A YOUNG woman will live in conditions of poverty for five days to raise cash for a charity which helps the world’s poorest.
Megan Crombie is going to try to recreate some of the conditions people in some of the poorest villages in Africa have to endure on a daily basis.
The 20-year-old, who suffers from chronic fatigue syndrome ME (myalgic encephalopathy), is going to live outside for five days, with nothing but a tent for shelter, and only beans and rice to eat.
She is also going to walk five miles to collect water every day from a relative’s garden tap for washing and cleaning.
Megan, who has three part-time jobs, wants to complete the challenge to raise money for The Rainbow Child Foundation, which helps to supply fresh clean water to villages by installing pumps.
She said: “I’m going to try and live five days in conditions as close as I can to how some of the poorest people in Africa live.
“They have to walk 10 miles a day for water, so I’m going to have a two-litre bottle with me and I’ll walk every day to a family member’s home who lives five miles away to fill it up with water from the tap in their back garden.
“I’ll then walk back home and use the water for drinking and washing pots. A tent is the only kind of shelter I’ll have. I’m only allowing myself to go into the house to use the downstairs toilet twice each day, and I’m going to have just two sets of clothes for five days. I’m also going to live on kidney beans and rice, obviously with no sauce.”
Megan, who lives in Blackhall, added: “I kind of want to put myself in their shoes and I feel like I’m giving a bit more, and for it to be more meaningful.”
Megan, a former pupil of St Bedes RC school in Peterlee, was diagnosed with ME when she was 15 years old and at one point was bed-bound and then ended up in a wheelchair.
But she says her will to fight and positive mental attitude helps her with her daily battles against the illness.
She said: “It’s given me a lot of self-determination and is possibly part of the reason why I want to do this. I don’t do things by halves and to be honest I’m really looking forward to it, and I’m excited to experience it.
“I know it will be hard, especially the walking backwards and forwards and it is a risk for me with having ME but I’ve consulted my doctor who said it should be fine as long as I listen to my body.”
The challenge starts on Tuesday and despite the chilly nights Megan will have nothing more than her onesie, a sleeping bag, a blanket and a pillow for warmth.
l Megan has a secure web page for anybody who would like to donate or sponsor her at www.gofundme.com/fog14rcf.