The long awaited rains arrive!

At last the rain has come in Darfur, but it is not too soon for families in Hashab Barakat, one of the five villages we have adopted this year.  After two years of drought people are desperate.   This is the first time we have heard of so many families asking for help to buy a jerry can. They are vital for life in Darfur – jerry cans are the only way to carry water from the water supply to home–something we don’t even have to think about where we have clean water on tap. Without a container, water, a basic essential, cannot be carried and stored. It is worrying that families in 2017 do not even have enough money for jerry cans. Can we ask your help this month to provide 2,000 emergency jerry cans to villagers?  

Good news, following our last report in May, we are delighted to announce the opening of the first Kids for Kids mini water yard and submersive water pump in the village of Kulkul.  The pump has taken two years to complete and has the capacity to produce 1,000 gallons an hour – this will be life changing for the families living in Kulkul and the neighbouring villages.  Kulkul has suffered very much from a severe shortage of water.  Many families have been walking 20 miles to reach a handpump.  Now Kids for Kids has intervened to solve the problem to produce safe drinkable water for humans and animals.

In Hashab Baraka the 230 families living there are struggling to survive.       Neama is 22 and has four little children.  Last year they were only able to produce one sack of grain for food for the whole year.   In desperation Neama and her husband were going to leave the village, as their only hope, and go to the regional capital, El Fasher, to try for work.  “I cried every night” said Neama ” I did not want to leave my home, or my mother, but what could I do?”   Luckily Kids for Kids announced it had chosen Hashab Baraka for all our integrated projects this year.    Now Neama is staying at home and has real hope for the future. She said “You make the rural areas more attractive by many projects,  livelihoods, health, water, education and women’s development, and that indicate the goats loan project is best program for stability in rural areas.  I am so happy to stay at home.”

With your help, we can continue to help these families that the rest of the world has forgotten.  If you think you would like to help more, please consider making your donation a regular donation for the next two years so that we can make sure no child in a Kids for Kids village succumbs to cholera by providing more safe water supplies.

Business lunch raises £500

A huge thank you to Henchards for dedicating their five-year anniversary lunch to Kids for Kids as their 2017 nominated charity.

We are thrilled to learn you have raised over £500 – enough to supply at least 12 goats to families in Sudan.

To those who were able to join at the lunch in April and to all those who donated before, during and after the event, a huge thank you. The goats you have provided will make such a difference to the lives of children living in Darfur – giving them life-saving nourishment.

We are delighted that Henchards are continuing to support Kids for Kids for the rest of the year and we are hoping for another invite to one of their delicious lunches again!  Also, a huge congratulations on your five year anniversary!

Lovelight Photography: raising smiles & funds

A huge and special thank you to Lovelight photography for supporting Kids for Kids on their photography shoots at Bocketts Farm in the Easter and Half term holidays – we can’t wait to see you there again in these summer holidays!

If you would like a really special family photograph then do go and see Lovelight at Bocketts. They are a very special talented team. You will be thrilled with the result and by ordering your pictures whilst you are enjoying Bocketts you will be helping children far away in Darfur. Great way to create a lasting momento here for your family, and for a family in Darfur too.

Lovelight have raised £220 this year – enough for two goats, two donkeys, three chickens and a rooster!

Since 2014, they have raised over £1,800.  Thank you so much for your continued support in such a unique and beautifully creative way and thank you to Bocketts Farm once again for your amazing support.

They can’t wait to start school!

Kids for Kids has been working on building five new kindergartens this year and it is going well!

In Darfur it takes time to ensure that everything is in place before we can start.    The commitment to build a kindergarten in a village is based on how well the village is delivering the other Kids for Kids programmes. Patricia Parker, our CEO explains, “First, we must choose the village – this is a difficult choice because the need is everywhere, but we look to our well established and successful villages who have achieved at least 90% with their goat rotations to another family, and are monitoring their tree forests carefully.  If the committees are good then we know there will be good PTAs”

Kindro is one such village.  The VDC leader in this village is Adam and he gave us an update on their kindergarten project.

