Written by Izi Coley

With my 21st Birthday fast approaching and many asking me what gift I would like I was in a predicament. Everyone wanted to buy me something meaningful, something which I would be able to keep for life, but to be truthful there was nothing I needed.

I have always been very passionate about helping others, and when working for Creating Better Futures and Reading Refugee Support Group on my placement year, I have been fortunate enough to learn of some incredible stories from incredible people. Having this exposure to those who do not have the same opportunities that I’ve had has made me a better person and made me want to have a career which directly impacts the lives of others. However, I want to go further than this, I want everything I do to have a positive impact on someone else’s life.

I go above and beyond in my role as Child Sponsorship Coordinator at Creating Better Futures, not for myself, but for the children. These children who I have never met mean a huge amount to me, and whilst I may never get the opportunity to meet them in person, I feel like I know each child personally. My family’s beautiful sponsored girl Tanaka, who thanks to our support can go to school and thrive on the potential I know she’s got, writes fantastic letters to my family every term, and knowing an amount as little as £20 a month can have this impact is a great feeling.

With this in mind, I had a great idea for people to give me for my 21st. Nothing makes me happier than knowing I am doing good, and I had the perfect present idea that will be meaningful, not to me, but to vulnerable children and orphans in Zimbabwe. By donating my 21st birthday to raising funds for Creating Better Futures, I could give more children an education. I could break down the barriers to their education, by providing them with enrollment on the CBF feeding programme, buying them a school uniform, contributing towards the work on CBF’s sustainable sanitary project and paying their school fees. I was struggling to think of another gift which would have this bigger impact, and so it was decided. My 21st birthday would be a gift to those children, who have so little but are grateful for so much.

I set up my fundraiser on Facebook, which was very easy. I felt £100 was a realistic goal as £100 will feed £100 children for one week! I then started inviting friends and family to the page, asking them to donate even a small amount to the fundraiser rather than buying me anything at all.

Over the three weeks the fundraiser was open, I raised over £500 on Facebook – which is absolutely incredible! I also raised a further £105 offline, which led me to a grand total of £676!!!

This money will be put towards achieving amazing things through Creating Better Futures, and will have a massive impact on hundreds of children. Education is not just a birthday gift, it is a gift for life, and so I struggle to think of anything that could be better for a birthday present. Think of all of the birthday presents that you have had over the years and how they have impacted your life, and then think of what the money spent could do to a child’s life in Zimbabwe – there really is no comparison.

If you would like to set up your own birthday fundraiser, you can do so on Facebook or on JustGiving or on your own offline fundraiser! It is really easy, follow the guide below to see just how easy it is:

Go to the below link: https://www.facebook.com/fundraisers

Click on Raise Money

Your page should then look like this

Type in Creating Better Futures in the ‘Who are you raising money for’ box

Select Creating Better Futures as your charity

Set a target for example £150 (be ambitious!)

Create a title and caption for your fundraiser, remember to write why you want to raise money for CBF and what the charity means to you, you can check out our website for more information www.creatingbetterfutures.org.uk

Pick a cover photo for your fundraiser, you can choose one from the CBF Facebook page (@cbfuk) or make your own

Then your fundraising page will look like this, and you can share and invite your friends by pressing the invite and share buttons on your page. Don’t forget to post regular updates on your fundraising page to inspire your friends and family to donate!

It is that easy!!

You can follow this link to learn how to create a JustGiving Fundraising Page https://help.justgiving.com/hc/en-us/articles/200669491-Setting-up-your-Fundraising-Page-for-a-charity?gclid=Cj0KCQjw1pblBRDSARIsACfUG112T-cpIYSeICvUoClg6iKvnJlyej0TBYJAlsafY3y6THbUsuppOxsaAgHFEALw_wcB

If you don’t want to do your own birthday fundraiser but just want to donate to Creating Better Futures, you can do so here:


Let’s Create Better Futures together.