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 Archive - February - 2014

Our first eNewsletter of 2014

Our first eNewsletter of 2014

Hello, 

If you missed it, here is a copy of our latest eNewsletter. Packed full of good GAGA news. 

Read our eNewsletter

It's not only the UK - where building is booming

It's not only the UK - where building is booming

We're not sure who is quicker. Alan with his updates or the builders of the new school in Sierra Leone. 

Find out more here. 

Growing on Zimele's Success

Growing on Zimele's Success

We are delighted to announce that the Board of Trustees has agreed to fund Zimele’s new project, “Zimele Sustainable  Livelihoods Project” with £10,000 over the next two years.  Two years ago we helped with to fund an expansion of Zimele’s Self- Help Groups (SHG) Programme into the Mtubatuba region of Kwazulu-Natal in South Africa.  In the summer of 2011 9 SHGs were established, and by the end of 2012 there were 15 functioning SHGs which included 170 people. There are now 49 functioning groups in Mtubatuba, with 550 people involved. They have saved over R135,000, borrowed over R96,000 in 413 loans and put these funds to a variety of uses, starting businesses and increasing their household income and stability. And, already they have paid back over R67,000. The project has been a big success!

Zimele now want to build on these successes by adding an agricultural component for the women farmers in the area. The programme focuses on job creation through self-employment in agriculture. The women involved are often elderly, and have been farming the land for many years, but despite their years of experience, being hard-working and loving the soil, it has been it has been extremely difficult to make a viable living this way. Zimele now invites these women to join SHGs and receive support through loans (from within the savings group and externally) for the purchasing of seeds and fertilizers, and to open up markets for the produce through Zimele Fairtrade or locally. Zimele will not only provide financial support, but also the necessary training and mentoring in production and business management. The goal is to help 180 women in the region beginning early this year (2014).

We will keep you updated on the projects progress. 

Helping LETCEE to expand

Helping LETCEE to expand

LETCEE is a great organisation and they have time and again shown us that the funding we provide is put to beneficial use in the community.  Last year alone the organisation worked with almost 1000 children through their family-based programmes. The 45 home visitors have visited 380 families, and soon they will be expanding into another community with 24 home visitors, reaching another 125 families with 280 children. The home visitors provide a very important social service to rural families, helping detect child abuse and neglect, as well as helping parents and grandparents to better care for the children.  LETCEE also trains about 200 childcare practitioners annually, who then go on to work in community child care programmes.

GAGA’s Board of Trustees agreed last week to continue their support of LETCEE and increase the annual grant to ZAR100, 000. Mary, LETCEE’s Director and Co-founder wrote to us this week and gave a snap shot of where the funds will be directed;  

“We have had an exciting start to the year with a mobile toy library having been donated to us. This will be delivered in the next fortnight. The equipment is all ready and waiting. We are thrilled that we will be able to give the children in the outlying areas, who cannot get to one of our other Toy Libraries, the opportunity to play with educational toys and socialise in groups. We were wondering, however, how we could employ a Toy Librarian and manage the extra costs. GAGA have just contributed to realising a dream we have had for years”.

Making LETCEEs dream a reality and helping 100’s children is not possible without you. We will of course keep you updated and follow the progress of the new Toy Library. 

Investing in people to make a difference at HACT

Investing in people to make a difference at HACT

Hillcrest AIDS Centre Trust (HACT) continues to provide great comprehensive medical care, education and training for people living with HIV/AIDs in Kwazulu-Natal. GAGA have supported HACT in the past over a number of different projects and needs. This year HACT approached us to ask for funding to assist with the essential roles of a Respite Unit Driver and training future Respite Nurses. The drivers are an essential part of the service HACT offers, making it possible to make health care available to the entire community. They collect patients in their homes if they are too weak to get to the unit on their own; they transport patients to local clinics to collect their medication, and they transport patients to clinics to get the regular medical checks they need.

HACT have wonderful, dedicated caregivers who are able to provide basic care for the patients, but they are legally not able to provide all of the services that the patients need. HACT have selected some of the most promising carers on the respite unit team and these individuals will train to become fully qualified nurses. This is how GAGA’s funding will be directed, which will provide crucial services to the patients and to improve the overall care in the Respite Unit.

