Charities

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These are the charities I supported during my 400-mile walk in 34 days. Click on the links to the charities to read about what they do and why they mean a lot to me. The links to my donation pages are open for awhile longer—please donate if you feel inspired—or get involved to help them in the longer term.

Misión México —
giving love, life and hope to children in need

Misión México — giving love, life and hope to children in need

A few years ago, whilst Googling for something else entirely, the Misión México website popped up. Intrigued by the strap-line, Giving Love, Live & Hope, I clicked on it, and discovered an incredible story of love that had created a refuge to help neglected, abandoned and abused children.

The story began in 2000, when an Australian couple, Pam and Alan were volunteering at a small orphanage in Mexico. Whilst they were there, they discovered it was about to shut down. The thought of the children going back on to the streets was not an option, so they made a life-changing decision to find a way to help these children. They moved to Mexico—despite having 6 adult children in Australia —and created Misión México.

As part of the helping the children heal—often from shocking abuse and neglect—Alan and Pam began to teach the children how to swim in the sea and learn how to surf. These new skills give the children confidence, a new self-belief that they can succeed and for the time they are in the sea, forget about their troubles, difficulties and pain from their past. As you may know, I love swimming in the sea—and it has helped me with my own healing—so this strongly resonated with me.

Misión México now looks after between 40-50 children. The children are referred to them by the Mexican Government Welfare Department, but they don’t receive any financial assistance from the Government. They depend wholly on charitable donations. Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

£6 provides all the ingredients for a cooking lesson for three of our young adults, a life skill which will help them transition into independent living 

£12 provides basic dental care for one of our children for a full year  

£25 provides one of our children with one month’s worth of fruit and vegetables, helping them to maintain a nutritious and well balanced diet

£50 provides one of our children with a school uniform, shoes and a backpack full of school supplies 

Make A Donation To This Charity

The Donkey Sanctuary —
helping neglected donkeys and providing donkey-assisted therapy

The Donkey Sanctuary — helping neglected donkeys and providing donkey-assisted therapy

our donkey Noddy When I was young, we had a donkey called Noddy—in this photo he was dressed up as Big Ears, Claire was Noddy, I was Andy Pandy and my sister Sally in the middle looks left out! Noddy was a companion to our pony Brandy. My fondest memory of him was the time when my youngest sister, Claire was learning to ride. Popping the saddle on Noddy, he puffed out his stomach, a trick he often did, but on this occasion, we forgot to wait a few minutes and retighten the saddle strap. Mum lifted Claire on to Noddy’s back and they began walking across the field. As we watched them from the stable, we saw the saddle begin to slowly slide around Noddy’s belly and Claire slid with it. Gravity took over, and Claire toppled down, landing on the grass between Noddy’s legs. Claire cried as we tried not to laugh and Noddy just stood there perfectly still, gently nuzzling Claire with his nose as if to say sorry. Donkeys are like that: little characters, always willing to help and yet they have an innate gentleness too.

The Donkey Sanctuary was formed by Dr Elisabeth Svendsen. Her love of donkeys, like mine, began in childhood. But it was later in her life, in 1969, on seeing 7 donkeys in a terrible state at Exeter market that led to her decision to dedicate her life to saving donkeys in distress.

A big leap forward in this charity work happened in 1974, when Dr Svendsen received an urgent call from Barclays Bank. She was told she had been left a legacy of 204 donkeys. She was asked to take as many as she could and the rest would be shot. Taking on so many donkeys, seemed an impossible task, but she knew all of them needed to be rescued. And so they were. Over the last 40 years, The Donkey Sanctuary has helped 15,500 donkeys and mules across the UK, Ireland and Europe.

As well as providing help for donkeys in distress, some of the rescued donkeys, those with a particularly peaceful nature, go on to help children with donkey-assisted therapy. I sponsor one such donkey, Moses, who lives at the Birmingham centre. By pure chance, I met Moses’s original owner. He told me Moses used to live in Weymouth, just a few miles from my home! I visited Moses a few years ago in Birmingham. I saw the very special relationship he and the other donkeys have with the children they are helping—it was humbling to witness.

Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

In the UK your donation helps to provide:
£5 can buy a donkey grooming brush to keep their coats healthy
£10 can buy an enrichment ball to keep a donkey’s mind stimulated
£20 can help to keep our rescue vehicles on the road
£30 can pay for a month’s worth of soft wood shavings to use as bedding for donkeys
£40 can buy a heat lamp and bulb to keep sick and elderly donkeys warm
£10,000 can help to pay for crucial veterinary equipment
 
And internationally it helps provide:
£10 can buy a harness for a donkey working at a brick kiln in Egypt
£60 can buy a farriery kit in India to help keep a donkey’s hooves healthy
£200 can pay for 30 donkey owners in an Ethiopian village to receive training in donkey care.
£1,000 can pay to train a school teacher in Ethiopia, who can educate children about good donkey welfare.

Make A Donation To This Charity

Whale And Dolphin Conservation (WDC) —
stop whaling, end captivity and prevent deaths in nets

Whale And Dolphin Conservation (WDC) — stop whaling, end captivity and prevent deaths in nets

At 2½ years old, Mum and Dad took me and my baby sister Sally to a large, crowded beach on the Norfolk coast. No-one remembers quite how it happened, but Mum thought I was with Dad and Dad thought I was with Mum. On realising that I was with neither, the following 30 minutes must have been a living nightmare. I had run down to the sea to feel the ripples of water tickle my toes and then wandered off in completely the wrong direction. But my love affair with the sea had begun.

grey whale I remember reading my first Jacques Cousteau book about dolphins and whales—I must have been around 10 years old—and being fascinated about how big the whales were and friendly nature of dolphins. My love of the sea grew over the years and now I live on Portland where I can look at, walk beside, swim in and just ‘be’ by sea every day. I’ve been blessed to have briefly swum with a pod of wild dolphins in the Red Sea. I also had a close encounter with the Grey ‘Friendly’ Whales in San Ignacio lagoon in Mexico. In the photo, lots of the grey whales came to ‘see’ us – and they were bigger than our boat! One whale came very close to us and sprayed us with water—a memorable, if fish-smelling experience!

WDC vision is for a world where every whale and dolphin is safe and free. And to do what they can to inspire global action to protect them. WDC works with other organisations to help protect these magnificent creatures. They have offices in the UK, Germany, North America, Argentina and Australia to help Dolphins and Whales across all of the many oceans and seas that they make their home.

By providing protection for whales and dolphins, it helps protect all of the other life in the sea – and that is increasingly important for our own health and wellbeing too.

Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

£6  Would pay for an education pack for a school – this includes posters, activity sheets and information.
 
£12  Would pay for 2 pairs of children’s gloves for a beach clean or Urban Beach clean (ie in a city or town): these are crucial to stop plastic and other waste from ending up inside the stomachs of whales and are very helpful in raising awareness of our work too. 
 
£20   Would cover the cost of a training workshop for one Shorewatch volunteer (Shorewatch volunteers gather data and record sightings of cetaceans off the coast of Scotland, which is then entered into a national database and WDC’s own database and is essential for monitoring the numbers and health of local populations of whales and dolphins).
 
£30 Would help fund WDC’s investigative work into aquatic bush-meat (the growing problem of dolphins being killed for human consumption).
 
£50  Would help purchase batteries for acoustic monitoring equipment which WDC uses in surveys of dolphin populations around the UK eg. Bardsey Island and Isle of Lewis.

