Passing the half million milestone
By John Norgrove
11 May 2014
A regular blog would be a good habit; unfortunately, not one that I’ve maintained.
Why is it that good habits that enrich your life and might result in momentous benefits are difficult to maintain, while bad habits are impossible to cull?
I could list mine but it would be too depressing and take up too much space.
Suffice to say that Lorna’s reply when asked if she would marry again if I died was, ‘No, I don’t think I could get used to another set of disgusting habits.’ Enough said.
Blogs a good habit? Well maybe, but then maybe not once you’ve read the drivel that comprise the outpourings of some regular bloggers.
I have excuses for irregular blogging. Now that Lorna and I are doing the day to day running of the Foundation, the peaks and troughs in the workload are that much greater and we’ve been through a peak. Meantime, almost when we weren’t watching, we have just passed the milestone of providing more than half a million pounds to projects in Afghanistan.
Millions and billions pepper the pages of newspapers these days and I think we all find large numbers difficult to comprehend.
It’s a milestone but, to us, it means more to know that we’ve sent out over £3,500 every week for three years. And this is put into context by appreciating what can be achieved with relatively small sums in Afghanistan if you spend wisely.
Here are some examples:
Surgery to transform girls’ lives: cleft palette, hip dysplasia, clubfoot and heart operations – average cost £720.
Daily cooked lunches for children at the Afghan Children’s Circus: £80 a year.
Classes for children and training for widows in an extremely poor area of Kabul by the Afghan charity Scawno: £42 a year.
Payment of college fees for girls from deprived backgrounds studying for a degree at the Gawarshad Institute: £280 a year.
And the cost of providing drinking water storage tanks in an area where children were regularly dying during the dry season after drinking water from polluted ponds: an incredible £2.90 per person.
For the complete list of projects please visit the Foundations project page.
We’re not so naïve to assume that every one of our pounds has been spent wisely. Despite our best efforts, some will have been wasted, and we’re always aware that, by the very nature of our funding, we increase the dependency culture endemic in a country that has received so much aid. That said, can we doubt that we have achieved some real improvements to people’s lives? And it’s these stories which give us the real satisfaction, not the figures.
And, we hope, will give satisfaction to all of you who’ve raised money for us or donated your hard-earned cash. Thank you.