Mum and daughter take on 73-mile charity walk

Hike: Mum and daughter Tina and Kerry Croft.
Hike: Mum and daughter Tina and Kerry Croft.
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MUM and daughter Tina and Kerry Croft are getting set for a long walk to raise cash for kids living in poverty in Africa.

Tina and Kerry sponsor two children in South Africa and Somaliland through the charity ActionAid.

Both are keen walkers and have decided to turn their next big stroll – 73 miles over five days from Fort William to Inverness – into a big fundraiser for the charity.

They got the idea because about 18 months ago they trekked from Queen’s Ferry to Dundee and a friend suggested afterwards they ought to have collected sponsorship money for a charity.

Shop workers Tina (50) and Kerry (23) began sponsoring a little South African boy – Sikelela Jim – three years ago.

It costs £15 a month and instead of the money going to one child – or their family – it goes to the community in which they live to make life better for all.

Tina said: “They spend money on things like putting in a supply of clean, fresh water or putting electricity into schools, which enables them to put computers in so the children can be better educated.

“In October last year we decided instead of spending a lot of money on Christmas presents we would sponsor another child.”

ActionAid sent details about a little girl, Asma Hussein Dahir, who lives in Somaliland.

Sikelela was born in 2004 in Eastern Cape Province – the second poorest province in South Africa – but in African terms he lives in relative comfort compared to Asma, who was born the year before.

Tina said: “Her house is like sticks with a cloth over the top and she cannot afford to go to school.”

The mum and daughter, who live in West Pinchbeck, write to the children and send photographs.

At three years old Sikelela was at first too young to write but sent pictures he had drawn.

Tina said: “Now he can write and he writes good English as well. He writes to tell us how his life is improving and the difference that the money is making.

“I would love to meet him. I would love to go over there and just sort of help them.

“You are not allowed to send them gifts because it just singles out one child.

“We have sent them things like a map of the UK so they can see where we are. When we go away on holidays we send them postcards.

“When it was snowing we took pictures and sent those.

“It just gives them hope. They are living in poverty, probably thinking that nobody knows about them or cares.

“There’s nobody in this country as hard up as these children.”

Tina works at the discount sweet shop, Yum Yums, formerly Quids In, based in Sheep Market, Spalding, and Kerry is employed at the town’s Red Lion Street bakery, Pacey’s.

Their walk kicks off on May 30 and all money raised will be split between the communities where Sikelela and Asma live.

l Sponsors can donate by calling in to Yum Yums to sign Tina’s form.