Our Mission

Generating growth for African children and communities devastated by HIV-AIDS and poverty, through the goodwill of people in the UK and elsewhere

News

June 2018

Thank you to all of our donors and fundraisers!

Thank you to all of our donors and fundraisers!

GAGA stands for Goodwill and Growth for Africa. It's through the goodwill of so many people that we're able to raise funds and support those affected by disease and poverty in Africa.

Last week was a reminder of just how many people are a part of the GAGA family, and how important each and every one of our donors and supporters are.

Last week, £2,366.84 was raised for and donated to GAGA. That's in just 7 days, and we're so grateful.

These funds came from a variety of people. Some of the funds came from a handful of our almost 100 monthly givers. Some came in the form of general donations. Almost £1,000 came in from fundraising activities.

Alison (who recently visited South Africa with us), raised over £215 at a South African dinner with her friends. Karen and Colin marshalled at the Etape Cycle race, which resulted in a £180 donation. Heather has been busy selling plants over the past few months, raising £139.40. There's also been lots more sponsors of Tania who'll be climbing Kili, and K-Lee who'll be doing a bungee jump. GAGA's Sarah delivered a couple of presentations and sold beadwork at WI groups. There are so many ways in which funds can be raised.

£2,366.84 could help hundreds access much needed health care and support at 1000 Hills Community Helpers. It could help new mums access support for themselves and their babies, or help people access vital HIV/AIDS and TB support groups.

It could make a huge difference.

HOLAH are on the move...

HOLAH are on the move...

Around 300 babies are abandoned in South Africa every month.

That's a staggering statistic and is an incredibly sad fact reflecting the situation for many in the country, and the pressures and stresses parents must be facing.

HOLAH is one of the organisations working to support some of thes children affected. They care for those babies who have been left alone. They currently have 9 babies in their care. The youngest is 10 months and the oldest is 6 years. They have 4 little ones with special needs.

HOLAH will soon be moving to a bigger, better property which also has plenty of room to expand. They hope to build up to 5 small units, which will be able to take in 5 babies each at a time. One of these would be for special needs children.

HOLAH will be renting the property for one year and over the next 12 months will be fundraising and campaigning in order to purchase the property so that they can secure a future for HOLAH and all the babies they help.

We're so excited for the potential this new property has... HOLAH will be able to take in more children, and have the space to provide more specialised care (especially for their special needs children). Having their own property will also provide them with some security and a longer-term future.

If you would like to make a contribution to HOLAH, to help with their move and the care of the babies, you can do so here.

May 2018

Trustee Mandy Visits South Africa

Trustee Mandy Visits South Africa

A couple of months ago, GAGA UK trustee Mandy visited South Africa for the first time. She's written a piece for us about her first impressions. You can read what she thought of her trip by clicking here.

Mandy reminds us that: 'apartheid ended less than twenty five years ago. It is very much in my living memory and I realise that these wounds will take a very long time to heal.'

This factor contributes to GAGA's continued support of organisations in South Africa; there are still hurdles to overcome and huge inequalities to face. Here at GAGA we do what we can to tackle these inequalities, and give people equal opportunities at a positive life.

Thank you to Mandy for sharing her experience with us. It's important to us here that we share peoples' thoughts and views on a country we are so passionate about.

Julie comes to town...

Julie comes to town...

We were thrilled to welcome Julie to Stratford upon Avon earlier in May.

Julile is the Nursing Manager at Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust's Respit Unit in South Africa. She volunteers her time to ensure the unit is run to a high standard and that love and care is provided to the patients who stay in the unit.

Hillcrest AIDS Centre exists to provide unconditional love and hope to those affected by HIV/AIDS. Their vision is an AIDS-free future for South Africa. their 24 bed respite unit provides free inpatient care to children and adults suffering from end stage AIDS or cancer. Currently, over 70% of the AIDS patients recover to the point where they can return home to their families while 30% pass away in a dignified environment.

With thanks to your support, we have been able to sponsor a bed in the unit for 2018.

