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

January 2018

Haven't heard from us in a while?

Haven't heard from us in a while?

We're so grateful to have so many donors and supporters.

GAGA just wouldn't be GAGA without you.

If you haven't heard from us in a while, please let us know as it might be that we don't have  your contact details. Email Sarah on sarah@gaga-uk.org or give us a call on 01789 414088 to update us of your details and how you'd like to be contacted.

And don't forget, you can find out more and sign up to our newsletter by clicking here.

December 2017

Season's Greetings

Season's Greetings

A very Merry Christmas to all our wonderful supporters, donors, fundraisers, and projects alike.

Wishing you all a peaceful Christmas with your families, and all the best for 2018. With special thanks for all that you enable GAGA to achieve.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The GAGA office will now be closed until 9th January, whilst Sarah is on annual leave. You can still contact her on info@gaga-uk.org and she will get back to you on her return.

Friendship Bench

Friendship Bench

GAGA UK is pleased to announce that next year we will be supporting LETCEE in South Africa, to implement a Friendship Bench scheme in one of the communities where they are currently working to improve the well being and life for children.

The idea for the scheme came from a similar project in Zimbabwe, and is like Samaritans but in a rural context. The Friendship Bench will have a trained listener, who will be available to those who are struggling, including new and young mums as well as others in the community who may not have someone they feel they can talk to.

GAGA were successful in finding some funding from The Canning Trust towards this project, and the GAGA Board of Trustees have also decided to make an additional £500 contribution to ensure the project has every chance of success.

We will keep you updated throughout the year ahead and look forward to sharing with you how your support, and that of the Canning Trust, will help to make a difference in rural South Africa.

Fish Farming in Tanzania

Fish Farming in Tanzania

For the past few years we have supported KYGN, a school in rural Tanzania, through KYGN UK. They recently provided us with an update, after your donations helped to cover some of their running costs.

"The school continues to perform a vital service for the local children not only in terms of educational  provision but also medical and social care. On average KYGN has had some 200 children throughout the year and up to 30 staying in the safe house. The educational standards are high.  In January, we were delighted to get the results from the first cohort of KYGN children to take the Primary 4 examinations.  All did well and it was noticeable that attainment in English was high for all students.  This is vital if they are to be able to go on to secondary education."

We are pleased to announce continued support of KYGN. 2018 will see us support an exciting and innovative project.

"As the school has expanded, running costs are a constant concern and KYGN has made good inroads, encouraged and supported by GAGA, to develop new income streams.  One of the more successful is the first tilapia fishing pond which started to produce tilapia for the local market this year.  Annamariah Kanondo has now gained certification in aquaponics to licence  her to expand production.  Funding for the first project came from the KYGN Tz collective, a group of individuals who have agreed to work together to mutually support community projects."

The GAGA Board of Trustees have agreed to fund one fish pond. The eventual aim for the school will be to have six ponds; as the fish take six months to reach maturity, there will be a monthly income. We will definitely keep you updated of the progress at KYGN.

End of year fundraising...

End of year fundraising...

With thanks to all those who have been involved in our recent fundraising....

Last Thursday GAGA fundraiser Hana helped to organise a beadwork sale at Sintra Hair Plus at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Stratford, with Janine. We sold £150 worth of our gorgeous Christmas and general beadwork.

On Sunday, the Simon Kemp Gospel choir performed in Bidford (free of charge!!), helping to raise almost £1,200 for GAGA! Over 80 people came to see the choir perform, and the band play!! What a success!! This amount could support First Step Right school for almost two months!! Alternatively, it could help to cover the costs of a bed at Hillcrest AIDS Centre's Respite Unit for almost 3 months.

Thank you to all those involved in the above events for their support in raising funds for GAGA.

SIMON KEMP GOSPEL CONCERT POSTPONED

SIMON KEMP GOSPEL CONCERT POSTPONED

Due to the weather we have decided to postpone the Simon Kemp concert this evening. We are so sorry for any inconvenience caused. The event will now take place on Sunday 17th December, same time, same place. (7pm, Crawford Hall, Bidford)

If you have purchased tickets, we will keep your tickets aside for you, if you could confirm if you’ll still be able to attend. (Call 01789 414088)

 

Again, so sorry for the inconvenience but thanks for your understanding and we hope to see you next week :)

Celebrate a Loved One Today...

Celebrate a Loved One Today...

The Remembering Tree is back in Stratford upon Avon, with thanks to all our volunteers, knitters as well as individual, business and community group sponsors.

Christmas is a time for celebration, remembrance and charity. Celebrate a loved one today by clicking here.

Don't forget to visit our Woollen Winter Wonderland at the Holy Trinity Church too.

Join us for a Gospel Concert...

Join us for a Gospel Concert...

Join us this Sunday at the Crawford Hall in Bidford on Avon for Simon Kemp's Gospel Choir. There'll be wine and mince pies available, plus a raffle with the chance to win a flight over Warwickshire with Take Flight Aviation.

Doors open at 6.30pm and the show begins at 7pm. Call Sarah on 07801 256 842 for tickets, or pop in to Bidford Hardware

November 2017

The Remembering Tree is back...

The Remembering Tree is back...

...almost!

Can you believe it's that time of year again? This Sunday we will be out in Stratford covering up a tree with it's winter blanket.

You can remember or celebrate a loved one by clicking here.

