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Hopeful giving

Two different donors - one a man, the other a woman; one a competitive, highly successful and activist investor and the other an artist; one giving vast amounts and the other far less, but perhaps changing children's lives more - are featured in today's Telegraph.

"One of the City's most controversial financiers has given almost half a billion pounds to charity in the largest single donation made by a Briton. The hedge fund manager Chris Hohn, who runs The Children's Investment Fund (TCI), has donated £466 million to the foundation run by his wife, Jamie Cooper-Hohn, that benefits projects across Africa and the developing world." The financial and charitable philosophy of the Hohns is based on well-researched, long-term investments.

Best-selling children's author and illustrator Lauren Child, whose Charlie and Lola are beloved by children, rich and poor, is publishing a special edition of That Pesky Rat to benefit Unesco's Programme for the Education of Children in Need and the My Life is A Story campaign. "A special website, www.mylifeisastory.org, will be launched by Child on Wednesday, giving children from all over the world a chance to tell the stories of their past and sketch out their dreams for the future".

Child wants poor children to experience a rebirth of hope and the acquisition of skills, and can point to some remarkable programmes doing just that. She understands rebirth because she has experienced one of her own.

Two quite different stories, the Hohns and Child, but their thoughtful generosity is wonderful.

"Sometimes", says the Pesky Rat, "when I am tucked into my crisp packet, I look up at all the cosy windows and wonder what it would be like to live with creature comforts. To belong to somebody. To be an actual pet."

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