Girls Lift Lockdown Blues to Dance for Darfur

A group of young girls aged 11 and 12 have decided to put their love of dancing to good use and spread joy this lockdown to support us in raising much-needed funds for the children of Darfur.

Alice Bodimeade (12), Maegan Tovey (12), Laila Ball (11) and Rosetta Logan (11) are hoping to lift the lockdown blues by helping to organise the Greatest of All Time (GOAT!) Virtual Disco on Saturday 6th March to encourage friends and family to get together online, have fun dancing and support Kids for Kids who have been helping the forgotten children of Darfur in Sudan for the past 20 years.

These dance-loving girls understand that in Darfur children of their age and younger desperately need their help right now. Families are living off one scant meal a day and starvation is a very real threat. Flash floods have washed away crops, inflation is over 300% and, with the average annual wage being the equivalent of £12, it is hard to know how they can survive.  The cost of basic essentials has sky-rocketed, there’s very limited access to clean water, healthcare and education. Kids for Kids’ projects help change all that, starting with goats to help provide nutritious milk to protect against malnutrition and allowing mother’s an income for the first time by selling excess milk & yoghurt.  Kids for Kids lend the goats so that, when the same number are then passed on to another family two years later, more and more children benefit from just one goat loan. Kids for Kids also install hand-pumps for access to clean water, build kindergartens and health and veterinary centres, train paravets, first aiders and, crucially, village midwives. The list goes on…and Kids for Kids has been doing all this for 20 years!

So, in celebration of Kids for Kids’ 20th anniversary in March, the girls are helping to organise our Greatest of All Time (GOAT!) Virtual Disco which will last a whopping 20 hours! The fun will start online at 12pm on Saturday 6th March and continue through the night until 8am on Sunday 7th March so that children and adults, friends and family, can join to cheer them on, raise valuable funds and dance away their lockdown blues at a time that suits them. Everyone welcome, there’s no need to dance for the 20 hours – just join for 20 mins, 2 hours, as long as you like – and invite 20 friends! There will be disco classics, latest chart-toppers, requests and shout-outs – something for everyone! Come along and show off your GOAT (Greatest of All Time) Moves!  See what these super girls say below:

Rosetta Logan (11) realises that lots of people need a lift this lockdown and encourages everyone to join this GOAT Virtual Disco. Rosetta says, “When I’m happy, sad or angry, I just put on the music and I just dance. Dancing gives me the feeling of being free. It’s a terrible experience for the people in Darfur. I really want to help them and help get the food and the medication they need.”

Alice Bodimeade (12) also loves to express her feelings through dance and says she was keen to join this project because she loves helping people and seeing people happy. Alice says, “I know lots of people need help in the world especially during these times. It makes me realise how fortunate I am to have food and water.”

Laila Ball (11) explains why she too was keen to get involved with disco. “I love to dance with friends and it gives me a nice feeling inside to be able to help the children in Darfur at the same time.”

Maegan Tovey (12) has been dancing since she was 2 years old and doesn’t feel she’s stopped since!  “Dancing has always been my passion because it is a way I can feel free, more relaxed, calm. Even if I am sad I get up and the music makes me move and have a good time. We are organising this Virtual Disco for Kids for Kids as I thought what a good way to help those people get food and water whilst participating in something that I love doing. So come and join us for as many hours as you like and have a boogie!”

Come and join the Greatest of All Time (GOAT) Virtual Disco at any time from Sat 7th March 12pm until Sun 8th March 8am and dance away your lockdown blues!

Tickets available for a min. donation of £10 per family, join at a time that suits you for as long as you like. There will be disco classics, latest chart-toppers, requests and shout-outs – something for everyone!

For further details of this Greatest of All Time (GOAT) Virtual Disco and to support these motivational girls, click here.

 

Kids for Kids Celebrates 20 Years!

Something to Celebrate! This year, 2021, marks our 20th anniversary! That’s two decades of transforming the lives of over 550,000 people in 105 villages in one of the most inaccessible areas of the world.

Please join our Founder Patricia Parker and Trustees on our Birthday on 8th March 2021 – International Women’s Day – when we are inviting you to join our virtual Birthday Celebratory Evening.  This year of course we cannot yet meet in person so please join our Virtual Party via Zoom at 7.00p.m.   Patricia will bring you up to date with the news from Darfur.  Join our Patrons, Trustees and find out why people have been supporting Kids for Kids, some for all of our 20 years! There will be messages from friends from around the world, including special friends from Sudan, and we will be inviting you to join in too with our Kids for Kids Quiz – testing your knowledge of all you will learn on the evening, from how to tell a goat from a sheep to how many kids you have helped us lend to children!   And please think about what you would like us to do in our next 20 years.  There is something for everyone so come and join the celebrations and let’s make this year our best year yet!