Make A Donation To This Charity

Tibet Relief Fund —
Helping Tibetans. Funding schools, hospitals and preserving Tibetan culture

Tibet Relief Fund — Helping Tibetans. Funding schools, hospitals and preserving Tibetan culture

Two books awakened my interest in Tibet. The first was The Art of Happiness—A Handbook for Living by the Dalai Lama and Howard Cutter. After reading this book, I began to find more about the Dalai Lama and when he was in London a few years ago, I saw him at the Royal Albert Hall. His talk was inspiring—encouraging us all to find compassion, peace and happiness. But what caught me by surprise—then and now—is his capacity for joy that just beams out of him. In learning more about his life and teachings, I discovered part of the story of Tibet, of his exile and that of 100,000 Tibetans who fled from their homeland after the failed uprising to take back their country from Chinese occupation.

The Book of Tibetan Medicine by Ralph Quinlan Forde also piqued my interest. Tibetan medicine, like Ayurveda, has been practised for over 1,000 years and has a unique understanding of both the cause and nature of disease. It would be the greatest shame that this wisdom was lost due to what is happening today in Tibet.

The Tibet Relief Fund is a charity that helps fund schools, hospitals, skills training as well as preserving Tibetan culture. They work with the exiled communities as well as Tibetans living in isolated, rural areas of Tibet. They sponsor 5,000 monks, nuns, children and elderly Tibetans. They also respond to emergencies and promote self-sufficiency so the Tibetan communities can create a positive future.

Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

£6 provides a week’s fuel for an elderly Tibetan refugee over winter.

£12 provides an elderly Tibetan refugee with staple foods for a month.

£25 helps to fund a physiotherapist for disabled Tibetan children in northern India.

£60 helps provide life-saving emergency aid for a new mother in a remote area of Tibet.

Make A Donation To This Charity

South West Coast Path Association —
dedicated to looking after 630 miles of coastal path

South West Coast Path Association — dedicated to looking after 630 miles of coastal path

When I moved on to Portland in 2009, I was intrigued to see this South West Coast Path way-marker saying 581 miles to Minehead and 49 miles to Poole. How wonderful, I thought, it would be to walk along the coast—and how jagged it must be to be for there to be 581 miles to get to Minehead!

A few years ago, I watched Simon Reeve’s TV program on Pilgrimages. None were along the South West Coast Path, yet it planted a seed in my mind that a pilgrimage type walk would make a wonderful challenge. And so now, I’m doing 400 of those miles—from Port Issac to Portland.

The South West Coast Path Association is dedicated to looking after the 630 miles of coastal path—the longest continuous Natural Trail in the UK. The wildlife, heritage and of course the wonderful seascapes make every day of walking along the path magical. The Association cares for the South West Coast Path, working to protect and promote the trail so that it can be enjoyed by everyone, forever. They also work with Natural England, the National Trust and local authorities to further develop the path, do maintenance work and repair it after storms or erosion. A key part of their work is to promote the path for local people and tourists to enjoy—not necessarily for the marathon walks that I am doing, but also for people to enjoy relaxing strolls around headlands or along the cliff tops above some of the stunning beaches along the path.

When people come to stay with me at The Jasmine House, I offer them the chance to walk with me before breakfast. I believe that walking in nature is healing. It helps us remember who we are, and takes us away from stress and our struggles as we witness an early morning sky turned pink, or see tiny flowers hiding in the pebbles, or the mass of flowers in Spring and Summer, and of course the sea in its many colours, sounds and movements. The South West Coast Path provides us the opportunity to do that.

Today, please donate as much as you can. Even if you can only give a little, it is all appreciated.

£25 can buy and install a timber step to help people up and down the Coast Path’s steep terrain.
£250 can buy one of our iconic oak fingerposts that help people find their way.
£1,000 is the minimum amount per mile it costs every year just to keep the Coast Path maintained and open.

Make A Donation To This Charity


 

To go straight to donation pages

For Misión México click here
For the Donkey Sanctuary, Whale and Dolphin Conservation, Tibet Relief Fund and the South West Coast Path Association, click here (where you will find their individual pages)

© Jennie Bayliss 2018
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