Summer Weekend helps feed starving children

We were delighted to welcome the crowds who came along to support Patricia’s Open Garden, Summer Fete & Art Exhibition, when she opened her house and garden over the weekend of 10th to 12th August. It was  Patricia’s personal effort to raise enough money to provide food for 100 families and their children, facing famine this summer in Darfur.  “I couldn’t have done this alone.  I cannot thank all the wonderful volunteers who came to support me.   You were amazing, particularly when we struggled to put up the tent in the driving rain! But it was all worthwhile.   The sun shone and your help gave everyone a wonderful day, and between us we will be spending nearely £3,500 on emergency food to help children right now.  Thank you so very much.  I couldn’t have done it without you!”

Visitors were able to enjoy the range of stalls and explore the gardens in the sunshine, while 100 original works of art were on display in the house. “It was fabulous to have so many people join us” said Patricia. “Knowing the suffering that is taking place in the remote Darfur villages, I just had to do something and to see so many others who felt the same was truly heart-warming.”

While our work focuses on sustainable grassroots projects that enable families and communities to help themselves, the failed harvest for the second year running means we are currently providing Emergency Aid for the first time ever. “Without this help, children will die”,  said Patricia added.

We are pleased to let you know that the total funds raised reached just under £3,500.  “I am so grateful to everyone who helped make this weekend happen.   I think my family and friends thought I was mad!  It is a bit daunting to think that nearly 300 people came here”, Patricia added. “The funds that they and all our lovely stallholders have raised means we will be able to provide a sack of flour for food and bag of seed for planting to 75 families in Darfur, so will be reaching over 400 children. What a fantastic result! However, we still have more to do as many more families are in danger of starvation.”

Our Urgent Need Appeal is continuing to run, as the earliest the next harvest in Darfur will be is still 3 months away and people need help to survive until then. If you would like to support a family at this time of crisis, the Emergency Aid package of flour and seed which costs £45 for a family, can be donated here.

If you would like to buy one of Patricia or Robin’s paintings we will be posting them on this site.

The Thomas Brothers Ride for Goats!

Kids for Kids supporters and avid cyclists Jamie and Patrick Thomas took part in the Prudential RideLondon to Surrey on 29th July.  Cycling 100 miles in total, the route began at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, went through central London, then down to Surrey’s country roads and the stunning Surrey Hills. Jamie and Patrick cycled back to finish on The Mall, managing an incredible time of 5 hours and 47 minutes – and this was including a tyre puncture!  What an astounding effort by them both.

Jamie and Patrick raised a grand total of £1,424 for Kids for Kids between them. We are beyond thrilled!   This amount will be enough to provide 16 families with Urgent Care Packages, ensuring that they do not starve during the current famine.  The rains have just begun in Darfur but these are arguably the worst months of the year, and called  ‘The Hungry Months’  by the villages we support.  Families are now planting for the harvest but many do not have any seed because they had to eat it earlier in the year when they ran out of food because the previous harvest only produced 10% of what should have been. These packages, which include 90kg of flour, a goat, and 15 kilos of ground nuts for the animals, will save lives.

Thanks to the astounding effort of Jamie and Patrick Thomas in both their fundraising and this challenging event, we are able to ensure many children in Darfur will not starve.  You are brilliant!

We have two spaces secured in the Prudential RideLondon 100 for 2019 – are you interested? Do get in touch to register your interest, or visit our Challenges Page to see what other events you could take part in!

 

 

 

Ambassador to Sudan becomes new Patron

We are delighted to announce that H.E. Mr Irfan Siddiq OBE, H.M. Ambassador to Sudan since April this year, is now a Patron of Kids for Kids.

Irfan Siddiq was born and raised in London and entered the United Kingdom’s Diplomatic Service in 1998 after graduating with a degree in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University.

