After the Two-Oceans marathon I needed a new challenge. That’s just me, I suppose. You see, I don’t fit into any particular category. For instance, I am French, but also British. I am a runner, but I don’t really like the usual 5k or 10k races. So what to do? Well, I have set my my views on a 100k race: the Thames Path Challenge on the 10th of September, from Putney Bridge to Henley.
What can I say? I love long distances. As in, really long distances. This time, I will be running for a charity I have been supporting for years, ActionAid, Please wish me luck. I am not sure what I got myself into. You can click on my fundraising page here: https://www.justgiving.com/Muriel-Demarcus. Of course I would be delighted if you could sponsor me, but I would also really appreciate you to send me some encouragements as I am not sure what I got myself into. I take some comfort in the fact that, when I run for a long time, there comes a point when I feel really bad (this is actually a British understatement), but it doesn’t get any worse (am I making sense? I hope so).
And frankly, nothing can describe the feeling of having completed a long race. I just love it.
So why Action Aid? Well, I love them because they help the poorest of the poor. You see, I tend to indulge in some self-pity from time to time (don’t we all?). For instance, today I got really annoyed because my bus wasn’t arriving fast enough. Frankly, what was it doing? Not to mention that the text message service provided by Transport for London wasn’t working. Unbelievable. Learning about Action Sid projects never fails to give me a bit of perspective. I live a privileged life, late bus or not.
So here is a bit more information on the project I want to support: it’s all about creating a future for women through fishing.
Women living in poverty in India are amongst the poorest in the world. Gender discrimination, particularly in rural areas, means that women often lack access to basic education and training. As a result India has one of the lowest numbers of women who are economically active. 71% of women over the age of 15 are not in paid work, resulting in high rates of child marriage, gender discrimination and unpaid care work throughout the country.
India has rich water sources and is a major world fish supplier. The Indian fishing industry is worth £1.2 million per year and employs 8.7 million people. As a result it offers good potential for increasing women’s economic independence.
Here is what this project will do:
- Create a welcoming space for women’s collective action – providing them with a place to gain skills in organising, leading and participating.
- Provide fishing equipment to 40 women’s collectives, including fishing nets, ice boxes and weighing machines.
- Provide training to 6,050 fisherwomen in fish processing.
- 3,200 fisherwomen will be trained in business development, marketing and book keeping.
- Training in disaster management that may affect fishing, including cyclones and flooding.
- Creation of a model fish outlet centre, providing a place to sell and purchase fish products such as fish soup and snacks.
- Support unpaid care work through community child care schemes.
- Replicate the project for women living in Nepal and Bangladesh.
So what do you think? Am I mad to take on such a challenge? Will you help me?