Be a Master Chef for charity

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Masterchef winner Dhruv Baker is calling on cooks to break out the pots and pans this month and prepare a meal for charity which could make the difference between life and death.

You don’t have to be the next amateur Masterchef champion-in-the-making to take part; you just need the kitchen confidence to cook a meal for a group of family and friends.

Then tell your guests, in advance preferably, that you would like them to make a donation for the meal which you will pass on to Child In Need India (CINI UK).

Your meal could be a fiery curry night, but if spices are not your thing, we encourage readers to cook something they and their guests like to eat.

CINI UK has organised the ‘Cook for Life’ challenge as part of its campaign to support 1,000 mothers living in poverty in India this Mother’s Day (March 18). People who take part in the challenge and donate the proceeds will, quite simply, save the lives of some of the poorest people living in India today.

Around 6,000 children a day die in India, mainly from preventable causes, and Indian women are 80 times more likely to die in childbirth than here in the UK (UNICEF 2009).

CINI is working to change these shocking statistics and it has developed a package of measures designed to support mothers through the first 1,000 days of their child’s life. These measures include regular contact with health workers, vaccinations, nutrition supplements and educational materials.

Enabling access to education is the change which breaks down the inter-generational cycle of poverty and aims to give children a better life than their parents.

Supporting mothers with all these services costs just £10 per month for every mother and child CINI supports, or £330 over 1,000 days.

If cooking a meal is not your cup of tea, there are lots of other ways you can help raise funds. You could approach your local Indian restaurant and ask it to make a donation from each meal it serves on Mother’s Day, or you could buy flowers for your mum from Charityflowers.co.uk and choose CINI as the recipient of a 15% share of the cost of your gift.

Alternatively, visit our website at www.cini.org.uk and download our fundraising packs for lots of other ways you and friends could fundraise in a group to raise £330.

Masterchef 2010 winner Dhruv Baker said: “Having lived in India for over ten years and having seen how vitally important campaigns such as CINIs ‘Cook For Life’ initiative are, I am absolutely delighted to be involved.  By getting involved in sponsorship, donation or fundraising you can make a valuable contribution to improving the lives of women and children in India in the four core areas - health, nutrition, education and child protection.

“You can follow the step-by-step guides to dinner parties, afternoon tea parties or an event you have thought up yourself to help raise money, but also to have a great time doing so with friends and family.”