Former boxer Jonathan Ganesh, 32, began supporting the Pattaya Orphanage Trust UK, a charity helping orphans and street children in Thailand, after reading a newspaper ad six years ago. He raised £7,000 last year through events including a boxing match and running the London Marathon.
Why did you choose the Pattaya Orphanage Trust? I went to Thailand eight years ago to see a boxing match and was taken aback by a poor girl who everybody was avoiding in the street because she was suffering from some kind of extreme eczema on her face. I gave her some money but soon realised that it would not make a difference in the long run.
Back in London, I saw a tiny advert about the trust in the paper and decided to phone them. I have been involved ever since.
What do you do to support the charity? I have been sponsoring a child at the orphanage in Pattaya for five years. I met the girl, named Roong, for the first time in October when I went back to Thailand. She is five years-old and I give her £15 a month via direct debit.
I also give speeches about the trust's work at my local church in the Docklands, London, and raise donations on their behalf, like the £180 I raised by organising a Christmas raffle. But my biggest fundraising effort last year was when I raised £5,000 by running the London Marathon, and £1,000 for a boxing match that I lost. The money will be use to build a home for the street children of Pattaya. I saw the foundations being laid during my last trip.
I give as much time as I can to the charity because I enjoy it so much. It is like a family.
Do you support other charities? I give £5 a month to Cafod. I have been supporting them for 10 years, but my mother has been doing it for even longer. I only give to well known charities because some charities are bogus.
For example, yesterday somebody rang at my door to collect a donation for the tsunami appeal, and I felt that something was not right with what he was saying. He said that the money would pay for a minibus, which I found very odd.