Timothy West CBE becomes A Patron – at last!

We are delighted to announce that Timothy West CBE has agreed to become a Patron. In fact, he has supported us over so many years, not least at our Candlelit Christmas Concert where he said he “already felt he was one of the family”.  Timothy has always had a passion for looking after chidlren who would otherwise suffer through drought, starvation or warfare. He recognises and supports all of the lifesaving work that Kids for Kids is doing in Darfur.  We are honoured to have him as a Kids for Kids Patron. It’s official!

Timothy will be  joining us at our magical Kids for Kids Candlelit Christmas Concert next Thursday 29th November at St Peter’s Eaton Square London SW1W 9AL. For tickets and more information please read about our Candlelit Christmas Concert here!

 

 

 

 

Planning a children’s party?

We know how time consuming it can be to plan your children’s parties each year – and so does Little Sharers!   New gifting and party planning service Little Sharers is aiming to change the way we look at gifts for kids’ parties. Founder (and mum to two daughters) Alexandra is no stranger to the world of birthday parties, and saw a way to cut down the party to-do list for both planners and guests, cut down on excess and duplicate gifts, and support charities close to our hearts at the same time. Kids for Kids is delighted to be a Little Sharers Charity and we are thrilled that children in the UK are celebrating their birthday’s and helping children their same age in Darfur in the process.

Here are 3 Key Reasons to Give your Kid’s Party a Charitable Twist:

1. Everyone saves time

Busy parents receive the invitation in their inboxes, and can RSVP and take care of the gift at the same time, there and then, from their smartphone. Magic!

2. Everyone cuts down on waste

Rather than a table groaning with hastily-bought gifts, the half of the party fund that goes to the organiser can be put towards something the child will love. Not only is this a fantastic reward for their charitable giving, but it means each guest has contributed to a truly loved gift, rather than a pile of presents which run the danger of possibly never seeing the light of day once unwrapped on party day.

3. Kids are empowered to affect change

Introducing kids to the work of charitable organisations at an early age is a fantastic way to encourage their engagement with issues they care about. They will be confident in their ability to make a difference to a charity, and will understand the importance of their contribution, no matter how small.

No child is too young to make a real difference in the world, and Little Sharers introduces your young ones to this in a magical way. It is such a fantastic idea to throw a party for a child here and have it help children in Darfur who have not only never had a party of their own, but have never even had a toy to play with. So visit the Little Sharers website, talk to your child about the importance of throwing a party for Kids for Kids, and start planning the best birthday part ever!  https://www.littlesharers.com/

Fishing for Goats brings in big reward!

Saturday the 13th of October marked our annual Fly Fishing Event: Fishing for Goats! – and what an extraordinary day it was. We were blessed with summer conditions, still waters, blue skies, and absolutely beautiful for October. Although this did not make the fishing very easy, everyone had a fantastic time and have said they want to come again next year!   Early warning for next year’s fishing date –  Saturday 12th October 2019!

Despite not receiving any sponsorship this year, our guests enjoyed themselves so much that many donated even more than the ticket price, leading us to raise the most funds ever for our fishing day – a fantastic £1,988.51!  This amount has enabled us to provide 30 more Urgent Need Packages of sorghum flour and seed, plus 12 goats of course, to families still at risk of starvation in Darfur. This has been one of the worst year’s to date and we are so grateful to our wonderful supporters for helping us to provide emergency help to people suffering the famine. We are not an emergency organisation, but when no one else is helping families in rural Darfur villages we have had no choice – we cannot let people or animals starve.

So grateful to our wonderful fishing instructors, the Surrey Committee for organising the event, and chefs that provided all our fishermen with delicious breakfast, lunch, and kept them supplied with tea and coffee throughout the day.  Thank you so much to all who joined us! Please spread the word about our annual Fly Fishing event, and make sure you get some friends on board to join you next October.

Rotary Club Donates £1,000 For Jerry Cans!

Earlier this year, Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO visited the Rotary Club of Cuckfield and Lindfield and gave a presentation about the life saving work that Kids for Kids does.  Patricia was delighted to be visited recently by Club President, Alec Landauer, and Sue McMillan from the International Committee, at her home in Dorking and presented with a cheque for £1,000 to be spent on Jerry Cans!  “What a wonderful surprise this was!” said Patricia, “Families are in desperate need of jerry cans right now for the first time ever so this is the perfect donation.”

2018 is the first year we have ever known that families have been sharing the use of a jerry can to fetch water. Women like Halima from Um Jum Jum, a village we adopted this year, has been sharing her neighbour’s jerry can because hers had cracked some time ago. Sharing a jerry can also means sharing the precious water you have walked miles across the desert to collect – the only water your family will have that day.  How could you part with it?

