Meet Kate brings people together
Thinking back to that evening in March 2012... that evening when I settled down for a movie night with a few friends and first heard Naa (UK chair) give a talk about Meet Kate, that evening when, I too, was ‘inspired by Kate’... it is amazing to see how much we have achieved already.
I was inspired because, although I have not yet had the chance to travel to Ghana, I could really relate to the core values Meet Kate holds. Values which seem so simple and which hold so much importance, yet that are not common place in the charity world. A few years ago, I spent a month in Malawi during which time I too was struck by the ‘joie de vivre’ which is present all around despite such terrible hardship. I was also amazed by the local’s determination to turn their situation around. I met a man in his thirties who despite working full-time in the local hospital to feed his family, was teaching himself A level chemistry using a few old books he had borrowed - so old that many of the scientific theories had since been disproved - all because he dreamt of going to medical school. Although I do appreciate that they are two very different countries, I do believe these examples are demonstrative of the positivity, happiness and drive which is present throughout the African continent. Qualities which should be cherished, advertised and sustained, as Meet Kate works so hard to do.
Being a newly established branch of the charity, we have been working hard to spread our message and have gradually managed to leave our footprint around the South-Western region of the UK. This footprint may appear small to the outside world as a lot of the work which goes on is behind the scenes. However, I am already well aware of the impact of that footprint and its potential for growth; in less than a year, we have raised enough funds to enable a young Ghanaian to finish their education.
I still remember when Naa first announced the Global Giving Gateway Challenge during our first meeting of the academic year. I remember the look on our treasurer’s face, as he peered at both of us, somewhat worried. £2000 in just one month, could we do it? At that stage, it was difficult to know. But as we started spreading the word, I was pleasantly surprised by people’s generosity. Friendships strengthened as four fellow medical students grouped together to cook their porridge with water everyday as they ‘lived below the poverty line’ to help us in the effort to raise funds. We all got together to dance the night away with our close friends at the Afro-Carribean society Winter Ball. And we spent the evening in laughter at our charity auction, hosted by two university students who began the evening as acquaintances and ended it joking away as if they had been best friends for years. It was great to see everybody group together for such a good cause. And it is great to finally have something physical to show for our efforts.
Our UK Meet Kate family is born.
Rebecca (third from right) with other guests at the charity ball.