Shaun runs London Marathon for Kids for Kids

We would like to say a huge congratulations to Shaun Gorvin & his wife Lucy for completing the London Marathon last Sunday.

Hearing of Challenge20 and having obtained a place in the London Marathon through the ballot system, Shaun could think of no better cause than to try and raise some money for Kids for Kids.

Shaun’s time was 4 hours and 52 minutes, with Lucy beating him by just 30 seconds!

It was Shaun and his wife Lucy’s first marathon. Lucy is an NHS psychologist and when working with cardiac patients four years ago decided she should practice what she preached and start exercising. Shaun joined her on the ‘couch to 5k App’ and realising the physical and psychological benefits of running, has gradually built up the miles too. With regular Parkrun and other organised events, he feels running is now very social and much more fun than anticipated!

During the run they were cheered on by friends and family, and even managed to spot their grandchildren in the crowd!

In total, Shaun has managed to raise a HUGE £1,644.20! That’s a lot of goats!

These sponsorship funds will make such a difference to the lives of so many in Darfur. Thank you, Shaun!

If you are interested in doing your own Challenge Event in aid of Kids for Kids check out our Challenge20 page below or email to get involved!

Standing Up for Goats with a SUP 20 Mile Challenge

If you happened to think you saw a GOAT paddleboarding down the River Thames the other day, you may not have been mistaken..!!

A member of the Kids for Kids’ Team, Charlotte Allum, decided to take on a Challenge20, dressed as a goat to raise awareness for the Forgotten Children of Darfur.

Charlotte and some supportive SUP-loving friends started in Goring on Thames at 7am on Saturday 25th September and arrived into Henley on Thames, 20 miles downstream, at 5.30pm the same day!

Charlotte says, “I have loved paddleboarding for the past 2 years but have always loved messing about on (& sometimes in!) the water, rather than taking on serious challenges….until now, of course..! With Kids for Kids celebrating 20 years of supporting Darfur, it seemed only fitting that we attempt 20 miles on a stand up paddleboard (SUP)…dressed as a goat..!”

Charlotte goes on to say “There was lots of planning involved to make sure everyone was safe on the day, a spare paddle was packed just in case and we had hoped for overcast conditions to ensure I wasn’t too toasty as a goat! Amazingly, the conditions could not have been better and the challenge went ‘swimmingly’. We were supported by lovely friends and family, cheering us on from the riverbank; we spotted kingfishers, herons and randomly placed postboxes; we were serenaded by a folk trio, celebrity-spotted by a lovely lady who had just read about us in the Henley Standard, and there was even a hot air balloon fly-by to herald our arrival into Henley! We could not have asked for a more perfect day! We were all pretty exhausted after paddling 20 miles but a glass of champagne, a shower on the safety boat and a trip to the pub in Henley were a great way to celebrate!”

The Thames-based Team have together managed to raise a mighty £1030 with this sponsored challenge – thank you so much to all their supporters!

If you would like to support the team and give a little sponsorship, there is still time – just click here!

This money will help provide 20 Goats for Kids for Kids’ 20th anniversary – that’s 5 Goats to each of the 4 poorest families in a village adopted by Kids for Kids. The nutritional goats’ milk will provide sustenance for the starving children and give mothers the possibility of an income for the first time, by selling any excess milk. After 2 years, as the flock grows, 5 Goats will then be passed on from each of these 4 families to another 4 families to benefit – and so the sustainable cycle continues. Just think how many children will benefit over the years!

And, what’s more….now that the SUP20 Team have reached their target of £1000, Charlotte has promised that several of them will attempt…wait for it….a headstand on a paddleboard…!! We can’t wait to see more pictures! Best of luck, Team – together you’ve GOAT this!!


Charlotte would like to give a huge heart-felt THANK YOU to the team of friends and family who supported her on her SUP adventure on the day, namely:

Iain, Pete & Leo for being a fabulous safety boat crew, patiently waiting behind, providing the tunes, lols and pouring the champagne at the end!

Sarah S, Ben & Daniel for being part of the safety boat crew, spurring the team on and shaking the collection bucket at every lock!

James, Ollie, Poppy, Davey, Karen, Ben, Emma & Nicky, for being the land-based team of supporters, providing encouraging cheers, hugs & waves whenever they could!

Doug for being the canoe-based safety crew and also patiently going at a speed much slower than he would normally..!

Lucy, Caz and Sarah F for being the best SUP buddies a girl could wish for! So much support, giggles and wonderful photos – THANK YOU ALL!!

Charlotte would also like to apologise to the poor dog at Marsh Lock who she scared with her goat get-up…oops, sorry!


Thank you so much to you all – now, I wonder what the next Challenge20 will be..!!

Could you take on a Challenge20? Here are some inspirational ideas…!

