Transform your life for free!

Howard Lake | 22 April 2004 | News

Fed up? Bored of life behind a desk? Bills to pay? Boss getting on your nerves?
Christian Aid is offering you the chance to start again, and find out what your life could be like if you were born somewhere else in the world.
You can transform your life within seconds with LifeSwitch.org, a revolutionary new web site, which is being launched in time for Christian Aid Week 9-15 May 2004. LifeSwitch will enable you to swap your life with someone else’s in a different country. As the tantalising slogan suggests ‘The True You can be the New You’. It is a surprisingly easy process and a new life could be just 5 simple steps away at www.lifeswitch.org:
1. Choose a dream country for your new life
2. Submit your details and check out a few testimonials and the company disclaimer if you are still not quite sure whether to proceed to the actual morphing of yourself
3. Keep your fingers crossed during the transformation process – your profile will be matched with someone else’s in the country you have chosen
4. Celebrate the new beginning of your life, or seek help if you are not happy with the outcome
Suranne Jones, who plays Coronation Street’s Karen Macdonald, was one of the first people to give it a go. “I was yearning for a change and a bit more sun”, said the award winning young actress. However, having entered her details Suranne discovered that she would have been a rice farmer. “I was transformed into a young woman in Sierra Leone. My life had not been a happy one. Having been assaulted during the ten-year civil war by a group of soldiers, I was driven out of my home. But there was hope, I approached Christian Aid, and they helped me return to my village and become a rice farmer.” she said.
Sara Chamberlain, Christian Aid’s web manager, said: “We take no responsibility for users of LifeSwitch catapulted into a life they may not have expected. While some users may find themselves living a life of luxury in the golden sands of the Dominican Republic, others will ‘experience’ the day-to-day struggle of poor people in developing countries.”
Christian Aid Week 2004 aims to raise money for people like Hawa and Patience. Hawa is a real rice farmer in Sierra Leone and was forced out of her home during the civil war five years ago, and Patience is from Zambia, who is a widow and HIV positive. Thanks to money raised through Christian Aid, Hawa was able to move back home and has just had her first successful harvest. Christian Aid’s support means that Patience has a volunteer carer who helps with chores and gives her medicine and food. Hawa’s and Patience’s stories depict the theme of Christian Aid Week, which is: “We believe in life before death. Life is for living, not merely surviving.”
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For more information about LifeSwap.net contact Kati Dshedshorov on 020 7523 2452 or email kdshedshorov@christian-aid.org.
Notes to Editors:
1. Christian Aid Week (9-15 May 2004) is the UK’s longest running and most successful door-to-door fundraising week. It started in 1957. Last year more than £14.3 million was raised with the help of over 350,000 volunteers.
To make a donation to Christian Aid Week please go to onto www.caweek.org or call 08080 006006.
2. Christian Aid is an international development agency. It works with some of the poorest communities helping people irrespective of race, religion, culture or background, exposing the scandal of poverty and injustice. Christian Aid has nearly 600 partner organisations in over 55 countries worldwide.
3. Other Christian Aid websites:
www.christianaid.org.uk – includes news stories, features, press releases and reports, web clips and photo galleries. The site also offers up-to-date information about Christian Aid’s campaigns, partner organisations, events, exhibitions and a variety of resources that can be downloaded for fundraising events and for campaigning initiatives to raise awareness about issues such as Trade Justice, HIV/AIDS, emergency relief, the environment and sustainable development.
4. Digital media company Hi-Res! has been commissioned with the design of LifeSwitch. They are well known for their work on web advertising for films like “Donnie Darko” and the site “Minority Report Experience” for LEXUS cars, as well as thirdplace.com, a site for Sony Playstation2. Awards won include a Golden Cyberlion, a BAFTA, the Grand Jury Prize, and the Gold Pencil. Visit www.hi-res.net for further details.