In these days following the death of our long-term project co-ordinator Geoff Burnett, it is very important to reinforce the links and ensure the continuity of this project. He's a hard act to follow! Geoff was such an enthusiast, and devoted to the people of Benin. Indeed, when our next volunteers go out in September, they have agreed to take out some of his ashes to scatter on the banks of the River Oueme which meant so much to him. Our African partners too are much moved by this gesture.
Geoff's extremely valuable work in support of vulnerable and under-priviledged children continues, with 164 currently being helped, of whom 104 are in school, 28 in 'seconde cycle' (sixth form), 20 in apprenticeships and 12 in university. Nigel England our new co-ordinator will be visiting and getting to know them in the autumn.
Dick Wheelock will be spending time there too again, using his agricultural engineering skills and experience as well as some new parts to help keep the tractor working hard. A drill for assisting with the planting of maize will be in his luggage!
Meanwhile construction work on the Affame children's residential centre 'Chez Papa Geoff' is proceeding well. The shell of the building is complete as is the exterior rendering, the ceilings are up, wiring is under way and just painting remains before the building comes fully to life and children can start to move in later this year.
We look forward to the next steps and hope honestly and appropriately to be able for long into the future to make a really positive difference in the lives of many needy children. Thank you for your help, and please continue to support us in our work!
It is now 21 years since Lynda and I set up HANDS AROUND THE WORLD (HATW) on our return from a wonderful and challenging year spent in Zambia. In August we will be holding a party in Monmouth to celebrate with some of our 500+ past volunteers and supporters. Especially we will be celebrating that HATW is happily now able to help more than 2500 children and young people every day.
Many of the poorest children who survive in Africa are orphans. And there are 25 million orphaned children in Africa today; many live without adults in child-headed households, and are hungry every day. More than a million (10% of the population) in Zambia alone! Will they survive? What sort of adults will they become? Of course we need to help more!
About 15 years ago I was privileged to meet Mrs. Veronica Sianga, one of this world’s extra special people. She made a huge impression on me. A lovely ‘mamma’, whilst employed as community outreach worker at Monze Mission Hospital (acting as a combination of hospice nurse, social worker and district nurse) she rapidly found herself coping with hundreds of children being bereaved by HIV/AIDS. She set up PIZZ, a wonderful project, caring for them as individuals and meeting their numerous needs – love, food, clothing, housing, schooling and more. Now retired from the hospital, she continues to make an enormous difference. The project is doing well, and we have been very impressed by the enthusiasm and motivation of the local team; but as the needs are great and our aim is to achieve a lasting positive change in the lives of these children, we at HATW are naturally very keen to do more. Would you kindly help?
Currently we provide school meals to children there (at a cost of just over £1 per child per month), and each month send £1725 for carers’ and teachers’ wages and other running costs. We urgently need to raise about £20,000 to cover the next year.
Lunches at PIZZ are simple, consisting principally of fortified maize meal or rice, but the benefits in terms of health, alertness, school attendance and performance since we started the feeding programme in 2013 have been dramatic! More than 20 children did exceptionally well in Grade 7 and Grade 9 exams, and one former student Mawini M (pictured here) has just started studying medicine at Lusaka University with our help!
HATW has several partner projects in Africa and India, where we strive hard to develop centres of excellence, helping them towards self-sustainability through growing food and various income-generating projects, including seeking local support.
Thank you for reading my personal appeal. There are also opportunities to visit PIZZ if you wish – just let me know! HATW Annual Report / Accounts can be viewed on the Charity Commission website, or I will happily send you a copy.
With very best wishes,
We express our hearty thanks for all that you have been doing for us during the years.
We are the most senior students of FR. ANTE GABRIC MEMORIAL SCHOOL, under the management of NEW LIFE CENTRE, on the delta of Sundarbans, West Bengal, INDIA.
We are studying in this school from very early childhood from Lower Kindergarten and now are the students of IX & X and our average age group is from 13+ to 15+ years. We will be very fortunate to receive quality education and achieve so much good things in life from this school.
We were in the group of only 39 students on 5th June 2005, when our school was just inaugurated and now we are in the group of 450 students. We want to go a long way in our academic career and would wish all the other younger ones following us should transform into better life as we are in ahead.
Therefore on behalf of all the students, we appeal to all respected elders, please help us to put up more classrooms on the top of upcoming building in front where we are standing.
The Founder & Director of our Institution Mr. Alindra Naskar sacrificed all he had possessed to bring up this institution. His aim and objective is to bring up this as a model educational institution and keep open a door of hope for many least fortunate children.
We feel proud and happy to let you know all about us and submit before you our appeal for your kind support.
Thank you so much to you all
With Our Heartfelt Regards
The Senior Students of FR. ANTE GABRIC MEMORIAL SCHOOLUnder the management of NEW LIFE CENTRE.