Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur

by Kids for Kids
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Water - the gift of life - for children in Darfur
Woman walking to water with jerry cans.
Woman walking to water with jerry cans.

Kids for Kids celebrates 20 years of helping the forgotten children of Darfur on 8th March this year - two decades in which we have transformed the lives of over 550,000 people in 105 villages in one of the most inaccessible places in the world. A journey that started with a young boy’s seven-hour walk for water across the deserts of Darfur, to a handpump miles from his home.


Whilst this may seem like a time to celebrate, it is a stark reminder that in Darfur our help is still needed. There are still young children and families with no access to clean, fresh water.


The situation in Darfur is still desperate, inflation has skyrocketed to over 250% and is still rising.


This has put our projects at risk - the cost of implementing our key projects has jumped massively. The need for water has always been a necessity but since the arrival of covid-19 into Darfur, the only way communities can protect themselves is by washing their hands. This means that families need more water than ever to keep their families safe. If there are no water pumps locally this means that more journeys for water are needed - either that or forego the only protection that they have against the virus.


Our team on the ground in Darfur has said that our water projects are falling behind schedule. This is due to the cost of installing water pumps increasing day by day. Some of our villages that we adopted in 2017 were due to have their water pumps installed last year - however, work has slowed as materials, transport costs and labour have all increased astronomically.


The current economic climate in Sudan and the uncertainty of costs has meant that Kids for Kids has had to hold off promising new water pumps to villages in case we cannot deliver - access to fresh clean water should be a given in the 21st century but unfortunately, that's not the case in many areas of Darfur.


Whilst we will celebrate the change that Kids for Kids has brought about for so many people over the past 20 years - we will remain steadfast in our support for the people of Darfur but we can only do this with your help.


Please will you support Kids for Kids so we can carry on improving the lives of children now and for the children of the future?

Goat with jerry cans
Goat with jerry cans
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Rasheed Mattar - Ran 10km for Kids for Kids
Rasheed Mattar - Ran 10km for Kids for Kids

Water is desperately needed in Darfur.  Walking many miles for water across the desert has to be done by everyone. In Rasheed Mattar's village in Darfur, children are struggling many miles for every drop.  Yet now they are weak from malnutrition as families' incomes have collapsed as inflation has soared.  Rasheed is a Kids for Kids supporter and wanted to raise money to fund the installation of a handpump in his home village of Abu Zureiga in Darfur, Sudan. Rasheed, fled Sudan aged 15 when it became too dangerous for him to remain.  He now lives in Luton UK and although he has permission to stay he wants to go home. His family and friends remain in Darfur but they are struggling.

Rasheed said ' I visited Darfur last year and I saw people still walking many miles to collect water. Sometimes they ride on their donkey, the only transport that people have. Lack of access to water remains one of the major drivers of the ongoing conflict in Darfur. I have big dreams. I thought to myself, ‘I can do fundraising to build a hand pump’. This will make a real difference in people’s lives. There is no possibility that the people in my village can afford to build a handpump, people are struggling even to eat. I want to do whatever I can to make a real difference in people’s lives in Darfur.' 

Rasheed planned to run 6km on the 25th of September, when the day arrived he not only reached his goal but kept on going, running 10km! Because he works full time with frail and elderly people he had little time to train so this was a personal best.  He has raised nearly £500 so far towards a handpump. An incredible achievement. Of course, this amount is not nearly enough. The recent economic crisis in Sudan has caused inflation to soar over recent months -167% in August - the price of everything is soarings yet the need for water is urgent.

Now we are asking for your help.

We wish we could bring better news but the people of Darfur are struggling now more than ever. We are not an emergency aid organization but in the absence of anyone else we have stepped up to help! We are providing mosquito nets to keep families safe from malaria and handsoap to keep disease and Covid-19 at bay but the priority must be water.  Families are faced with the prospect of walking miles every day to find water whilst they are struggling with malnutrition, malaria, and now, Covid-19.

Kids for Kids will never look the other way when it comes to the people of Darfur, we will continue to support them especially during the toughest of times.

Collecting water in Darfur
Collecting water in Darfur
A community filling their jerry cans in Darfur
A community filling their jerry cans in Darfur

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Children waiting to fill their jerrycans
Children waiting to fill their jerrycans

Elfasher town has witnessed high mortality rate among old people 50-60 years old , some showing Covid 19 like symptoms and other sudden death. The average death rate is 12 person a day. We have lost friends and neighbors. The rate is expected to increase in the coming days. Although the lockdown is announced but it is not well implemented in addition to there being no proper health measures. Today a committee was formed for investigation about the cause, whether Covid 19 or another disease.  Meanwhile it is advisable to stay at home and use mask and social distancing if for any reason one goes out.”

