stunted by malnourishment worldwide by 25 million by 2016, when Rio de Janeiro stages the next Olympics. Cameron invited other athletes and world leaders to join him in tackling childhood hunger, and make it part of the legacy of the London Olympics.
At the summit Mo Farah said:
there are kids out there facing hunger and starvation and we've got to do something about it. There are kids out there who need our help
Britain has pledged a £120m investment in drought-resistant crop research, help for schemes such as a text message hunger alert system in Kenya and pressure on global companies to play their part.
Mo won gold in the 5,000m and 10,000m track events at the London Olympics and celebrated both victories with his iconic 'Mobot'. After his second gold, Seb Coe said that Mo would,
go down indelibly in British track and field as probably the greatest athlete we have produced.
The Mo Farah Foundation will be hosting their first annual fundraising ball on the 1st September 2012 in aid of the famine crisis being felt across the Horn of Africa.