As well as our Big Birthday Celebrations on 8th March we are planning more fun birthday Challenges and Events  and would love you to get involved! Fancy raising vital funds by taking on a sponsored Challenge 20 for our 20th year? Or dancing the night away at our Greatest of All Time (GOAT!) Virtual Disco on 6th March?  Have a disco night with friends from all over – and if you want to add to the fun, challenge friends to get sponsored for 20 hours of dancing – or 20 friends to do 20 minutes each?!   Choose your music – we’ll pass on messages – let’s dance! 

Please do take time to hear more from Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, in her recent message BIRTHDAY CELEBRATIONS 2021 and learn about our Achievements in Darfur 2020 and what we have planned for the future to help more families in desperate need in Darfur.

YOUR SPECIAL DATES TO REMEMBER?

With Valentine’s Day coming up on 14th February, why not give your loved one a gift to remember?  See our LOVE-ly Valentine’s Certificate.

And with Mother’s Day  on 14th March, why not change a Mother’s life in Darfur by donating a goat and receive a beautiful personalised Gift Certificate to present to your own lovely Mum?

The people of Darfur really do need us more than ever now. Please do consider becoming a Regular Giver or Childrens Champion or even Leaving a Lasting Legacy for Kids for Kids – your support will change lives for years to come.

FEELING LUCKY?   Fancy your chances of Winning the Lottery, what better Lottery than the Kids for Kids 100 Club where every ticket you purchase helps improve the lives of children living in extreme poverty in Darfur?   Give a ticket to a friend – a chance of winning all year.

The documents mentioned are included in our 2021 Spring Mailing and Email. If you haven’t signed up already for our news mailings, then please get in touch. We only send two mailings a year, and we would love to include you!

2021 Spring Mailing Documents (all in one place!):

 

Rotary Award Surprise for Patricia!

Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, has received notable recognition from Rotary in Great Britain and Ireland.

Patricia was surprised with a Paul Harris Fellowship Award at the end of this year’s online Candlelit Christmas Concert on 2nd December 2020. This prestigious honour, named after Rotary’s founder, Paul Harris, recognises those who have made substantial contributions to society, humanitarian efforts and charitable works.

The recognition has been championed by South Holland Rotary Club. Jon Martin, Immediate Past President of South Holland Rotary Club, interrupted the Candlelit Christmas Concert to present the award to Patricia over Zoom before the certificate and medal were magically handed over to Patricia’s son, Alastair King-Smith, to pass to Patricia Parker in person in Devon.

 

 

Jon Martin surprised Patricia by saying, “Four years ago, Patricia, you were made Rotary International Woman of the Year – and well-deserved. Tonight, members of South Holland Rotary Club would like to recognise your achievement to the children of Darfur. We would like to present to you a Paul Harris Fellowship award. These Awards are mainly given to Rotarians for outstanding work throughout the Rotary movement but on very special occasions, we are allowed to present them to people who we feel are very worthy of such an award.”

Jon later said, “In becoming a Paul Harris Fellow, Patricia joins a remarkable company of persons throughout the world. They are recognized for their devotion to the ideal of good will, peace and understanding…a goal of Rotarians the world over, and one that members of South Holland Rotary clearly share with Patricia.”

“The last individual to publically receive the Paul Harris Award,” Jon went on to explain, “was Captain Sir Tom Moore in July 2020 after walking laps of his garden in the weeks leading up to his 100th birthday. Rotary is a global community of 1.2 million members who share similar values and want to make the world a better place. The award is given to show appreciation and recognition for the service given both nationally and internationally as well. Every Paul Harris Fellow receives a pin, medallion and a certificate when he or she becomes a Fellow. This identifies the Paul Harris Fellow as an advocate of the Foundation’s goals of world peace and international understanding.”

Patricia Parker was unusually lost for words when presented with the award but later said “I am absolutely delighted to receive this award & be honoured in this way. I want to make it clear, however, that it is not me who deserves this award but all the Kids for Kids’ friends who have supported us over the years. With your help alone, Kids for Kids has been able to change the lives of over 550,000 people in Darfur and we are forever grateful.

 

Read more about our beautiful Candlelit Christmas Concert here.

DARFUR – A YEAR IN CRISIS

This year, 2020, the children, families and villages in Darfur have been hit by one crisis after another.

They have suffered drought in the heat of summer, fires blazing through their homes and villages causing several fatalities and loss of livestock, and recently floods washing away their crops. Inflation is out of control.  

This is before we even consider the catastrophe that has been caused by COVID-19.

How are families supposed to survive? They desperately need our help!

Please do take a few minutes to engage with our most recent news, hearing straight from Patricia Parker MBE, Founder of Kids for Kids, how we are currently doing everything we can to help fight COVID-19 in ‘News from Darfur’ and learning exactly what Kids for Kids have planned for the future. With Christmas coming up, we invite you to Give a Tree – the perfect gift! – and suggest other wonderful ways for you to get involved and Help this Christmas.

