Millione lauded at the house of Lords

Posted on May 31, 2011

he Millione Foundation recently hosted a reception event at the House of Lords for a group of peers and special guests. We had an opportunity to introduce a new group to Millione Frizzante Rosé and the development work that we are enabling in Sierra Leone.

It’s not every day I go to the House of Lords, so the Millione event we held there two weeks ago was pretty special for me. Hosted by the brilliant Baroness Kingsmill in The River Room, the history of the place seeps out of the walls, paintings and furniture, almost as though you are trespassing in someone else’s time zone. However, we were brought back to the stark realities of our own time by Mohamed Sillah, ActionAid’s Country Director in Sierra Leone who was visiting the UK.

In conversation with broadcaster Nicholas Owen, Mohamed reminded us of the gap that exists between the life of people in his country and ours. It’s been more than 10 years since the civil war ended in Sierra Leone, yet 300,000 school age children still have no education. This in a country of only 6 million people. Adult literacy is 48% for men and a miserly 29% for women. Think of it – if you go out after reading this blog to visit a business, hospital, or nursery and find barely 1 in 4 of the women able to read and write… well, it wouldn’t function, infact it wouldn’t be there. All studies show that the single most important thing to boost development in poor countries is to educate the women. Our aim with Millione is to build 20 schools and educate 10,000 children ever year. We can all make a small contribution simply by enjoying Millione wine.

Which we all did in the Lords of course! Mohamed was hugely inspiring in his commitment to improving the lives of his fellows, and equally appreciative of the Millione project. Actor Nigel Havers came up with a fun way to raise funds this summer – watch him here – and ActionAid’s International CEO Joanna Kerr spoke enthusiastically in support. Nicholas Owen seems to like it too!

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