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

August 2018

Annual Report

Annual Report

We're busy working on our annual report. Yes, we can't quite believe it's that time of year again.

Each year, we send out our annual report to our regular donors to share with you what difference you've made over the previous 12 months.

Whilst we're busy getting this year's update ready for you, why not take a look at the previous couple of years' reports? You can view them online by visiting our issuu profile, simply click here.

July 2018

Pretty Graduates

Pretty Graduates

Pretty started her Bachelor of Arts in 2013, in South Africa. She graduated this year with her degree, specialising in welfare science. She is the first in her family to go to university and achieve a degree. We're so proud of her.

With thanks to GAGA's Sangobeg Scholarship programme, Pretty received funding to help with fees and her study costs.

She cares for her 2 children alone as her husband was tragically killed a few years ago. Pretty also has 5 other children staying with her. She is a force to be reckoned with in her local community. She works for a local NGO supporting vulnerable people in the surrounding rural areas. She is also a mother figure for many other young people who grew up in a nearby orphanage, known as aunty Pretty to many children and adults.

She hopes to go in to teaching and will be starting a one year PGCE in September, with thanks to Sangobeg Scholarship funding. Before then, she hopes to complete a facilitation course which will make her more employable The course takes place over 3 months. In a country where unemployment is so high, it’s crucial to do all you can to make yourself stand out from the rest.

We believe Pretty has what it takes. Could you help us cover the course fees? It’s £300 in total, and whatever contribution you can make will help to ensure that Pretty is one step closer to achieving her dream. If you can help, simply click the donation tab above. Thank you for your support.

 

Supporting HACT

Supporting HACT

We believe support is about more than funding. We want to act as a partner, not just a funder. We give support in whatever ways we can.

We were so glad to be able to sponsor a bed at Hillcrest AIDS Unit's (HACT) Respite Centre this year, with thanks to your donations. We've also been able to help in other ways too.

GAGA's Sarah and Mandy supported HACT's fundraising team in applying for funds from the True Colours Trust. The application was successful and because of that, the Respite Unit's kitchen had a makeover!

The fittings in HACT’s Respite Unit kitchen were originally installed when the Unit was first built back in 2008 and were sorely in need of an upgrade to make them fit for purpose and able to meet new health, safety and hygiene standards. We are therefore very pleased to report that through a grant to HACT  from the True Colours Trust the team was able to replace most of the existing shelving and storage units with portable stainless steel units that can be easily moved for cleaning purposes. In addition, we have been able to implement new kitchen checklists and a policy for the management of food services within the Unit which is in line with best practice and palliative care standards.

The photo to the left shows the kitchen before the renovations, and here's after...


 

Citadel continue to support GAGA UK

Citadel continue to support GAGA UK

We have a number of businesses supporting our work here at GAGA UK. Citadel Risk have been crucial in helping us to support the great work in providing healthcare to rural communities in South Africa, in partnership with 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

GAGA Director Sarah, had the chance to meet with Tony recently and to thank him and all at Citadel Risk for their support, donations and dedication.

If your business would like to find out more about supporting GAGA UK, just drop us an email on info@gaga-uk.org  and we'll send through an information pack.

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!

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