The people of Darfur really do need us more than ever now. Please do consider becoming a Regular Giver or Childrens Champion or even Leaving a Lasting Legacy for Kids for Kids – your support will change lives for years to come.

Also if you fancy your chances of Winning the Lottery, what better Lottery than the Kids for Kids 100 Club where every ticket you purchase helps improve the lives of children living in extreme poverty in Darfur?   Give a ticket to a friend – a chance of winning all year.

The documents mentioned are included in our 2020 Christmas Mailing and Emailing. If you haven’t signed up already for our news mailings, then please get in touch. We only send two mailings a year, and we would love to include you!

2020 Christmas Mailing Documents (all in one place!):

 

Missed our Candlelit Christmas Concert? See it Here!

Did you miss our wonderful Candlelit Christmas Concert this year, or would you like to see it again?    There is a link for you to enjoy the magic over and over at the foot of this page! 

See Joanna Lumley OBE FRGS, Miriam Margolyes OBE, Julie Etchingham, Timothy West CBE and Lord Cope of Berkeley PC in their own homes!   Our much loved Patrons helped raise over £10,000 at our Annual Candlelit Christmas Concert this year!   So, despite COVID, all was not lost!

This year, Kids for Kids took the magic online not just a prerecorded video but live on Zoom.   Patricia Parker MBE, Founder,  was delighted to welcome friends from all over the World including Jersey, Malta, Norway, Denmark, Mexico, the USA and, of course, Sudan!   Many had been unable to join us in London in past years so Covid does perhaps have benefits …..!

“It was wonderful to see our audience all dressed in red, with flickering candles surrounding them in their own homes and to be able to raise a glass with our friends from across the globe” said Patricia.

Tickets for the concert, which once again was sponsored by Delamere Dairy,  had been selling like hot cakes during the preceding lockdown due to Covid-19 and even during the concert itself!  “With the year we have had,” said Patricia, “it is so wonderful to organise an event like this which brings people together and brightens their evenings. The choirs of Queen’s Gate School, who perform for us every year, are exceptional.  The children sang their hearts out. Unforgettable too, was the performance of our great friends Roy Bilham.   “Santa Claus is coming to Town’ had us all tapping our feet”  said Patricia.

“We are so grateful to all the amazing people who support the concert, from the volunteers behind the scenes to the master mind of the concert, the Musical Director, Ian Webb-Taylor. It is difficult to explain what it means to the poorest families when they are presented with 5 nanny goats to provide nutritious milk for their malnourished children, as well as an income for the mothers through the sale of yoghurt” said Patricia.   “We have had to cancel all our events this year, like so many other charities.   Last year we raised £25,000 at our live concert at St Peter’s Eaton Square and thought we would have to cancel.  Taking it on line, thanks to Amy Hind, technical wizard at Queen’s Gate School and Danny Fitzpatrick from DFphotography, has not only enabled us, as we do every year, to start Christmas beautifully, but has also enabled us to raise much needed funds.”

Patricia Parker was surprised with a prestigious Paul Harris Fellowship Rotary Award at the end of the concert. The Award was presented to her by Jon Martin, Immediate Past President of South Holland Rotary Club, for her devotion to the ideal of good will, peace and understanding. The last individual to publically receive the Paul Harris Award was Captain Sir Tom Moore in July 2020.  Previous recipients include Mother Theresa and President Clinton.

At the heart of the concert is Patricia’s report on the year’s work of the charity in our 2020 Founder’s Christmas Message:

At last – we are celebrating my favourite time of year – Christmas, and all the happiness it brings.  I know it has been a hard year, and my heart goes out to all those who have lost a loved one or who have struggled with Covid, or even are continuing to cope with the pain of Long Covid.  But now we are together – not in the beautiful St Peter’s Church in London, but in our own homes.  It means so much to me to know that all of you are here because of our shared determination to look after children.  Whether they are close at hand or so far across the globe.  To do our best to set right the injustices of this world, and to give children a helping hand to a better future.

I wish I could tell you that at last things are getting better in Darfur, but I can’t.  This time last year people were struggling, despite the huge optimism after the overthrow of Omer Bashir.  The transitional Government has indeed brought in new legislation to create a better future, but the years of corruption and mis-spending – combined with the lack of international investment while the US maintained sanctions – have left the country crippled by debt and facing desperate shortages in everything from fuel, to bread and even medicine.  Everyone, whether in the capital, Khartoum, or in a small remote village, is facing hardship.

In the villages of Darfur, mothers are watching their children growing weak from malnutrition.  Many children can no longer attend school because there is no money to pay for it.  Without the money to pay for drugs, malaria goes untreated.  60,000 people have malaria in Darfur right now.  Other fatal diseases go unchecked – chickungunya, dengue – both spread by mosquitoes, with the risks of further outbreaks growing.  Even polio is spreading again because of inadequate vaccinations.  Inflation – which was a shocking 166% this time last year, is now an unbelievable 212%.  How can anyone budget?

