Cromer's 40acts of Kindness - a lesson in giving out not giving up
The book that started as a small local initiative has taken on a life of its own after the church decided to use the book to help raise funds for British Charity Street Child’s urgent Ebola Orphan Appeal.
The beautifully presented book contains 60 recipes and can be purchased for amounts ranging from £12 (the basic retail price) to £250 for a book and full support package for an Ebola orphan. All profits will go directly to the Ebola Orphan Appeal.
One year on from the end of Sierra Leone’s Ebola crisis, Street Child recently identified 1,400 orphans who require urgent support. The charity says that it costs £250 to sustainably help an Ebola orphan to get their life back on track.
Therefore the church have challenged shoppers to purchase the cookbook at prices up to £250 - the cost per child for complete rehabilitation and reintegration into education.
Revd Dave Lloyd says:
‘When we first decided to publish a cookbook, we had no idea that there were so many Ebola orphans who are still seriously at risk. When we heard about their plight we wanted to do something to help, so we decided to see how much - rather than how little - people would pay for a book, knowing that the more they give, the more children are helped.
We only launched the cookbook on Sunday 4 December but it’s taken on a life of its own already. We sold 50 books on the first day and more are flying off the shelves, we’ve even sold a book for the top end price of £250! Imagine if this cookbook enables all 1,400 orphans to get help? That would be the most incredible Christmas gift to some of the poorest and most vulnerable children in the world. I would love more people to get behind this campaign and share it far and wide so that together we can do maximum good.’
Norma, a member of St Thomas who donated a recipe, said:
“The first time I heard about Street Child I remember almost bursting into tears! I contributed my Orienteering Cake as it is closely connected to my time with children, both as a childminder and as a mother - so I thought it would be fitting for Street Child.”
Ebola orphans such as Alice Turay (name changed), were left with nothing. Already motherless, her father and younger siblings then contracted Ebola and died.
Alice then went to stay with her grandmother. She met a boy, and fell pregnant, and the situation with her grandmother became strained. Alice says:
“My grandmother couldn’t forgive for what I’d done and she was cruel to me. She said it was already difficult to find enough food for me - how would she manage to feed another mouth?”
Alice was forced to leave the house, and stay with a friend, but did not see much improvement in her living conditions. She says:
“It is so difficult - I often sit in the corner and cry.”
When she is older, Alice wants to be a Police Officer, so that she can help protect girls "who are maltreated in their homes.” With the right support and education, this dream can become a real possibility, but without support, Alice faces a very uncertain future.
There are 1,400 orphans in Sierra Leone, many of whom are homeless and struggling to survive. They are without access to adequate food, shelter or education.
In 2015 Street Child supported over 8,000 Ebola effected households and helped 20,000 children return to education in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The estimated price of £250 per child includes finding the right school, a foster family, and all necessary rehabilitation care.
Street Child CEO Tom Dannatt, a Norwich resident, said:
‘I am so impressed with the quality of this beautifully presented book - the team at St Thomas’ have done an incredible job. I’ve already bought my own copy. It’s so good to see the church getting behind the 1,400 Ebola orphans who we are desperate to help. We are so grateful and hope it’s a huge success so that many more of these forgotten children are able to receive the help they urgently need.’