He said, “We are currently getting the building materials for the school, some communities are able to make their own bricks, which takes time but saves money. We have tried but the sand in the earth and the limited access to water makes our bricks too soft and so we have to buy the bricks.”  Adam has been incredibly committed to the school committee from the beginning.  Patricia says, “Support from people like Adam is vital to the project management of the build.  We know this is a successful approach and through it, we are able to create sustainable change.  The problem is, there are 87 Kids for Kids villages so far, but these five kindergartens will take the total to just nine Kindergartens. We need more.   This is why your help to secure the next Kindergarten is so important.”

 

 

 

 

 

Although we are now nearing the completion of all five new Kindergartens, which is incredibly exciting, there is still work to do!

1.  Carts to help transport children to school.

2.  Water carts  to transport water to the kindergarten for kids to drink, and irrigate the trees at the Kindergarten in the playground

3. Recruitment of volunteers teachers and guard and office cleaner.

4. Create a PTA.  Under Adam’s leadership we are optimistic that like at our first school at Abu Nahla, the new PTA will make sure all the children enroll.  At Abu Nahla families clubbed together to provide bursaries so even the poorest children and orphans could go.    From Beneficiaries to Benefactors!

Why are kindergartens so important? It is as Mary Clark, UN Poverty Alleviation Consultant, says, “The absence of education for young children means that they lack essential stimulation during the crucial formative years of their lives. Opportunities are lost which can never be regained, and which diminish the development potential of the children forever.” 98% of women in the villages of Darfur are illiterate, yet they know that education is the best way out of poverty. Through education we can transform lives and improve lives for everyone.  Thank you for helping make their dream a reality.

 

 

Kick for Kids at St Paul’s School, Dorking

St Paul’s School in Dorking held their Darfur Day at the end of term when they took part in lots of exciting activities to raise awareness of Kids for Kids and the challenges facing children in Darfur.  Result?  A  fantastic £345!  Thank you so much to St Paul’s for putting the fun into such amazing fundraising.

 

 

 

 

They had such a range of activities for all the children to get involved in:

Kick for kids – a penalty shoot-out where participants had to score by kicking a ball into the goal.

Goal for goats –  throwing a basketball through the hoop.

The saving water relay race doubled up by teaching children how careful they have to be when carrying water and how much water we use.  They had to keep as much water in a thimble throughout the race and the most water at the end won.

Feed the goat blindfold. A.k.a. pin the tail on the donkey.

Design a coat for a goat.

The children all came to school wearing their team colours and each donated a pound.

The activities were all brought together with a whole school assembly which added a reminder to why the day was being held and got the children thinking about Darfur and why it was important to raise funds to help children their age living in such poverty.  “When I visited St Paul’s earlier this year I was really inspired by the empathy even the smallest children had with children their own age living so far away.    Children really show us what generosity is” said our Founder, Patricia Parker MBE.   “It has been really special having my local school supporting Kids for Kids.    They have proved it is not true what they say about prophets not being recognised in their own land!   I am loving being able to walk over the hill to see everyone at St Paul’s.    You deserve a wonderful summer holiday.”

Thank you to all the children at St Paul’s for their amazing sense of fun.

 

If your school would like to fundraise for Kids for Kids, please do get in touch contact@kidsforkids.org.uk

Support from The BIG BASH

Did you know that one of the best places to find an amazing party in July was Dorking? If so, you’ve probably heard about The Big Bash – known to be the most psychedelic party of the year!

The Big Bash Festival took place on 1st July and was a sell out thanks once again to Nick Russell and The Gang.  You can see from the photos below just what a brilliant event it was! This year, The Big Bash wowed with a giant TV showing movies, as well as a fabulous silent disco.  Such fun to watch by the way!    Newcomers to the event was Kate Gregory and her designer Gin Kitchen who helped by supporting Kids for Kids in their successful Gin tent at the festival.   Can’t wait to try you out at The Spotted Dog in Dorking!

Kids for Kids are so grateful to have been chosen as The BIG BASH’s partner charity again this year and to hear that they have raised an amazing £2,000 for Children in Darfur.  Thank you for your fantastic support!

Heathland School Summer Fair

We are so grateful for all the wonderful support that Heathland School in South Harrow have given us over this school year.