The wonderful donation from the Rotary Club of Cuckfield and Lindfield is enough to buy 130 jerry cans, meaning one for almost all of our new beneficiary families in our five 2018 villages!  We are thrilled.  If you too would like to donate a jerry can, please do not hesitate to do so – every jerry can donated will be put to use, allowing families to collect more water daily.  Donate a jerry can now.

What would you like for Christmas?

Christmas is coming and every child in the west is excited – but in Darfur it has been the worst year we have ever known.   Children live in conditions of almost total deprivation and this year they have been hungry too. Failed harvest and the highest inflation in the world meant we have been doing all we can to prevent catastrophes by providing, not just emergency food, but also seeds for food for next year.

What is every child’s dream for Christmas in Darfur this year?   A goat of course!

Give a Goat Now to transform children’s health and empower women in a region that is in desperate need of help.  Goat’s milk is precious – it is full of protein, minerals and vitamins that mothers cannot afford to give their children in any other way.  Children make great shepherds in Darfur and love their goats.

Let’s see if we can make their dreams come true.

We can make you a personalised gift certificate for any donation you make. Choose the items you would like to donate and when you checkout simply write the details you would like included on your certificate(s) in the ‘Order Notes’ section!  We send your gift to Darfur and a Gift Certificate to your loved one. Do not hesitate to get in touch directly by emailing contact@kidsforkids.org.uk

Read more on our Christmas Mailing here:

Christmas Letter

How Goats are Empowering Women in Darfur

Kids for Kids Christmas Gift List

Receiving her goats Kheirban B (2)

5 Nanny goats

£250.00
IMG_3140

A Billy goat

£66.00
Goat and little boy

A Goat

£50.00
goat and mother and child

A Goat Loan

£272.00
jerrycan

2 jerry cans

£18.00
Mosquito net provided by Kids for Kids

2 Mosquito Nets

£18.00
IMG_3374

A Donkey

£65.00
Girl-on-donkey-500x480

Crossbred donkey

£150.00

Terry rises to a Challenge in one of the most difficult years in Darfur

Last month, Terry Neale cycled the 53 miles from London to Brighton to raise funds for Kids for Kids.  That was challenge enough but on top of that he raised a staggering £2,149 – fantastic!  Patricia Parker MBE, CEO and Founder of Kids for Kids said, “It is such a delight to have Terry supporting our work.  This time he has gone above and beyond!  There is so much preparation that goes into a challenge like this, plus the fundraising, and to raise so much is just brilliant and so important now when children are so hungry. What he has raised means we can provide 47 families with an Urgent Need Package of flour and seed that will not only feed them now until the harvest but they will have seed to plant for next year too.   So grateful!”

Sponsored events make up a large amount of the total funds that come in, and are incredibly important to our work because every single penny goes directly to helping children in Darfur.  Are you interested in taking on a challenge? Is there something you’ve wanted to do but haven’t had the opportunity or courage yet?! Check out our Challenge Ideas  or get in touch if you have an idea of your own! We are happy to support you and publicise your fundraising work in any way we can.

Below, Terry shares with us his experience taking on this fantastic cycling challenge.  It is sure to inspire!

“In an impulsive moment in May this year, I decided I would do the London to Brighton bike ride to raise money for Kids for Kids. At least I was not so impulsive to rush into it.  I needed time to prepare, so opted for the September ride instead of the bigger one in June. Luckily for me, the weather for my ride was perfect. Cloudy but mild without any rain and very little wind – just a bit of a headwind on the the last part. The June one was in the middle of a heatwave – phew! A lucky escape.

I had no formal training plan or schedule to prepare for the ride although there is an elaborate scheme on the organiser’s website. It looked fine if you were some sort of highly organised fanatic but I decided to just do what I could. This involved a lot riding on the exercise bike at home much to the bemusement of my wife as the times got longer and longer. At least it is possible to listen to music or read on an exercise bike but a bit hazardous on the road.

I joined a local cycling club and went out with them a couple of times before the ride. It became clear on the first ride that the old mountain-bike I had been lent was not exactly ideal. It was very heavy and had to go. I managed to get a used bike from a local cycle shop which was made of carbon fibre and hence very light – which came in very handy not only for the ride but also at the end – as you will see.

The day before the ride, I discovered that my plan to take the bike on the train from my home in Brighton to Clapham Junction and then cycle to the start on Clapham Common (an extra two miles – aaargh!) was not going to be possible. The train companies decided to ban all bikes on trains out of all stations near Brighton up as far as Gatwick on the day of the ride! Wife to the rescue and Susie was kind enough to get up early on a Sunday morning and take me, and the bike, to Redhill for a train at 7.07.

