Sarah Adams, from Totnes, has decided to live off one meal a day for the month of November in solidarity with refugees across the world. Here, we find out more about Sarah’s inspirational fundraising and the challenge she is undertaking.
Sarah, an education advisor, from Totnes, is fundraising for CAFOD in order to help people such as those under siege in the war torn Syrian city of Aleppo. Sarah’s original aim was to raise £1,000 for the people in Aleppo, but after generous donations, many from anonymous sources, she reached her total two weeks before even starting the challenge. She increased her fundraising target to £2,000 and, still, two weeks from starting this figure has also been reached.
“No one can have missed the terrible news coming out of Syria and in particular Aleppo, over the past few months. Since 2011, 50,000 children have been displaced and hundreds of thousands are living in fear, with little food.” said Sarah.
This is not the first time Sarah has given up a luxury that we take for granted in the western world. Last year, Sarah raised over £3000 for Syrian refugees by giving up her car for a fortnight and walking 15-20 miles a day to and from work.Sarah is keen to continue her great work for CAFOD as she is confident that our work can make a tangible difference to people enduring some unimaginable conditions. She said: “[CAFOD is] engaged with agencies in Syria and know where to direct their efforts, so that the money is used effectively in Aleppo.”
“I chose November because it is a month when we try to remember those who have been lost to us. Many children in Syria have been lost or forgotten. It is a drop in the ocean but the only way that I can try and unite myself to their suffering.”
Throughout her challenge, Sarah has been keeping a diary and sharing her experiences on a special Facebook page. She is also sharing daily challenges with her followers that they could do themselves at home. On day one, Sarah wrote:
“Today the fasting begins! So, here’s today’s daily challenge: over 60 million people have been forced from their homes by war and persecution; they may never see their homes again. Look around your home today and spend a moment treasuring all that you have.”
On day three, Sarah challenged her supporters to smile at everyone they met, even if they didn’t know them. The next day, she went without eating, only drinking water, and encouraged her supporters to also go without tea and coffee, and join her in only drinking water.
On Day 10, she shared her experiences so far: “I have reached day 10 and all seems to be going well on the fasting front. I do get hungry and I miss the social side of eating with others but this is a small price to pay.”
At the halfway point, Sarah reflected on the importance of small acts of generosity:
“Today we can all contribute, not by doing anything major, but a simple small and random act of kindness which may touch the heart of another and make all the difference to their day.”
Sarah still has a week left of her challenge and if you would like to learn more, you can read more about the work CAFOD has been doing as a part of the Year of Mercy to show solidarity with refugees or donate to the refugee appeal.