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 - June - 2013

Marissa, our newest trustee, in Tanzania

Marissa, our newest trustee, in Tanzania

Marissa, along with her son and daughter, left for Tanzania on Tuesday evening. Marissa visited Tanzania in January and came back to the UK with the ambition of building a new school building for a school she had come in to contact with, and worked at, during her stay. After two weeks following her return to the UK she set up a page to raise the funds needed for the project and after ten days she had raised enough money to complete the project. This week Marissa and her children left to see the completion of the school and help with the finishing touches.

Read her blog about her stay here. 

Bishop Loveday Primary School, Bodicote, Banbury

Bishop Loveday Primary School, Bodicote, Banbury

The school recently took part in “Book Week” when the children can go dressed as their favourite book character and the children were asked to make a donation towards Christian Hope School in Sierra Leone. The event raised a total of £150.

The money will be used to help create a library area in one of the classrooms at Christian Hope - it is really so appropriate that funds from “Book Week” are supporting this project.

This academic year the school have so far raised £553 in support of projects at Christian Hope School. On behalf of GAGA and everyone at Christian Hope School we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their donations and for their continued support in helping us to “make a real difference”. 

Read our latest eNewsletter June

Read our latest eNewsletter June

GAGA UK; Q2 eNewsletter - We have had a great year

It has been a fantastic year for GAGA and our projects – we have been able to send £132,000 to our projects in South Africa, Sierra Leone and Tanzania.

A life line - CD4 Count testing 1000 HCH

A life line - CD4 Count testing 1000 HCH

The 1000 HCH currently offers Primary Health Care services to local communities with a combined population of 31,000 people. The HIV/AIDS infection rates in the rural communities of KwaZulu Natal are amongst the highest in South Africa, resulting in high death and disability rates, and leaving many families and households without caregivers or a source of income. Although 1000 HCH does not distribute antiretroviral (ARV) medication, they have an HIV/AIDS Support Group with 500 members, and they work with these and other community members to assist them in managing their health and living with their disease. The group is concerned about the high number of HIV/AIDS-related deaths in their community, and they attribute these to the delays which take place between a first diagnosis and receiving treatment.

Treatment with ARV medication is available through government health care services, but members of the community need a referral from the local clinic after their CD4 count has been tested. Treatment cannot be received without a referral - there are often delays with the CD4 count results and some never receive their results. Members of the community whose CD4 count is not low enough to qualify them to access ARV medication need to be tested periodically to ensure that when their CD4 count has declined they are referred for treatment. The delay in getting the results often means that the patient’s immune system becomes too badly weakened to respond to treatment and they develop opportunistic diseases which spread very quickly and can often mean death or prolonged bouts of illness.

1000 HCH works together with Hillcrest AIDS Centre to provide a site for testing for HIV/AIDS for clinic patients as well as other members of the community. GAGA has agreed to fund the expansion of this service to include CD4 count testing. This will be of great benefit to the HIV/AIDS Support Group members as well as others in the community. The tests can now be carried out in 1000 HCH, sent to their laboratory, with the results being delivered directly to 1000 HCH. This will, without a doubt, save lives - all for less than £6 per test. 

We’ve had a reshuffle

We’ve had a reshuffle

Richard Harrod, one of GAGA’s long serving trustees, resigned at the end of the last financial year. Due to some changes in his life he decided it was best to step down. However, he remains committed to GAGA and our cause, and has already made contributions since leaving the board. We would like to thank Richard for his valuable professional knowledge and dedication during his trusteeship.

In his place we have been fortunate to recruit Marissa Alvarez Wolke, who has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share. You can read more about her here. We are delighted to have Marissa on board. We also have a few other prospective trustees, whom we hope to welcome in due course. 

“Friends re-united” for Sierra Leone good cause.

“Friends re-united” for Sierra Leone good cause.

I was a member of Banbury Cross Round Table 20 years ago and was friendly with Adrian Palfreyman who was a member of Oxford Round Table, however we had lost contact when we both retired from Round Table and moved on to other things.

A few months ago I spoke at Oxford Rotary Club about my work in Sierra Leone and a few weeks ago, totally out of the blue, I received an e-mail from Adrian saying he had been told that I send school uniform to Sierra Leone.

Adrian is Managing Director at Shepherd & Woodward in Oxford and they had sold the school uniform division of their business earlier this year and had a quantity of residual stock they were trying to find a “good home” for and he had been told about my project by Peter Venables, an Oxford Rotarian,.  

I met up with Adrian recently and took possession of a vast quantity of school uniform and sports kit that will be sent to Sierra Leone on the next sea freight consignment in the autumn.

It just goes to show that “friendships” formed in organisations such as Round Table & Rotary are life long and I would just like to express my sincere thanks to Adrian and Shepherd & Woodward for the fantastic donation of ALL the uniform which will “make a real difference” to several communities in Freetown, Sierra Leone.

St John’s Priory, Banbury – Cake sale

St John’s Priory, Banbury – Cake sale

The pupils and staff at St John’s Priory REALLY love their cakes!!

They recently held another cake sale at the school to; once again, raise funds for the children at Ithembalihle, Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa.

As a result a total of £120 was raised to support Ithembalihle and this was boosted by a further donation of £50 from The Sisters of Mercy taking the total to £170.

On behalf of Goodwill & Growth for Africa and everyone at Ithembalihle we would like to say a big THANK YOU to all the pupils, parents and staff for their continued support in helping us to “make a real difference”.

Since the school first began supporting Ithembalihle in September 2010 they have raised a total of £2,932.75.

 

Baby Houses – new support

Baby Houses – new support

During Charlie’s last visit to South Africa (April 2013) Charlie visited two new projects, which are known commonly as ‘Baby houses’. Both Baby houses have some history of working together but are separate organisations. They are based just outside Durban and each has had a successful number of adoptions to local families of babies they have found in their care. More information about the ‘Baby houses’ can be found here. GAGA is looking at forming a stronger relationship with these projects and supporting the valuable work they do. This week GAGA made an initial donation of R3, 750 (£250), to each project. 

Another wonderful talk

Another wonderful talk

Charlie our director delivered another talk to Brailes WI last week, 4th June 2013. After a 45 minutes talk on GAGA’s work and 10 minutes of questions. Members of Brailes WI made some personal donations and in all Charlie walked away with £150 including speaking fee for GAGA. 

Big Lottery Bid – submitted

Big Lottery Bid – submitted

The big lottery bid has been submitted. The grant application is for a project which will be run by one of our newest partners ACT, who would see £400, 000+ spent on building sustainable  gardens and water harvesting in some of the most remote and disadvantaged communities in Kwa-Zulu Natal, South Africa. Read more about ACT here

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