He has worked in the Foreign Office in London on NATO issues, as Private Secretary to the Foreign Secretary and as Head of the Arab Partnership Department, leading the UK’s response to the Arab Spring. He has had diplomatic postings to New Delhi, Cairo, Baghdad and Damascus. His first position as an Ambassador was to Azerbaijan in 2013. He has also spent time outside the FCO on secondments to the US State Department in Washington and to Plan International, an NGO working on children’s rights.

We are grateful for his invaluable support which will make a big difference to how we can help children in Darfur.

 

 

Ambassadors’ Ball 2018 saves lives

Our fabulous Ambassadors’ Ball at the Hyatt Regency – The Churchill Hotel on 19th May was a sell-out and made a profit of an amazing £18,864!

We are so grateful to everyone who came on the night and helped make it such a success, as well as to all those who supported the Ball by donating prizes, sponsorship and advertising.  Every one of you made a difference.    Thank you too to the staff of The Churchill who looked after us wonderfully.

We are delighted to share some photos from the evening below.  Many more are available to buy online from www.antoniapenia.com/kidsforkids.  Antonia Peña, our lovely photographer, very generously donated her time again, and is now giving 30% of any photos you may buy to Kids for Kids – so do see how beautiful everyone looked!

Everything we raised from the Ball is helping children and families in Darfur who are facing starvation this year. Thanks to everyone who supported the Ball we are going to be able to save 1,284 children (and their animals) from the prospect of starvation from now until the rains come, PLUS we will be providing each of their families with a sack of seed, so they will have something to plant next year.   We always try to prevent disasters – and without seed,  yet more children will face starvation next year.   It is an horrific scenario.  Depending on the donations we receive, we are also planning to provide even more goats, so there is milk/protein for the children.  With soaring inflation and the devaluation of the Sudanese pound people cannot afford protein in any other form.

Our Ambassadors’ Ball is helping us make a great difference to so many, but, sadly, we still have a long way to go to prevent starvation in Darfur over the coming months.  Our initial target is to give help to 3,000 families, so your support to help us reach this is needed more than ever.  Each ‘package’ of flour, supplementary food for animals and a goat costs £88.   Seed for planting is an additional £15.   You can donate to our Urgent Need Appeal here.

Our wonderful Ball sold out really early this year so a date for your diary – Saturday 8th June 2019!

 

School Children Set an Example!

School Children have an incredible ability to raise crucial funds to help others – and the best ideas of how to do so!  Over the years, Patricia Parker MBE Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids has given many presentations to eager children who are willing to learn, connect, and take action. We have seen some incredible fundraising ideas, some of our favourites being: cake bakes, crazy hair days, summer and Christmas fairs, sponsored walks for water, garage sales and of course, a real favourite – selling smoothies during the summer months!  Children can do so much to raise funds because every penny counts to families in Darfur who have nothing.

Many schools have adopted Kids for Kids as their long term project, knowing that we are fanatical about spending the maximum possible on the ground in Darfur, not on overheads.  We are determined that every pound raised, often with real personal effort, makes a real and lasting difference to children in desperate need.  Schools that continue to support us include Southbank International School, Hampstead; St Paul’s School, Dorking; KICS, Khartoum; Bishop Thomas Grant School, London; Edgeborough School, Farnham; Worth School, Turners Hill; Queens Gate School, London; Cheam School, Newbury,  and more.

We welcome invitations to come to speak personally to students so they can have an unique chance to learn how children their own age live in Darfur.   Patricia has been delighted to speak recently to two exceptional schools. The first was morning assembly at St Swithun’s School Winchester at the invitation of Chaplain Paul Wallington,  where 500 students and their teachers learnt about the work that Kids for Kids does helping children in Darfur who have no hope.  The girls will be selecting three charities to support in the coming academic year, 2018-19.  We are keeping our fingers crossed that Kids for Kids will be their international choice.   Children face famine this year.   We need all the support possible.

The second school Patricia visited was Dunottar School Reigate where she met the school charity committee.   Patricia said  “What an inspiring group of young people – it was such a pleasure seeing their enthusiasm and empathy with others so far away, leading very different lives.” We are delighted to hear they are organising a Mufti Day and Rounders Match in support of Kids for Kids!

