“Charity starts at home” is how the saying goes, and that was certainly true on the evening of Tuesday 25th March as the staff at Ovilash Indian and Bangladeshi restaurant in Stone pulled out all the stops for local girl, Chloe Hatton, 17. Chloe is fundraising to take part in the charity project, Chennai Challenge, and will be part of the small team flying out to Chennai in Southern India this coming August to help work among locals in the community.
One of the main projects she and the rest of the team will be involved with is supporting young boys living in a YMCA orphanage. Chennai Challenge donates to the orphanage; providing books, clothes, stationary, or whatever is in demand… but in particular, they give time. The team will regularly be visiting the boys over their 3 week expedition to run after school clubs, teach crafts, and even organise a short break away from the city to the nearby Yelagiri Hills. These children have been through a lot, and the chance for them to relax, learn and have fun with the Chennai Challenge team is a life line.
In addition, the group will be assisting in work being completed by Oasis India, a separate charity, which works closely with adults in slum areas to equip them with skills such as English and computing. The aim is that the adults helped will go on to gain employment and be able to earn money for themselves – the value of education to these individuals is incredible, and it can change their lives. Outside of the YMCA and Oasis India organisations, the team will also be doing what they can to help other areas of the community. There are community centres and schools which are in need of renovation, so this year it’s hoped that Chennai Challenge can even provide funds for a development such as this.
Chloe’s personal aim is to raise a minimum of £1500, and so to kick-start her fundraising, friends and family packed out the Ovilash restaurant for an evening of hospitalityy, and excellent food.
The result was a total of almost £400 raised towards the cause, with £285.66 of that being a generous donation made by the staff of Ovilash.
A huge thank you from Chloe to all who attended and contributed to the evening – it was an inspiring event.
If you would like to follow Chloe and the team’s progress, go to chennaichallenge.com or follow her blog at chloehatton600.wordpress.com
If you would like to contribute to her fundraising, log onto her Just Giving account at www.justgiving.com/Chloe-Hatton