Latest News – Spring 2020

In February of this year Patricia Parker MBE, the Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids, visited Darfur for the first time in nine years. Due to the past Government we have been unable to get visas to enter Sudan since 2011, but because of the change in administration last year and ousting of President Bashir, we are now allowed back into the country. Our small team in Darfur are the reason we have been able to continue our projects in our existing villages, and adopt more every year. Today we are proud to have 100 Kids for Kids villages in Darfur where sustainable projects are helping people to transform their lives.

I would like to invite you to engage with our most recent news, hearing straight from Patricia about her trip to Darfur in ‘News from Darfur’ and learning exactly what Kids for Kids did with your donations in 2019, and our plans for 2020 here. We have improved our Gift List for 2020, which includes details of all our sustainable projects. As Easter is coming up, we invite you to join in The Real Egg Project and make a real difference to the lives of the elderly living in rural villages by donating chickens. We have started a five year tree planting project in Darfur to ‘Combat Climate Change’, and here you can join us in reforesting the desert. And for other ways to support Kids for Kids, please consider becoming a Regular Giver or Children’s Champion – your support will change lives for years to come. Oh, and if you fancy a hand at 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.

The documents mentioned are included in our 2020 Spring 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 Spring Mailing Documents (all in one place!):

Climb Kilimanjaro 2021

The Challenge of a Lifetime: 24th September 2021 to 3rd October 2021

Get sponsored to take on the highest mountain in Africa in aid of Kids for Kids!  Mount Kilimanjaro is one of the largest free standing mountains in the world.  Follow the spectacular Marangu Route to the rocky summit – a popular path with impressive views and wide variety of habitats. This is a very challenging trek at high altitude but the rewards are immense. Marvel at dramatic lava towers, glaciers and ice cliffs along the way. On reaching the ‘Roof of Africa’ as the sun rises, you’ll feel an incredible sense of achievement – not only for accomplishing this incredible trek, but also for all the money you’ll have raised for Kids for Kids!

View the Complete Itinerary here (scroll to bottom of page!)

To take part in this challenge there is a registration fee of £380 and a commitment to raise £3,900 in sponsorship. As the cost of the tour is £2,268, this means £1,632 (or more depending on what wonderful amounts you raise!!)  will go directly to helping children and families in Darfur, Sudan, living in the most unimaginable conditions of poverty. Included in the tour cost is your return flights, accommodation (hotels before and after the trek, camping equipment whilst on the mountain), transfers, full medical support, experienced guides, porters, support team, water and all meals except on one free day!

This challenge is fully supported by Classic Challenge throughout the trip, Here, they show you exactly what is entailed in taking part in this challenge:

If you have any questions about how to raise funds, please take a look at the fundraising ideas on our Get Involved page, or get in touch with us directly at contact@kidsforkids.org.uk.  We would be more than happy to send you promotional materials, and support your fundraising efforts!  Our supporters often find that holding an event to raise funds brings in more money than just simply asking for sponsorship from family and friends.  Why not host a quiz night and charge an entrance fee?!

More information about how to sign up can be found on the Classic Challenges website here. 

Our Achievements – See What We Have Done in 12 Months

“We believe that you should know how we are helping, the difficulties we face, and what we have achieved, with your support.”

–  Patricia Parker MBE Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids

At the beginning of every calendar year we publish a complete list of the projects we carried out in Darfur during the previous 12 months. This allows our supporters to see what their donations have made possible in our now 100 villages.

In 2019 Sudan experienced a mass uprising of people crying for help for the very basics of life. Shortages, even of bread, made people despair.  General Omer Bashir, who held Sudan in an iron grip for 30 years, has been deposed. There is now a civilian Prime Minister, and he is calling for help for his country. Last year was one of the worst years we have known with soaring inflation, restrictions on access to our funds in the bank which has delayed projects, and a serious lack of fuel which has affected every single aspect of life across the entire country.

Despite all this, along with providing our sustainable projects to eight new villages – 14,278 men, women and children, plus supporting the 92 villages we have already adopted – we have launched our five-year Forest Tree Plantation Project. Over the course of five years we plan to plant 6,000 seedlings, rehabilitate three existing community forests and establishing two new community forests in Darfur, Sudan.