- Dr Salim, Kids for Kids Programme Manager

Bad news is doubly terrible when one’s worst fears materialize.  We have been dreading the news that COVID-19 had reached Darfur. There are few tests available to see if the cause of illness is in fact COVID-19, and any medical tests taken have to be sent to Khartoum. Confirmed cases are therefore far less than in reality. In Darfur, to be old is to be over 50, and there are a large number of people with diabetes in Sudan, making them doubly vulnerable.  We are worried for them all.  There are no ventilators, no oxygen in hospitals in the towns of El Fasher and Mellit in North Darfur.  The rural villages have no healthcare at all - no doctors, no nurses. Water is scarce, people are struggling even to eat - the danger is very real and there is no treatment available.  By continuing to support our water projects at this time, you will be providing life.

We have launched an Urgent COVID-19 GlobalGiving Microproject for Soap - the only hope people can have to prevent the virus from spreading. Just $25/£20 provides five bars of soap each to 10 families, along with an illustrated instruction leaflet teaching people how to properly wash hands (so important when water is scarce). £380 is enough to provide soap to a whole village. The way of life in Darfur means social distancing and isolation are impossible. People live in small huts, crowded, in dire conditions of poverty. Children are malnourished with weak immune systems so will be unable to fight the virus. Soap is the only hope of saving lives.

Please donate if you are able and share the link with anyone you can think of!  And do continue to support our Water project - hugely important especially during the summer months.  Your help is the key to our success as we do not spend money on advertising, and because, as you can imagine, our donations have dropped significantly since February.  Soap and water - so basic and so vital.  Anything you can do will save lives.

Thank you all so very much.

Walking across the hot desert to reach water
Walking across the hot desert to reach water
Water is precious and must be used sparingly
Water is precious and must be used sparingly

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From February 2nd to February 18th, Patricia Parker MBE, the Founder and CEO of Kids for Kids, visited Darfur for the first time in nine years. Violence and insecurity in the region have meant that it has always been difficult for Patricia to visit Darfur, but over the last nine years especially, the Government started refusing to grant her a visa. Last year however demonstrations resulted in President Bashir being arrested, and today there is a civilian government who want to help their people. This means that Patricia was able to finally return to Darfur to see first hand our projects that have been run so well by our small team in Darfur.

On Tuesday 11th February, Patricia had the pleasure of meeting Ibrahim once more, who 19 years ago, was the little nine-year-old boy she met walking alone for 7 hours in the desert to reach water. The last time Patricia saw Ibrahim was in 2003, before violence in the North made it impossible to visit his village of Um Ga'al. Ibrahim was the reason that Patricia started Kids for Kids as she visited his village and realised the great need of basic essentials. Kids for Kids was created to help children, and the first projects, and key projects still today, are clean water handpumps built close to villages, and a goat loan to provide families with milk and an income.

Patricia Parker MBE on meeting Ibrahim:

“There is so much to tell you – but I have to tell you some most exciting news first …. I met Ibrahim yesterday! He was 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 tnow 28, 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 son is now at our first Kindergarten! 

I also met Ibrahim's friend Abdallah Salih who has taught himself English and sends me news astonishingly on FaceBook from their village Um Ga’al."

Please enjoy the photos below, and video to hear directly from Patricia. We are incredibly thrilled to share this meeting with you. 

Ibrahim and his Brother
Ibrahim and his Brother
Ibrahim, his mother, sister, wife and two children
Ibrahim, his mother, sister, wife and two children

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Fatima needs your help for her children's future
Fatima needs your help for her children's future

We are pretty certain that your access is much easier than what is faced by many families in Darfur.

News from the Third Inception Meeting in our recently adopted village, Abu Sinait A, has just arrived and the case studies are heart breaking. Over the past years this village has been horribly affected by violence, leaving the residents that remain even poorer (if that is possible) than many of our other villages.

Pictured above is Fatima, whose family has no beds. Along with her three little ones all under the age of five, she sleeps directly on the sand on the floor of her small hut. The family owns very few household items and no jerry cans for water.  Having not even a single jerry can is one of the biggest signs that a village is in the most horrible condition of poverty that you could imagine.  Fatima has been borrowing jerry cans from her neighbor for as long as she can recall. Borrowing jerry cans means the water collected must also be shared with her neighbor, which is only right, but means even more trips to collect water as it runs out so much faster. 

But this year, with your help, we were able to adopt Abu Sinait A, and Fatima's family has been chosen by her village as one of the first beneficiary families. Kids for Kids adopting this village actually allowed for Fatima to return to her village, as the family had been living in two different camps because there was no way they could stay in the village with what little they had and no prospects to speak of. Now Fatima can look towards the future - in her own home. 

Please can you provide Fatima and many other families like hers with jerry cans to carry water home?  When you turn on your water at home, please think of them.

Please help to give these little ones clean water
Please help to give these little ones clean water
Just $24 provides two Jerry Cans - please help!
Just $24 provides two Jerry Cans - please help!
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Kids for Kids

Location: Dorking, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Patricia Parker
CEO & Chairman of Trustees
Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom
$85,453 raised of $95,000 goal
 
860 donations
$9,547 to go
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