These are only two of the visits Patricia has been making to schools in England. Back in January she presented the work of Kids for Kids to the City of London School, where the students had previously raised over £86,000 to support the charity. Patricia was able to tell the students exactly how the money they raised was spent, and how many people they have helped, and will continue to help, through the charity’s sustainable long-term projects.  There is now a village and a new kindergarten in Darfur adopted by City of London Boys, and named after the school as a permanent reminder.     No other school has – so far! – done so much in such a short time.  Thank you everyone at City of London.

It is rare for a charity to be able to account for every penny a school raises, and even rarer for the Founder of a charity to be able to speak to a school. Learning about Darfur from Patricia’s first-hand experience is a very special treat for children who are just exploring the world’s many charitable causes.

“It is so rewarding showing children how others, their own age, are living, so far away! Patricia said. “These are the next generations who will be able to truly change the situation in places like Darfur. No one is too young to make a difference.”

If you would like to invite Patricia to speak to your school, please get in touch! We want to show as many children as possible the situation in Darfur and what children in the UK can do to help.  contact@kidsforkids.org.uk

 

Beavers’ Water Relay Challenge

Children from the 24th Cheltenham Beaver Scouts found out just how hard it can be to carry water long distances, when they held a Water Relay Challenge in aid of Kids for Kids last month.

As part of their ‘My World Challenge’ badges, the Beavers had learnt about Darfur and the impoverished conditions in which so many of the children there live, including the long daily walk that they must make to fetch water. Once the Beavers heard of the difficulties children faced in Darfur, they were keen to help raise awareness and funds to support the work of Kids for Kids.

So, on the 21st February, 24 children and their Leaders braved the cold weather of the UK to take part in their Water Relay Challenge.  Daniel Hortop, Beaver Scout Leader, said “The Water Relay was fun, but it had a very serious side too.  The Beavers were shocked to find out there were children about the same age as them who actually couldn’t go to school and have an education, because they were having to spend so long each day to get something as basic as water.  We knew that once they heard about it, they would want to help in some way.  And we were really proud of the way they took on the Challenge we set them.”

We are so grateful to all those who took part and gave such fantastic support to our work.  Congratulations to the Beavers for all their effort which, we are delighted to report, has already raised over £600.  There is still time to donate to the Water Relay Challenge by visiting their on line donation page here.

If you or your group would be interested in holding your own water fundraiser to give help to children in Darfur and their families, please get in touch: contact@kidsforkids.org.uk  or 07971001904.

Easter news from Edgeborough

Edgeborough School have been very busy supporting Kids for Kids since they adopted us as their school’s annual charity. A fantastic £3,809 has already been raised from the children at the school, encouraged by the Boarding Houses having a competition to see which can raise the most!

Activities include:

  • Burton House Cake Sale, which raised £231
  • A spectacular Bonfire Night event
  • Jackson House Cake Sale, raising £225
  • More baking too for the Pre-Prep’s special Easter cake sale happening on Friday 23rd March
  • Pupil Zara will be holding her ‘Chop for Charity’ at school on 11th May, when a massive 30 cm of her hair will be cut off! She has already raised £85 from her ‘Lucky 7 Tentacles’ raffle and can be sponsored online at Virgin Money Giving.

We are so grateful to all the pupils, staff and parents for all that they are doing to support children and families in Darfur.

 

 

 

Incredible support for Empowering Women

What a fantastic response you have  given to our appeal on Global Giving helping ‘Empower Women to Earn an Income’.

The number of donations made to the campaign has now reached 111 and the total raised so far is over £7,100 ($9,600). Thank you so much to everyone who has donated. We have some pretty incredible friends and supporters.

On International Women’s Day – which is also our birthday! – Global Giving were matching donations at 30%.  Your response when we asked for your support on that day meant we earned $625 from the Global Giving matching, but also came in 4th for ‘projects with the most donations’ and won a bonus prize of $200 from Global Giving!