I arrived at the start at about 08.00 with some trepidation. Would I be able to keep going to the end? How fast should I ride? If I went too fast initially, I might run out of steam later. Would there be so many riders that accidents were going to happen? Jockeying for position was not something I had trained for. There certainly seemed to be plenty of riders getting ready to set off. We had been told there was no starting order and, as long as we got going between 06.30 (yes, really) and 09.00, that was all that mattered.

We were released in small groups due to the car traffic still flowing around the common and I ended up with a bunch of riders wearing the same shirts – except me, of course. As we wound our way out of London, we got more and more strung out – and not just on the road. After 10 miles, there was a welcome water stop where those who had not had anything for breakfast could get a snack and hot drink. As I had eaten an enormous breakfast and couldn’t even contemplate eating any more, I had a quick breather, and some water, and I was on my way.

I soon saw my first accident – a young woman had not seen a rather indistinct curb and come off her bike. She appeared to have landed quite heavily on her knees. There were plenty of people around her to help so I pressed on.

Another water stop was available after 17 miles and I have no recollection of it at all – must have been concentrating!

A few miles further and there was another accident – a man had come down a steep descent and skidded on the gravel scattered on the road as it turned to go through a railway bridge. I think he must have hit the wall. Again, he had support around him so I carried on with a vivid image of his gravel-embedded grazes in my mind. A timely reminder to watch out for changes in the road surface which generally seemed to have been set up by the Highways Department as a challenge. What is a slight bump in your car is a real hazard on a bike.

After 30 miles, the lunch stop appeared at last! Even though it was still before 11.00, everyone was hungry! I would have got going again sooner but couldn’t resist the choice of puddings (how unlike me, I hear you say!) and joined a lengthy queue. Suitably stuffed, I set off again. Only 24 miles to go – including the dreaded Ditchling Beacon, a mile-long grind up a steep gradient, just on the outskirts of Brighton and after 44 miles of riding.

I had twice ridden out of Brighton up the hill to the top of Ditchling Beacon, down the other side and then attacked the ascent as a practice for the ride – part of my detailed training regime. I made it up on both occasions but that was not after riding 44 miles. I was far from certain I could do it without getting off and walking. The road started to ascend and I heard a young woman call out to her friend “Is this it?” I cheerfully called out “Yes, but it gets steeper!”. Didn’t seem to go down well. The further up I went, fewer and fewer riders were still on their bikes. It did seem to go on forever. Slowly (very slowly!), I crawled up to the top. What a feeling of achievement! I made it in one! A couple of bottles of water, a quick text to my family and huge crowd of supporters (3) to let them know when I was going to finish and I was off again. Nearly all downhill from here.

On the home straight along Marina Drive, a man came up alongside and, for no discernible reason, started to tell me his life story. He seemed very proud to have finished the ride at the ripe old age of 54. I felt it would be unkind to tell him I was 68 and accepted the fact that he must have thought I was younger than he was with grace.

A bit of a sprint towards the finish line and it was finally all over. My cheering family were just beyond the line and I thoughtfully pulled over to do my Lewis Hamilton impersonation and give them all a hug. Unfortunately, a lady on her bike was just behind me and didn’t seem to expect me to stop. She just managed to stop in time but didn’t seem impressed. Little could spoil my feeling of elation, however, and I quickly dismounted to go in search of some amber liquid refreshment. The end of a memorable day!”    Terry Neale

 

Please get in touch if you would like any help setting up your own fundraising challenge!

Archbishop of Wales Honours Kids for Kids

Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, was welcomed to Brecon Cathedral on Saturday 15th for a Service honouring the charities chosen to benefit from the Archbishop’s 2018 Lent Appeal. The Archbishop of Wales, John Davies,  welcomed representatives from Faith in Families, Hay, Brecon & Talgarth Sanctuary for Refugees, and Carers Wales,for the service celebrating the World Mission of the Church and – Kids for Kids! – affirming their Commitment to Service.

“I was thrilled the Archbishop chose to support Kids for Kids this year,” said Patricia Parker. “It has been one of the hardest years in Darfur that I have ever known.  Families endure lives of enormous deprivation but when drought and famine hit them they have little resilience. The magnificent sum of £2,466. 50 raised by the Diocese of Swansea and Brecon during their Lent Appeal for all the churches in the diocese has enabled us to help families in dire need who have had no access to food all year. What a beautiful service.    It was a privilege hearing about the amazing work carried out by the other charities too.   Thank you everyone in Wales.   A special thank you to the Reverend Paul Shackerley, Dean of Brecon Cathedral, for recommending Kids for Kids to The Bishop.   This means a great deal to me”.

