Santa Visits Hearing Imparied School
Annually since 2003 the foundation has sponsored a Santa visit to a local hearing impaired school in the UK. Each year the children have come to expect Santa to turn up in his 'Big Blue Bus'.
It is a very rewarding and valuable experience for all of us and hopefully brings much joy to their lives around the festive period. This year the foundation is also looking into donating Technology area for the children to be able to further their education and learning experiences.
Lifeline Energy distributed on our behalf, a selection of Lifelights and Solarstor solar panels with LED lights to women and children in Rwanda. The genocide in early 1999 took the lives of 20% of the population, resulting in a disproportionate number of vulnerable children living without adult guidance or supervision (children raising their younger siblings), as well as widows, who were left trying to support and raise their grandchildren! Lifeline Energy chose the area of Bugesera, where prior to the genocide the population was 62,000; 5 years later only 2,000 remained. Lifelights were also distributed to midwives in the isolated Maasi community in Kenya, where the lights have enabled them to no longer rely on the use of toxic paraffin lamps to aid visibility during the birthing process thus making it much safer and healthier for everyone!
This group of children, all who head households at a community Centre well off the tarred road they were extremely excited with the lights and now could ensure that their younger brothers and sisters would be able to study safely now. Being the head, these children have sacrificed their own educations for those of their younger siblings. They also cited how being able to walk to their pit latrines at night as a possibility now!
This is one of the most destitute families that they have ever seen. The parents died of HIV/AIDS shortly after the youngest, aged three, was born. The eldest boy is the head of his household, and at 17 he was out ‘scratching’ for work when we arrived. These children did not attend a distribution; rather they visited them in their home. Their clothes were rags and their home was filthy. They had no food or soap. They exist on what little the eldest boy earns and what the neighbours donate. Their light would truly be a Godsend to them.
Pangea Network Update on Kibera & Kunya Co-Operatives
A number of days were spent interviewing individual women from the Co-operative. Hearing the struggles and triumphs of these women gives purpose to Pangea’s mission. Common to every story were themes of courage, hard work and perseverance. Every woman proudly spoke of her business and many shared plans of expansion. I was so happy to hear the women speak of how earning their own income had brought independence and control over their own lives.
The environment in Kibera is harsh and their plans for their group project have been put on hold for the time being. As mentioned in our last update, they were looking at becoming water suppliers in their community but, unfortunately, there are youth gangs that have formed cartels within Kibera manipulating those selling water, forcing them to pay protection fees or else they divert the water source or vandalize their piping. Given these circumstances, the women felt it best to look into other options. This has not dimmed their vision and hope. The women still meet every Monday and Pangea staff monitors the progress of their businesses and provides guidance when needed to keep them on track. These women have been able to rise above the often defeating elements and have become leaders in their community; a group of women we are so proud to work with.
The training of the chicken rearing has been finalized although there are follow-up sessions that continue on an as-needed basis. The guardians had a drought for four months and this led them to reduce the number of chicken to a manageable size. They are now rearing ducks together with chickens, as ducks are more drought resistant. They are still selling eggs and rearing chicks to raise. The women have had to become clever with their resources and since they live near Lake Victoria, they have devised chicken feed from small fish from the lake. This is helping with their costs for feed and has been a very good substitute.
All in all, through the production and sale of eggs they have more income and increased nutrition among family members thanks to this project. The month of October will see one of Pangea’s staff visiting the project for monitoring purposes.
Our latest venture with the Pangea Network is within their school scholarship program. We have agreed to support seven young girls. Five are currently trying to complete the final few years of their secondary education and two younger girls will be supported from their elementary to completion of their secondary education. All of these girls have been placed on a high priority list at the Network due to them either being orphaned or at high risk of abuse from their families. They will attend a carefully selected boarding school where they receive a good education in a safe and nurturing environment. They will be closely monitored throughout their schooling by a local Pangea representative who will in turn will provide regular updates as to their grades and general progress.
Secondary School Students
Susan is a 19 year old orphan who has 1 year of school remaining.
Lovina is a 16 year old orphan who comes from a location where women hardly ever get the chance to go to school. She is an A student and has 4 years of school remaining.
Emmaculate is a 17 years old orphan. Her situation was brought to the Network’s attention when they were addressing another student’s case. She has 3 years of school remaining.
Ambujo is a 17 years old orphan. She has 3 years of school remaining.
Jael is a 19 years old orphan who has 1 year of school remaining.
Elementary School Students
Sharon is a 13 year old orphan from Kibera (http://www.kibera.org.uk). She is a bright girl and looking forward to attending her new boarding school.
Helen is approximately 14 years old – her real age is not known. She had a particularly difficult start, but will not receive all the support she needs.
Sinethemba Youth Development Center (South Africa)
We are pleased to support Sinethemba Youth Development Centre based in Knysna, South Africa. This small centre caters for a wide variety of children from varying backgrounds e.g.: abused and neglected, living on the streets and school drop-outs. Currently, they are providing 55 children with an outreach program for 5-6 year olds, and a drop-in centre for those children at risk aged between 7-17 years. Some of the programs available to them include HIV/AIDS awareness, back to school, apprenticeship programs, substance-abuse awareness and a feeding scheme.
The funding will support the recently launched Sinethemba Skills Centre which operates from the Youth Centre in Khayalethu. This is the first Skills Centre in Kynsna and will service the surrounding areas. Projects such as welding, cooking/baking classes, pottery, sewing, basic and advanced computer training will be available to participants. The Skills Centre endeavors to create jobs for unemployed skilled artisans and with the Foundations’ support, five job opportunities have now developed. The remaining funds will be utilized on consumables for the Centre as well as transportation costs associated with transferring the participants to and from the Centre.
Tsi-Hsin Children’s Home
Our new venture in Asia this year is the Tsu-Hsin Children’s Home. This facility was started in 1959 and provides mid to long term accommodation for either orphans, children from very poor families or short-term accommodation for emergency placement cases. It also provides childcare advice to the general public. Currently they accommodate 40 children all of whom attend local governmental schools and their long term emotional and psychological needs are met at the home by providing special education and counseling. Their ultimate goal is for every child to grow up to be independent, autonomous and competent individual
Taichung City District Food Bank
With the success of last years’ donation to the Taichung City District Food Bank Program and in the knowledge that there are still so many families in desperate need, we decided to support the Food Bank again and are pleased to inform you that more than 5,000 families will benefit from our donation.
Medecins Sans Frontiere
The Foundation once again, decided to support the Emergency Relief Fund Medecins Sans Frontiere (Doctors without Borders). This is a transparent, non-political, international medical, humanitarian organization created by doctors and journalists in 1971. Today, MSF provides aid in nearly 60 countries to people whose survival is threatened by violence, neglect or catastrophe. They provide independent, impartial assistance to those in most need.