The long awaited rains arrive!

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

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

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

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

They can’t wait to start school!

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

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

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

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

 

 

 

 

 

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

1.  Carts to help transport children to school.

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

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

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

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

 

 

Touching support within villages of Darfur

Eid is a special time in Darfur, especially when Ramadan has been as demanding as this year when temperatures soared.     At the end of the Holy Holiday we were touched to hear about a very special offer of  support that villagers have decided to make to ensure our projects are on course.

It is as hard for animals to survive in Darfur as it is for humans in the harsh conditions.    It is therefore essential to get veterinary care in place before our animals arrive.    But our goats and donkeys are needed urgently.  Any delay means children go hungry.    Each year there is a challenge to finish our Animal Husbandry training for the beneficiaries and our Childrens’ Shepherds’ Committee, and the Paravets training so that it doesn’t clash with the arrival of the rains and the planting season when everyone is needed in the fields.    Working the land in Darfur is concentrated on just a short period and is crucial because a successful crop means you can feed your family.

All our new villages this year have offered to help the volunteers, who are being trained as paravets, with their planting, so that the training will not have to be delayed, and their families will not suffer.  This year they will be back in their villages in time for us to buy the goats at the right time – when the grass is starting to grow and yet the price of animals has not soared. It means too that the goats will have settled into their new homes before they become pregnant and are likely to have an easier, less stressful pregnancy,  and successful births.    Everyone is watching anxiously for the rains.

It really shows how the whole community is behind our projects and determined to make them a success for the whole village.    “This is an example of real community involvement and shows why our projects are sustainable” said Patricia Parker MBE Founder.    “Life is incredibly hard in Darfur with even the simplest job – to light a fire to cook you walk miles to find firewood, to have a drink of water in the summer it could be a walk of 20 miles.   This offer to help another family means a great deal.    I am so impressed and encouraged.   I think this year’s villages may be the best ever!”

Latest News from Kids for Kids

All the latest news about our work in Sudan, events, fundraising and how you can get involved.

A letter from Patricia

A personal letter from our Founder, Patricia Parker MBE, with special recent news coming from South Sudan.

Read Patricia’s letter

Our Upcoming 2017 Events

Our annual list of events for 2017 – Come and join us at a fundraising event soon!

Read about our events

Our 2017 Newsletter

Download our latest newsletter.  Read more about the impact on Darfurian villages and our amazing community fundraisers, plus ideas for how you can get involved and help fundraise.

Read our newsletter

Please also see our updated gift list and donate now to help those in need.

South Sudan Refugees flee famine – we must help

People often donate ‘To the Greatest Need’.  At the moment, there is no doubt what this need is – it is caring for the families who have travelled into Darfur from South Sudan, to escape famine.

People will not stand by and let children starve, but families in our villages are already under duress.  They are struggling too.   Drought last year left them with little for their own families and once again the harvest in many areas is far less than they need.    We need your help urgently please.

More hungry families are arriving daily in already poverty-stricken villages in Darfur.  Our experience of providing sustainable projects, working efficiently and effectively to fight hunger and to bring clean water and health care, can be expanded quickly to respond to this growing disaster.   We need basic essentials for those who are arriving – more blankets, mosquito nets, jerry cans for clean water, medicines, goats to provide milk, farm tools, cooking utensils – and we need to help their hosts too.    Our families will not stand by and let children starve, but we cannot stand by and see all we have done to build up villages disappear.

If you can help, please do so by donating to the greatest need, or purchasing these items.  Thank you for your help.