Whist in town, Julie took on the Shakespeare marathon and then went on to present to the Holy Trinity Church and the Stratford Rotary club, raising more than £400 for the Respite Unit.

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"I still remember the way the counsellors spoke to him and explained everything so he understood. It got better after that."

Click here to read more from Beauty, about how Hillcrest AIDS Centre helped her.

 

Your Privacy

Your Privacy

We're sure you'll all have now heard about the upcoming changes in data protection regulation (known as GDPR).

To comply with this, we've updated our Privacy Policy to give clear information on how we collect personal data, why, when and how we keep it safe.

If you're on our e-mailing list, you'll have a copy of this in your inbox (along with lots of news from our projects).

If you've donated to GAGA over the last few years, or you're subscribed to our emailing list then we hold some of your data so we ask you to take a few minutes to read our Privacy Policy by clicking here.

As always, get in touch if you have any questions or comments.

Wendy Graduates!

Wendy Graduates!

We are so proud of Wendy who has recently graduated with her diploma in Cost Accounting.

She has flown through her studies, passing many of her modules with distinctions. Last year she was elected class representative and came top in tests of one of her modules (out of a class of 170!). 

With thanks to the Sangobeg Scholarship programme and Wendy's generous sponsor, as well as your support, Wendy is incredibly happy! She said recently "I'd like to thank you for everything you've done for me. It's my first qualification. I won't lie, I'm happy... Thank you for the opportunity you gave me. I'm more than willing to make you proud."

We're really excited to see what the future holds for Wendy. She'll be carrying on her studies part-time this year working towards her Bachelors Degree whilst also looking for work or an internship to get practical experience.

 

April 2018

GAGA AGM 2018

GAGA AGM 2018

We'll be holding our AGM at the GAGA office this Friday afternoon.

The meeting is open for anyone to attend and we're always happy to hear your thoughts and comments. Just get in touch if you'd like to find out more about it.

From a volunteer's Perspective

From a volunteer's Perspective

"One thing that struck me was how several of the projects, such as HOLAH, Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust and the 1000 Hills Community Helpers project were started up by one or two individuals with a vision and desire to improve the lives of those in their community, and how these projects have grown into something so great and are making such a difference."

You can read more from volunteers Alison and Doreen by clicking here. They both visited South Africa with GAGA's Sarah this March, spending time at First Step Right and other projects that we support. They had both fundraised for the projects prior to their visit and so were able to buy various things that were needed as well as spending time and working hard on various projects.

Sandile's Story

Sandile's Story

Sarah recently visited Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust and their Respite Unit. For the past three years, thanks to your support, GAGA UK have been able to sponsor a bed in their 24 bed unit. We continue to be amazed by their work and the impact they have. 

Here is Sandile's Story, from Hillcrest AIDS Centre. 

'16 year-old Sandile is just one of the hundreds of thousands of children in South Africa who have not only lost their parent/s to HIV/AIDS, but are n ow fighting for their own lives too. Admitted last month, Sandile is currently being cared for in our Respite Unit. 

Born HIV positive, Sandile lost his mum when he was just six-years old. Two years later, he was diagnosed with HIV and initiated onto treatment. Sandile currently lives in Shongweni. Here, the situation at home is dire. The mud dwelling that he calls home is indequate and both Sandile's grandparents as well as his aunty who are his primary caregivers, are heavy drinkers. In the face of these trying circumstances, it is perhaps not surprising that last year, Sandile defaulted on his treatments and quickly became ill to the point that he had to drop out of school.'

Find out how Hillcrest AIDS Centre are working to support Sandile, and how your donations could help to make a difference in his life, and those of others in similar situations by clicking here.

March 2018

Heading to SA...

Heading to SA...

GAGA Director Sarah, will be flying off to South Africa on Sunday. She'll be visiting all the projects we support there including First Step Right, 1000 Hills Community Helpers, Hillcrest AIDS Centre as well as LETCEE, HOLAH, Ithembalihle and our Sangobeg Students. 

You can follow her trip on her blog by clicking here. Get in touch if you've any questions!

It's Fry Up Time again...

It's Fry Up Time again...

