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 - September - 2011

We will be in South Africa from the 29/09 - 21/10 (2011)

We will be in South Africa from the 29/09 - 21/10 (2011)

The GAGA team are going to be in South Africa for the next two - three weeks. We are leaving on the 29th September. We will be joined by 6 volunteers, who will be working on building a new home for the children at Ithembalihle, as well as helping out at other GAGA projects. You can follow our progress via this link:

http://makingadifferenceatithembalihle.blogspot.com/

We will be blogging as regularly as possible.

Fundraising for Trip

Fundraising for Trip

Well it is fair to say, that the volunteer building group, have gone above and beyond in fundraising for GAGA projects in Africa. Moira Hogg, along with her church, raised £267.55 from a thanksgiving lunch, last Sunday. Mark Wain, set up a Virgin Money Giving Page. Over the last two weeks has raised £550. Considering each member of the group has paid for, their own travel, accommodation and all other incidentals, GAGA is humbled by their efforts. We wish them all an amazing trip and look forward to hearing all their tales.

Bea Clark - Jumping for GAGA

Bea Clark - Jumping for GAGA

Bea Clark, from Scotland has gone completely GAGA in association with “From Shetland with Love” and is jumping in a tandem skydive. She is jumping in aid of our projects in South Africa. If you would like to sponsor her please follow the link below;

http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserPage.action?userUrl=Bea-Clark&faId=143613&isTeam=false

Huge success for Heritage Day Celebrations

Huge success for Heritage Day Celebrations

Saturday the 24th September was a national holiday in South Africa – Heritage Day. To celebrate, GAGA held ‘A South African Diner on the River’. 30 Guests attended and we sailed down the River Avon whilst enjoying African Music, South African Biltong, Boerewors and Amarula. In total we raised £400 and were lucky enough to have the very tasty Boerewors that we ate, donated to us by Kalahari Moon – South African Shop in Bristol (www.kalaharimoon.co.uk). It was a brilliant night full of fun and laughter. The weather was fantastic and the river by night had a very special quality. A big thank you to everyone who came and all those who made the dinner possible.

Professor Protasia Torkington, visits two GAGA projects

Professor Protasia Torkington, visits two GAGA projects

“Just before I went to South Africa at the end of July, I met Charlie Homer, the Chief Executive of Goodwill and Growth for Africa (GAGA). He told me about projects that GAGA supports in and around Durban, Kwa-Zulu Natal. I managed to visit two of the projects and these are my thoughts;

First Step Right, a school for 96 children from crèche age to Grade R2, is run by Gael with the support of 5 teachers and volunteers, some of whom come from a nearby University.Parents pay R70 a week and the children bring their own lunch. But many of them come from poor families so Gael keeps a supply of sandwiches for those without food. It was wonderful to see very healthy, happy children running and playing around the field during their lunch time, a very good start to their overall development.

1000 Hill Community Helpers Centre, situated in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, the most stunning landscape in KwaZulu-Natal. The centre was equally amazing.  It is multi-purpose, providing medical care, counselling, crèche, library, computer classes, food from the vegetable garden, tourist shop, training and employment and probably many more other services that I did not see. Dawn, the founder and current Manager, is a ball of energy working round the clock. She has doctors, pharmacists, nurses, counsellors, teachers, cooks, the lot! I just didn’t know that there was a place like this in South Africa.  She gets no support from the Government. When she asked for help she was given 20 food parcels. Somebody needs to remind the Government about its health responsibilities and the crucial role of centres like this in the provision of an effective health service.”

Sylvia’s been selling away again, all in aid of GAGA

Sylvia’s been selling away again, all in aid of GAGA

The last two months have been busy and great for fundraising at car boots sales, a street fair and a military open day at Rock Barracks. I have been able to increase my funds with the help and support of my friends Freda & Richard and cousin Sandra. They help to bring stuff like my plants and clothes to the venue as my car is not big enough. Sometimes may stall is so busy I am glad of the extra pair of hands. I get donations of stuff from people who just do a one off car boot sale and pant pots for my “Growing for Africa nursery at the back of my garden.

I was pleased that I have been selling some of the crafts I bought on my trip to South Africa last Christmas and that people are interested to know about the people who made the e.g. some of the crafts were made by lady prisoners, a Zimbabwean  man supporting several families and local Zulu ladies near Pietermaritzburg.

One Sunday I broke down on the way home from Friday Street on a fast narrow bend of the A12. It seemed an hour later when my rescuer Red Rocket appeared on the horizon and had to drive further on to find somewhere to turn his lorry. Loaded me in the cab and the car on top loaded with car booty and drove to an industrial estate to change the wheel. 

I have 2 of my grandchildren to look after and now 5 year old Francesca helps me to pot up plants for the next years fund raising. We managed to plant 18 cuttings before nap time!

At It Again!

At It Again!

We were at it again on the weekend. This time we attended a Charity Gala Day at Hampton Ferry, Evesham. It was great to have a day, which was closer to home. The weather wasn’t great but we made some new friends. We all wish, we were just as organised as, some of those who bought bead work from us, for Christmas presents!!

Banbury Cross Round Table Donate £500 to Ithembalihle

Banbury Cross Round Table Donate £500 to Ithembalihle

Banbury Cross Round Table, has just committed £500 to the building at Ithembalihle. One of their members Barry Gascoigne will be joining the building team at the end of September along with his partner Liz Lakin. Less than 4 weeks until departure now!

Ithembalihle is formally recognised as a Charity (NPO 090-698)

Ithembalihle is formally recognised as a Charity (NPO 090-698)

We have just had some exciting news; Ithembalihle has finally received their NPO status.  The NPO status will be a huge benefit in applying for donations of food, blankets, toys and other items from South African organisations and charities, for the children. It will also give Thandiwe, Ithembalihle’s founder the recognition and ability to carry on her great work. When GAGA first stepped in to support Ithembalihle we helped them to arrange the organisation and apply for their NPO, (South African equivalent to the UK registered charities numbers) which, due to endless bureaucracy, they have now finally received.

More generosity “From Shetland with Love”

More generosity “From Shetland with Love”

We had a fantastic conversation today with Mona the founder of “From Shetland with Love” They have committed £1000 to Ithemablihle to assist with the new building and to help us furnish it. It’s fantastic to have support from all over the UK; even more so from some of the remotest and most northerly.  

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