An update about your gifts of Goats and Donkeys

We’re buying now!    Because life is tough in Darfur we don’t provide animals until there is veterinary care in a village.    Paravets are now back home in HILLAT MINAIR, SHAWAT MAKI, AEFIN and UM KEDDADA, the villages we adopted last year.    They have their veterinary drugs.  The beneficiaries and the Children’s Shepherds Committees are all trained – and at last we can buy goats!    The bad news is that the price of goats, and of everything else, has shot up as inflation has soared yet again in Sudan.    It is always highest in Darfur.    Our new Gift List is available, but already prices are out of date.    But we will not let any mother down.   Every family promised goats and donkeys when we adopted their village, will have their animals.   Thanks to you, we will never let anyone down.    Can you imagine being desperate for help to feed your family, hearing you are getting help …. and then it not happening and your children left to starve?  Goats arrive in just a few days now.

For 16 years Kids for Kids has been lending goats so that children have goat’s milk.   Babies whose mothers cannot feed them have milk to drink.   Children who are malnourished, wake up to a cup of milk each day.  Mothers have a supplementary income they can rely on – and after two years they pass on offspring to another family.   And, over time, the health of the entire village is improved.

As you read this, new little goats will be walking into a village in the centre of Africa and bringing smiles to the faces of the children.    Every week the Kids for Kids Children’s Shepherds’ Committees check all the goats and donkeys.   Last month, In Dor Fazy, a village we adopted in 2014, the children checked 462 goats.    Already there are 306 kids.  “It is a great responsibility to check the Kids for Kids goats,” said Hamid (Chairman of the Shepherds’ Committee, age 11 yrs).  “If we see a goat won’t get up we report it to the paravet who will make it better.   None of the animals has died in our village since Kids for Kids provided veterinary care for us and taught us how to look after the animals.”

Thanks to you, we provided donkeys for the poorest families in our four villages just before Christmas.   Those donkeys are busy transforming the lives of their families.   To be given a donkey is to be given a new life, to be freed just a little from the drudgery which is life in the remote villages.

More bad news too because we know that the harvest has been less than 30% in many of our villages and less than 10% in some.    This means we have to provide supplementary fodder and seeds for planting – we just don’t know how much is needed yet.    Please help if you can.

There’s no place like home…

It is hard to imagine being hungry every day of your life, but this is what it is like to be a child in Darfur.   The summer months are known as the ‘hungry months’.  This is when all surface water has dried up, men, women, children and animals are walking miles for every drop of water, and nothing is growing.    If you have not collected enough grass earlier in the year, your animals starve too.

Each year, fathers and the eldest sons leave home because they are another mouth to feed “If I stayed I would be eating what little there is instead of my poor children having it” said Abdullah who lives in one of the worst-hit villages.  They travel to cities, to camps and further across the world, joining the flow of migrants seeking ways to earn money to send home, facing sometimes dangerous journeys along the way.

The stability provided by Kids for Kids changes this and helping families to stay together.  Abdullah said, “Thanks to Kids for Kids I can now stay at home in the hungry months and help look after my children until the rains come and we can work the fields again.”

Our sustainable projects are helping over 374,000 people in 82 villages, but there are over 900 villages in Darfur.    Kids for Kids villages are swelling, and we need to support the extra people arriving and welcome them.  With your help, little by little, one family at a time, we are making a real difference.   Thank you.

See what we can do in a year!

KIDS FOR KIDS – OUR ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE LAST 12 MONTHS

DARFUR – ONE OF THE MOST CHALLENGING REGIONS OF THE WORLD

Kids for Kids is one of the few organisations working in Darfur helping villagers in remote regions.  Our grassroots integrated projects have been supporting individual families and whole communities for 16 years: before the violence erupted and throughout the intervening years.
Now, in the absence of virtually all the aid agencies, we are very proud to announce detail of the help we provided in 2016.

Continue reading

Every Drop Matters & Every Penny Counts – an update on Water in Darfur

Thirst in Africa is a daily threat.   In Darfur, in the centre of Africa, where temperatures soar to over 50 degrees thirst can be a frightening reality.   2016 saw one of the worst droughts for many years across sub-Saharan Africa and in the villages of Darfur, when all surface water had long since dried up, there were many months when every drop of water had to be collected from miles across the open searingly hot desert.  Many villagers, men, women, children and their animals, had to walk up to 20 miles for every drop.   Can you imagine how elated everyone in Hillat Kharif, Amar Gadid, Azagarfa, Abu Degeise, Dor Fazy and Hillat Hassan are because they now have a Kids for Kids’ hand pump? – thanks to you.

