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Sixth form boys row for two days straight to raise money for Africa's farmers

06 July 2016

Sixth form boys row for two days straight to raise money for Africa's farmers

A group of 30 boys from City of London School are currently rowing, in relay, on a rowing machine continuously for 48 hours on the approach to the Millennium Bridge.

The school’s charity committee hopes the sponsored event, which will end at 9.10am on Thursday 7 July, will raise at least £5,000 for Farm Africa’s work helping farmers in eastern Africa to grow their way out of poverty. 

In addition to sponsorship, the boys, one of whom is dressed up as Farm Africa’s mascot Gary the Goat, are collecting donations from passing tourists and city workers.

George Rosenfeld, aged 17, who is in Junior Sixth (Year 12) at the school and is chairman of the charity committee, said:

“The sponsored row has been really tough. I completely underestimated how hard it would be to be in school for 48 hours straight. I can hardly speak I’m so tired: I only got four hours’ sleep last night.

“We’re taking in turns to row non-stop for 48 hours. Even when we switch rowers, someone keeps the rowing machine moving while the rowers swap seats.  We are rowing outside until 9.30pm, then moving inside for the night, then we’ll be back out here again at 6.30am tomorrow morning. Every person decides how long to row, we do shifts of between five and 15 minutes. Occasionally members of the public (including one professional rower) have had a go on the reserve machine!

"Overall there are around 30 people signed up to row, and about 20 of us are staying over each night. There’s about eight or nine of us staying here for the whole 48 hours.  I’ve been mainly collecting money, but I’ve maybe done 10 or so shifts rowing so far.

"We are very lucky to attend one of the best schools in the country and it’s important we use our imagination and our organisational skills to help others. It’s really positive that the boys here relate to people living in a different totally situation to us, in a totally different part of the world, yet we all still want to help them. These are known solutions to poverty which Farm Africa is working with - it's about putting them into action.

"If you make a donation of £15, that’s just the difference between a journey on the tube and one in a taxi, or having a pizza at home or in a restaurant - it doesn't make a big difference to our lives here in London.  But that money could buy something like a bag of drought-tolerant seeds that could make a huge difference to a family living in eastern Africa.

“People should donate today because of the immediate effect it will have in helping Farm Africa to change people’s lives, and also because we're creating a great atmosphere. We have some good music playing, and also some questionable music, we have Gary the Goat here and we’re having fun in the sun. We’re also doing people a favour by making their pockets lighter: look at this guy, he’s just got rid of all his coins, that’s brilliant!

“The 48-hour row is just one of many fundraising events the school is organising for Farm Africa this year. Our total target for this year is £50,000 and we're really close!” 

Please help the boys reach their total by sponsoring them on their JustGiving page: