Eric and the butterfly effect

by Edward Wakefield in London, England, United Kingdom

Eric and the butterfly effect
We did it
On 22nd December 2019 we successfully raised £5,455 with 24 supporters in 55 days

I am raising money to give a young man named Eric the opportunities that I had growing up.

by Edward Wakefield in London, England, United Kingdom

If you’re looking for something good to do today, or even if you’re not, here is your chance.

Charity begins at home - or so the saying goes. Not many stories are closer to home for me than this one. Not to say that what's close to home for me, is close to home for you, but you'll get it.

I grew up with a boy named Eric. He was the son of our domestic helper and, basically, my brother. The difference between us is that, although we lived on the same property, I lived in the big house at the top of the property and he lived in a small room, at the bottom, which he shared with his mother and sister. Call it privilege, call it inequality, call it unfair - it is all of those things. 

When I first wrote this, I described Eric’s entire life story as I knew it but, as I reread it, I realised that most people wouldn’t actually read the entire thing. Most people, I believe, just want to know that they are doing something good, and aren’t necessarily interested in all the details. Donating to this cause, or helping in any way that you can, will be that ‘something good’. That said, if you want to know more, please contact me (+447846996370).

Despite his circumstances, Eric excelled at Math in school, and was accepted into one of the top universities in South Africa, to study Accounting Science, one of the most difficult business degrees. He was the first person in his family to go to university. He did exceptionally well in his 1st year - a distinction (95%) in Computational Math set him apart from the 100s of other students. But he had difficulty concentrating on his studies – worrying about where he would find money for food and transport to university. To add to all this, he was diagnosed with ADHD which he’d probably had all his life. No-one had ever noticed. ADHD can be treated but the medication is expensive and is not available through the public healthcare system. Without it, he may never graduate.

Eric deserves a break in life. He didn't grow up in a privileged environment with private tutors and a healthy hot meal every night. He needs money to cover his university fees, accommodation, transport and medical bills for another two years. Money for a daily hot meal would help too. Basically, he needs your help to break the cycle of poverty that he and his family have been in for generations, and to then go on to help others.

He’s compassionate, driven and, some might even say, a genius. He deserves the opportunities that I had far more than I do, and far more than a lot of the people I know. We can’t change how he has had to struggle for the past 22 years, but we can change whether or not he struggles for the next 22. I give him what I can, and I will continue to do so, but it will be a lot easier and a lot more effective with some help - from you. 

I suppose, in essence, all I’m really trying to do is give Eric the opportunities that I had growing up - a comfortable place to sleep, nutritious food, good healthcare, and the opportunity to study without having to worry about whether to pay for food or books. 

The money raised will cover all of his expenses  for the next two years, including his university fees. It’s as easy as 1000 people each giving £10.  If I reach this goal, and there is any ‘extra’ money, I will use it to help the next person that needs it, and the next person after that.  I will also provide a full breakdown of how every pound has been spent, to anyone that asks. 

If everyone who reads this donates £1, not only will Eric get the opportunities that he deserves and was deprived of when growing up, but so will the many, many other people that he will help along the way – it’s the butterfly effect.

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