Last week (27th April) there was a massive fire that swept across Um Hagalig, a desperately poor village which we adopted in 2007. People have lost everything. 150 huts were burned to the ground, over 160 goats and 16 donkeys were killed. Much of the village is totally destroyed. Fires are a major hazard in Darfur at this time of year because everything is tinder dry – and the huts and the fences are made of straw. Once a fire takes hold, all people can do is to run for their lives. It is a miracle that only one person died. But this is not the only fire – in Afein Village two families lost everything, in Majoub A – which I visited so happily in February – 22 families are now homeless and in Fardal, three families are in need of help. On May 7th we were informed of a fifth fire in Um Oshra Village which has burned 61 huts to the ground – and the primary school. Kids for Kids adopted Um Oshra in 2008, and they had been doing so much better, with brick walls to their houses and a new primary school. Families in all villages affected have lost all their possessions, their savings and their animals – it is heartbreaking. And there is no one to help them – except us.
It is hard to take in the news of another tragedy on top of all that is devastating people’s lives in Darfur right now. As we feared, the first COVID-19 cases have now been identified in Darfur. When I returned from Sudan in February my fear was starvation for children – already they were only having two sparse meals. As the heat increases to over 50 degrees and the walk for water becomes longer and longer, it was starvation that I was going to appeal for you to help me with. Then the virus had become the urgency – and I knew that soap had to be top of the list – if only I could provide everything. To think now of the despair of the families. It is just impossible to imagine what families in these four villages must be going through as they deal with this recent blow. We are very sorry to share that the fire has killed one person, a 65 year old woman named Maryam in Um Hagalig Village, who had worked to help her community for years. Our thoughts are with Maryam’s family, and everyone in Um Hagalig, Afein, Majoub A, and Fardal villages at this time.
Every two years, since Kids for Kids adopted Um Hagalig Village in 2007, families have passed on goats from the original Goat Loan so that more and more families have benefitted directly. Our Kids for Kids Steering Committee Chairman, Adam Sabil, immediately set off to visit the village as soon as we heard the news. The loss of animals in the fire is absolutely devastating for Kids for Kids – but imagine what people must feel to know their animals, their often sole source of income, have perished. People love their animals and it was because they keep them close at night – though there is no danger from wild animals in Darfur because of the loss of trees and vegetation – that so many died. What hope do they have now? Many families had saved up money from selling crops and milk and yoghurt at market, and been able to buy basic household goods, bed frames, and more. Extra cash would be hidden under their mattresses, burning up in the fire. Everything is gone now. With 150 huts destroyed in Um Hagalig alone, hundreds of people are left with nothing – no bed, no food, no jerrycans, and nowhere to go.
“Adam has assessed the urgent need. We will be providing goats, donkeys, a mattress, blankets, mosquito nets (the rains are desperately needed but they bring mosquitos, and malaria – the biggest killer, until the virus, in Darfur) cooking utensils and jerry cans. All are urgently needed right now. Please help by donating here.
It really puts in perspective how bad things are in Darfur.The whole world is dealing with COVID-19 but families living in dire poverty at the forefront of global warming, have it so much worse. Could you imagine a devastating fire right now, tearing down your house, where you are supposed to be isolating? It is truly unimaginable. We have to help immediately. It just isn’t right.”
– Patricia Parker MBE, Founder and CEO
Kids for Kids is currently using funds raised to fund ourUrgent Appeal for Soapfor villages so people can wash properly and prevent COVID-19. We are also continuing to provide our long-term sustainable projects to all our villages at this time. This means we need to raise more money, and urgently, to help families immediately who have been left with nothing. We are hoping to have a store in the future of urgently needed items so we can help even more quickly when disaster strikes. We have also ordered an investigation to find out how we can help villages with fire prevention going forward. In the meantime, please can you help us help families right now?
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!):
“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.
Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, visited Sudan for the first time in nine year this February. Here we shared live updates from Patricia during her trip.
To read about everything Kids for Kids Accomplished in 2019 and our plans for 2020, please click here.
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 Sudan – Monday 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
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.
The thing girls fear most in Darfur is childbirth. The incidence of death or fistula in the remote villages of Darfur is amongst the highest in the world. People move to villages when they know there is a trained midwife. Few villages have health care of any sort. For the past 18 years Kids for Kids has funded the training of village midwives and these brave women have transformed the survival rate of both mothers and their newborn babies.