Their Summer Fair was held on Saturday 6th July and they ran a goat themed stall, filled with fun activities, to raise money in aid of our work with the children in Darfur.  With pin the tail on the goat and colouring rainbow goats, the students had a great time at the stall and raised enough money to buy a goat for a family in Darfur!

Thank you to Ms Sabir for arranging and running the stall, as well as the Crazy Hair Day and music concerts that were run by the whole school.  What ingenious ideas you have!

If Heathland School’s events have inspired you to do something at your school too, please do get in touch at contact@kidsforkids.org.uk

Painting perfect

A fabulous day was held on Saturday 1st July in a stunning private garden in Surrey thanks to Juliet and Mark who opened their garden for the second time in aid of Kids for Kids and Transverse Myelitis.  Painters of all abilities came to join in the wonderful opportunity to paint in this beautiful garden with views across farm land.

We were treated to a watercolour demonstration, and guidance, from Karen Pearson www.karenpearsonart.com who organised the entire event.   The weather held beautifully to create the perfect conditions for the day.   Twenty four keen artists brought picnic lunches and enjoyed Karen’s delicious cakes.    “It was an inspirational day” said Patricia Parker “I had wanted to concentrate on art and had set up a studio at home when I then started Kids for Kids.  The studio is the office and I hardly ever get a chance to paint. This was a dream day and I even have a picture I am proud of!  Thank you Karen.  You are a fabulous teacher and artist and thank you Juliet and Mark for what must have been a huge amount of work to get your garden into such peak condition.   We loved it.”

We raised a spectacular £357 for each charity (Kids for Kids and Transverse Myelitis).

Fingers crossed we can Paint and Picnic again next year!

All the fun at the fair!

Sunday 2nd July saw a bright and sunny day, just perfect for us to run our Hook a Duck stall at the Gatton County Fair at Gatton Park.  It was a busy day, great fun for all the family, with lots of like-minded people and attractions from environmental, countryside and wildlife organisations.  The bands and choirs kept us jolly bopping around whilst we helped little and big kids alike hook out ducks to win prizes.

Our donkeys, kindly loaned to us by Bockett’s Farm, were wonderfully attractive to the children (and dogs) visiting the Fair who all came to say hello.

A special thank you to our marvellous volunteers: Angela, Iris, Caroline, Sarah and Steve for helping set up and run the stall.  We couldn’t have done it without you.

We would love to do more of these fairs, so if you know of any, or perhaps would be interested in coming and volunteering at one, please do get in touch.  contact@kidsforkids.org.uk

 

Graham rides again!

It is difficult to keep up with Graham Baynes who again set off on his bike to raise vital funds to help children in Darfur.   At over 80, you would think that he might well be taking life a little easier, but no, in the heat of summer this indefatigable Wareham resident set out to cycle 300 miles across the country, taking in some of this country’s most challenging terrain.

We cannot thank Graham enough for taking on this challenge – he has raised an incredible £1,160 so far!  An amazing amount which will be put to so much good use in helping families in Darfur.

Starting in Kendal, Cumbria,  Graham’s circular route took a week.  This year, Graham’s family decided they would not be left behind and joined in the ride.  They were spotted along the way, but what an achievement!  You can read all about the journey here.  Huge congratulations and thanks to Graham and his family.

Update reports from Hilary: 

Day One

The challenge has begun well, although the incredibly warm weather is proving an immediate trial to overcome…

Daughter Hilary reports:  Day One, 8 people set out from Kendal on bicycles, but only two made it to the finishing point 58 miles later at Drigg.  No need to guess who was one of the remaining two: Graham with his son in law John.  The boiling hot weather made the others see sense, with two going back to Kendal and the rest retiring to an air-conditioned car at various intervals during the day.  Some of the cyclists had been lulled into a false sense of security, traversing a wide but flat valley, only to find themselves walking up steep hills the other side (worth it though when there was a long hill to free-wheel down the other side).

The main riders were all family with three generations involved. The support team (which included Graham’s wife Nancy) did a sterling job providing top ups of water and home-made cake with the duty driver having a few fun and games getting used to driving an unfamiliar vehicle. At least she hasn’t hit anything…….yet!

