Tuesday 29 January 2019
Popular music performance and production student Seth Thomas has recently come back from opening a health centre in Northern Nigeria, for which he personally raised the funds to build. Upon visiting the centre for the official opening, he was thrilled to be given the title of Tribal Chief Honour by the Kaduna community.
We caught up with Seth to find out more about the cause, and how he raised the funds to support it:
Congratulations on your achievement Seth! Can you tell us a bit about why you decided to raise money for this cause?
The project is a small clinic built in a village in Southern Kaduna called Asso. It cost £50,000, which I raised over six months, and then the building took six months to build and stock. It will provide medical facilities for Asso and many of the surrounding villages, as there is a huge lack of medical facilities in the area. It will also hopefully provide peace and stability in the region.
I decided to start the project after visiting the village in October 2017, as part of a trip where my dad and I were out in Northern Nigeria visiting Christians who were being persecuted for their faith. I was so touched by their joy in their tough situation, and wanted to do something to help them, so I started raising the funds for this clinic.
How did you raise the money?
I raised the funds through my old school, doing events such as colour runs and a charity album. In addition I emailed many people and charities who gave generous donations, especially Voice of the Martyrs in Canada, who decided to match fund us, so for every pound we gave they gave us a pound, up to £25,000!
How did it feel going out to Nigeria to open the health centre you had funded?
It felt incredible going back out to open the clinic, as I had decided only a year ago I was going to do it, and I’m so proud that I managed to hold onto that and push the clinic into happening. It was slightly worrying going back out there however, as it is dangerous out there. The day after we left Nigeria, three people were killed by terrorists near Asso, the exact place where the opening ceremony was.
What advice would you give to others thinking of fundraising for a worthy cause?
The advice I would give for others would be that the hardest part of any dream is deciding you’re going to make it happen. Once you take the step and become determined in your heart that you will achieve your goal, it only gets easier. I would also say that no act is too big and no act is too small, and helping someone in any way you can, whether that is opening a clinic or helping someone who’s on the street, it all makes a huge difference.