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


January 2019

GAGA welcomes Claire!

GAGA welcomes Claire!

Happy New Year!

As mentioned in our December newsletter, Sarah is moving on to pastures new later this month.  She goes with our very best wishes and gratitude for all she has contributed to GAGA and our wonderful projects.  We are delighted to welcome Claire as our new Director, she has been associated with GAGA for a few years, here's a little more in her own words!


I am thrilled to be appointed as GAGA UK's new Director.  GAGA has impressed me since I first started to volunteer and fundraise for them a few years ago and I look forward to using my professional skills and voluntary experience to build on the strong foundations laid by Sarah and her predecessor Charlie.

I first set foot on African soil 50 years age (it was a small foot then!) when my family emigrated from the Isle of Wight to Zambia where my father worked as an engineer.  My first day at school was in Ndola, Zambia and my childhood memories are filled with the sights, sounds and smells of Africa.  You can read more here.


December 2018

Who Believes in Fairy Tales?

Who Believes in Fairy Tales?

We have a very special book for sale at GAGA...

Children from FIRST STEP RIGHT School in South Africa have written a story...

Here's a bit more about the idea behind the book from Gael at First Step Right... 
I'll give you a quick presentation on history and content.
Once a week, students can borrow a book from our library.
This playful reading activity seems to me to be important for the development of the child's imagination...
This was the beginning of our writing.
And then, the theme was chosen by the children, inspired by their reading: The Lion King, Peter Pan, Jack and the magic bean and many others....
Our tale shares the story of four heroes. The story begins in New York and continues in a magical world where it is good to believe in fairy tales to face all challenges!
The many benefits of this writing project have included: 
- allowing children to develop their language skills and imagination.
- writing by children for children and great children!
- involve young people in a charity fundraising project that concerns their school.
This is the title of our book, Illustrated by Elisabeth Hodgson, and very kindly printed by Doreen Hodgson.

We currently have just 5 copies available for you to buy. They're £8 each plus £1.50 for postage. (UK only at this time).

If you'd like to buy one, please drop Sarah an email on sarah@gaga-uk.org and we can sort out payment (via bank transfer or cheque). 
It will be first come, first served, but if we see there's a big demand then we can get more printed and raise even more funds for First Step Right.

Each book sale could help a child attend First Step Right for a week.

Thanks for your support.

Christmas Fundraising 2018

Christmas Fundraising 2018

Huge thanks to everyone involved in our end of year fundraising...

Our Christmas Quiz Night raised just over £600. 
Beadwork sales have raised over £400. 
The Simon Kemp Rhythm and Blues Night raised just pence short of £700. 
The Remembering Tree has raised over £2,500.

To everyone who helped to arrange these events, attended, volunteered, donated etc .... we are so grateful for your support.

Thank you.

November 2018

The Remembering Tree is back!

The Remembering Tree is back!

The Remembering Tree has returned to Stratford upon Avon.

Remember or celebrate a loved one today. Simply click here.


All celebrated names will go on a board next to the tree and in the Midweek paper before Christmas. You'll also receive a card showing your dedication.

Take time to reflect and remember this Christmas, whilst also making a difference to those affected by disease and poverty in Africa.

If you have donated recently, and haven't received your dedication card, please give us a call on 01789 414088. It may be that we don't have the correct details for you.

Christmas Quiz Night

Christmas Quiz Night

The Quiz Night is fast approaching!!


We hope you can join us on Friday 30th at the Crowne Plaza in Stratford upon Avon.
There'll be wine (and honour!), for the winning team.
Entry is £5 per person with mince pies and nibbles on the night.


We've got some fab raffle prizes lined up including a night at a hotel, photoshoots and tickets for the Stratford Butterfly Farm.




We look forward to seeing you there!


Click here to register your team!

Simon Kemp's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

Simon Kemp's Rhythm and Blues Orchestra

We're so excited to see the return of Simon Kemp's music to Bidford.

This year, after the success of last year's Gospel Music Night, Simon Kemp and his 14 piece Rhythm and Blues Orchestra will be playing the best in blues, soul, boogie-woogie and feel-good music.

Come and join us for an evening filled with music, laughter and a sprinkle of Christmas cheer. We'll have wine and mince pies available, and there'll be some fab raffle prizes up for grabs.

Simply call us on 01789 414088 to reserve some tickets, or do it online here (and pay on the door).

We can't wait to see you there!

The Remembering Tree 2018

The Remembering Tree 2018

The Remembering Tree will be returning to Stratford upon Avon this winter.

The Remembering Tree will be made up of lots of crocheted and knitted squares. Some of the squares are produced in South Africa by women from poor communities to help boost their income and gain new skills. The others come from local community groups and individuals (huge thanks to all those who generously donate squares, wool and time!).

We will be yarn bombing on 18th November and can't wait to share some photos with you.

Celebrate or Remember a loved one today. Simply click here to donate (Please make sure you select 'Charity Marketing Allowed' when prompted, otherwise we won't be able to send you a dedication card).

The Remembering Tree and our Woollen Winter Wonderland are a sight to behold, and we hope you enjoy them this Christmas.

Mirna's Story

Mirna's Story

A tribute to Mirna...

Every person has a right to quality end of life care.

So many people lose loved ones to soon.

Sadly, the number of patients admitted to the Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust Respite Unit who are co-infected with HIV and terminal cancer continues to increase on a monthly basis.

There is an ongoing oncology crisis in KZN, South Africa and HACT's Nursing Services Manager, Julie Hornby shares the story of one of their recent patients...

