Re: Winter 2013/14 - Page 88

because it’s only 4p to give a child a meal, a daily meal, which is crazy. You could find that on the floor on the way back from school Charlie adds: “This means one day they may break out of poverty and possibly become a pilot, the president of their country, a lawyer, whatever they want to be, and so it’s such an amazing cause because it’s so simple. There is such starvation and they have to walk miles just to get to school to receive their daily meal and these children are in such bad condition. “I was lucky enough to see this firsthand early this year in January for my birthday, and they’re so poor and they should, in theory, be sad because they have so little but they’re so happy and I love the message of hope that Mary’s Meals gives these children. It is so nice to see them so happy just with this simple daily meal. They have nothing at all compared to what loads of children in this country have and it’s just crazy that they’re so happy with such little.” Charlie has fundraised relentlessly since his early childhood and he continues to raise thousands and thousands of pounds. What began with giving up his birthday presents soon turned into sales such as vegetables, car boots, car washes but now Charlie has moved on to even bigger challenges to raise the muchneeded money. He has taken part in the Brighton Marathon for the past few years together with friends or anyone who wants to raise money for Mary’s Meals and another local charity. Charlie has also climbed Mount Snowdon in winds of 60mph, ice, no map and no compass with his mum, brother and friend. Despite being advised not to climb, they went ahead anyway and made it, successfully raising even more money for charity. 86 Charlie said: “At the top of Snowdon I actually received tickets to go to Malawi as an early Christmas present from my mum and my family and a neighbour as well, which was amazing. To be at the top of Snowdon and to receive those, well, I was speechless - not only because it was freezing cold and I couldn’t move my mouth but it was an amazing experience to complete a challenge and then to be told that the children that I’d completed a challenge for that we would meet them. “So for my birthday I went to Malawi for a two week holiday with just my mum and on my actual birthday, I saw my kitchen and travelled around the whole of Malawi and did lots of things from the backpack project and actually saw loads and loads of different things and all the work that Mary’s Meals does.” The charity’s Backpack Project appeals to schools, clubs and other groups to fill unwanted backpacks with basic educational materials to send to children receiving Mary’s Meals. Charlie added: “On my birthday I got to see my kitchen in Malawi and the work that Mary’s Meals does and because all the kids knew that I was the one with my name on the kitchen because I sponsor it and they knew that I was the one, (obviously with the help of everybody else because without them it wouldn’t be possible), that supplied their food for them. So they were all so grateful. They did drama, singing, dancing, all for me and they were all gathered round just to get a view of me. They were climbing out of the big trees and they were all sat round and I gave them a few gifts and they gave me a lovely woven rug.” Charlie’s most recent adventure was an extraordinary challenge which involved cycling 1,250 miles from Holland to Poland. He led a team of fundraisers from Amsterdam to the city of Krakow in August this year. As if the cycling wasn’t enough, Charlie, his mum, his uncle Bunny, 14-year-old friend Ania Jasko and her mum Maja, even slept in people’s gardens and garages along the way to keep down costs and raise as much money as possible.