And in the meantime, here are some photos of our SUP20 challenge…


Dressing up for Darfur to Raise Awareness on the RotaWalk’21

Well, what a way to spend a sunny Sunday..!

If you happened to be in Holmwood Common, just south of Dorking, on Sunday 12th September, you may well have spotted the odd odd-looking GOAT, CHICKEN and even a FRIED EGG taking on the 4-mile RotaWalk’21, organised by Rotary in Dorking, to raise much-needed funds for Kids for Kids!

There was much hilarity indeed, as well as increased awareness of Kids for Kids’ life-changing animal projects and generous donations raised!

We set ourselves an ambitious target of £500 – that’s enough to provide TEN goats to two of the poorest families in Darfur. By the end of the walk, we had raised over £600!

Just think how the goat’s milk will strengthen and nourish the children of the family. Children who are starving.

Tragically in some parts of Darfur there has been no sign of rain recently and the intense heat continues. In other areas there are floods which are washing away the seedlings that people have had to already plant. Darfur is the size of France, so you can understand the extremes. The result, of course, if this continues will be starvation for families who have no way of diversifying from their subsistence crops. It gives you an indication of the importance of animals and in the extreme conditions of Darfur, goats are the ones we can rely on when all others fail.

It has been such a worrying year with so many catastrophes combining to cause extreme hardship. Many families have been forced to eat the seed they had saved. We are therefore appealing, in addition to all of our much-needed projects, for emergency seed to enable families to plant so that they have something to feed their families in 2022. But it will be months before any harvest and meanwhile children are hungry. This is why our goats are so important. Their milk is indeed a life saver.  And after two years, as the flock grows from these five goats, five goats will be passed on to another family to benefit – this really is sustainability at its best.

Poppy Allum (7), the youngest member of the Kids for Kids team, was keen to support children her own age who are suffering in desperate conditions in Darfur.

She says “I can’t imagine what it’s like to live in Darfur, not having any water to drink or food to eat. I am doing this walk to tell more people about Darfur and to ask them to help these children too.”

Poppy did wonderfully in her fancy-dress get up and encouraged many donations by rattling the collection tin. She was a great sport – or should we say a ‘good egg’..!!

There is still time to donate to our Kids for Kids team and make a real difference.

To sponsor us online, just visit:

Or you can text ‘WALK4GOATS’, followed by your donation amount, to 70085.

For example:

To donate £5, text ‘WALK4GOATS 5’ to 70085.

To donate £10, text ‘WALK4GOATS 10’ to 70085.

To donate £20, text ‘WALK4GOATS 20’ to 70085.

Thank you so much – just think of the difference you’ll make! And in the meantime, here are some funny photos of our 4 mile challenge…


Challenge Yourself & Change Lives with Challenge20!

For our 20th year, why not challenge yourself by taking on a CHALLENGE20 and help change the lives of children! 

We’ve already been DANCING FOR 20 HOURS, we now have plans for TEA FOR 20 and, as it gets warmer, we’ll be PADDLE-BOARDING FOR 20 MILES later in the year!

Now it’s your turn to join us and choose your own Challenge20 to make a difference to the dire situation in Darfur!

At this time of year there is still grass in many areas of Darfur, and normally we would expect people to be able to give their children three, albeit simple, meals before the heat of summer. Summer months are always known as the “hungry” months. Sadly this year, for months now, many families have been surviving on just one scant meal. To make things worse, conflict has again erupted in the region. Fuel continues to be in short supply, and bread queues are long every day, with loaves halved in size and rationed.

These children and families need your help now!

Take on a Challenge, raise much-needed funds and become part of their family, their dreams, their future. You can be their Guardian Angel! ❤️


Love walking? …… Why not walk 20 laps of your local park and ask your friends to join you? Or perhaps walk for 20 days in a row?

Love running? …… Why not challenge yourself to run 20 miles? Or even 20 marathons in a year?!

Love baking? …… We’re sure 20 friends would love 20 of your cakes – ask them for a donation each!

Love reading? …… Could you read 20 books in a year?

You get the idea!!

Tennis or Trampolining, Cricket or Crafting, Board games or Boating….

Whatever you LOVE doing, make it into a Challenge20!


Could you raise £20, £200 or even £2,000?

Set up a Sponsorship Page and get sharing it with friends & family!

Have FUN whilst FUNDRAISING and help us raise desperately needed FUNDS for the children and families of Darfur.


Perhaps you’re already signed up to a Triathlon, Iron Man or the London Marathon!

Maybe you have always dreamed of walking the South West Coastal path or cycling from Land’s End to John O Groats?

Whatever your challenge, do it for KIDS FOR KIDS!

We are keen to help you! We can help set up your fundraising page, support you with local publicity, or just cheer you on!