“We prayed for water every day of our lives,” said Sara “but never believed we really would get a hand pump just outside our village.  It is a dream come true.   It is difficult to explain what a difference this has made to all our lives.”

Sara is a grandmother.   She has struggled all her life with the deprivations of living in Darfur.   There are still many people without access to clean water to drink – they have to share Haffirs (artificial water holes) with animals.  The result is that people, especially young children, are susceptible to water-borne diseases that can kill.  Children can succumb quickly, the youngest first.  They are even more vulnerable in years when malnutrition is endemic in every village.

“If we cannot install a hand pump close to a village because it is impossible to drill, then we will fund watercarts, pulled by the stronger crossbred donkeys – anything to make that terrible walk for water easier” said Patricia Parker MBE Founder of Kids for Kids.

Kids for Kids is now being asked to fund submersible pumps which provide water for up to four villages where the water is accessible.   This year we are also funding a pilot project for a pipeline – can you imagine that in a village that has never seen a tap – from the water source to our new Health Unit at Majoub A for our midwives and first aid workers.   Thank you, everyone, who is helping to make this possible. Dirty water is a killer, the lack of water is a killer – the fresh clean water you are helping Kids for Kids to provide is giving life in the desert.  Thank you

Read more about why water is important here

teaching on the veranda

Ambitious plans to open five new kindergartens!

It is hard to describe how desperate mothers in Darfur are to ensure that their children go to school.    Only 2% of women in villages can read and write.   Even when they do have a chance to go to school, their education is limited at best.  It is heartbreaking when mothers say they don’t want their children to grow up like them.   We were therefore determined to do something to help.    The success of our first Kindergarten, which was opened in October 2013, has inspired us to open a Kindergarten in all of our villages.   Can you help?    If children have an early start on the road to education they will have a real chance of succeeding.

We choose villages where we have active committees who will take over the school, once it is completed.  They set up PTAs (Parent, Teacher Associations) and work together to provide small bursaries for the poorest families.    Before we start to build however we ensure we have agreement from the State Ministry of Education in Darfur to provide teachers.  Each Kindergarten has two classrooms, an office for the teacher and assistant, a veranda for shade (and a third classroom) and latrines – often the first in the villages.   We teach sanitation that will make a difference for the whole village.    Diarrhoea and stomach infections are endemic in some regions.    Where we have built our current four schools, they are oversubscribed by 400%!
In some of our villages, following a family’s success with the goat loan project, we have heard of our first scholarships. Consider this, those who used to be the very poorest have in some cases been able to help pay the tuition fees for a neighbour. What an extreme kindness from the families who had nothing. And what a success for the Kids for Kids basic goal of self-sufficiency. In Abu Nahla, where we built our first Kindergarten, the PTA (yes they are forming them in Darfur too!) decided not only to provide bursaries so even the children of the poorest families could start school, but they contribute to a meal for the little ones each day.

Our current four Kids for Kids Kindergartens are providing a model in Darfur.   They are fully equipped with educational aids and toys, indoor and outdoor activity equipment and of course desks and chairs, blackboards, books and exercise books.    The favourite toys we are told are musical instruments and, of course, footballs!

We plan to open between five and eight Kindergartens this year.   We are gathering the money for the bricks and books now, so we can start building as soon as possible. Would you consider sending a few bricks so we can get underway the minute we have the teachers assigned? £20 will buy 30 bricks. Would you be able to send the tuition £90 for a year’s schooling or, even better, do you know anyone who would adopt a whole Kindergarten – it could be named after your school, your church, your company, or you!
You most likely will never meet the child whose life you change with the gift of reading and writing, but you will be their hero today.