We didn’t quite make it as one of the charities with the most individual donations received in the following two weeks, but may still be selected to be part of the Global Giving ‘Girl Fund’, securing project funding for the rest of 2018!

If you would like to find out more about the appeal and help us Empower Women, please go to Global Giving here.  Your help will enable us to empower some of the most deprived women in the world to build better futures for themselves and their children.

Velodrome Challenge: Vertiginous, Precipitous and Exhilarating

This is how IAN PARKER, Director of Henchards, described his Olympic Velodrome Challenge! Ian gives us a real taster of what it is like to cycle on the Velodrome, a very different experience from any other cycling he has done in the past (and he has done a lot!). He talks us through the differences in the bike, the track, and what he learnt during the brilliant coaching session. After being on the track, Ian met Dani King – three time world champion and Olympic Gold Medalist in Cycling. 

Vertiginous, precipitous and exhilarating: My experience on the London Olympic cycling track 
by Ian Parker

“If you have been to a velodrome and stood above the banked curve, you will have experienced a sense of ‘how do they do that?’ At 42 degrees, it’s a slope that you’d struggle up on all fours – if you could get sufficient grip. So to ride a bike around the top of a velodrome is a challenge that attracts equal excitement and trepidation.

Initial Impressions

I had the opportunity to experience the track at the Lee Valley VeloPark (the London Olympic Games indoor cycling arena) during a fundraising event for Kids for Kids and GB Olympian Legacy 300, a charity that’s raising money towards good causes and further UK Olympic success. Henchards has chosen Kids for Kids as our charity of the year because of the essential sustainable work they do to help families in Darfur that no one has ever helped before. Kids for Kids builds grassroots projects in villages that are identified and run by each community. This was a ‘taster’ half-day session for those with little or no track cycling experience, and a great way to raise money for an important cause.

Just two weeks earlier, I had been to the same velodrome as a spectator at the Six Day London event. This is a high-energy evening of cycling, featuring music, lights and top athletes like Mark Cavendish. It was hot, exciting, packed with noisy spectators, and the standard of cycling was world class. As a contrast, this time, I arrived at the velodrome on a cool autumn morning with only the sound of a few cyclists on the track doing some training laps. No spectators, no jazzy lights, and an echoing, rather than roaring, atmosphere. Nonetheless, the excitement was still there.

I cycle quite a bit and have raced a few times, so I thought doing a few 250-metre laps on a perfectly smooth surface wouldn’t be much of a challenge. I was wrong. Leaving aside the banking for a moment, even the bikes are very different. Yes, they have two wheels, handlebars, pedals and a saddle – that much is familiar. But they also have no brakes, no gears, different dimensions and, most alarming of all, you can’t stop pedalling – you can only slow down very gradually.

The Coaching

A group of 12 of us changed into our cycling gear and a British Cycling coach introduced us to the bikes and the rules of the velodrome. These rules ranged from a code for starting and stopping the bikes (did I mention there are no brakes?) through to not being allowed to carry anything in our pockets (no cameras, no phones, not even a tissue that might fall out onto the track).

The coaching progressed through basic bike handling to building pace around the track and then starting the process of going faster and riding higher up the banking. It was fantastic. From starting out thinking ‘how do they do that’, just a couple of laps later we were moving up from the safe area onto the lower slopes. A few laps after that, speed and confidence had built and a few of us circulated higher and higher until we were at the top of the track, looking down the 42-degree slope at cyclists much lower down.

You must keep your speed up to maintain height and balance at the steepest points of the track, and with such a smooth surface and none of the adverse weather you get riding on the roads, we were able to achieve speeds of 35–40 miles an hour. Exhilarating!

The final part of the track experience was a timed lap: one warm-up lap, then give it everything for one lap to see how fast you can go. With the clock showing on the giant scoreboard, times for each sector and your name on the leader board, it’s a little taste of what the fantastic gold medal winning, world record holding and world champion athletes of British Cycling have experienced on this same track.

