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

February 2017

GAGA UK Annual Return, 2015/16

GAGA UK Annual Return, 2015/16

Our annual return has now been sent to the Charity Commission. You can view our accounts and trustees report for the financial year May 2015 to April 2016 by clicking here.

If you would like further information, do not hesitate to email us on sarah@gaga-uk.org

2017 at GAGA UK

2017 at GAGA UK

We're busy preparing for the year ahead, particularly in terms of event fundraising.

Can you help?

If you're available to volunteer at an event (various roles available), put on your own fundraiser, or suggest an idea for a fundraising event, please let us know.

Here are some of the things we've got lined up for the rest of the year:

18th March - Loop The Loop Challenge Day
22nd April - Bag Packing at Tesco, Stratford upon Avon
7th May - Stratford Marathon Marshalling (TBC - dependent on volunteer intake)
7th September - See 'Rumours' at The Priory Theatre, Kenilworth
17th September - Summer Fete
November/December - The Remembering Tree

You can see more information about our upcoming events by clicking here.

We look forward to hearing from you.

January 2017

GAGA in SA

GAGA in SA

It's that time of year again and GAGA Director Sarah is beginning her preparations for her trip to South Africa next week.

She'll be sharing her experience with you through her blog, giving you updates from the projects supported in South Africa by GAGA. You can follow her blog by clicking here.

Building a Brighter Future at First Step Right

Building a Brighter Future at First Step Right

What a great start this year has gotten off to. Things are in full swing with the building work at First Step Right, but we really need your help to continue ...

Builders are hard at work at the school in South Africa, creating 3 new classrooms plus toilets, from an old derelict building on the school grounds. This will create extra learning space, a place which can be used for the pre-school children, to ensure they have their own inviting classrooms. We are so excited to see the work in motion.

The total project cost however, is over £13,000 and we really need your help to reach our fundraising target. Much of this funding has been raised in memory of former GAGA Trustee Richard Harrod; and some from fundraising events and our fantastic ambassadors. We hope to now raise an additional £1,000 to help with the final costs of the project.

Please visit our Crowdfunder page, take a look at the video to find out more and donate if you feel able. Alternatively, please share this Crowdfunder far and wide - the more people that see it, the better. It is all or nothing and so if we don't raise £1,000 by 15th February we won't receive the funding that has so far been pledged.

Click HERE to visit the page.

In the words of one of the children at First Step Right: 'I like the school because the teachers likes to teach us to work. I like to change something, I would like to put grade 4 to the other class, so there wouldn't be many children'. We can't wait to make these changes!

Thank you for your support in helping us to build a brighter future for the children at First Step Right school.

 

National Citizen Service support GAGA UK

National Citizen Service support GAGA UK

Last summer, two groups of young students joined GAGA UK for a professional visit. They found out all about GAGA and also had the chance to pitch some fundraising ideas to us. It was a great opportunity for them to see a charity working environment, and also to get some support and advice on their fundraising ideas; it was also great to hear what they had to say.

The students were part of the National Citizen Service and spent three weeks physically challenging themselves, as well as meeting new people, engaging with their community and volunteering.

A different team also visited Compton Verney, who have supported us with our yarn-bombing. They were asked to do some fundraising, and very generously Compton Verney put our name forward.

For the fundraising, the team took part in a sponsorship event - a Zumbathon!! It involved 7 hours of dancing and team challenges. They raised money through donations from friends and family. In total they raised £126.23 for GAGA UK - amazing work!! Huge thanks to Compton Verney, NCS and of course the volunteers and their team leaders for their support of GAGA UK.

Hillcrest AIDS Centre, 2017

Hillcrest AIDS Centre, 2017

At a GAGA Trustee meeting towards the end of last year, GAGA decided that we would continue our support of the wonderful Hillcrest AIDS Centre and their Respite Unit. The Respite Unit is a 24 bed facility which offers support to those suffering from AIDS related illnesses, and this support inclues care, love, hope and a second chance at life.

We were able to sponsor a bed for another year at the incredible unit, and stories like this remind us how important this support is...

Palesa was a recent patient at the Respite Unit. She was diagnosed as HIV positive and was on medication for TB. She grew up in an atmosphere of abuse: 'I was born in Kwa-Zulu Natal and grew up with my father... I was very bright and also shy... I never experienced being a child - no dolls, no toys - we were not allowed.' Palesa's father was very strict, and controlling. 'Once I had done the ironing and put it neatly in the cupboard, they would come and deliverately crumple it up and force me to iron it again. I was also beaten...'
It is the sad truth that those who experience violen and abuse during their lives are more at risk of contracting HIV, for various reasons.

Palesa was admitted to the respite unit in October 2016 when she was struggling with diarrheoa, could barely walk and had a very lowe CD4 count. Palesa describes how she was so happy when she was able to use a proper bathroom at the unit, and how grateful she was for the clothes that were donated to her.

Following a total of 6 weeks at the unit, Palesa was discharged and returned home to her children where her recovery continues to be monitored by the HACT team. Palesa, before her discharge, said that her 'dream is to have my own business ... I want to give something back...'

You can read Palesa's full story by clicking here.

 

Go Loopy for GAGA

Go Loopy for GAGA

Want to challenge yourself in 2017?

Why not Go Loopy for GAGA UK?

On 18th March we will be holding an Aerobatic Flight Day at Take Flight Aviation in Wellesbourne. If you think you might like to take part, simply click here for more information.

GAGA Support for KYGN Continues...

GAGA Support for KYGN Continues...

We are pleased to announce that the GAGA Board of Trustees have agreed to continue our support of KYGN, through KYGN UK.

Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need is a primary school based in rural Tanzania, providing education for young girls, and also boys, in need of a sound education and a good start in life.

£1,800 has been donated to help assist the school for the year, with vital running costs. This will help them significantly, whilst the school also continue to develop a sustainability plan and look at how they can increase their own fundraising to help cover these costs in the future.

We are incredibly happy to be supporting such a worthy cause once again, and assisting young children access the education they deserve.

Thank you to all our donors for your support - we would not be able to help KYGN without you.

You can find out more about the school by clicking here.

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

A very Happy New Year to all our supporters.
Wishing you all the very best for 2017.

Please click here if you missed our end of year video, showcasing some smiley faces from 2016.

Keep your eyes peeled as we start the year off with a bang with great updates from building work at First Step Right school, and info on a crowdfunding campaign.

Sarah is now back in the office after taking annual leave, and will be responding to all emails today and tomorrow - apologies for any delay.

December 2016

Season's Greetings!

Season's Greetings!

Wishing all of our supporters a Very Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017!

Please click here to view our Christmas video, and be prepared to feel very warm and fuzzy!

The GAGA UK office will be closed from 20th December 2016, to 10th January 2017. Sarah will have limited access to emails, but will respond to you as soon as possible on her return.

Thank you for all your support throughout this year. We couldn't make a difference without you!

The Remembering Tree 2016

The Remembering Tree 2016

We are so happy with the success of The Remembering Tree 2016.

Thank you to all those who have celebrated or remembered a loved one. Click here to read more and download a list of all those who have been celebrated.

Christmas is a time for remembrance, celebration and charity and we are sure that the Remembering Tree involves all three. So far, over 180 people have been remembered and celebrated and over £2000 raised for GAGA UK. We will update you in the New Year with the final figure raised.

Thank you also, to those businesses and community groups or charities who have been involved this year, really helping to make this event something for the whole community (and beyond) to enjoy:

BDR Group, Citadel Risk, Sino Trading Ltd, Go Cotswolds, Adelphi Guesthouse, AJW Builders, Stratford Samaritans, the Chamford Society of Clifford Chambers, and Escape Arts (and many more!!)

We hope the Remembering Tree and our Woollen Winter Wonderland brings you hope, peace and joy this Christmas time.

If you have celebrated a loved one, you should also have received a card in the post showing your dedication. Get in touch if you did not get your card. 
There is a board close to the Remembering Tree showing all those who have been celebrated, as well as on a display board inside the Holy Trinity Church.

Christmas Beads!

Christmas Beads!

Over the festive period we've been busy selling items on behalf of GAGA UK.

We purchase items in South Africa (beaded animals, jewellery etc), mostly from Hillcrest AIDS Centre but also from others to help generate an income, and sell these on again in the UK. The profits made go back to GAGA UK to support our work in Africa. Various market events also help to generate awareness for our work.

This year we've been lucky to sell items at a coffee morning arranged by wonderful GAGA Supporter Lucy! Here we sold over £90 worth of items (and receieved a £90 donation from the proceeds of the coffee morning!). Thank you Lucy!

We have also been busy selling at Leamington Christmas market, with thanks to trustees Marissa and Ann for their support, and volunteer Vicky Robson.

Sarah headed up to the University of Leeds to meet with some of the volunteers from the school of Food Science and Nutrition who are getting ready for their self-funded visit to South Africa next year, where they'll see a variety of GAGA supported projects. Sarah also sold over £150 worth of items at the University's Christmas market.

Thanks to all involved - and if you're interested in taking a look at our stock, do let us know.

 

Tarantara Concert Success

Tarantara Concert Success

Huge thanks to all those who helped arrange our Tarantara Christmas concert, and to those who attended.

Tarantara performed a selection of Christmas songs, as well as other favourites, in St Swithins Church, Lower Quinton. There was a lovely Christmassy feel about as the tree was up, and mince pies and wine were served during the interval.

We raised over £350 for GAGA UK, which will go a long way to support our work in Africa.

With special thanks to: Judy and Robert Moore (and Sino Trading Ltd), Tarantara Choir, HK Stores in Lower Quinton, and Tesco, Stratford upon Avon.

It's FriYay!!

It's FriYay!!

Today's why we do what we do story is a story of success!!

We do what we do for moments like these when we get approval to go ahead with a fantastic project that we know will make a difference to the education of many ...
We have been trying to get new classrooms at FIRST STEP RIGHTSchool for some time now, so that the pre-school children can be in a separate building (which will give a number of benefits to the whole school). 
We hope building work on renovating this building will now begin next week, and be completed by the end of January in time for the children to return to school after the holidays. 
We will of course, keep you updated with our progress. 
We'll also be holding a crowd-funding campaign in the New Year, to help top up our fundraising pot for this project - we're almost there, but not quite.

Thanks everyone - we're so happy we can share this wonderful news with you, our wonderful supporters!

End of the year at FSR

End of the year at FSR

This week, the children at First Step Right school celebrated the end of the year.

They held a graduation ceremony for all the children going on to their next school, and all the pupils had a great day.

With special thanks to Frey's Abattoir who helped with the graduation day, making it a really special day for all the children.

We think this message left by some of the older children leaving school, for Gael (the project manager at FSR), shows just why their education is important and why continuing to support this school is important.

The message reads: 'Thank you Gael for teaching us this year. We are going to miss our school and Good Luck. Thank you Gael for the wonderful time. We love you'.

Well done to Gael and all the teachers at FSR for providing a great start in life for a wonderful group of children. You can see more photos from the graduation day, by visiting FSR's Facebook page (click here).

This would not be possible without your support and donations to GAGA, which help keep FSR going. Thank you.