But it is Christmas!  Surely there should be good news?

Well – there is!  We have not stopped helping – and thanks to you, our wonderful, loyal, and generous friends, we have been able to extend life-saving assistance to hundreds more families.

In February my son and I went to Darfur at last after being prevented from doing so for 9 long years.  Thinking about it even now brings tears to my eyes.  Of course I had been kept up to date with the minutiae of all we do – real sustainability depends on keeping on top of the detail – but to see our Kindergartens in real life, and to talk to the children who go to them – well, that was unforgettable.  I wish you could have been with us.  At every village, crowds were waiting to tell us what a difference we had made to the lives of each and everyone of them.  And it was even more overwhelming in Um Ga’al – our very first village where Ibrahim lives, the little 9 year old whose walk across the desert for water inspired me to start Kids for Kids twenty years ago, in 2001.  Over 1000 people waited to welcome us.  And with them was that small boy – grown taller than Alastair now and with his own children.  His eldest son is at our Kindergarten.  There are no words to express how I felt, how he felt.  So many lives have been changed because of that one small boy and his walk for water.    

And what have we done to help this year?  You all know about our Soap Appeal.  Its impact is immense, truly saving lives.  There is no medical help for ordinary villagers.  We went to the main hospital at Mellit.  The people who work there do their best, but how can a doctor care for a patient when there is no oxygen, with a broken stethoscope, no blood pressure gauges?  I could go on.  Someone with Covid has no chance.

Our aim has always been to do all we can to stop problems from becoming catastrophes.  Our soap has done just that.  Every family in all our 105 villages has been given 5 bars of soap each.  We know that soap breaks down the membrane of the virus.  Incidence of Covid in our villages has been much less than feared.  The logistics of getting over 500,000 bars of soap to Darfur during lockdown took quite some doing!  But we did it!  Thank you Hatim and our friends in Khartoum.  I’m delighted that one benefit of doing this event online is that you are able to join us from Sudan.

Of course that first delivery is only the start.  Whilst Covid remains a threat we will keep on with our Soap Appeal.

But there is more.  We are not an emergency organisation.  270 more families now have a donkey.  We have provided 1,440 goats so far this year.  There are more to come.  Children in those 270 families have blankets to cuddle up under at night, and mothers in 20 more villages know that childbirth will be so much safer for them thanks to 40 new midwives.  We have provided veterinary care in our new villages by training paravets and providing veterinary drugs.

You may have read of the disastrous floods in Sudan?  Many families lost all they owned.  The most urgent need was for jerry cans to carry water, so we provided 500.  And the aftermath of the floods has left vast areas of standing water – breeding ground for mosquitoes.  We have already provided 2,356 mosquito nets this year and 3,000 more are on their way.  And what of the future?  Well, whilst you are thinking of your Christmas trees, in Darfur we have planted 10,000 tree seedlings, and are working on establishing 3 new community forests.  The future will be green in Darfur.

Kids for Kids is certainly not slowing down.  Far from letting the restrictions caused by Covid curtail our activities, we now have two wonderful new fundraisers, Charlotte and Anna, doing all they can to persuade you to buy more goats!  Lucy has just become my PA and is starting in January.  And I would like to thank their predecessors, Sage and Sarah, for all they have done to enable Kids for Kids to make such a difference.   Mary Jane, our volunteer in America, despite herself suffering from Long Covid, continues to make sure our friends in the United States are kept up to date with our news.

I am so touched you are here this evening – and it’s all thank to our wonderful Queen’s Gate School – and to Ros Kamaryc, Headteacher for her support.   Thank you girls for your beautiful singing.

Our exciting new team has already started work on our 20th Anniversary celebrations.  It is hard to believe that we will be celebrating our 20th birthday next year.  Please will you plan a party or event too and help introduce us to new friends?  We all deserve to celebrate after this year – and what could be a better excuse than celebrating what Kids for Kids continues to do to change the lives of children who need us so much.  Let’s make 2021 a year to remember!

Happy Christmas everyone!”

To download and share a copy of our Founder’s 2020 Christmas Message please click here.

Want to watch our wonderful Candlelit Christmas Concert once more?  And for those of you who couldn’t join us, we are delighted that you can see it here.

Read more about our Candlelit Christmas Concert here – Stars Unite to Bring International Supporters Together Despite Covid.

With grateful thanks to Ros Kamaryc, Principal Queen’s Gate School, Amy Hinds from Queen’s Gate School,  Danny Fitzpatrick and Ash Marshall from DFPhotography for filming and editing the beautiful recording for Kids for Kids, and to our wonderful sponsors DELAMERE DAIRY