A charity fundraising drive is challenging businesses across Scotland to travel 124 miles on a budget of £7.50 – the struggle that families throughout Africa face when requiring paediatric surgery.
Dubbed ‘Business Breakout’, the challenge has been launched by Kids Operating Room (KidsOR), a global organisation focused on providing dedicated Operating Rooms for children’s surgery, to raise awareness of the struggles encountered.
The chosen budget – £7.50 – represents the average amount a family can spend on transport, while 124 miles is the average round trip to access safe surgery.
Its launch will coincide with World Health Day held on 7 April and long-distance cycler, Mark Beaumont will head up the challenge as KidsOR’s adventure ambassador.
He said: “I am delighted to be a part of this fun, interactive way of supporting KidsOR’s amazing work to provide safe surgery throughout Africa.
“Business Breakout is the perfect chance to get employees who have been working from home for the best part of two years back together, while raising money for a worthy cause.
“All ages and abilities are welcome to take part – how creative can you be with £7.50?”
Teams of three to five will be asked to do a round trip – aiming for at least 124 miles – from either the charity’s headquarters in Edinburgh or its logistics base in Dundee using only their imagination, contact books, wiles, and charm to get onto various forms of transport.
Garreth Wood, Co-founder and Chairman of KidsOR, said: “This challenge will share the struggles families face when travelling in the hope of getting safe surgery. There are 1.7 billion children globally who do not have access to surgical care when they need it. KidsOR is addressing this by installing state of the art Operating Rooms and training surgical teams.
“Initiatives like this are fundamental. Funds will go directly to transforming the lives of children and how they access surgery. £7.50 may not seem like a lot of money here, but to a family living on less than £1 a day in Africa, it is a huge expense.
“It is often a heart-breaking risk spending money to travel, when at the end of the journey the child may still not be able to access surgical care, or may wait weeks or months hundreds of miles away from home before receiving treatment.
“Kids Operating Room will not stop until every child can access safe surgery. By taking part in Business Breakout, fundraisers can bring lifesaving care closer to home for the children we serve.
“This challenge is also a great opportunity for employees to get together in-person to enjoy themselves, re-establish rapport and hone their entrepreneurial skills.”
Funds raised will support KidsOR work to ensure that all children around the world have access to safe surgery with each team encouraged to aim for a fundraising target of £10 per mile.
Chris Tiso of Tiso Group, Scotland’s leading outdoor specialist retailer, has generously donated the top prize of a £1,000 voucher to be spent within Tiso Group outlets.
He said: “The team is looking forward to taking part in the charity’s first year of this challenge and is proud to be donating the top prize too. It provides a great opportunity to banish winter blues while coming together and doing something good.”
KidsOR was founded by Nicola and Garreth Wood in 2018. It aims to install 120 paediatric operating rooms across Africa by 2030.
For more information on KidsOR, please visit: www.KidsOR.org