Thanks to you we are able this year to fund a Respite Unit Driver as well as give a promising light the opportunity to train as a Nurse.  More updates will follow in the next few weeks. 

GAGA’s Board goes from strength to strength

GAGA’s Board goes from strength to strength

At our last board meeting a new trustee was appointed. Les Kelland, although not originally from Banbury, has now made it his home and he and his wife raised their children in the area.  Les comes with experiences from the corporate and training sector having a long career with Aston Martin. Now retired he is an active member of the community and we are glad to see him join our ranks. 

Amy, 7 gives a birthday gift to Ithembalihle

Amy, 7 gives a birthday gift to Ithembalihle

Amy, a pupil at St John’s Priory in Banbury recently had a party to celebrate her 7th birthday.

She asked her friends not to buy her a present but instead give the money they would have spent on a present to her so that she could then donate it to Ithembalihle.

Last Friday, our Trustee Alan was presented with £100.30 as a result of Amy’s amazingly generous gesture which will “make a real difference” at Ithembalihle. 

St John’s Priory Banbury – the support continues

St John’s Priory Banbury – the support continues

Last Friday our Trustee, Alan attended the school assembly to receive donations to support Ithembalihle (St John’s Orphanage) in Kwa Zulu Natal, South Africa.

At Christmas the staff, once again, made donations instead of sending Christmas cards to each other. Also they offered parents the chance to “shop & drop” – staff supervised the children in the Christmas holidays whilst parents did their Christmas shopping in return for a donation towards Ithembalihle.

In the New Year the school held another cake sale and as a result of these 3 events Alan received a cheque for £253.

On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support which takes the fundraising total this academic year to £882 and since their first involvement in September 2010 to £3,815

WI’s show their generosity in support of Charlie’s Talks

WI’s show their generosity in support of Charlie’s Talks

In the last week Charlie has spoken to two WI’s in Worcestershire; Beoley and Bromsgrove. On both occasions Charlie was invited to give a talk on the work of GAGA UK and his experiences of working in South Africa. After the talk a tin was passed around at both meeting and in both cases the members showed an overwhelming generosity despite the numbers. Beoley raised £81.72 and Bromsgrove £46.50. In combination with the speaker fee and gift aid £152.15 and £108.12 respectively.

You can invite Charlie to come and give a talk too. Just email chomer@gaga-uk.org 

Zimele's report 2013 - What fabulous achievements.

Zimele's report 2013 - What fabulous achievements.

Read Zimele’s report on how it spent our funding from last year (2013). It is heartening reading. What Zimele is achieving - makes what we do here and the donations you give - completely worthwhile. Here is a quick summary.

Recapping from our previous reports, in February 2013 Zimele UK received another £5000 from GAGA- Goodwill and Growth for Africa, to fund the continued expansion of our Self-Help Group (SHG) Programme into Mtubatuba, KwaZulu Natal. This converted to R68,036.

The Mtubatuba project was started in the summer of 2011 when 9 SHG’s were established. At the end of 2012 there were 15 functioning Self-Help Groups which included 170 people. They were at mixed stages of training, some having received all 6 modules of self-help group training whilst others were yet to receive training.

There are now 49 functioning Self-Help Groups in Mtubatuba which include over 550 people. Between them they have saved just over R135,000. They have borrowed over R96,000 in 413 loans which they put to a variety of uses. They have paid back over R67,000. They have started new businesses and increased their household income and stability.

Read the full report here

Time waits for no man. It doesn't need to in Sierra Leone

Time waits for no man. It doesn't need to in Sierra Leone

Well, no longer than Alan arriving back from Sierra Leone and they have got to roof height on the new classrooms. He is impressed, we are impressed, we hope you are too. 

Read more here

Bracing weather and bracing melodies

Bracing weather and bracing melodies

Our fabulous Brechin Ambassadors Irene and Cheryl have held their annual Gilbert and Sullivan evening in association with St Andrews University Gilbert and Sullivan Association. The out sold venue was packed despite poor weather conditions and they were given wonderful renditions of some of the favourites from the song writing duo. If that wasn’t enough the evening raised £750. Wow. Thank you so much Irene and Cheryl. 

watch the full concert here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJY2vgAYsiA

 

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