For details of what we did this year please read our 2019 Achievements. This document also details our plans for 2020, which include adopting five new villages where we will provide our full package of sustainable projects. More details of what we plan to accomplish this year will be added after February 18th when Patricia Parker returns from programme meetings in Darfur, Sudan – so stay tuned!

Thank you all, so much, for making all that we have accomplished possible. We will only promise help if we can be sure we have the funds needed so if you can support us by committing to give a regular set amount this year, you will allow us to plan ahead.  The support from our Children’s Champion and Regular Supporters is vital to our work. We hope that you will continue your incredible support in 2020, and encourage others to get involved!

Feel free to Contact Us with any questions or to express interest in supporting Kids for Kids in some way. We would love to hear from you.

Live from Sudan – February 2020

Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, is currently in Sudan. Over the next two weeks we will post updates here for you to follow along!

 

Patricia’s First Impressions of Darfur After Nine Years

Meeting Ibrahim Again – Wednesday 12th February

“There is so much to tell you – but I have to tell you some most exciting news first …. I met Ibrahim yesterday! He is the little 9 year old whose 7 hour walk across the desert inspired Kids for Kids and has improved the lives of over half a million people. He is tall, good looking – and shy. I met his wife and two of his three little children, his brother and sister – and his lovely mother Asma. It was her extraordinary generosity in offering me their only food – a bowl of goat’s milk – that made me realise we had to try to help. Ibrahim’s eldest is now at our first Kindergarten!  I met too Abdallah Salih who has taught himself English and sends me news astonishingly on FaceBook from their village Um Ga’al. It was my first visit for 17 years.

Meanwhile think of me tomorrow at our Workshop in El Fasher with members of the new Government, who too are determined to help their own people – how refreshing is that! – and, most importantly, representatives from our 100 villages.”

Interviews with Patricia Parker – Monday 10th February

 

Meetings – Monday 10th February

Visit to Dor Fazy Village – Sunday 9th February

Families greeting Patricia and the Kids for Kids team at Dor Fazy Village where the brand new health centre here has just been named for Robin Radclyffe, Patricia Parker’s partner who passed away suddenly last month. Robin was a huge part of the Kids for Kids team and we are happy we can dedicate the health centre to him, creating a lasting memorial in his name – a place that will provide essential and life-saving health services for families for years to come.

Field Visits to Abu Digeis, Majoub A, and Abu Sinait A – Saturday 8th February

 

Congratulating the excellent paravet Nassir for all his hard work looking after the health of the goats and donkeys, which keep the children healthy in Abu Digeis Village. He is exceptional as he also teaches others how to care for the animals, extending our reach beyond our own villages.

Here Nassir is proudly holding his Kids for Kids certificate!

 

 

 

“Our first field trip was grueling, exciting, nostalgic, familiar.  Alastair stayed behind because the FCO ruled it was dangerous – but they appear to treat the whole of Darfur as one. It’s vast. We drove fast bouncing across the tracks in the desert, only slowing for holes and bumps. We saw a big grey ground squirrel running fast and a large mouse with its mouth full. Little flocks of fast moving orange and red birds shot past the car. Abu Digeis was our first village, and met Nassir one of the wisest and best paravets!  We saw the kindergarten built well but needs paint and equipment. But the health centre is as I wanted it – beautiful paint and well kept. The first aid worker and midwives are very proud of their work. We went on to Majoub A where they are building a kindergarten. The community is so proud and the leader Abu Baker was prepared with a list of requests. The Forest was wonderful. Then off to see our first new village: Abu Sinait A where the needs are huge.”

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

First Full Day in Darfur – Friday 7th February

“Awake in the middle of the night – such a day of emotions. Our first meeting in the Kids for Kids office and a banner ‘remembering Robin’ – and the years rolling back as we start on the first of many briefings about life in Darfur. For the first time in 19 years there is a feeling of freedom, relaxation, and hope. Hope at last.

Afterwards we headed off – back at last to the tree nursery. In 2007 it had been sand, a few empty seed beds and half a dozen trees at the edge. Look at it now. Thousands of tree seedlings grown there then transported to villages to turn them green too. My Demonstration Garden looks as if it has always been there. Do you see the shade ….. in a land turned to hot desert this is a dream for us all. Help us to plant trees. It is not too late. My giant baobab reaching high to the sky speaks for us all. Please give me another.”