Join the Alcester Alauna Rotary Club on 17th March for their March Big Breakfast, and help raise funds for GAGA UK at the same time.

Grab a full English breakfast for just £5 (or £7 if you're feeling extra hungry), at the Crawford Hall in Bidford between 9 and 12 this Saturday, 11th March.

Funds raised by the breakfast will be split between GAGA and other local causes.

Over the past couple of years alone, Alcester Alauna Rotary have donated over £1000 to GAGA UK, thanks to these fundraising breakfasts! This money went a long way in supporting our First Step Right building project, as well as various other projects. Huge thanks to the club and all who attend these events!

February 2018

Tutu's Story

Tutu's Story

Here at GAGA, we want to turn lives around and that's something we're proud to say we were able to help Tutu with.

Thanks to the support of one of our major donors, as well as all our regular supporters, we were able to help Tutu through her university education. Due to the high costs of higher education in South Africa, she would not have been able to achieve her degree without assistance.

'I am one of the luckiest girls who had the opportunity to go to varsity to study and become something in this world because of GAGA... After four years of hard work, I am now a qualified Physiotherapist. Something I have always wished for but back then didn't seem possible due to certain circumstances but because of the support received from GAGA, it was possible. I am now employed by the Kwa-Zulu Natal department of health as a Junior Physiotherapist working at a Tertiary Hospital in Durban. ... I  am really thankful to GAGA and my sponsor. I don't know where I'd be in life if it wasn't for them... There are no words that could express how thankful I am.'

You can read more from Tutu and other students here.

Our support for 1000 Hills continues, with your help

Our support for 1000 Hills continues, with your help

This photo is from 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

GAGA UK provide funding to support their rural clinic, thanks to your donations.

1000 Hills have specific days at the clinic where the elderly can come for medical care as well as support in a whole variety of other ways. They can sit and chat with others, have a good meal, ask for advice, and feel loved and cared for.

The clinic also have a special baby day. Mums and babies can visit the clinic for advice on breastfeeding amongst other things. They get support from other new mums as well as the staff at the clinic. They can also receive a new baby pack full of useful bits and pieces.

Why is this all so important?

1000 Hills' vision is to improve the lives of HIV/AIDS affected children and adults in their local communities through treatment, clinics, feeding schemes, counselling, home-based care, creches and support groups. Part of their mission statement says 'we will love and teach our community that together we can make a difference.' We truly believe this here at GAGA too and we're proud to support their clinic. Your donations can help alleviate the suffering of the elderly and children in distress. A £5 donation could help 5 new mums access much needed support and care.

Together we can help to give hope where there is none. You can read more about 1000 Hills here.

 

Spread the Love this Valentines

Spread the Love this Valentines

It's your last chance this weekend to buy that perfect gift for a special someone, just in time for Valentines Day!

Shop gifts for her (Pandora, House of Fraser and more), and for him (Red Letter Days, Debenhams and more); or book a romantic getaway for you both at Expedia... and raise free donations for GAGA at the same time.

Love is free... spread the love this Valentines and make a difference to your special someone as well as helping to give children in Southern Africa a future to look forward to. 

Just click here to shop online at your favourite stores and make a difference whilst doing so! 

Thank you.

KYGN, Tanzania, gets excellent results!

KYGN, Tanzania, gets excellent results!

KYGN (a school in rural Tanzania), have recently received their Primary 4 results and they show just how successful the school is becoming.

KYGN came 4th out of 193 schools in Moshi, 66 out of 627 schools in the Kilimajaro region and 600th out of the 5123 schools (both state and private schools) in Tanzania.

Huge congratulations to everyone involved in KYGN's work. As KYGN UK say 'it just shows what can happen when children are given a fair chance. All of us, as donors and supporters, should feel a warm glow too!'

At the end of last year GAGA UK decided to assist KYGN with the building of a tilapia fish pond. Your donations could help KYGN raise their own funds and increase their sustainability.

Your donations can make a huge difference. We think it's such an exciting project and can't wait to keep you updated!

You can read a little more about the fishin project here.

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