“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.
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.
We are beyond delighted to announce that we recently completed construction of our Water Yard at the village of Kulkul!
This Water Yard is providing clean water for over 5,000 people who were previously walking up to 7 hours each day just to reach water – but not fresh and clean drinking water. People in Kulkul and the surrounding villages were taking water from unprotected ponds and wells, water that was not clean, and that animals also used. The dam, about 10km away, broke down and there was a real water shortage in Kulkul. “Can you imagine walking even a mile for every drop of water?” said Patricia Parker, our founder. “You have to remember too, that in Darfur temperatures soar in the summer to over 50 degrees. How is it that no other organisation is funding the drilling for water? I simply do not understand it.”
The Water Yard has a submersible pump, meaning that people will drink, wash and cook with clean water that is not a risk of infection. The Water Committee in the village has been trained how to run the generator so that any breakdown can be repaired, and the pump does not sit idle.
This is Naima with her son, Gamar, visiting the water yard at Kulkul. Naima has 8 children- 3 boys and 5 girls, with 4 of her children under the age of 5. Before the Kulkul Water Yard, Naima and her family were walking to the dam 10km away from their village to get unclean water to drink and bathe with. With this new submersible pump in the village, Naima says her family is much healthier, as they have pure and safe drinking water.
We are grateful to our supporters for helping us to in build this incredible Water Yard. Sadly there are many more villages where everyone living in them is forced to walk miles for water. Please help us to improve both the quantity and quality of rural water supplies in Darfur. We have set up a Water Fund so that we have money available as soon as the drill is in North Darfur. We don’t want to delay if there is a chance to change children’s lives so dramatically.
We have adopted our five new villages and our beneficiaries have been chosen! It has been an exciting summer. Absharback, Fardal, Geleidat, Um Jadoul, and Hashab Baraka have been adopted and we have held our Inception Meetings with each community to ensure that they understand the importance of democratically electing not just those who will run our projects, but also the beneficiary families. These are the poorest in the community and we now have all the details of the first 15% of the total families in the village who will become our first beneficiaries. It has been shocking learning how little these families have to live on. It is worse this year than ever before.
Our wonderful Project Officer Hassan in Darfur has put together the table below which outlines the way in which we determine how many donkeys we need for each benefitting family in the village. You can see that 15% of the households will be receiving a Donkey! Can you imagine what this means to a family whose total income for the year is less than £80.
Target 5 villages 2017
We will be buying these donkeys in the markets as close to the villages as possible, and along with the donkeys, Kids for Kids will be providing vaccinations, branding, and a shepherd who will be bringing the donkeys to the villages, giving them food and water on the way. Each Donkey costs £60 and with the additional necessities listed, our total spend needed for these 160 Donkeys will be just over £5,000. Here is where we need your help! Donkeys are so important to families in Darfur because they are the only form of transport, carrying water, firewood, and people. We want to get them to our families as soon as possible.
Can you support us provide these 160 families with a donkey each? Every penny helps us get closer to our goal, there is no amount too small.
Such wonderful news from our very first village Um Ga’al, where baby trees have been planted at the new Kindergarten! You’ll remember Ibrahim, the 9 year old boy Patricia met in the desert of Darfur over 16 years ago walking hours to get drinking water for his family. Well now his village has a Kindergarten and beautiful new trees planted just as the rains are starting. Thank you so much to everyone who has made all this possible.
Last year in Um Ga’al there were floods, which washed everything away, and showed us just how harshly climate change is affecting this region of the world. Darfur is experiencing drastically changing conditions, with desert creep a prime example as the Sahara spreads south. It is so important that we are paying attention to the realities and doing all we can to help those living at the forefront of global warming. Planting these trees will be instrumental in holding back the desert, and of course providing shade to the children at Kindergarten!
We are so hoping we can build another Kindergarten this year in another one of our Kids for Kids villages. Please can help us achieve this? Children everywhere deserve an education. You can adopt a whole Kindergarten and have it named after you but no donation is too small. Something you might be interested in is becoming a Children’s Champion and choosing Education as your special project. We are inviting you to commit to a three year’s guaranteed support which means we can plan ahead. Childrens Champions Leaflet 2017 FINAL (002)
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.