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

 

Children of the villages in Darfur, Sudan often have to walk miles and miles across the hot sandy desert for every drop of clean water. Imagine having to miss a day of school, just to get enough water for your family?   In the summer months, many children cannot go to school at all because of the desperate need for water.

Kids for Kids have been working for the past 20 years to provide clean, drinkable and easily accessible water to remote villages in Darfur.   Among our many grassroots projects, we install clean water handpumps in this troubled region where many other charities refuse to work or are not allowed to operate. We fence in our handpumps to keep animals away to keep the water clean and add a trough outside the fence so that they too can drink! We provide water carts and jerrycans to store water.

We train village committees and set up local funding mechanisms so that repairs can be carried out and the water can keep flowing long term. This is real sustainable change. Once the handpump is working, children no longer have to walk for water and can go to school. This transforms their entire future. Families can plant trees and grow vegetables, breaking the cycle of starvation and lifting them out of poverty.

Although Kids for Kids have managed to support over 100 villages over two decades, there are still villagers having to travel up to 20 miles for water in the summer months when the water table goes deep down and every drop of surface water has long since dried. Our most recent report from Hillat Hashab highlighted exactly this. They put in a request for a hand pump as many of the women and children in the village face exactly this challenge, every day of their lives.

This continued need for support highlights how valuable donations are for our water projects. No child, family or community should go without clean, accessible water. A new water pump for a village costs £6,500, which seems like a lot of money, but can there really be a cost put on access to clean water?

Please donate what you can, in order to reach this goal. Being able to provide a water pump to those who are living without clean water is giving someone the gift of life. The gift of a basic human right that we take for granted every day. 

Be the change you wish to see, support the water projects in Darfur and donate what you can, and please share our project with friends and family. Every donation, however small, helps to bring about change. The villagers of Hillat Hashab will thank you. 

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Village in the desert
Village in the desert

During this time of year in Darfur, the air is tense with anticipation.

The desert is devoid of all plants, shrubs and other greenery. Families may have had to eat what little they had to survive.    Without seeds to plant when the rains come what hope have they?

Now they wait for the rains to come - hopefully July.

Whilst rain will bring fresh hope for a successful and bountiful harvest there is the threat that too much rain may come and wash away the seeds and even their homes and livestock - flooding is a real threat.  When houses are made of straw they stand little chance of survival when the rain is torrential as happened last year.

It is during this time that our water pumps are vital to the people in Darfur, despite the hot dry summer they still have access to fresh clean water from below ground.

In the awful event of flooding - our water pumps are more important than ever - despite water being everywhere, floodwaters will be contaminated and unsafe to drink or even wash in.

Because of your support, communities have a water supply they can rely on. Parents do not have to worry about giving their children dirty water to drink, risking sickness and disease.

With inflation still soaring the cost of drilling for water is at an all-time high but there are still hundreds of villages that do not have access to clean water.

Many women and children are spending their days trekking through the scorching desert to fetch enough water for their families.   For some the walk is 20 miles.   It is hard to contemplate.

We are so grateful for everything you have helped us achieve these past 20 years but there is still so much more to be done.

Can we rely on your support to help more families in need?  Water is the key to life.

Village at the water pump
Village at the water pump
Floods in 2020
Floods in 2020
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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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Kids for Kids

Location: Dorking, Surrey - United Kingdom
Website:
Project Leader:
Patricia Parker
CEO & Chairman of Trustees
Dorking, Surrey United Kingdom
$114,693 raised of $150,000 goal
 
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