In December, the latest 34 Kids for Kids village midwives returned to their homes. “We are completely blown away by the exam results of our new Kids for Kids midwives!” said Sage Lancaster who now works for Kids for Kids having learnt about their sustainable projects when she was at school in Hampstead, London. Every year Kids for Kids trains new midwives from our adopted villages, empowering them to learn new skills, master a profession, and earn an income – changing their lives dramatically. In our last training session, 34 women from Kids for Kids villages studied in Khartoum, and scored some of the best exam results of their whole graduating class! They are now all officially qualified and have returned to their villages in Darfur to start saving lives.
One of our midwives, Munira from Fardal village, scored the second highest result of the whole class! Munira’s training was sponsored by Delamere Dairy to celebrate the first grandchild of their founders. Tyba from Um Judoul scored the third highest result, and Salma from Geleidat Villages scored the 4th highest results. Kids for Kids midwives also held the 5th, 7th and 8th places! “What a huge representation” said Sage, “It just goes to show how intelligent our volunteer midwives are, how willing and able to learn, study hard, and achieve great things. It is especially impressive to think that most girls do not finish their education, and school in Darfur is as basic as it could be. Many have no chairs or desks or teaching aids – just a blackboard for the teacher.”
Our Project Leader, Hassan, had a chance to speak to Munira at the celebration we held for midwives in El Fasher who graduated on December 10th. Munira said “I was very afraid when I left our village to go to Khartoum where we were all taught at the Midwife Training School. It is so different from our village, and so far away. We had to fly there!” Up until that journey Munira and her friends had only ever travelled on a donkey, as there are few roads in Darfur.
These brave women have now returned to their own home villages in Darfur where they will help deliver the babies of their neighbours and friends. These extraordinary women have been given the knowledge and tools to ensure their loved ones are kept safe in their homes where there is so little access to health care for pregnant women. How incredible!
“When I first began visiting Darfur,” says Patricia Parker MBE, Kids for Kids Founder and CEO, “I saw little children, no more than three or four years old, tied with rope to their family’s huts. I was aghast. I could not think of any reason for why children would be put in such dangerous situations by their own mothers.
Speaking to mothers, I could tell they loved their children so much, but saw no other option. When children are young, a mother can tie her baby with cloth to her body as she travels the four or five hours walk to fetch water. But as the child gets older she cannot manage a heavy infant and the jerrycans she must carry – her family’s only supply of water for the day. What could they do? There was no chance of a neighbour watching their children as everyone in Darfur is carrying out the same chores, walking hours to fetch water, tending livestock, and keeping their own children safe. Mothers do not want their two and three-year old’s crawling off, so they often have no alternative but to tie their children to their huts, keeping them secure while they are gone fetching water. Can you imagine?
Every mother I spoke to dreamt of sending her children to Kindergarten. They know that education is the way out of poverty. This is why we started building Kindergartens, but it also helps with this challenging time for a little one and her worrying mother.
Of course, there are many compelling reasons why children need to go to school early – in Darfur many cannot start until 9 or 10, or later. Many mothers can only afford to send their eldest son to school. If children start education late they have little chance of reaching their full potential. Children grow up very early in Darfur with virtually no childhood as survival is something every member of a family has to help with, even little ones. Not only do our Kids for Kids’ Kindergartens provide an early education to children, but mothers are no longer forced to tie their children to huts to stop them wandering into the desert. Mothers can go about their daily chores knowing not only are their children safe, but they are learning, and from the earliest age possible. They are on the path out of poverty.
You may have seen our ‘Give a Goat’ gift suggestion, but the idea of donating to Kids for Kids on behalf of a loved one for any occasion can extend to any of our projects. Choose your gift from our Shop now.
Please can you help us continue to build Kindergartens, keeping children safe, and giving them the chance every child deserves at a better future? You can adopt a whole Kindergarten and give it a name of your choice or help provide educational toys, plant shade and fruit trees outside it or educate a child for a year. You choose! Please tell your friends about this project and encourage them to donate. We have to build more schools as soon as possible.
