Haiti: Help raise funds for needy children


OBV Alumni member  Sonia Dixon-Fairweather is setting out on a journey to  Machu Picchu, Peru, to raise money to help children in need in Haiti. She seeks your support to help her exceed the 3,500 target she has set for her trip.

One year after the devastating earthquake in Haiti, 1m people – approximately 380,000 children - remain displaced and are still living in crowded camps!

Like most people, I was deeply moved on hearing and seeing the impact of the earthquake in Haiti. Like most of the nation I sprang into action and responded generously to the heartfelt DEC appeal, encouraged friends to do likewise, participated in organised fundraising events and even made a personal commitment to raise £3,500forUNICEF’s Haiti Children Appeal by taking part in a fundraising trek to Machu Picchu.

As time passed and the disaster moved off the front pages of the press and television programmes and reports on the plight of Haiti and its citizens began to wane, so my interest in the country began to increase. Why was Haiti the poorest country in the western hemisphere?

What would be needed to ensure a sustainable recovery and development for all? What has become evident to me is that rebuilding Haiti is a long term project requiring our ongoing commitment for many years to come.

The earthquake not only claimed the lives of 220,000 people but also destroyed much of the country’s fragile infrastructure and a year on is still causing suffering for millions with a profound impact on children. Since the earthquake there has been political instability, flooding and the country recently experienced a devastating outbreak of cholera, the first since 1960.

Aid agencies including UNICEF have worked with the Haitian authorities and local partners on the ground to, amongst other things; Rebuild schools to provide education and a supportive environment to both assist traumatised children to cope and protect them from harm; Provide access to safe water, established cholera clinics and education programmes; Mount a vaccination campaign to immunise 2m children against preventable diseases like measles and polio.

However, despite the efforts of the Haitian authorities and the international community the recovery process for Haiti has just begun. My fundraising trek at the end of May is my small way of shining the spotlight on Haiti and ensuring the plight of their citizens is not forgotten.

As an urbanite, who only walks to the train station if my car is in the garage and who much prefers chic hotels to camping under the stars, this fundraising trek will be a personal challenge, one which I will endure and hopefully enjoy.

After all, Machu Picchu was voted one of the ‘New’ Seven Wonders of the World! In preparation I’ve adapted my diet and engaged a personal trainer, who I was initially convinced gained pleasure from my pain.

Alas, I’ve got stronger, ache less after a training session, and now actually believe if I maintain my training regime, I’ll attain the level of fitness required to hike 30 miles over five days at altitude of 2,400 above sea level by 27 May! Day by day my initial anxiety is steadily being replaced by confidence tinged with excitement, as the date draws closer and I look forward to trekking with up to 30 strangers, each fundraising for causes close to their heart.

Now that my physical fitness is in hand I can turn my attention to exceeding the £3,500 fundraising target I set for myself.

To achieve this I need your support. All donations, small or large, will make an immense difference to the children in Haiti; £10 will buy an emergency water kit for a family and £25will buy a month’s supply of peanut paste, a lifesaving food for a malnourished child.

Although the economic climate is taking its toll on each one of us; let’s not forget the citizens of Haiti who require our continued support. Please sponsor me today.

Sonia Dixon-Fairweather

To donate online today and find out more click here.
Visit the UNICEF website.
Contact Sonia at: Email: SoniaTrekking4Haiti@hotmail.co.uk

Archived Comments

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Sonia trekking for Haita

Sonia, you are amazing. Many of us talked about the tragedy of this but only few are doing something about it. You are an inspiration. Good luck

Sonia's fundraising trek for Haiti

Fantastic commitment to doing something to help others. Well done Sonia, all the very best.

Sonia Trekking for Haiti

What an amazing committment at a time when Haiti has been relegated to yesterdays news even though they're still struggling with the effects of the Earthquake a year plus later on. You have certainly been an inspiration to me and many others with your dedication, drive and committment. Well done Sonia and the very best of luck!

good job sonia u have touched

good job sonia u have touched my heartwith ur story