The Norfolk and Norwich Christian community website

Norwich church cookbook flying off the shelves

People are paying up to £250 for a cookbook published by a Norwich church, which will support hundreds of Ebola orphans in Sierra Leone.

St. Thomas Church Norwich produced the charity cookbook filled with sweet recipes contributed by everyone from 70 year-old church regular Norma, to the Bishop of Norwich. Profits from the book are going to British charity Street Child’s urgent Ebola orphan appeal. 

One year on from the end of Sierra Leone’s Ebola crisis, Street Child recently identified 1,400 orphans who require urgent support. It will cost £250 to sustainably help an Ebola orphan to get their life back on track, so the church have challenged shoppers to purchase the cookbook at a range of prices up to £250 - the cost per child for complete rehabilitation and reintegration into education. 

Launching the ‘Sweet Treats for Street Child’ cookbook on Sunday December 4, the church has already sold a copy for the top price of £250. 

Vicar Dave Lloyd said, "When we first decided to publish a cookbook, we had no idea that there were so many Ebola orphans who are still seriously at-risk. When we heard about their plight we wanted to do something to help, so we decided to see how much - rather than how little - people would pay for a book, knowing that the more they give, the more children are helped. We only launched the cookbook on Sunday December 4 but it’s taken on a life of its own already. I would love more people to get behind this campaign and share it far and wide so that together we can do maximum good."

Street Child CEO Tom Dannatt, a Norwich resident, said: ‘I am so impressed with the quality of this beautifully presented book - the team at St Thomas’ have done an incredible job. I’ve already bought my own copy. It’s so good to see the church getting behind the 1,400 Ebola orphans who we are desperate to help. We are so grateful and hope it’s a huge success so that many more of these forgotten children are able to receive the help they urgently need.’

Norma, a church regular who donated a recipe, said: “The first time I heard about Street Child I remember almost bursting into tears! I contributed my Orienteering Cake as it is closely connected to my time with children, both as a childminder and as a mother - so I thought it would be fitting for Street Child.”  

After Ebola, orphans such as Alice were left with nothing. Already motherless, she said: “my father, two younger sisters and brother contracted Ebola, I heard later that they all died.” Needing to leave her village, Alice went to stay with her grandmother in a suburb of Freetown. She met a boy, and fell pregnant, and her situation with her grandmother became strained. “My grandmother couldn’t forgive for what I’d done and she was cruel to me. She said it was already difficult to find enough food for me - how would she manage to feed another mouth?” Alice was forced to leave the house, and stay with a friend, but did not see much improvement in her living conditions. She says she needs access to medical care and proper shelter; “It is so difficult - I often sit in the corner and cry.”

When she is older, Alice wants to be a police officer, so that she “can help protect girls who are maltreated in their homes.” With the right support and education, this dream can become a possibility, without support, Alice faces a very uncertain future. There are 1,400 orphans like Alice in Sierra Leone, many of whom are homeless and struggling to survive.

n response to the 2015 Ebola Crisis, Street Child have already supported over 8,000 Ebola effected households and helped 20,000 children return to education in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The estimated price of £250 per child includes finding the right school, a foster family, and all necessary rehabilitation care. 

Click here to read our previous story about the Sweet treats cookbook


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