Hassina is 40 years old and has six children, three of them under the age of five. Last year there was drought in Darfur, which meant Hassina and her family had very little food to eat, and sometimes went days without any food at all. With no food, no way to earn an income, and the closest source of water miles away, Hassina has not been able to send her children to school. Her youngest daughter is malnourished. Lack of nutrients at such an early age, when children are still growing, can be devastating. The colour of her hair has turned from dark to light because of the absence of protein. This is just one of the visible signs, but with no help, she is at risk of suffering physical and cognitive impairment for her whole life.
“When it rains I can grow millet, okra, vegetables, watermelon, ground nuts, and sesame” says Hassina. “My family can eat these items and sell some to purchase other food. When it does not rain I cannot get milk or meat for my children, and we must eat very poor food. Now we have been eating assida, which I make from sorghum and haven’t had anything to add to it. No milk, no vegetables and no meat. I worry for my children’s health.”
Earlier this year, in addition to focusing on providing aid to help families in our villages suffering famine, Kids for Kids was also able to adopt five new villages in Darfur. Hassina’s village, Teiga, was selected, and Hassina was named one of our first generation beneficiaries.
2018 has been a year that Hassina will remember forever. After completing inception meetings in Teiga village, animal husbandry training took place where Hassina and all the other beneficiaries were taught how to care for the goats and donkeys, keep them in good health, and identify any illness or injury.
Hassina has now been loaned five goats and given a donkey and farm tools to help increase the amount of land she can cultivate, plus two mosquito nets and two blankets. She was too poor to replace the plastic jerry can she had used for collecting water and had been sharing her neighbours, but that meant sharing the water too. It is hard to think of families so desperately short of water in the heat and sand of Darfur. We also now provide two jerry cans for each of our beneficiary families. In addition Hassina will be sharing the use of a donkey plough with two other families so they can cultivate more land, enabling them to grow vegetables as well as the basic crop of sorghum, and, because billy goats are now so expensive we provide a good billy goat to be shared between them too.
With these basic essentials, Hassina will be able to provide goat’s milk for her children, ensuring they are no longer malnourished, and sell excess milk and yogurt. It takes just one cup of goat’s milk a day to transform the health of a child. As her little flock grows she will be able to build up an income for herself – something beyond her wildest dreams. It is planting season now, so when at last she has a harvest, she will also be able to sell any excess she grows at the market. Hassina is now able to plan for her family. Her priority is education for her children and she will now be able to send them all to school. Our help is enabling her to help herself and her family, improving their lives long term. Hassina, and other mothers like her, show us every day exactly why what Kids for Kids does is so important.
Hassina is just one of the women that has been chosen as a first-generation beneficiary in our five new villages. Each community has democratically identified the families (15% of the total families in each village) that will benefit first from Kids for Kids projects. 154 women across these five villages have now been given a package of basic essentials just like Hassina: Goats for milk, a donkey as the only transport, blankets to keep warm in the cold desert nights, farm tools to cultivate more land, mosquito nets to prevent malaria, and more. These items will enable them to begin helping their families out of poverty and changing their futures. The community also selected those volunteers that will become midwives, paravets and first aid workers, providing sustainable help to the whole village. Childbirth is no longer something to be feared.
Now that Hassina and her friends have ‘household assets’ and are able to earn an independent income, they have status and at last are listened to in village meetings. Hassina no longer wakes up each day with the fear of not knowing how she will provide food for her children to eat. Who would think that goats, blankets, farm tools and the other simple things Kids for Kids provides with your help, could change women’s lives so dramatically? Hassina is looking forward to the future, not just for herself, but for her daughters too!
Your support is making it possible for people like Hassina to create a better life for herself and for her children. If you are interested in supporting our projects that empower women, please visit our Gift Listto choose what you would like to donate. If you are outside the UK and would like to support Kids for Kids, please visit our project on Global Giving.
By supporting and sharing our work, you can help us help more women to feel empowered, giving them the tools to change their futures for good.
Right now it is what are frighteningly called ‘The Hungry Months’ in Darfur, but this year people have been facing starvation for many months. Thankfully the rains have started. After drought and a failed harvest, families that have managed to save seeds, are beginning to plant, but, this year, the drought has been so extreme that many families have had no alternative but to eat seeds they should be planting. We have to help.
