Running with a purpose

I admit it! I run for the shear enjoyment of it and the huge diversity it offers, the challenge, the excitement, the peace, the tranquility, pitting your wits against the elements, connecting with nature, overcoming physical and mental barriers and yes the escape too.

However a chance meeting last week has given a new purpose to my Pyrenean Adventure. My Sister introduced to me to a friend of hers, David Charles Manners, author of Limitless Sky and co-founder of SARVASHUBHAMKARA (Sarva for short). Sarva is a small organisation working with the “forgotten people” of the Indian subcontinent and undertakes small scale projects with a real purpose (education, welfare etc.).One of the charity’s primary principles is that not one penny donated is lost to salaries, administration or travel costs. I’ve asked David to pen a few words about the charity below and you can visit the Sarva website for more details about the projects they undertake and the direct impact they have on peoples’ lives.

So where do you come in? Well I’m going to put my body on the line … again and maybe you can dip your hands in your pockets and come up with some loose change to help a really good cause – let’s see if we can raise £2,500 which would be a good start and make a real difference. You can either donate through my “givey” page or directly via Sarva’s site. If you want to use CAF cheques please make these out to Sarva & send these directly to David at Sarva PO Box 3034 EastbourneBN21 9ED.

So the Pyrenean trip will still have all the traits of a real “Masai Adventure” – the appalling map reading, the blisters, the phone packing up, the face plants, the amazing language skills, the laughter but this time there will be an extra spring in my step when I am feeling tired, as I remember how lucky I am to be able to do this stuff and through you make a small difference to a truly remarkable charity.

Thank you & over to David!

“Bernard and I founded Sarva ten years ago after living with people in India who were ostracised for no other reason than their social status or history of leprosy infection.  We could see inexpensive, practical ways their lives might be markedly improved.  We therefore decided to stop complaining about the world’s ills and find what difference we could make instead.

As foreigners, we are careful not to assume to know what is needed by the people we work with.  For this reason, every one of our projects is determined by the recipients of our intervention.  This self-determination, and the self-esteem it brings, is essential to all of Sarva’s work.

Sarva’s education fund has become our principal focus.  Every resident of the leprosy colonies in which we work longs for the next generation to be educated, to break the cycle of illiteracy, unemployability, poverty and disease.  To date, we have supported the education of hundreds of ostracised children, from primary education up to Master’s degree level, with nursing and midwifery training at medical school proving a particularly popular choice. 

None of this would be possible without our small, but stalwart, band of supporters – and for a charity that does not spend any donations on expenses or salaries, we can honestly state that every penny given really does make a difference.  Thank you.”