This is becoming a regular thing, following his 80th birthday present to himself (treating himself to a cycle from Dorset to Edinburgh and raising over £3,000!)  Graham followed this up with an expedition to cycle 475-mile ride around Wales in 2015, and again last year.

Well done Graham, we are very proud of you and can’t wait to hear the next update!    Let’s support this amazing man – please send him a message and donate here

Below is the route and further updates from Graham over the 7 days.

 

 

Day two: “Another hot day made easier with a gentle breeze coming off the Solway Firth and more favourable contours.  Following mainly B roads and gentle cycle tracks we navigated through places like Whitehaven and Maryport, having stopped for a coffee and ‘photo op’ at The Pantry in Parton.  The support team kept up our morale with timely arrivals at designated meeting points (home-made cake as well as water).
After 66 miles the final destination was Carlisle.”

Day three:

A group of five set off on bikes this morning and, as we left Carlisle, Graham became excited about a kestrel hovering above an office block. What he hadn’t noticed was the kite strings from the pigeon scarer!  The group of five soon reduced to two after 12.5 miles. The sight of steep long hills was enough to cause the wimping out as well as the promise of a visit to Vindolanda along Hadrian’s Wall.

The support team enjoyed their own detours. Not sure if the maps weren’t accurate or the Sat Nav in the passenger seat wasn’t working properly, but they saw parts of the countryside they didn’t plan to visit. They ended up worrying cows, the bull worried them and the locals looked on.

After 68 miles the team arrived in Simonburn for a welcome supper of Northumberland sausage and mash, followed by planning for the next day and hoping that the weather forecast of rain was an aberration.

Day four:

So, today started with rain which the die-hards got on with. They got some company further along the journey with the fair weather crew joining in.

The terrain was mixed with roads, cycle paths following the River Tyne, paths following the coast and muddy paths through woods and over farmland. A picnic lunch was enjoyed in Newcastle prior to catching the ferry across the river from South Shields.We played dodge the doggy poo and glass in the less salubrious areas and enjoyed the view in others. The headwind was a little challenging in places. We also played dodge the horse poo (difficult on narrow paths) and were grateful to be so far from home as we are sure that Graham would have found some way to transport it back to the garden.

After 71 miles (the support team having met the cyclists at regular intervals) we were delighted to arrive in Durham.The welcoming committee had already unloaded all of the luggage and took our bikes from us to lock them up.

We wonder what delights will meet us tomorrow.

Day five:

(Day 3: 53 miles, Day 4: 74 miles)

Four in the car and four on bikes and a couple of nasty hills to cycle up (or for some walk) as we left Durham. We soon joined a pathway following a disused railway line although Graham thinks it was for a funicular train. Hilary tried to leave a mudguard on a lamp-post but we decided to take it with us.Two then took early retirement after 12 miles whilst Graham and son in law, John, carried on.

Designation – traffic free section. Explanation – 1-foot wide muddy path with lush brambles reaching shoulder height. Shirt sleeves and trousers necessary.  At the Bowes Museum the family flaked out in the sunshine whilst Graham and John flogged up a hill at 1732 feet. John likes hills, Graham conserves energy so John reached a point where he waited 20 minutes for Graham so had a quick nap. The road down from the summit had nasty bends with one long straight stretch and a race with a baby rabbit.

Where cycle track directions are hidden by the under-growth, and the half-mile route on an unmade track (with stiff gates) leads to a farmyard, one can understand the busy farmer’s irritation at having to say ‘all sorts of cyclists come up here.’ Our apologies were accepted with a smile. The hostel at Kirby Stephen (a converted Methodist church) was spartan and improved by grandson, Callum, cooking the supper with help from his sister Elsa and aunts,  Catherine and Hilary. Nancy and Helen did the washing up.The kitchen utensils had seen better days and gave the appearance of having been purchased from the local charity shop.

58 miles achieved by the cyclists whilst today’s duty navigator and driver achieved their journey without any interesting detours.

