Teams from across the IT industry are signing up to challenge themselves and challenge poverty in the CARE IT Adventure Challenge supported by Computer Weekly, taking place in Exmoor in Somerset on 11 June.
The event will see teams from IT firms and departments covering the distance of a marathon in a day on foot, bike and canoe. There will be 'mystery' challenges along the way, plus a one-hour bonus stage for the super fit and ultra competitive.
The latest team to sign up is an intrepid bunch from Fujitsu. Team leader Emma Howcutt explains: "We signed up for the challenge because it's a team event. We thought it would be a good incentive to get fitter and CARE International is a really worthwhile cause. We really like that CARE look at long-term change as well as short-term impact; they stay around and help for as long as they are needed after an immediate crisis, such as an earthquake or famine."
The event is set to be a great networking opportunity as well as an ideal team builder. Howcutt says, "We think the event will be a laugh. The four of us work in different teams at Fujitsu so, although we're friends, we're not always in the same place. It will be good to have an excuse to meet up regularly out of work time. "
As well as training for the event, teams must raise £3,000 to support CARE's poverty-fighting work. The Fujitsu team is planning a film evening in May, which Fujitsu's Impact on Society group is sponsoring. Other plans include raffles, with some prizes donated by friends, colleagues and Fujitsu, and cake sales. Other ideas in the pipeline are karaoke and bowling.
Howcutt says, "The idea of being a team with other women really appealed to us. Often in the technology industry, especially in technical disciplines, women end up working as the only female in a team of men so this will make a nice change...We're really excited about the challenge- with a certain amount of trepidation! We're also looking forward to the party afterwards (if we have enough energy left to stay awake for it."
To sponsor Emma's team, please visit www.justgiving.com/Muddy-Cupcakes.
To challenge yourself and help CARE to challenge poverty, find out more about the challenge event here: www.carechallenge.org.uk/IT or call CARE on 0207 934 9470.
CARE works in over 70 countries helping 57 million of the world's poorest people find a route out of poverty.
Many of CARE's overseas projects make use of IT in the most extraordinary ways, including using Google Earth to plan the construction of refugee camps following natural disasters or conflict; use of blogging from war zones; and providing PCs and IT training for mothers to help them run schools for their daughters in areas where girls are marginalized.
CARE has recently launched www.lendwithcare.org, a website allowing users to make small loans to entrepreneurs in the developing world, helping them start or expand small businesses; feed their families and send their children to school.
Women are disproportionately affected by poverty: sixty per cent of the billion poorest people in the world are women. In some countries where CARE works, a girl is more likely to die in childbirth than be educated. Yet when given the opportunity, women are an important part of the solution: research shows if one woman is helped out of poverty, she brings four others with her. That's why women and girls are at the heart of CARE's work.