Local lawyer, Fraz Butt is set to climb Mount Everest in September to raise significant funds for severely malnourished children in forgotten communities around the world.
A senior commercial lawyer at the established city law firm Saracens Solicitors, Fraz, together with a group of friends hope to raise in excess of £150,000 to enable over 1,250 school children access to consistent meals for at least year.
The money will be raised alongside food poverty charity, Charity Right, where Fraz holds the position as chairperson. The charity provides long-term nutritious school meals to children in communities around the world.
The father of two was inspired to take on the fundraising challenge after a recent visit to Sudan with the charity and having witnessed the forsaken way many children are living.
Fraz explains, ‘Seeing people, no different to you or I, living desperately in squalor because of circumstances beyond their doing or control is insufferable. It’s a rude awakening as to how privileged we are, just because we’re born in the UK’.
According to the World Health Organization, around 45% of deaths among children under five years of age are linked to undernutrition, making it an epidemic across the world.
‘I have been involved with Charity Right since its inception and have always tried to raise funds throughout doing all sorts. I’ve run the London Marathon, hosted dinner events, organised Ramadan campaigns, but the upcoming Everest challenge is by far the most ambitious’, he adds.
The money will be used to provide over 275,000 meals for school children in countries, such as Sudan Yemen and Afghanistan.
The reality on the ground is that kids in countries like Sudan are forced into child labour just to help provide for their families. Sharing the views of the charity, Fraz believes offering school meals creates a huge incentive for those parents and guardians to instead send their children to school. And provided the child attends, the charity also provides food to the families to make up for the child not working.
‘Giving children meals at school provides them with health, skills, and maybe some opportunity of life-changing education that can take them out of the poverty trap’, says Fraz.