Scottish celebrities from business, sport, politics and television have started a 40 Day Challenge today to raise money to combat global poverty.
The 40 Day Challenge is part of SCIAFs WEE BOX, BIG Change Lent campaign, Scotlands largest annual fundraising campaign to provide practical support to people living in extreme poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America.
The celebrities, together with thousands of Scots will give something up for the 40 days of Lent, put the money they save in their own small fundraising box (the WEE BOX), and donate the proceeds to SCIAF at the end of Lent on the 1st April. Last year the campaign raised over £900,000.
Scotlands famous faces, including businesswoman Michelle Mone, football legend Ally McCoist, Miss Scotland Katherine Brown, Taggarts John Michie, First Minister Alex Salmond, The Proclaimers, actor Gerard Kelly and TV personality Jackie Brambles, have all agreed to give up treats such as wine, desserts, sports drinks and takeaways.
40 x crisps = seeds for four families
40 x cans of juice = a goat
40 x cakes = affordable medicines for 70 people
40 x cappuccinos = safe water for 10 families
40 x chocolate bars = a community fish farm
40 x glass of wine / beer = training and equipment for two midwives.
Speaking at the launch event in Glasgow today, SCIAF Chief Executive Paul Chitnis said:
One billion people will go to bed hungry tonight. In Ethiopia alone, 6.2 million people are in need of emergency aid following droughts and crop failure last year. Millions more are affected by war, natural disasters and HIV and AIDS. SCIAF is working in all these areas, providing practical support to help poor communities work their way out of poverty and become self-sufficient.
It is fantastic to have the generous support of so many famous Scots. Together with thousands of people around the country, they are making a small change to their own lives during Lent which will make a huge difference to communities living in extreme poverty.
Scottish businesswoman Michelle Mone attended todays launch at SCIAFs headquarters in Glasgow where she met SCIAF partners from Ethiopia, staff and supporters who are also taking part in the challenge.
Michelle Mone said:
SCIAF gives some of the poorest people in the world the urgent and practical help they need to escape from extreme poverty. Im taking part in the 40 Day Challenge by giving up wine during Lent as I know the money raised will make a big difference to those in need.
The Proclaimers Charlie and Craig Reid said:
SCIAF is a fantastic Scottish charity which works with some of the poorest people in the world to help them work their way out of poverty and overcome difficulties we can only imagine. Well be taking part in the 40 Day Challenge by giving up red wine and desserts this Lent. You should too.
Taggart actor John Michie has committed to giving up whisky and said:
Im taking part in SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge by giving up whisky this Lent so that people living in poverty in Africa, Asia and Latin America can get the urgent help they need. SCIAF works tirelessly all year round to help some of the poorest people in the world. I want to do my bit to help.
Miss Scotland Katherine Brown, also recently crowned Miss UK, is foregoing takeaways so she can join the challenge. Katherine said:
I know every penny raised will make a real and positive difference to the lives of some of the poorest people in the world. SCIAFs work brings hope where there is hardship. Im taking part in SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge by giving up takeaways for Lent so people in developing countries can get the practical help they need to work their way out of poverty.
Ally McCoist will be joining thousands of Scots from all walks of life to take part in the campaign. He said:
Ive always liked to achieve the tough targets I set for myself. Thats why Im going to do a 24-hour fast during Lent this year. I know the money I save and donate to SCIAF will provide direct and practical support to people living in poverty who face hunger every day of the year.
First Minister Alex Salmond said:
I am pleased to sign up to SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge again this year. This Scottish charity is working to help hundreds of thousands of people in developing countries escape from extreme poverty and build better lives. I have pledged to give up wine for Lent to raise money to support SCIAFs campaign. I love a glass of red wine and I understand it has reported health benefits. However, I suggest abstaining for Lent wont do my weight any harm! We can all make small changes which make a big difference to the lives of others.
Loose Women television presenter, Jackie Brambles said:
SCIAFs WEE BOX, BIG Change campaign provides practical support to people in some of the poorest countries in the world, such as school books for children, seeds and tools for farmers, and skills training for people without an income. SCIAF helps people living in poverty to improve their lives and to be independent. Im doing SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge and giving up crisps and snacks for Lent so I can play my part in helping people in need.
Peter Grant, Celtic FC coach, said:
SCIAF is a Scottish aid agency thats working with poor communities in developing countries like Ethiopia, Zambia and Uganda so they can escape extreme poverty and have a brighter future. This year Im joining SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge by giving up chocolate for Lent. We can all make small changes which make a big difference to others.
Gerard Kelly said:
Im totally addicted to Lucozade so have vowed to give it up for Lent to help SCIAF raise money for the fantastic work they do combating poverty and injustice in some of the poorest countries in the world. Taking part in SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge is my way of supporting people in developing countries who face grinding poverty every day.
Rap band N-Dubz said:
Global poverty and hunger can be overcome. You can make a difference. SCIAF is helping some of the poorest people in the world stand up on their own two feet and live with dignity.
Romeo, Clyde 1 In Demand presenter said:
Hundreds of millions of men, women and children around the world go hungry every day. SCIAF is working with communities in Africa, Asia and Latin America so they dont have to. By taking part in SCIAFs 40 Day Challenge and giving up crisps for Lent Im making a small change to my life so they can help those most in need.
Adele Cunningham, Clyde 1 breakfast show presenter said:
The SCIAF 40 Day Challenge is a fantastic way that we can all make a small change in our lives which will have a big impact on the people living in poverty in developing countries. By giving up crisps or chocolate for the 40 days of Lent, the money you save and donate to SCIAF can help to provide a supply of clean water to ten families. I’m giving up tomato ketchup so I can help. What are you giving up?
Members of the public who wish to take part in the 40 Day Challenge, receive their own free WEE BOX, or find out more about SCIAF and the WEE BOX, BIG Change campaign can visit http://theweebox.org or call 0141 354 5555.