Pictures below of Patricia visiting the El Fasher tree nursery that Kids for Kids completely renovated in 2007 – since then we have planted 53,000 trees across North Darfur!  Still going strong producing new seedlings – and a lot of shade. The baobab tree was re-introduced by Kids for Kids to North Darfur in 2007 . They are life-bringers, storing water in the trunks and using their seeds for tabaldi juice – great for blood pressure, and tens of other practical uses.

“Driving through El Fasher was as if the years had rolled back – hot sand, lovely light, the market beginning to come awake. At our little office at the back of the town the guard was an old friend. I felt a little like the queen – smell of new paint everywhere. As we waited for the meeting to start they quietly put up a huge poster commemorating Robin. He would have been in his element – but shocked and embarrassed to be honoured in this way.

Our first meeting could not have been more successful. Praise yes, thanks yes but also a great feeling of optimism with a new Government which has already declared itself determined to help people long term.

My notebook is full of ideas for further ways our help is needed already.  Our challenge is to try to convince people they can talk openly about the hardships they face. The previous Government did not want people to know the problems. We need to be able to find ways to help. Tomorrow we head out to make our first field trip in nine years.”

 

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

We’re Back! – Thursday 6th February

“My little room in El Fasher. This is light years better than 9 years ago – but I’ve still taken the precaution of putting my universal plug across the hole in the floor. Please no visitors in the night!

Overwhelmed to be here again. Hatim tried to warn me that there might be people to welcome us – but I thought it would only be our wonderful Salim, Hassan and Adam, I had not expected all the ladies, lead by our darling Fowzia. Their messages of condolence were difficult to hear. Fowzia too had lost someone dear to her.

 I was so pleased to see our first supporter and volunteer Ibrahim Hamid HAC Commissioner after 9 long years – and then our old friend Mohammed Sidiq- now with the UN working on the environment and some of his former colleagues from Practical Action. It was so moving.   We’re home!”

– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

Update from Sudan, and the UK! – Wednesday 5th February

“My THREE little grandchildren. Toryn and Oscar and my new little granddaughter born today! Guess where I would like to be!  But it’s the Reception in a moment and I make a big speech to all the Great and the Good.  Our Patron The British Ambassador briefed us on security today and is hosting us at the Residence tonight – in his garden. It is beautiful weather here for me – cold for the Sudanese! Off to El Fasher for meetings with the new State Government friends from 9 years ago – and many many villagers. If only Robin could be with us.”
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

 

Encouraging Meeting with the new Commissioner of the HAC Sudan – Tuesday 4th February

“We were delighted – but a little apprehensive – to be invited to a meeting by the new Commissioner of the Humanitarian Aid Commission in Khartoum. I need not have worried. HE Abbass Fadelallah already knew about our goat loans and of course Hatim, Alastair and I briefed him on all of our integrated projects. It was exciting, and so encouraging. They are registering new organisations to be run by local people and he would like our Project Implementation Manual in the hope, even if we cannot expand, that others will take up the mantle. For the first time HAC will also deliver humanitarian aid, especially to encourage people who have been displaced from their homes for so long, to return. As he said – they need exactly the sort of package of integrated projects that we provide – not least goat loans!
Tomorrow we travel to Darfur with his blessing.”
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

 

Arrival in SudanMonday 3rd February

 
“As we set off for Sudan from London, still no visa for me from the Embassy but Khalid Mekki, a friend of long standing, assured us all would be well. Alastair and I flew via Addis Ababa then on to Khartoum. We realised I was at risk of deportation- but there at the airport we were whisked off to the VIP lounge and at last, after nine long years, I am back on the soil of Sudan with Khalid and our wonderful friend Hatim Abu Sineina to greet us. My passport had its visa.
We are staying with Hatim’s family as we have done for so many years in the past and for the first time for days I have slept somewhat better.
 
We are in Sudan at last and today I see Omer Shumeina who has been our Honorary Treasurer for all these years. Without him and Hatim safeguarding our funds, Kids for Kids could not have survived. So much has changed – and so much is the same. I feel as Sleeping Beauty must have felt when she awoke. Robin, who came with me for so many visits, is not here but there are friends awaiting us and soon we head to Darfur.
 
I have spoken to Salim and my plans for a workshop are going ahead. Villagers are filling in my Questionnaire already. But it will not be easy. Security is volatile and the Foreign Office advice is not to go to Darfur – even for essential travel.”
 
– Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO

2019 GlobalGiving Superstars!

We are pleased to announce that Kids for Kids is a Superstar Organisation going into 2020!

All your kind donations to our projects on GlobalGiving have led to the most magnificent results: a total of $85,056 (roughly £64,845) raised on the platform in 2019!  This amount is a combination of your support giving goats, donkeys, trees, water, and more and $24,618 in Bonus Prizes and Matching Funds generated by the GlobalGiving team throughout the campaigns you all participated in. What a huge amount of essentially free donations that you helped us get!  ….And you know what else?   This total amount raised in 2019 is almost $20,000 more than what we raised on GlobalGiving in 2018  It can’t be said enough – you all are really the Superstars here!

Kids for Kids is proud to be recognised by GlobalGiving with the following badges for 2020:

A huge highlight for Kids for Kids last year was Giving Tuesday on December 5th, where 105 people donated a massive $18,500 in one day alone!  Not only is that huge, but we also received $5,398 from GlobalGiving in matching funds and $5,000 from an anonymous donor who matched donations up to that amount at 100%!  That meant a total of $28,898 (just over £22,000) raised in ONE DAY on GlobalGiving! Can you believe it?! It was the best Giving Tuesday Kids for Kids has ever seen and we are so eager to do even better in 2020.

We must also thank our fantastic regular donors, who have committed to support Kids for Kids by giving a fixed amount of their choosing every month through GlobalGiving.  Regular donations are the lifeblood of Kids for Kids as they provide an amount that we know we can count on, and therefore allows us to plan ahead for our projects. In 2020 GlobalGiving will be matching new monthly donations at 100%, after they have been active for 4 months. This means if you commit to giving $50 every month, after 4 months you will have given Kids for Kids $250 – with the last $50 being an added bonus from GlobalGiving! Any amount you can spare each month would be greatly appreciated in 2020 as we support our eight newly adopted villages in Darfur, as well as focus on our 5 Year Tree Planting Project. Set up your monthly donation here! 

We are so thankful to you all for continuing to support our work through everyday donations as well as participating in the GlobalGiving Bonus Days and Week-long Campaigns. In 2020 there are Four Campaigns that we are eager to take part in, which are listed below for your convenience.  As you can see from the above information these dates are hugely worthwhile!  Thank you.

Campaign Dates for your Diary:

  • March 23-27: Little by Little Campaign (Donations of up to $50 per donor are matched at 50%)
  • April 20-24: Climate Fund Campaign (More info to come)
  • September 14-18: Little by Little Campaign
  • December 1st: Giving Tuesday (More info to come)

To visit our Projects on GlobalGiving, please click here.  Please follow us on Facebook and Twitter for more information and updates about the above campaigns nearer the time.

Construction of Eight New Buildings Underway!

We are thrilled to announce that construction of eight new buildings – Kindergartens and Health Centre’s – is now underway in Darfur. Five new Kids for Kids Kindergartens are being built in the villages of Lawabid 2005, Majdoub (A) 2007, Kindro 2013, Hillat Kharif 2014, and Kulkul 2015.*  Kindergartens are one of the most sought after projects by Kids for Kids villages because parents know that education is a key route out of poverty, and will undoubtedly provide their children with a real chance at a better future.

Three New Health Centre’s are being built in the villages of Dor Fazy 2014, Mireikhis 2015, Kamala Kira 2015. Before the violence started in Darfur, people could travel to a nearby health centre to receive care. These centre’s closed down when violence began, leaving families today without access to healthcare except for very far away from the villages. We are thrilled to provide healthcare to everyone, as we train first aid workers and midwives in every village we adopt. Providing a health centre makes the lives of these trained professionals even easier, and allows anyone who needs help to get it.

At this stage all eight buildings have already received their first installment of red bricks and the order has been placed for the second installment, as of course the building will be built in stages and we must be careful with funds. The steering committee have authorized the purchase committee to source and prepare to purchase additional building materials like cement, doors, and windows with a local building material agent and two different workshops.

Kindergartens and Health Centre’s are secondary Kids for Kids projects, meaning they are only considered once a village has successfully run our initial basic essential projects and proven they are committed to sustaining them. The most successful villages have the chance to qualify for additional assets, such as kindergartens and health centre’s, by submitting an Annual Report giving full details and evaluation of their projects which is then considered by the Kids for Kids Team. Each village applying for an additional project must be able to provide the labour to construct the building and commit to maintaining it long-term.

