Tuesday, 9 October 2012

The Ifakara Bakery Project Competition and Anthology: a guest post by Sharon Bradshaw

Today I am happy to introduce my writing friend Sharon Bradshaw.

Sharon is organising a writing competition to raise funds for a charity close to her heart.

I'm handing over to her now, to tell you all about it.

"I started to fundraise for the Ifakara Bakery Project Charity in 2010 when I met the organisers, Margaret and Eugene Schellenberg. They were giving a presentation about the work which the Charity was doing in Tanzania. It was difficult to listen to some of the things they were saying and to see the photographs of the hardship which the children, disabled and others, had to undergo. It's now a well told tale about Africa, but Margaret and Eugene had done something different. They built a bakery in 2001 which is currently run as a successful business by the local people and ensures that no-one need starve when there are problems with the maize crop, but there are still so many who have to survive without basic necessities.

They have continued to give Ifakara 'talks' and others have become involved in the fundraising so that the Charity is now able to provide additional money for irrigation, electricity, and education. There is an emergency fund too for when crops fail completely due to adverse weather. The Charity provides bread for the orphanage, nursery schools, hospital patients, those with leprosy and learning difficulties.

I have been a Solicitor since 1981 and started to write poetry a few years ago. I didn't realise at the time that writing can take you to so many different places, and I'm now running a writing competition to help raise funds. I asked David Howarth, editor of Park Publications, if he would support the project, which he has done by advertising throughout his magazines, Scribble and Countryside Tales.

I'm asking writers to send me their 'Hopes and Dreams' as poems or short stories with £2.50 per entry or £4.00 for two. A selection will be published by Park Publications in an anthology early next year. There's also prize money: £150, £75, and £25. I've managed to raise the prize money by various other fundraising activities and have had a stall at a local bric-a-brac fair to sell unwanted items, so that after the printing costs are paid all of the funds raised will be sent to Ifakara. The Charity does not deduct administration charges.

I would like to be able to help the children in Mhutanga to have clean water. Their school has grown from 30 to 90 children and has to be run on a shift basis. They have bread and a mug of sweet tea after lessons. Many of them have had to walk a long way to get to school, with little or no breakfast. Parents have then to walk a lot further to get the water for the tea as they cannot access good water where they are without a bore hole.

I've written articles about the competition for Writers' Forum and Writing Magazine and the entries have been coming in, but it would be lovely to receive more. An anthology for Ifakara would mean so much to the children, and you can help by letting me have your words before the closing date on November 30th, 2012. It's not yet the end of the story.

For more details on the work being undertaken please visit the Ifakara Bakery Project website. And for full details of the competition, please see the Park Publications competition page.

Thank you, Sharon, for sharing this with us. I do hope some visitors to Zigzag Road will feel inspired by your enthusiasm, and send in a story or a poem. Personally, I think it's refreshing to see how a small number of determined people can make a real difference to the lives of others.

16 comments:

Teresa Ashby said...

What a lovely inspiring and interesting post - thank you Joanna and Sharon! I'll post a link to this next time I post.

Good luck and I hope you get lots of entries for the competition x

bazza said...

It's very generous of you Joanne to give over your Blog to this worthy cause and wonderful of Sharon to work so hard for the charity.
I wish I had the talent to enter!
Click here for Bazza’s Blog ‘To Discover Ice’

joanne fox said...

Teresa, a link would be wonderful, thank you! I know Sharon will appreciate any help to spread the word about this.

Bazza - go for it! Quit hiding your light under that bushel!

Old Kitty said...

I'll definitely try and see what I can whip up for this wonderful cause, thank you Joanne and Sharon for the info and links! Take care
x

joanne fox said...

Bless you, Old Kitty.

Joanna said...

Thank you so much, Joanne and Sharon. This is a very worthwhile cause and deserves all the support you can muster. I'm sure a lot of writers will want to contribute. Thank you for letting us know.

Rosemary Gemmell said...

What a wonderful project, Sharon - well worth supporting. Thanks for bringing it to our attention, Joanne!

joanne fox said...

Thanks Joanna and Rosemary.

Dream it, then do it said...

I'll pass this on to my writers' groups.

joanne fox said...

Thanks Keith. I know Sharon will appreciate that.

Paula R C Readman said...

Thank you for sharing competition links with us. Hopefully if I have time I shall have ago

joanne fox said...

Good luck Paula, and thanks for visiting. x

Ellie Garratt said...

A wonderful post and worthy cause. Good luck with this project, Sharon.

joanne fox said...

Thanks Ellie. x

Charmaine Clancy said...

Nice idea, good luck with the competition :)

joanne fox said...

Thanks Charmaine and welcome to Zigzag Road.