If any church would like to support Kids for Kids this Harvest Season, we would be thrilled to hear from you. Do read our Harvest Appeal to find out more about why families need our help right now during the Hungry Months.

 

Totnes Churches Help Children in Darfur

On Sunday 16th September, St John’s Church in Totnes held a service in aid of Kids for Kids at St Mary’s Church, welcoming Patricia Parker MBE, Founder and CEO, as guest speaker. A great supporter over the years, Liz Waterson, has encouraged St John’s to hold numerous collections for Kids for Kids and this weekend was particularly special. “It was beautiful” Patricia said. “Members of the Church and congregation read out the prayers from all corners of this beautiful historic church, creating a powerful atmosphere,  and bringing together people to help change the lives of children in Darfur who are completely forgotten.”

It is truly perfect timing for St Mary’s and St John’s to announce their support for Kids for Kids. Children in Darfur are living through what locals call The Hungry Months because there is rain but no food. After suffering famine all year, there will still not be a harvest for a few more months, if there is one at all. We have been providing Urgent Need Packages for families who have been worst-hit by the famine to ensure that no child starves.  Do take a moment to read the beautiful prayer below, written for Kids for Kids and the children of Darfur.

Funds raised will enable us to provide food immediately to families who have nothing at all to eat, as well as continue adopting new villages in Darfur and bringing our sustainable projects to more communities in need.

If your church is interested in supporting Kids for Kids during the Harvest Season, we would be very grateful. Do read more about The Hungry Months, and see our 2018 Harvest Appeal. Please get in touch if you would like a copy of the above prayer leaflet or have any questions: contact@kidsforkids.org.uk / 07528 194495.

NCS students work with Bucks Goat Centre

We were delighted to learn that students from National Citizen Service (NCS) in Aylesbury Vale were supporting Kids for Kids with their fundraising activities in July.  It was all happening in conjunction with the Bucks Goat Centre, who adopted us as their charity earlier this year and told the students about us.  We are so grateful to their inspired leader Ruth Gaisford for her inspired leadership.

NCS aims to shows young people the significant impact they can make by getting involved in their local community, with a ‘Social action week’ as part of the three week experience.  As well as volunteering at the Bucks Goat Centre, the students raised funds for Kids for Kids over three days, as NCS Project Worker, Nathalie Hogg told us: “They held cake sales and completed a sponsored walk to raise money. They also painted a Hungry Caterpillar themed mural at the Goat Centre in Aylesbury as their volunteer project and managed to get all of their paint donated!  The young people have all worked so hard this summer and it’s great for them to see their hard work pays off!”

The students were formally awarded their certificates at a graduation and awards ceremony in front of their family and friends at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre on 12th September. Ruth Gaisford from Bucks Goat Centre was presented with a giant cheque for £833.70 on behalf of Kids for Kids.

The Bucks Goat Centre in Stoke Mandeville is very child focused, encouraging visits from many primary schools and over the Summer holidays they held a Charity Week with a colouring competition that raised funds for Kids for Kids.

We are so grateful to all the students for their hard work in achieving this fantastic result and to Ruth for helping make this happen, as well for all the support she and the Bucks Goat Centre are giving Kids for Kids.

Ampelos Trust continues Ruth Rendell’s support

We were honoured to recently receive more support from the Ampelos Trust, with a generous grant for £5,000 towards our work in Darfur.

The Trust was set up in memory of Baroness Rendell of Babergh CBE, – Ruth Rendell the well known author,  an active supporter and Patron of Kids for Kids, who is greatly missed.  She was particularly passionate about eradicating Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), which is still common in many countries, including Sudan. One of the consequences of FGM is obstructed labour during childbirth, making it important that trained medical help is available.

Thanks to the generosity of Ruth and many others towards our Village Midwives Training projects, there are now nearly 300 Kids for Kids midwives helping to make childbirth safer in the villages.  A recent field report on a group of 16 of our midwives showed that those alone have safely delivered 4,264 healthy babies. Not one mother died.   Our midwives educated mothers who have had their help in the dangers not only of having themselves resown but make sure their daughters do not also suffer FGM. Because our midwives are local women, respected in their own communities, their teaching of the dangers of FGM is believed and in these villages, it is a dying tradition.

The Ampelos Trust has continued the support given to us by Ruth and has helped to make an enormous difference to what Kids for Kids has been able to do in transforming children’s lives and empowering the poorest of women.

We are especially grateful to them.

You can see a video of Ruth talking about her support for Kids for Kids here.

Ruth Rendell at the House of Lords during a meeting with Trustees of Kids for Kids

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!