We can’t wait to give you more updates on these buildings. It is going to be fantastic when they are up and running, providing essential services to families in great need. In the meantime, if you fancy kitting out our Kindergartens you can donate Library Books or Shoes and Uniforms for the children!  Or help us raise funds for more Kindergartens by donating 30 bricks – or even finance an entire School!

*Please note that the year cited after each village is the year Kids for Kids adopted that village. 

Saying Farewell to Robin Radclyffe

It is with the heaviest of hearts that we share with you that Robin Radclyffe passed away unexpectedly in the early hours of Thursday 9th January at home in Dorking.  Robin was the much loved partner of our Founder and CEO, Patricia Parker, and a valued member of the Kids for Kids team.  Many of you will know Robin personally as a friend, or from attending our events over the past 19 years including our annual fishing day which was his inspiration and passion.  We are deeply saddened to have to deliver this devastating news.  Robin will be greatly missed.

The Kids for Kids family express our sincere condolences to Robin’s family and loved ones.  For all those who would like to attend Robin’s Funeral Service, it will take place at 12:30pm on Tuesday 25th February at St Barnabas’ Church, Ranmore, Dorking, RH5 6SP.  Afterwards we invite you to join us at St Mary’s Church Hall, Stoke D’Abernon to celebrate Robin’s life (directions will be provided at the Church). If you wish to share a memory of Robin or express condolences, please reach out to Patricia Parker and family members via patricia@kidsforkids.org.uk or post a message or photo on Facebook.

Robin cared deeply about Darfur and the children and families there.  His personal contribution made a lasting difference to the lives of so many.  He especially loved the way that Kids for Kids is providing water and helping to turn Darfur green again.  Patricia has suggested that if you would like to contribute to a living memorial, we are collecting donations in his name to provide water and trees in Darfur.   Patricia says she is hoping to have a party in the summer to celebrate all of Robin’s contribution to so many.  “Robin would not want us to be sad.  That would be far from his thoughts.  There is no one I have ever known who was more positive about life than Robin.   Let’s remember him as he would like us to.”

Candlelit Christmas Concert runaway success!

Joanna Lumley, Miriam Margolyes, Timothy West and Lord Cope helped raise an astonishing £25,000 at our Annual Candlelit Christmas Concert.   ‘We were bursting at the seams in the beautiful St Peter’s Eaton Square, thanks to the support of these sensational celebrities” said Patricia Parker, Founder of Kids for Kids, “and the result has raised enough for us to adopt an entire village in Darfur.  Just think of that!”

The concert had been a sell out for weeks and people were being begged for returns right up to the last minute.  “Not surprising” said Patricia “the choirs of Queen’s Gate School who perform for us are exceptional and the children sang their hearts out.   Unforgettable too was the beautiful voice of the gorgeous Natalie Rushdie who sang the much loved Hallelujah by Leonard Cohen with the girls of the senior school.”

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, our new Musical Director, Ian Webb-Taylor.  “It is difficult to explain what it means to villagers when they know their village is to join the 100 communities we have already adopted” said Patricia.

At the heart of the concert is Patricia’s report on the year’s work of the charity in our 2019 Founder’s Christmas Message:

“Where do you start to help when people are so desperate that they risk their lives to make their voices heard?   This is what happened in Sudan this year – a mass uprising of people crying for help for the very basics of life. Shortages even of bread, made people despair.  Yet there was no violence from the demonstrators, despite being met at times by fatal attack.   Their voice was heard.   General Omer Bashir, who held Sudan in an iron grip for 30 years, has been deposed.   There is now a civilian Prime Minister, and he is calling for help for his country.  The country is destitute, its people are destitute. Those living in remote villages in Darfur have an income as little as £25 a year – less than tonight’s ticket.  How can they feed their children?   How can they provide medicines when they are sick?  There is no free health care, no free education.  No wonder the people are calling for help.  We cannot stand by and let children suffer, wherever they are.  Every child matters – look at our wonderful children this evening.