Your dedicated name will be printed on a board next to the colourful tree and a list of names available on our website towards the end of December. You will also receive a card with your dedication.

If you're in town on Sunday, head towards the river and you'll be sure to see us. Come and say hello.

Celebration, remembrance and charity are three things synonymous with Christmas. Join us in celebrating all the colours of life. Find out more here.

Fundraiser Hana hits £2,000 target

Fundraiser Hana hits £2,000 target

Take Flight Aviation's Hana Smiddy set herself a £2,000 fundraising target back in June. She's now raised this to £2,500 due to her fundraising success!

She will be joining GAGA's Sarah in South Africa in March, visiting First Step Right and other projects that we support there. Prior to her visit, she wanted to raise funds to support our work.

Last week, she smashed her target after a successful Wine Tasting Evening with Seven Springs wine which raised almost £500 alone.

Hana has also taken on the Windemere 21 Kayaking Challenge, and more recently the Wolf Run with her husband Simon, as well as GAGA friend Alan and GAGA's Sarah.

Throughout December, she'll be wearing a different Christmas jumper each day to help raise further funds for GAGA UK.

Huge thanks to Hana and all those who have supported her this far. She has already helped to make a huge difference!

Show your support here.

Boy of 10 assisted by 1000 Hills

Boy of 10 assisted by 1000 Hills

We're so proud that we're able to continue supporting 1000 Hills Community Helpers and their Clinic.

We send quarterly funding, made possible only through your donations and support, which helps run their clinic. Thousands of individuals are supported throughout the year, from the neighbouring rural communities. They would otherwise, have to travel far and spend much more time and money to access medical support.

Recently a small boy of just 10 years old visited the clinic. He was alone, and had a bloody hand covered by a dirty cloth. He had been diggining in a pile of rubbish when he injured himself. He lived at home with his grandmother, but she had been out when the incident occured. The boy said that he knew if he came to the community centre, someone would be able to help him as he had come many times for food after school. His would was washed and cleaned, and he was given a tetanus jab.

He was taken home and left in the care of nearby neighbours. The young boy returned until the sutures were removed.

The clinic not only provided him with medical help but also a place of comfort and care, knowing that at any time help was available.

You are saving lives

You are saving lives

'Your work is saving lives and I wish God can bless you with more facilities to accept more people.'

These are the words from Thabani, a patient at Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust's Respite Unit. We were able to sponsor one bed this year, thanks to your support, and help people like Thabani access treatment, love and care.

You can read more about the difference you've helped to make, from the team who helped Thabani improve his health in the HACT annual report. Click here.

If you would like to donate to support HACT, simply click here and reference HACT.

Thank you.

October 2017

We urgently need your help

We urgently need your help

We really need your help to fix damage caused by a recent storm in South Africa, at First Step Right School.

Please visit our crowdfunder page here, to find out more.

A huge strom recently battered Durban and ares of Kwa Zulu Natal. FSR didn't escape and there was flooding inside and out. There were leaks where the roof and ceiling boards have been damaged.

We urgently need your help to help fix the roof, before the rains return.

The work has begun, but there's a lot to be done!

Thank you for your support.

Australian Friends

Australian Friends

We were thrilled yesterday when we had an email from Julie. She is visiting the UK with her family and were in Stratford to see some Shakespeare. Around 3 weeks ago, they were researching what else they could do in Stratford and news of GAGA's Remembering Tree popped up!

They were inspired and Julie and her 12 year old daughter Hannah, learnt to crochet in that short time, and this morning have brought in some squares for our tree!!

Julie is originally from Zimbabwe and they used to call her grandma 'Gaga', and so they really couldn't resist supporting us in this way.

It's always wonderful to meet people with a passion for our cause. Our Remembering Tree is becoming truly global, as there will be squares on there from all over the UK, as well as South Africa and now Australia.

Huge thanks to Julie and Hannah, and all our supporters of the Remembering Tree. Find out more here.

September 2017

Full house at HOLAH

Full house at HOLAH

HOLAH are having a busy time at the moment and have a (more than) full house.

HOLAH is the main project of Likhon iThemba, a great organisation in Durban, South Africa. HOLAH is a safe-have that exists to provide love and care for abandoned, neglected or orphaned babies until they can be placed with adoptive families.

They currently have a volunteer visiting. You can read about Mike's experiences here on our blog.

Mike, along with Leanne, Jodie-Lee and other HOLAH volunteers recently went to a homeless shelter in Durban. As well as caring for babies in need, Likhon iThemba try to assist others who are struggling. They get donations of food and clothing, and share whatever they can't use to help the babies. At this shelter recently they found a 6 year old girl and her baby brother who were being severely neglected. With the police's permission, they took the two children to hospital and are now caring for them at home to ensure they get fit and healthy. They will work with social services to reach the best outcome for these children.

This week (after just a week of being at HOLAH), the little girl has started school and is blossoming. HOLAH say: 'yesterday I was leaving and out of nowhere I got a "bye, thank you, love you"... so incredible having this child blossom so much in 1 week, watching her absorb things like a child should, and being so loved by everyone around her. She has an incredibly bright future ahead and we are so lucky to be apart of this journey.'

If you are able, please make a donation here to help care for this little girl and the others at HOLAH. It costs just £65 a month to care for one child at HOLAH.