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Competing for a cause – Fundraising for Rafiki Mwema

Fundraising for Rafiki Mwema is an excellent way to elevate a personal challenge, motivate yourself and make a difference in the world. Every month we have a bill of AU$45k just to keep our doors …

Fundraising for Rafiki Mwema is an excellent way to elevate a personal challenge, motivate yourself and make a difference in the world. Every month we have a bill of AU$45k just to keep our doors open. We don’t receive any government funding and rely solely on the generosity of people just like you.


Clare Southwell is one of our legendary fundraisers, someone who took a personal challenge and made it count for our kids. In 2019, along with good friend Marese, Clare decided to get out of her comfort zone and use the opportunity to stand up for some of the world’s most vulnerable children by fundraising for Rafiki Mwema. The pair sailed Sydney to Hobart and raised $2,138 along the way.

Clare shares with us her motivation, her experience fundraising for Rafiki Mwema and some words of wisdom for those looking to use their passion to raise funds.

Fundraising for Rafiki Mwema
Marese (left) and Clare (right) raised funds for Rafiki Mwema during 2019’s Sydney to Hobart

Why did you choose to fundraise for Rafiki Mwema

I have known Sarah who runs Rafiki for a long time, and have witnessed her dedication to the Rafiki kids over the years. Her and the team work tirelessly to change the lives of kids who have been through the most horrific abuse.

I have a 9 year old girl and it breaks my heart. I can’t even begin to imagine a child so young going through such awful neglect and abuse. So when I took on the challenge of the Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race (something that scared the life out of me), I knew that I had to do it for a greater reason than just personal achievement.

I knew committing to a cause like Rafiki would also help me to put things in perspective when I was scared. In some respects I guess that is selfish, but I want to be able to give back in life, and for me this was the perfect way to raise awareness about such an important charity, and secondly to help raise vital funds for the kids who really need our support.

How did you approach the task of fundraising for Rafiki Mwema?

Like anyone setting themselves a goal, I put it out there on my personal social media channels. I had some wonderful support from friends and family, and of course my sailing pals. I also utilised work connections, and posted regularly on my blog; ‘Take Me To Australia’. It can be awkward asking total strangers to support a challenge you are doing (having never met you or in some cases even spoken to you), and to give to a charity they have never heard of. But you’d be surprised at how generous people are.

I had a few big donations from people I never even knew followed me on social media. They had read about the kids of Rafiki via posts and stories I had put up, and felt compelled to support my fundraising goal. I was blown away by this – and it really helped me to reach and exceed my fundraising target. I actually increased the target when I could see how much people wanted to support the kids.

Any advice or words of encouragement for people looking to use their passion to raise funds for Rafiki Mwema?

I guess being bold and having the courage to ask for donations is critical. We can’t be scared to ask when there are so many people in the world who need help. It can be awkward I know – but what are we actually awkward about? Trying to raise funds is critical to many charities. And whilst people are scared that there is apathy towards giving – there are still many people who want to give. You are simply giving people more avenues to do so. It’s a choice as to whether they give or not, but be brave and ask ask ask.

In terms of using your passion; we all love a challenge and setting goals to make life more exciting (especially us middle aged folk haha). Why not use it for a greater purpose. It’s great to complete a challenge for our own self-worth and growth. But we all know there is nothing better than giving (again, probably quite a selfish reason). If you’re planning a challenge – no matter how big or small – set a fundraising target and go for it.

I find it hard when people say they can’t afford to give. A few people surprised me when I asked – they were the people with more money than most. Let’s face it, the quote ‘no one ever got poor giving’ is so true. Admittedly, we all have limits on what our bank accounts can do – but I think it’s important to do something. So my personal rule for giving is as follows – if I am touched by a cause, or it hits a nerve, and the cause is reputable, then I will donate. It doesn’t have to be mega bucks but don’t leave it for later – make the donation there and then. You really are making a huge difference to the lives of others less fortunate.

So, integrate fundraising into your life. Set a personal goal or challenge that excites you. And don’t be afraid to ask for donations. When you get rejected don’t let that stop you. Keep asking – there are so many people who want to make a difference too. And that is the beauty of the world we live in.


Thank you Clare!

So, when fundraising for Rafiki Mwema you can do just about anything. Get active. Have fun. Give in celebration. Whatever idea you have for raising money to help heal abused kids, we want your help.

If you’d like to find out more about fundraising for Rafiki Mwema, visit us HERE. With your support we can give every child the chance to live a healthy and productive life.


Rafiki Mwema Registered Charity
FIA Organisational Member - Code Compliant