Meeting Dani King

And then we got to meet one of them. Dani King, London 2012 Olympic gold medallist, world record holder and multiple world champion, hosted a buffet lunch and a very relaxed and revealing Q&A session. I love cycling, admire Dani’s achievements and feel proud of what she and her team mates have done for British sport. My small taster of riding on the track was all fun, with a bit of hard work; however, getting an insight into the sacrifices, the rejections, the athlete–coach dynamics and the singular focus of a world-class performer put it all into perspective.

Business advisers often look at sporting analogies to highlight good or bad practices in business. One excellent example from Dani concerned motivation and taking responsibility for your own achievements. In the Q&A, she was asked about her parents’ influence on her success. And the answer could translate to any business owner’s experience. Dani pointed out that, whilst her parents were always supportive, the drive had to come from within her. As a young teenager with early-morning training sessions, it wasn’t her parents who took responsibility to set the alarm and get Dani to training; it was her responsibility to set the alarm, wake her parents and get everything ready. She wanted to perform at her best and was motivated to ensure she did. As business owners, we want to see the same – that is, for our people to take responsibility for their own performance, not wait to be pushed. Having said that, there were a few times that I could have done with a push around the track that day!

Ian Parker is the Director of Henchards, a business advisory company: “At Henchards, we believe you are the hero in the story of your business.  If you aren’t yet in that role, we’ll help you achieve your goals, enjoy being a business leader and, in the process, create business wealth for you and your loved ones to enjoy in the future.”

www.henchards.com

Are you interested in taking on an Olympic Challenge with Kids for Kids? Learn more about the different challenges in Rowing, Rafting, and Cycling here!

Inner Wheel does it again

Patricia was the guest speaker at the Inner Wheel Club of Spalding’s International Service lunch earlier this month and received a very generous donation.

The Inner Wheel Club of Spalding aims to help the community and international projects, as well as enjoying friendship and camaraderie and their international service officer, Marina Hutchison, said about the lunch: “It was a great success, with the presence of members of various Inner Wheel Clubs of the area, members of the South Holland Rotary Club and numerous friends.”

The combined amount received from the Inner Wheel Club of Spalding, South Holland Rotary and a Rotarian totalled a fantastic £1,000.  Our grateful thanks to all those involved in raising this very generous donation.

Patricia commented: “Such a treat my visit to Spalding. It was a super gathering. The donation was so generous of all involved, but more important – thank you for helping the children in Darfur.”

See more from an article in Spalding Today here.

Fantastic day fishing

What a great day we had on Saturday; probably the best day’s fishing we have ever had!

It was lovely that so many could join us to fish at the fantastic Park Lake and help make the day such a success. We are really grateful to Richard, Tony, Cameron and everyone at the Albury Estate for making it possible. Key to the success of the day is to have great trainers and volunteers. John, Trevor, Peter, Cecil and Tom could not have worked harder – it was such fun seeing how many fish were caught. The heaviest was 2lb 11 ozs! Of course, the inner man has to be looked after too and the volunteers from the Surrey Committee somehow managed to magic up delicious food throughout the day. Everyone was well looked after and very well fed!

We are incredibly grateful for the generosity of Albury Estate and the support of event sponsor J Timpson Photography for supporting us for the second year running. Please note – the photographs below are NOT Jonathan’s – he was too busy fishing with son Oliver!

We can’t wait for next year! Incidentally it was a sell out event so do book early for 2018. Watch the Events Page to see the date.

 

 

Sharing with Little Sharers

We are so excited that Kids for Kids is now a charity partner with Little Sharers – the online children’s party planning service with a charitable gift giving programme.

Little Sharers provides an easy & fun way for children – and adults! – to set up a party with a special gift fund that can help them get their ideal present themselves, whilst also encouraging sharing, by donating half the fund to their chosen charity.

We are looking forward to working with them and enabling party goers to have the opportunity to give children in Darfur the gift of a real future, whilst celebrating their own special occasion.

If you would like to find out more, please take a look at the Little Sharers website: www.littlesharers.com