Brookes graduate launches global sunflower competition to raise money for children with HIV

Friday, 08 May 2015

Kerry Bradshaw Awamu

A Uganda-based Oxford Brookes alumnua has launched a global sunflower growing competition to support HIV+ children.

Kerry Bradshaw, who completed her Fine Art degree at Oxford Brookes in 2000, now lives and works in Kampala, where she has set up her own charity called Awamu  - a word meaning “together” in Lugandan.  

The Sunflower Growing Competition will raise money for urban gardens we’ve been trialling, allowing families to grow nutritious vegetables and herbs outside their own homes.

Kerry Bradshaw, founder of Awamu and Oxford Brookes graduate


Last month, the charity launched the ‘Global Sunflower Growing Competition’ which encourages children, adults, families, schools and companies all over the world to buy and grow their own sunflowers and compete against Kerry on her balcony in the Ugandan capital.  

All the money raised will buy soil, seeds, tools and training to help women in Kampala build their own gardens and learn how to grow healthy, nutritious food for the children in their care.  The money will also help break down the barriers that stand in the way of many HIV+ children getting a vital education.  

As Kerry explains: “Our current campaign is all about food.  The kids we support are HIV+ and although they’ve all got access to ARVs (antiretroviral drugs), they don’t work brilliantly if they have a poor diet.”

“The Sunflower Growing Competition will raise money for urban gardens we’ve been trialling, allowing families to grow nutritious vegetables and herbs outside their own homes.  

“We have already reached £1,500 which is really exciting, but we want to raise £7K so any help is much appreciated.”

Everyone who enters will be in with the chance of winning a prize next September for the Best Grower.  For more information about the competition, as well as details on how to enter can be found on the Awamu website.