Day six:

John needed to catch the 12.45 train from Oxenholme back to Crewe and was intent on keeping to schedule.  With a change in the weather to strong wind and rain, he did not want to get cold while waiting for others (i.e. me).  The next time we caught up with him was on seeing his bike outside a coffee shop in Sedbergh.  By then, I was soaked.  The choice had been either to wear a jacket which drained onto my trousers, or a cape which could have caused me to be blown backwards.  I chose the former, which gave those in the (air conditioned) backup car the opportunity to dispense jeers, as well as sustenance, over the next dozen miles.
Coffee over, John was not seen again until the car deposited Catherine at their home in Crewe.  Meanwhile, Helen’s conscience dictated that she should accompany her father to the finishing post.  This she did, and both got lost when signposts ran out.  We drew stumps when the day’s mileage was reached, not far short of Kirkby Lonsdale, and near the top of a memorably long hill.
Then, with bikes mounted on the car, we started the journey home, with a tea-break and a good-bye to Catherine at Crewe, and reached home at 23.30 (by which time my clothes were dry).

Italian wedding

Ilaria & Riccardo are getting married!

Kids for Kids are delighted to wish this amazing couple every happiness as they prepare for their Wedding Day. Congratulations to you both and thank you for helping us transform children’s lives in Darfur.
What Riccardo and Ilaria wish to say to their wedding guests:

Kids for Kids – a charity which we already know, trust and support – is an amazing organisation that helps children the world has forgotten. Children in Darfur, Sudan, who live lives of unimaginable hardship.  It not only transforms the lives of individual families, but lifts whole communities out of poverty long term. You can find out more about their work here on the website.

We plan to raise £3000 for Kids for Kids, a small sum towards a great project, and we would like the cash gifts from our wedding to go towards this sum. If you would like to send us a gift and contribute while making sure that every penny reaches the charity (with no fees), please donate through a bank transfer direct to Kids for Kids, using the following bank coordinates.  Please be sure to put Reference R&I    bank transfer

If you are a UK tax payer we would really appreciate you signing the Gift Aid form so that 25% will be added to your gift by the tax man.   Please download the following form, sign it, add your home (not office) address and email it to contact@kidsforkids.org.uk or post it to Kids for Kids, POBox 456 Dorking RH4 2WS  download a Gift Aid declaration 

If you would like to send a message to Riccardo and Ilaria please email to: riccardo.mazzon@gmail.com

With lots of love, can’t wait to celebrate with you!

Riccardo & Ilaria

 

 

Crazy hair at Heathland School, London

The incredible students at Heathland School, South Harrow, have shown their determination to help children their own age in Darfur after our Founder, Patricia Parker, went to see them.  Patricia spoke and showed them pictures taken in the villages of how desperately deprived children their own age are.  Patricia asked them to imagine what it would be like to have no toys to play with, no nutritious food and to have to sleep on the sand inside the straw huts they call home.   Encouraged by inspirational teacher Aaisha Sabir and the rest of the staff, pupils at Heathland School held a ‘crazy hair day’ and raised an amazing £548!

This followed collections at two Music Concerts raising £215 thanks to Tim Smith the school’s Music teacher.  Mr Smith was so overwhelmed by the assembly Patricia held, he decided to carry out an extra collection.  “I am so grateful to everyone at this hard working school,” said Patricia   “Thank you Tim for lending me your remote control pen for my Presentation, and even more for raising extra funds.   The funds from the concerts will provide a food tray and cover, 2 jerry cans, a jug and 4 cups, shoes and uniform for 5 children, £20 of library books for a kindergarten, 20 fruit trees, 5 drought resistant trees and 2 mosquito nets.   These will all go to one of the five villages we have adopted this year in Darfur.   These are really important items and, where families have virtually nothing, will have a real impact.”

“The pupils were terrific, I am always impressed with the way children can empathise with others their own age who live a world away, in such different and difficult circumstances.  Hearing about how hard life is in Darfur is not always an easy thing.  Being able to tell them there is something they can do – How they can help stop children suffering from malnutrition – was inspiring and thought provoking.”

Thank you everyone, and especially their inspirational teachers Aaisha Sabir, RE Faculty lead for arranging the visit and Tim Smith for arranging the collection.