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A Buckingham couple are hoping Advertiser readers will get behind them in an online competition to help the charity they started in Malawi 13 years ago.

Liz and Geoff Furber, who run an office cleaning company in Leighton Buzzard, founded RIPPLE after inadvertently taking a wrong turn during a holiday in the warm heart of Africa.

Liz said: “We ended up in the beautiful village of Mwaya on the shores of Lake Malawi.

“We feel in love with the place and the people and wanted to help them make a real difference in their lives. So we started RIPPLE as soon as we got home.”

The charity is one of 18 finalists in a European Outdoor Conservation Association (EOCA) competition which could win them £30,000 for their fish conservation project.

The winner will be selected via a public vote on the EOCA website.

Geoff said: “Our project is in the Nature category and all you have to do is scroll down until you reach RIPPLE Africa (at the bottom), then click on the vote button. It closes at noon on October 19 and we need all the help we can get!”

The charity was recently runner-up in the prestigious international St Andrew’s Prize for the Environment for their community-led approach to conservation. The fish conservation project is one of their most important.

Geoff explained: “Lake Malawi has more species than any other freshwater lake in the world, but overfishing is threatening many of them. Many protected breeding grounds are drying up due to lack of rainfall, caused by deforestation. Without drastic action, a key source of both food and employment will be lost for ever.”

Support RIPPLE at www.outdoorconservation.eu/project-voting-category.cfm?catid=3