'Inspirational' young Lancaster siblings help African kids get on their bike

A young brother and sister from Lancaster have been helping a community of youngsters in South Africa.

Thursday, 18th March 2021, 12:30 pm
Laurie and Isaac.

Isaac Allen, seven, and his sister Laurie, six, have been busy helping others less fortunate than themselves.

The pair, who attend Christ Church Primary School in Lancaster, decided they wanted to help Mosamaria children in South Africa.

Mosamaria strives to work together with all people of all religious denominations to curb the spread of HIV through correct knowledge and the ability to make important life decisions, and to support all people regardless of race, creed or colour, who live with HIV, Aids and TB.

Thulo with his new bike.

They provide support to orphans and vulnerable children and is a non-profit organisation, solely relying on funding and donations to operate all its projects.

One of the most important things to help children and adults with HIV is food, because if they don't eat they cannot take their anti-retro virals, which is their medication for HIV and Aids.

There are families who go to Mosamaria who literally do not have any food to eat and are trying to forage food out of dustbins.

The children go to school where they get one meal a day – not a meal as most people in the UK would imagine, but usually just a peanut butter sandwich, a piece of fruit and a cup of juice.

Having heard about the Mosamaria children, Isaac and Laurie decided to raise money by asking people to sponsor them for a running challenge.

In their sponsorship letter they wrote: "I have always been interested in the people and animals of Africa. I want to help raise money to give to some children charity wich will use the money for all sorts of projects which now include Covid-19."

The youngsters decided to run 100 metres for 14 days, and raised a fantastic £505, which was sent to Mosamaria in Bloemfontein, South Africa.

The pair then wrote individual thank you letters to all those who sponsored them.

Trudie Harrison, co-ordinator at Mosamaria, told the children that their money partly helped to fund a new bicycle for 13-year-old Thulo.

She sent them a photo of him, saying: "This is a photo of Thulo and his brand new bicycle which we were able to buy him thanks to the money that the young brother and sister collected which exchanged to about R10,000.

"Thulo had to walk about five miles to school every morning and then five miles back in the afternoon with a very heavy bag of books on his back.

"He told me that he gets up at 4am every morning so that he can go and get water from the communal tap. Then he heats the water on the stove and at 5.30am he is able to wash himself (there is no bath or shower in the shack in which he lives). He leaves home at 6am as he walks two hours to get to school.

"He is 13 years old and is doing Grade 7 this year. If he passes he will be able to go to high school next year. He has a meal at the Mosamaria Centre every day before he goes home."

Trudie said when Thulo was taken to buy his bicycle, he said he had never been into a shopping mall before, or a parking garage, and had never ridden on an escalator before.

"These were all very exciting new experiences for him," she said. "A very nice gentleman helped us at the bicycle shop and we purchased as Size 24 bike with the goo you put in the tyres to make them resistant to punctures and a bicycle pump and other goo for mending punctures and then we set off for his home.

"He did not want me to take him all the way home, as I surmise he is ashamed of his home, so I dropped him off.

"As I turned the car around, in the rear-view mirror I had this beautiful sight of him hopping on the bicycle with his book bag on the carrier, riding off along the road as proud as punch.

"Now it takes him less than an hour to get to school in the morning.

"What utterly amazing children [Isaac and Laurie] are to empathise about people living in poverty and then for taking action to actually make a most valuable contribution.

"We at the Mosamaria Trust Fund here in the Blackburn Diocese carry on to try and raise monies to send out to Mosamaria in the Free State, South Africa.

"If you think you may also be another Isaac and Laurie then please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or google Mosamaria Aids Ministry, Bloemfonten, Free State, South Africa, where there are various links direct to Mosamaria.

“Thank you Isaac and Laurie for being so inspirational."