S.A.L.V.E Inter­na­tion­al: Motor­bike May appeal

Exhibited by
Nicola Sansom
June 20, 2013
Medium of Communication
Target Audience
Type of Charity
Children, youth and family
Country of Origin
UK and Uganda
Date of first appearance
May 2013

SOFII’s view

S.A.L.V.E International might be a small charity, but they know the power of a story. Or in this case, 31 stories, one told each day during the month of May on the charity’s blog. Donors paid to support the stories they liked and before long the charity had exceeded its target and bought the motorbike. In the process they showed their donors through these stories that they weren’t just helping to buy a motorised lump of metal, they were giving them the chance to help to reunite children living on the streets with their families.

Creator / originator

S.A.L.V.E International

Summary / objectives

To raise £1,000 during May 2013 to allow S.A.L.V.E to buy its own motorbike and spread wider awareness about its work.


Nicola Sansom writes.

‘When we were working as volunteer teachers in Jinja, eastern Uganda, Helen Bolton and I were appalled by the number of children living on the streets. We were convinced that even though it might have become part of everyday life in Jinja, something could be done. So in February 2008 we started S.A.L.V.E International to give children living on the streets a home, education and hope for the future.

‘S.A.L.V.E firmly believes that, whenever possible, the best place for children to live is with their own family. So the first thing we do to rehabilitate a child is to find his or her family home. We needed our own motorbike so that we can find the homes of many more children in the local area without having to wait to use the unreliable public transport. This saves money on transport too, as well as valuable staff time. We are able to trace the home of more than one child at a time, meaning that another child doesn’t have to sleep on the street that night. Saving time also means that we can give more attention to children still on the street and work to try and encourage them to leave the street. It means we have a vehicle to use in an emergency and to begin our partial sponsorship programme to help more children re-enter education when they return home.’

Special characteristics

S.A.L.V.E calculated that if 200 people each donated five pounds each, we would raise enough money to buy our motorbike. To do this we created ‘Motorbike May’. 

Each day during May 2013 we told a story of a child that the charity had helped, or showed other ways the motorbike could help us carry out our work. We shared the stories and photographs each day through our blog and on Facebook and Twitter. This allowed people to contribute their five pounds, or whatever they had, and also to share and like the pictures to encourage others to take part.

Influence / impact

A motorbike is now travelling around Uganda finding the homes of children living on the streets and reuniting them with their families.


Just the time to put the images together and share them.


We actually raised £1,224.38 including Gift Aid.


This is a simple idea that any small charity could do that helps them to share the stories about their impact more widely and raise money for something that is not generally liked by funders (a vehicle) that can have a big effect on their work.

Other relevant information

Find more details about S.A.L.V.E. International, here.

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The first story and two people have joined; only 198 to go.
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Day three: a ghost story. Already 34 people are in.
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Moses learns he is going home.
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Big smiles when big brother comes home at last.
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Success: the motorbike arrives soon!
The motorbike helps bring smiles to families who thought they would never see their children again.