Aoife has been a supporter of the work of The Christina Noble Children’s Foundation since 1999 and has written a beautiful letter, explaining her passion for the work we do and the incredible journey she has decided to undertake. Below you can read her inspiring story.
Please support Aoife by clicking on her fundraising page, and donating whatever you can... every penny counts!
I'm going to Mongolia at the beginning of September to do a fundraising adventure challenge for the CNCF. It will involve biking, hiking and horse trekking over 265 km through the central plains and up to a height of 2600m. There are over 20 of us taking part, from all around the world, but I'm the only Irish person doing it, so no pressure then!
Days 1-2 we are cycling approx 150 km, days 3-4 we hike to the base and then all the way up Altan Mountain which is 2600m high and days 5-6 we horse trek for around 70km. We'll get to see the birthplace of Kenghis Khan and meet local people along the way, culminating in an overnight stay with a host family in their ger. We'll be camping in tents throughout so we'll see the vast starlight skies in the evenings before we climb into our sleeping bags and drift off.
Before the challenge we'll have a look around Ulaan Baatar, the capital city and once we finish, the most exciting bit of all is having the opportunity to meet the children in the Blue Skies Ger village which is where our fundraising money goes. These children have come from living on the streets, from impoverished or dysfunctional families or are orphaned. Here they are given the chance to have a happy and loving childhood in the Ger village where they live with a Ger Mother, attend school, take part in musical and arts and crafts activities and can just be kids.
I've been involved with the CNCF since 1999 when I began sponsoring a boy, Oyunbold, aged 9. Two years ago, he graduated as a doctor and left the sponsorship programme. We had a fair bit of communication throughout the years and it was always wonderful to see how he was doing in school and how the money was able to help his family. He worked very hard in school and it has really paid off. I have no doubt he will be a lovely doctor to everyone he treats.
Since he graduated, I have been sponsoring a little girl, Enerel, who will turn nine the week after I am in Mongolia. She also wants to be a doctor! I've knitted her a toy bunny and am in the process of making her some woolly hats in order to celebrate her day. All going well I will get the opportunity to meet her and will be able to give them to her in person. Hopefully I'll get to meet Oyunbold, too, but it will all depend on where he's working. Having the chance to meet them is one of the main reasons, other than the fundraising, for going. I had never thought I would have this opportunity, so when the email came in about the challenge I knew it was the right thing to do and I signed up, getting the fourth last place.
We've been given a comprehensive training plan, but being a last minute merchant, I'm squashing the cycling part into a shorter timeframe... Visas and vaccines are under control, so I can't think of any more excuses for not being out on the bike more!
From all accounts I've heard, it's an amazing country, with many extremes, so I'm really really looking forward to absolutely everything about it. Many thanks for reading this blog and if anyone would like to contribute towards the children, it will go such a long way to giving them safe, happy and healthy childhood.
Thank you! Aoife