Thankfully, for 18 years you have enabled Kids for Kids to help.  For me it is a huge responsibility, and this is why I need your help.  Mothers across Darfur watch helpless as their children die.   But not in our villages.   There are now 100 Kids for Kids’ villages, over half a million people, to whom we have provided all the things that families have told us are the essentials to enable them to lift themselves out of abject poverty.  Life in Darfur would be frighteningly basic for you and for me – our home, a hut built from straw – unable to mend or rebuild it when the crops fail.   Water from a handpump at least half a mile away, wherever the drill has found a crevice to reach the water table underground. Up to an unbelievable 20 miles in the hottest months of summer.  Walking for every drop.  Our only transport, a little donkey.   And the health of our children reliant on our crops.  We would have no choice of food.  We eat the same assida every single day, every single meal. I am dreading hearing what people will have to eat when they reach the ‘hungry months’ of summer.  The coming months may be the hardest ever.

Our key project, our goat loans, provide not just proteins, minerals and vitamins from the milk from our goats and diversification when crops fail, – but they give women a livelihood.   The most successful, after she has passed on kids to another family in need, has a flock of about 22 goats.  All her own.  Something unbelievable when a goat now costs £50 – remember their annual income.    It is the road to a better, albeit, simple future.   Give a Goat this Christmas and we give you a personalised Christmas Certificate  – and you are giving a gift that transforms life for a child.

In Sudan natural disasters take many shapes.   Not only is there a shocking lack of infrastructure because the previous government concentrated on defence and security, neglecting the welfare of its people, but drought is now much more frequent.  18 years ago it was cyclical, every seven years, and people had coping mechanisms.  Those have collapsed as drought becomes more frequent, and violence has taken its toll. There are pests such as locusts and rats that attack the crops, and disease threatens both flora and fauna.   Mosquitoes have spread malaria, so that last month there were 8,000 people with malaria in hospital in El Fasher, the regional capital.   Many more were unable to reach hospital.

Our aim has always been to prevent problems from becoming catastrophes.   We provide two mosquito nets for each hut.  I am told that those alone have reduced the incidence of malaria by two thirds in the villages.   How about giving Mosquito nets for Christmas this year?  Just £15 and you are giving life.

Our motto is ‘One goat at a time’- and every two years another family, and then another and another, reap the benefits of that one goat loan.  Remember just £50! (So, a goat and a mosquito net?)   It is the same with all our projects.   Everything we do is sustainable – no not the buzz words you hear other charities using, but the real thing.   Real measurable difference.   And how do we know – well one leader walked 90 miles with his little donkey to come to tell me that every year, before Kids for Kids adopted his village, children had died needlessly, heartbreakingly, from malnutrition, malaria, infections which they could not withstand, because they were too weak – all preventable.   He wanted me to know that not one child had died like this since we – since you – helped his village.

This year, a year when conditions have been the worst I have known, and with little prospect of improvement unless the international community steps in quickly, we have adopted eight more villages.   We have trained 37 village midwives who are back at home, saving lives.   In October alone our midwives in 21 of our villages delivered 154 healthy babies.  They provided health care pre and post birth.  They advised mothers, many of whom had virtually no education and cannot read or write, how to care for their newborns. And they teach women the dangers of female genital mutilation.

Ever since violence started in Darfur, travelling anywhere has been fraught with danger.      With no health care in villages, many problems have gone untreated because of the dangers of travelling long distances.   In our villages we also train first aid workers – it is not enough, but they make a real difference when there is no other health care within reach.  Just 20 first aid workers last month treated 214 people.   They also teach hygiene and because they are on hand, they prevent problems from escalating.

Nor is there is any veterinary care.   When lives depend on the health of their animals, training paravets and providing veterinary drugs is one of the first things we introduce in every village we adopt.   Last month our paravets saw 2,766 animals.  And we are building five Kindergartens and five Health Units. Despite the enormous difficulties created by the lack of fuel, the drilling rig has dug five successful handpumps, and there is clean water for another 1,250 people.

So why is our big Appeal this Christmas, trees?   You and I know from the news of drought and wildfires across the world, with soaring temperatures, and of exceptional rain even in our own country causing unprecedented floods, that climate change is a reality.   In Darfur they are at the forefront, facing the encroaching desert – sand covering everything and even in every mouthful they eat, as the wind blows across the flat and increasingly barren land.   This is the reality of the climate emergency, of life at the sharp end.

We have been planting trees wherever we can.   When I first asked the village leaders if they wanted trees, they initially said No, because they attracted birds which would eat their crops.   Now, with education, they are begging me for trees.  Yet caring for them is challenging.  When every drop of water has to be carried, often for miles, it is a labour of love, of optimism and of hope. To see a green canopy over straw huts, is a beautiful sight.   To sit in the shade of a tree, when temperatures soar, is beyond price.

