A couple from Polmont have joined forces to swim and run their first marathon together to help raise funds for Christian Aid's In Their Lifetime innovation fund.
David and Ruth Rogerson take a break from training
Christian Aid supporter David Rogerson will run the Loch Ness Marathon in September, while his wife Ruth will swim the equivalent 26 miles over a period of 21 weeks. Together they hope to raise £10,000.
The inspiration to complete their marathons came after they visited one of Christian Aid's innovative new In Their Lifetime projects in southern India in November 2015.
In Their Lifetime funds an organic farming project in Tamil Nadu state which has so far helped 1,800 farmers from excluded communities, including Dalits, to form strong cooperatives and to convert to organic farming, ensuring a better future for themselves and their families.
As well as benefiting thousands of local families, this project is perfectly placed to capitalise on a growing national interest in organic produce in India.
By increasing yields, and linking producers and consumers, the project will increase the income of 5,000 farmers by around 40%. Already, during the last two years, incomes have increased by 25% and cultivation costs have decreased by 4%.
Eventually, an estimated 250,000 people will have greater access to nutritious, healthy food, and their exposure to potentially harmful chemicals will be significantly reduced.
David, 52, who has a background in telecoms consultancy, was drawn to the business model behind the In Their Lifetime projects. He liked the concept of helping people from marginalised communities to make a living instead of having to rely on traditional aid.
In Their Lifetime supports a number of these unique partnerships around the world, from a successful cooperative which makes and sells hibiscus juice in Nicaragua to hubs of honey farmers in Kenya.
Ruth, a GP with a practice in Falkirk who also visited India as part of her training to become a doctor, was keen to help fund a Christian Aid project there.
Despite suffering a serious heart attack 10 years ago and having to take a slower pace when it comes to exercise, she hopes her new swimming regime will not only raise thousands of pounds for Christian Aid but also inspire her patients to become fitter.
To sponsor Ruth and David's marathon efforts, visit their JustGiving page.
Find out more
For more information about the Tamil Nadu organic farming project, or to find out how you can invest in our innovative In Their Lifetime fund, email Nadia Cunden, or call her on 0131 240 1522.
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