"Mirna’s son brought her in and he too was a gentle soul who very obviously loved his mother very much. He stayed by her side and visited every day, the bond between mother and son was very obvious. We quickly managed to get her pain under control and her tender nature came to the fore, she never complained and always smiled when seeing anyone... "

Read more here.

Look at that Cake!

Look at that Cake!

Do you remember Philani? 

We've shared his story a couple of times...

Philani first arrived at the 1000 Hills Community Centre after losing both his parents who were murdered in their home. Life without parents is a sad reality for many children in South Africa.

After the tragedy, Philani had been taken in by a neighbour. With an extra mouth to feed in her already large family, with limited resources, she struggled to care for Philani. She took Philani to the centre, having heard that they might be able to help her. Philani arrived severely malnourished, underweight and in very poor health.

The staff were able to care for him, closely monitor him, and put him on the correct food. They supported the neighbour to help her care for Philani. They also registered Philani at the 1000 Hills pre-school, where he would receive 2 meals a day and where the teachers could keep an eye on him. They also ensured he came back to the clinic weekly for check-ups. Within just a few weeks Philani was gaining weight and absolutely fell in love with his teacher and class mates.

We are so happy to report that Philani is still being supported by the 1000 Hills Community Centre and is growing in to a healthy little boy. No longer is he 'the baby' of the class, but amongst the strongest in his year. He absolutely loves his food and his favourite sport is football. There isn't a day that goes by that he isn't smiling.

Philani recently enjoyed his 3rd birthday and you can see the celebrations in a short video here. We hope he had a really happy day - it certainly looks like it!



Did you receive your Impact Report?

Did you receive your Impact Report?

All our regular donors and supporters should, by now, have received their annual impact report in the post or by email (it depends how you've told us you want to hear from us).

If you didn't receive one and would like us to send you your report in the post, just let us know!

Alternatively, you can now view the report online. You just need to click here and you'll be whisked away to a booklet full of lovely stories showcasing how YOU have helped to make a difference.

Going for Alpha

Going for Alpha

GAGA Fundraiser Hana is going for Alpha this weekend!!

She'll be taking on the Winter Wolf Run, the last of the 4 seasons of Wolf Runs which she needs to complete within a year to become ALPHA WOLF.

The Wolf Run is a 10km run through woods, lakes, mud and obstacles. You have to run, climb, wade, crawl and swim through a course that's designed to challenge.

If you're able to, please show your support for Hana, who aims to raise £1000 along with her team members, for GAGA. You can click here to read more from Hana.

October 2018

Climbing Kili, by Tania C

Climbing Kili, by Tania C

Fundraiser Tania Cleworth recently raised over £2,000 for GAGA supported project HOLAH. She took on the highest mountain in Africa and in June summitted Mount Kilimanjaro.

What a challenge and what an experience.

She's written a piece about her trip and if you love travel or Africa or mountains, you'll love this. Click here to take a read

September 2018

Wolves, hikers and jumpers...

Wolves, hikers and jumpers...

This year we've had wolves and hikers and jumpers...

These are just a few of the things people have been doing this year to fundraise for us.

Hana is taking on the Alpha Wolf Run Challenge, running 4 seasons of the Wolf Run in a year, a 10km obstacle course through mud, woods and lakes.

Tania took on Africa's highest mountain raising over £2,000 for HOLAH.

K-Lee took the leap of a bridge to raise hundreds of pounds for GAGA.

Whatever your idea, however crazy  your challenge (or perhaps it's something a little more relaxed), we'd love to support you. Get in touch if you'd like to fundraise for us and we'll be there cheering you on the whole way.

Click here for more information.

Baby Ayanda...

Baby Ayanda...

An estimated 53 children under the age of five die in South Africa, every day, with 75% of these not reaching their first birthday.

This is Ayanda (name has been changed), who's been lovingly supported by staff at 1000 Hills Community Helpers.

She was premature and after a few days at home her weight dropped dangerously low. The mother came to the 1000 Hills clinic and the staff were able to discuss the different ways of feeding and support her through the difficult time.

Ayanda soon put on weight, with supervision from the clinic and is growing in to a very healthy little girl.

Without your support and donations, 1000 Hills would struggle to help babies like Ayanda and her mother.

Just £5 can help provide support to those like Ayanda. Simply click on the donate tab above to help babies and new mums access support in rural South Africa.

Thank you

August 2018

Lizzie's South Africa Memories

Lizzie's South Africa Memories

Each week we try to share a variety of stories with you on social media (follow the links to the left to find out more). On Thursday's we try to share some of our memories of the projects and of GAGA's work.

This week's #ThrowbackThursday is reminding us of last summer's trip to South Africa. GAGA's Sarah was joined on a trip to South Africa by a group of 6 students from the University of Leeds, as well as Laura who works at the university.

The students were able to visit the projects we support in South Africa, and got involved in a wide variety of tasks. They also had the chance to explore some of the beautiful Kwa Zulu Natal.

One of the students, Lizzie, put together this video showing the group's adventure with Katie, Katie, Esther, Tabitha, Mos and Laura.

This video is a student's perspective of the trip, and shows a snapshot of the happy memories they'll keep from their time in South Africa.

The students also did some fundraising prior to the trip and raised over £850 for GAGA UK and one of them was inspirefto become a Life changer and donate on a monthly basis.

Visiting the projects in South Africa is a great way to find out more about how your donations can make a difference.

Siyabonga. Click here to watch the video.

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