Please help me to plant more trees.   If you are having a Christmas tree – even if it is one you bring out each year – please give a tree for a family in Darfur.   You will love our Christmas Gift Certificates.   We have them at the back of church.  What a wonderful way to solve your Christmas present list right now!   Off set your consumerism by giving back something life saving – whether it is a little goat, a donkey, mosquito net – or a tree.

Children, my friends, please don’t go home and forget Darfur.   There are families who need our help. Don’t wait for the world to respond, let us help the helpless, together.”

 

To download and share a copy of our Founder’s 2019 Christmas Message please click here.

All photos of the event from the brilliant Michael Blyth Photography. 

Brussels Scouts Relay for Darfur

On November 25th the Central Brussels Scouts held a relay race in Parc Cinquantenaire – raising over 950 Euros for Kids for Kids!

The Scouts are made up of two troops, Tuvalu and Tonga, who in turn each ran 5km in the relay – completing their goal of 10km! The scouts were all sponsored by their friends and family in this fantastic fundraising initiative.  Parents baked lots of goodies to sell at the event to those who had come to watch and cheer, and even joined in to run the final lap with the scouts.

Scout Mother, Nadia, told us all about the day:

“It was a glorious autumn day here in Brussels and the event was held at Cinquantenaire Park. We had loads of homemade cakes and biscuits for sale (we even had to stack some under the table because we had so many!) to replenish the runners between their relay rounds. Supporters also enjoyed the sweet treats – we sold almost all of them! It was such a fun and joyous event, filled with good spirit and a great sense of purpose.”

We are so grateful to the Brussels Scouts for their fantastic effort and energy put into this relay event!  The troop has made their donation of 950 Euros (roughly £812) to Kids for Kids, to go to the project where it is most needed at the moment, and we have therefore decided to put their hard earned funds towards purchasing goats for children in Darfur! Goats milk changes the lives of children in Darfur who are malnourished because there is very little food to eat, resulting in a lack of essential proteins and nutrients.. By giving goats to families in need, children will grow big and strong! Thank you so much, Central Brussels Scouts. We are thrilled to be able to donate more goats as we help more families and adopt more villages.

To learn more about our Goats and maybe donate one yourself(!), please click here.

Enterprising Woman of Jafaina Thinks Towards her Future

We are so proud and delighted to hear stories of the women in our villages who are doing remarkably well, and creating a future for themselves and their families. We wanted to share with you one recent story, from Jafaina Village in the south of North Darfur, which we adopted only last year in 2018, and which is already showing significant changes towards a better future. 

The photo above is of Hawa, 32 years old, married, with three of her five young children.  Hawa’s husband is a farmer. In September 2018 Hawa received five goats and one local breed donkey from the Animal Loan Committee, along with basic essentials including two blankets and two mosquito nets to protect and keep her family warm at night. Kids for Kids also provided vaccines for the animals, anthelmintic and worming treatments.  Preventing disease is essential to enable Hawa to build up her flock.

After the rainy season last year Hawa’s goats produced two kids and this year they produced five more kids! After just one year, Hawa now has 12 goats in total – and four of her nanny goats are currently pregnant!   She has done very well in keeping her promise to take good care of her animals – the same promise that all Kids for Kids beneficiaries make before receiving help from the Animal Loan Committee. Hawa has made sure that the goats have access to an area of shade from the hot desert sun at all times. She made sure to collect bits of trees, grass, and dry fodder so that she could create a Tabana near her home where the goats can graze. The goats have provided milk to feed her children, plus yoghurt that she has made to sell in the market!

Her donkey has been a great help in bringing water from the hand pump, as well as helping to plough the farm. Hawa’s husband has been able to harvest a variety of items on a further 2.5 acres of former scrub grass land including more of the staple crop millet, tomato and okra. Hawa’s donkey has also made it possible for her two eldest children to attend Kindergarten in Turra village, which is 6km away.

After the next goat rotation happens, and five of Hawa’s goats are passed along to benefit another family in the village, Hawa wants to once again increase her flock so that she can sell extra billy goats, keeping the female goats to provide milk for the family and sell yoghurt and butter in market.   Once she has ‘paid back’ her goats the flock is hers – and for the first time ever she will be able to make decisions for her family.

