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Please donate to The Caitlin Fund helping young South African women get an education - a personal request from Mary Balfour:

The Caitlin Fund is a small charity set up by our good friend, Margz Green, in memory of her lovely daughter, Caitlin.

Caitlin, whom we knew very well, died in 2009 at the age of 27.
The aim of the Fund is to help very poor South African girls/women further their education by contributing to fees, books, travel, accommodation and other necessities. Without the fund these young women would be unable to finish school or attend university.

On the Caitlin Fund site you can read the whole story. It's very moving. Here are photos of some of the young women and girls the fund is supporting. Please help more young women like these by contributing to The Caitlin Fund which raises money for the Gumboots Foundation to alleviate poverty. Margz regularly goes back to visit her own family (not at the expense of the Caitlin Fund!) in South Africa and also to meet the girls and find out about their progress.

Here's the latest update from Margz on the work of The Caitlin Fund:

The fund is now supporting three young women and having a real and positive effect on their lives. Nomsa Mugwe is now employed by the Department of Social Services in Johannesburg and is no longer in receipt of funds. Kamvelihle Mkihze, who is in her second last year at school, has replaced her.

Kamvelihle Mkihze, 2013

Kamvelihle is an exceptionally bright young woman and was selected by the deputy head at her school as she has potential to go on to university and make a contribution to society. She is not an orphan but comes from an impoverished family who are unable to make any contribution to her education.

It is with great pleasure that I am able to report that Vuyelwa (the initial Caitlin Fund recipient) is now at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, studying journalism, and is doing extremely well. She recently wrote that she has passed (brilliantly) all her assignments and course work and is halfway through the first year. Without the fund, university would just not have been possible.

Although she has received a loan/bursary the fund pays all her travelling expenses to and from home (about 600 miles), books, toiletries, sports equipment and day-to-day living expenses. Ensuring that she is able to complete her 4-year degree the Fund will need to contribute about £2000 per annum. I am aware that the fund has this commitment for the next 3 years.

Zinhle Jabulile Kolle, Tshwane University of Tech 2013

Zinhle Jabulile Kolle is now in her second year at the Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) in Pretoria, where she is happily studying Entertainment Technology, specialising in drama / theatre. We visited her at college and were impressed with her commitment and the obvious affection and regard from her tutors, fellow students and the head of the department

Zinhle was struggling to pay for her transport to and from university. We have agreed to pay her basic fees, transport, food and sundries for the year. She has over 2 further years of study to complete.

We are delighted to be able to help these lovely, promising young women who have worked so hard.

There are so many other young woman like Zinhle, Vuyelwa and Kamvelihle who are desperate to continue their studies, but do not have the means to do so. With your help, our aim is to assist these and a few others to reach their full potential.

Here are the essentials about the charity:

The Caitlin Fund works through The Gumboots Foundation (UK) Charity Registration No. 1123418, a small charity supporting projects in South Africa working to alleviate poverty. Gumboots provides avenues for people living in the UK who are interested in making a difference to the countries future. By supporting community-based projects with local leadership Gumboots helps change the life chances of some of the country's poorest people.

Please help more young women by contributing to The Caitlin Fund via The Gumboots foundation. Thank you.

Mary Balfour, MD Drawing Down the Moon