Mollie King recently embarked on a star-studded trip from Milan to Cannes for the 2015 Cash and Rocket tour (alongside Ella Catliff and Jodie Kidd), to help raise money for women and children in Africa. She tells Marie Claire how she’s been personally affected by supporting the initiative's three amazing causes, and why you should too…
When I was asked to join the 2015 Cash and Rocket tour, I jumped at the chance; it’s such an amazing initiative and it’s all about women making a difference FOR women. If there’s one thing I have learnt from my seven years on stage with The Saturdays, it’s that female solidarity is such a powerful force. As a female, facing the world alone can be daunting but it can be less scary when doing it side by side with other women. That is why Cash and Rocket stood out to me; it’s all about ‘girl power’!
So many women around the world have not been fortunate to have access to the same opportunities as me whether it’s poverty, institutionalised discrimination or poor education. Cash and Rocket is all about successful women who have pushed through and broken barriers, and lending a helping hand to those in need so that they can build a better future for themselves. It was inspiring speaking to the amazing women behind the three charities; Lisa Lovatt-Smit (founder of OAfrica), Tiffany Person (founder Shine on Sierra Leon) and Leigh Bristow (founder of Sumbandila). I couldn’t help but appreciate how lucky I am after hearing personal stories about some of the courageous people these charities aid.
OAfrica in Ghana helps vulnerable children and young people who have been affected by poverty, violence, trafficking, HIV/AIDS, abuse and discrimination. Someone like Rosaline; a beautiful 19-year-old young lady who survived the war in Sierra Leone and ended up alone, neglected and abused in a refugee camp in Ghana. On paper she didn’t even exist, but OAfrica helped her claim a birth certificate and passport and then placed her with a foster family. She is now studying farming on a Government of Ghana experimental farm, which is also funded by an OAfrica scholarship.
Even though school was not the easiest for me (especially with my dyslexia), most would agree that education is one of the best ways to better one’s life and that’s at the heart of Sumbandila. Through its educational scholarship and mentorship program, it transforms the lives of underprivileged children and currently has 223 students that they sponsor, all of whom have come from extremely impoverished backgrounds. These children mostly from rural villages are desperately hungry for opportunity, for the chance to make life different for themselves, for their families and for their villages. Sumbandila exists to help some of them to get there. The Trust seeks out the brightest and most determined of these children as they complete primary school and offers them support for their entire secondary education and university for some.
Tiffany founded Shine on Sierra Leone after filming a documentary in the country. What she saw turned into a lifelong passion to increase access to all levels of education and remind people it’s never too late to learn, no matter your age. Since its start, it organises computer, educational and adult literacy programs alongside a microcredit lending programme, a birth-right healthcare program, and a sustainable development and building program such as the ingenious earth-bag building methods.
Alongside these three women, I must give a big mention to the remarkable Julie Brangstrup who founded Cash and Rocket in 2011. Her steely determination has managed to pull together all these women and charities to form the coolest female car rally in the world! Over the years, Cash & Rocket has been able to raise an astonishing amount of money (this year has raised nearly a million pounds already). 100% of the donations go directly to the three charities, so show your support by checking out the following link and giving what you can to teams.cashandrocket.com (I’m team 17).
Check out Mollie’s video below, following her 2015 Cash and Rocket tour from Milan to Cannes with blogger Ella Catliff and model Jodie Kidd, sponsored by McArthurGlen Designer Outlets (mcarthurglen.co.uk)…