Darfur is a place of extremes: the rain, which is so needed, also causes floods, sometimes flash floods, which sweep away people, their animals and the new seeds. In one village four children were drowned recently because, having no experience of deep water, they had no idea that there was a large crater dug to make bricks. No one can swim in Darfur. When the rains halt, the standing water brings mosquitoes. In a country where malaria is still the biggest killer, we have to ensure there are mosquito nets available for children and their parents.
For many families this is the most challenging time of year, when there is rain but no harvest as yet. The grass is beginning to grow and the animals will at last have fresh food – our goats will produce kids, and milk for the children to drink. Kids for Kids’ goats are more important now as many children will have had no protein for many months. It will be another three months before people will have anything they can harvest and then have food to eat, and hopefully a surplus to sell for other essentials.
We need to continue to provide ourUrgent Need Packages to those that are worst off, especially to ensure they have something to eat for next year.
It is just £30 ($40) for 90 kilos of sorghum flour which will last a family for the next three months; £16 ($21) to provide Two Large Mosquito Netsto keep a family safe from malaria during this dangerous time of year; and £15 ($20) forOne Sack of Seedthat can be planted immediately. If families receive no help, the situation will become even worse.
During our recent Programme Meetings with our Darfur team we were shocked to learn of the extent of the failed harvest which means families, particularly those in out of sight villages, have nothing to eat until the next harvest – which is not due until the rains come in late summer. The result is famine. Yet the world has not responded to a call for aid. We must help. We are not an emergency aid organisation, but the thought of families struggling, and children, and their animals too, dying, is appalling. We are already sourcing flour and fodder, plus seed for families to plant for next year. Please can you help? You can donate to our Urgent Need appeal here.
To see how we will be tackling what are some of the most challenging times that villages in Darfur have ever had to face since Kids for Kids started in 2001, please take a look at the following links. The links include information on the current situation and how we are planning to help. There is news of what has been happening at Kids for Kids over the last year, all the different ways that you can get involved now to give your support, and invitations to our Events.
Those of you who have joined us will know what treats are in store! This year they range from a Spring Supper and Wine Tasting, to our wonderful Ambassadors’ Ball and Candlelit Christmas Concert. I am opening my garden in Surrey to a Summer Caribbean Festival where we will also be holding our Friends Event when I have a chance to give you a full briefing on why Kids for Kids is so different from other charities, and so effective. You will be pleased to hear that our team in Darfur said that our Goat Loans are ‘The Gold Standard’.
Urgent Need: Starvation is a real risk for Children in Darfur this Summer.
Summer has barely started, yet temperatures in Darfur are soaring. Children and animals are likely to die if we do nothing. The whole of Darfur is now reported to be in crisis and in those areas where there is no humanitarian aid available, which includes the villages, the level of need is even higher. This is an emergency.
Famine Disaster Relief reported as long ago as October last year that areas of Darfur were in crisis even then. Failed harvest, for the second year running, has left people with virtually nothing to enable them to survive the coming months. Combined with soaring inflation and the drastic devaluation of the Sudanese pound to a third of its value, every village is asking for help. Starvation is a real and frightening spectre for the coming months. The Government of Sudan does not normally ask for help, but earlier the Governor of North Darfur called for urgent assistance. This is an indication of just how serious the situation is.
We cannot stand by and do nothing, so we have launched an appeal that will enable us to give help in this emergency. This will be in addition to providing sustainable help through our programme of integrated grass roots projects. Our long experience has shown that enabling people to help themselves, especially to help them diversify from sole reliance on the subsistence crop, with our goats, gives them the resilience to withstand disasters. But even in our villages people are worried. Those with no animals have little chance without help. But not one organisation has responded to the appeal for aid.
One of the problems is making sure families have enough stored food to keep their animals alive throughout the summer, until the rains come. When the harvest fails, the grass is also sparse and it is this which they save and turn into hay, plus crops such as watermelon. I have already asked for a report of which villages are likely to be hit the hardest. The list is long. We need to provide flour for the families and fodder for the animals right now.
Donations can be made in set amounts between £10 and £100. If you would like to give more, please transfer online to the Kids for Kids’ account with the reference ‘urgent need’. For more methods of payment, please see How to Donate.