One really exciting thing that Hawa has been doing is making handicrafts from fronds (a tough grass grown in some parts of North Darfur).  Fronds are used to create the material for the roofs of houses, woven together to create trays to cover food, baskets, and sometimes even handbags. Hawa has been making mostly baskets and food covers to keep the flies away, which she has been able to sell at the El Fasher and Turra Markets to earn an additional income.

Most of the Kids for Kids villages are in the north of North Darfur, where the need is greatest, and where these fronds do not grow, as the conditions are much harsher, hotter and drier.   This means Hawa is one of few who have been able and enterprising enough to take advantage of these materials, to engage with another way of earning an income to support her family!   Life is really tough in Darfur but Hawa is showing how to make a real lasting difference for her family.   Good luck Hawa!

St Swithun’s School Raises £3,000

On Monday 30th September Patricia Parker MBE, Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids, visited St Swithun’s School in Winchester to explain to the students and staff at assembly about what we have been able to do in Darfur, Sudan with their invaluable support last academic year. In September 2018, St Swithun’s School adopted Kids for Kids as their international charity of the year and raised over £3,000 which they are putting towards our key project – Goat Loans!  We are proud that we enable our supporters to choose exactly which project they would like to support.

Goats are a wonderful choice as they are the best microfinance investment!  Goat’s milk is the closest thing to a mother’s milk and provides essential protein and nutrients for children in Darfur who are malnourished.  Just one cup a day changes a child’s life. Women can sell surplus goat’s milk at market and earn the first income they will have ever received. We are so grateful to St Swithun’s for recognising the importance of our work, and making an amazing effort to help the forgotten children of Darfur this year.

Patricia met Paul Wallington, Head Teacher Ms Jane Gandee, and Head Girl Maria Solovyeva – a team of people that has been instrumental in fundraising for Kids for Kids this year. Patricia was delighted to present Certificates to Alice Calder and Emma Paterson whose personal effort raised £1,293.75.  “Emma and Alice showed that every one of us can have an impact on someone’s life” said Patricia. These two young girls were so moved by the mission of Kids for Kids that they decided to support the charity by taking part in the New Forest Half Marathon!   The girls have chosen to fund the repair of a handpump in Darfur and to build a Latrine. Please read more about their amazing achievement here.

“It was very special to be able to congratulate Alice and Emma” said Patricia “and I am more delighted than I can say that they are determined to support Kids for Kids next year.”

We are looking forward to visiting St Swithun’s School in the future, and have our fingers crossed that they will adopt us as their charity for 2020-21.  In March 2021 Kids for Kids will celebrate its’ 20th Birthday and we would just love for St Swithun’s to be a part of that!  “St Swithun’s is such a special school giving the girls everything needed to contribute to the future of us all.    This is why it has been so special to see their enthusiasm and understanding of Kids for Kids.   Each one of them by supporting our microfinance goat loans has changed children’s lives long term.   What an achievement!”

Students from St Swithun’s will be joining us as ushers for this year’s Candlelit Christmas Concert. See you all there!

 

Latest News: Autumn 2019

All the latest news from Kids for Kids is available here!

Kids for Kids Latest News

There are major changes in Sudan, with a new Government and the promise of democracy. See what this means to families living there – and to Kids for Kids:  Read News from Darfur now. 

Regular Giving and Children’s Champions

It is almost impossible to plan projects without knowing what funds we have!  Regular Donations are our lifeblood. Whether a monthly donation of committing to three year’s of supporting projects of your choice by becoming a Children’s Champion would make a massive tangible long term difference to how much we can help.

Read about Regular Support here!

Do come to our Candlelit Christmas Concert

The absolutely fabulous Joanna Lumley OBE will be providing the perfect start to your Christmas Season on Thursday 5th December at St Peter’s Church, Eaton Square, Belgravia.   Join the choirs from Queen’s Gate School and other celebrities for Christmas Carols, Mulled Wine and more!

Buy your tickets online now or by filling out our invitation here.

Planting Trees for Christmas

This Christmas Season we are encouraging you all to not only buy a tree and decorate it in your own home, but to give the gift of trees to children in Darfur!  Donate trees on behalf of a loved one this Holiday Season – we plant your trees in Darfur and send you a personalised Gift Certificate!

Read about our Trees now!