This is the year to get out there and achieve your ambitions – we will be with you every step of the way!

What will your Challenge20 be? Find out more here!

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.


20 Hour Disco Dancing for Darfur!

WOW that was GREAT FUN!! Pretty challenging to dance for 20 hours – but great fun!!

We were grooving, we were twirling, we were twisting….we were even moon-walking!! And we have just about recovered..!!

Thank you so much to all of you who could join us to celebrate our 20th Birthday at our 20 hour Greatest of All Time (GOAT!) Virtual Disco which started at midday on Saturday 6th March and finished at 8am on Sunday 7th March!

It was so lovely to see friends and supporters from all over the World being able to celebrate with us and bring their friends and family too – one of the perks of hosting events online these days! We were even joined by disco dancing Goats at Wookey Farm – who would have thought it!

We would like to say an EVEN BIGGER THANK YOU to the lovely girls who helped us organise this event – Alice, Maegan, Laila & Rosetta. They each took a DJ slot and dedicated disco classics & current chart-toppers to their very supportive friends and family. We really could not have done it without you – THANK YOU!

We hope you had a wonderful time, letting your hair down, dancing away your lockdown blues and throwing your Greatest of All Time – GOAT – moves! We absolutely loved them!!

And as for the outfits – wow! We were dazzled by disco lights, mesmerised by sequins and wondering at the wigs – thank you for making such an effort!

We have just about recovered from dancing for 20 hours! Wow, our legs were a little shaky but, with friends in the UK staying up with us until 1am, friends from New Zealand dropping in at 3am,  and whole families joining us at 5am, you kept us going right into the early hours of Sunday and beyond – we are so so grateful!

This was our FIRST CHALLENGE20 and YOU helped us raise over £2000 for the Children of Darfur – thank you so much for your support and generosity!


Could you take on your own Challenge20?

If you’re feeling motivated, we would LOVE you to take on your own CHALLENGE20 for us!

Why not walk 20 laps around your local park? Or run 20 miles in 20 days? Or perhaps bake 20 cakes for friends & family in 20 hours? Whatever you’re into, this challenge is all about YOU!

Sign up to a CHALLENGE20 here – get fit, have fun, but most importantly FEEL GOOD & DO GOOD whilst you’re at it!


Missed the Fun but would still like to Donate?

If you missed out on the fun but would still like to make a difference, please do donate here.

Every little helps for the children of Darfur right now!

Thank you so much for all your support.



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.


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!):


Celebrate Special Family Occasions with Special Gifts!

This is the year to celebrate!

After a year in and out of lockdown, 2021 is the year when we can all get together to celebrate WEDDINGS, ANNIVERSARIES, BIRTHDAYS and any other special occasions we can think of!

We bet you’re as excited as we are to be able to see friends and family again, to celebrate together and have FUN!

And perhaps you’re searching for something special to mark these momentous occasions? Or looking for a unique gift that keeps on giving?

Times have been hard here but, as we’re meeting up with our families and loved ones, spare a thought for families further afield who are experiencing  much tougher times.

With crops failing and inflation sky-rocketing in Darfur, food is scarce and children are surviving on one scant meal a day. Why not donate a goat to provide nourishing milk to a family desperately in need? Or chickens to provide the elderly with a source of protein? Or a donkey plough to help families grow crops more efficiently?

Whatever you choose to donate, you will receive a unique personalised Gift Certificate to give to your loved ones.

Give with LOVE and make a difference in Darfur! ❤️

How to Order:

  1. Visit our website and choose the gift you would like to give.  This can be absolutely anything from a Goat, Donkey, TreesMosquito Nets,  Farm Tools,  Education for a child for the year, 100 Club Lottery Tickets, or anything else you desire!
  2. Make your donation online. As you check out, the website will ask you for any ‘Order Notes’ you may have. In this box please write details of the Gift Certificate(s), such as the special event you are celebrating and the correct spelling of all names. Please include To, From, Special Occasion and any other message you would like. Please also detail where you would like it emailed or mailed.
  3. We create a Gift Certificate just for your loved one!  The perfect gift – a gift that keeps on giving.

We give your gift to a family in Darfur, and create a personalised Gift Certificate for your loved one. All our projects are sustainable so your gift will go on to help more and more families each year.

Kids for Kids is helping people to help themselves, stay in their homes, and give children a chance at a better future. Our sustainable projects lift families out of poverty and transform whole communities long-term.  Every donation you make will help us to continue our life saving work in Darfur. 2020 was a difficult year in Sudan, and a lot has changed. Despite difficulties, we were able to adopt eight new villages in Darfur last year.  Your support will make certain we are able to adopt new villages again this year, and help even more families living in horrible poverty.

If you have any questions or need any additional help please email

We are more than happy to help!



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.


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