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 - January - 2013

Our latest Sangobeg scholar

Our latest Sangobeg scholar

We are delighted to have new student added to our prestigious Sangobeg Scholar programme, which enables students to enter tertiary education, whom otherwise would have been unable to do so.  With generous funding we are able to also assist with the further education and training of professionals who wish to extend their qualifications, but would be unable to do so, due to circumstances and funding. Last year we put 8 teachers through level 4 ECD and a promising teacher continues her studies at university to receive her Bachelor’s degree.

We currently have 4 students at university in varying disciplines which are wholly or partially funded by GAGA and we have another who is currently in a year of industry. Careful consideration is given to those who enter the programme. The Sangobeg scholarship and training fund is enabling great people to achieve great things, whom otherwise, due to their circumstances, would never have been able to realise.

Our new scholars profle 

Our first WI talk of the year, one down, fourteen to go

Our first WI talk of the year, one down, fourteen to go

Last week on the 15th Jan, Charlie gave his first talk to Leek Wootton WI. It was a cold night and the hall was packed with members, but the heating wasn’t working and despite the numbers it wasn’t getting warmer. However, Charlie delivered his talk on GAGA, his work and experiences of RSA. Carolyn Marshall, President of Leek Wootton WI said “It was a very interesting and inspiring talk... I am happy to put you forward as a recommendation”. With the speaker fee, and the donations given by the fabulous members on the night, £96 was raised. Charlie said “it was a great club to give my first WI talk to and I’m delighted with what was raised by it.”

Are you a member of a club, society or group, looking for a speaker? Why not contact us info@gaga-uk.org Charlie would be more than willing to come and make a presentation

Khethiwe Rehabilitation Centre, Imagine this...

Khethiwe Rehabilitation Centre, Imagine this...

Imagine you can’t find work, you live far away from a major road or city and that your rural home is at the top of a hill on a dirt road. Imagine you have four children of varying ages, and that your only means of income is through another family member’s old age pension, and imagine if one of your children had Cerebral Palsy, and imagine if you were that child. The outlook may be bleak and stress would be commonplace. That’s why we are delighted at GAGA to be supporting Khethiwe Rehabilitation Centre, for children with Cerebral Palsy. However, this is not a residential centre, it is a centre where carers and children can come and socialise, but more importantly carers can learn easy techniques to help the children they look after and cope with their condition. Each day of the week a different age range of children attend. Glenyse Rose, a physiotherapist, runs Khethiwe with her very able assistant and the difference they are making is immeasurable to both the children and the improved care they receive from their carers, thanks to further training and the carers who can easily ask questions, and meet others in similar circumstances. We will be watching Khethiwe, and we hope to support them further in the future, as their work is priceless, and so much can be achieved for a relatively small amount of funds.

Read more

Supporting a new curriculum and teaching method – inspiring the next leaders of South Africa,

Supporting a new curriculum and teaching method – inspiring the next leaders of South Africa,

Last year, Charlie our director, visited Ingwavuma, Near the Swaziland border, with Mona McAlpine, ‘From Shetland with Love’. They both went to meet with Andrew Swift of Khethani Christian School. Ingwavuma is very rural and far away from any major towns. Andrew, along with others from the Ingwavuma community, set up a school to serve children, who either may have gone away to be educated or attended the local schools where the educational standards are not as high. His vision was to give children a first class education within their community and for children from both rural and urban backgrounds have the same aspirations of becoming the next leaders of business, medicine and government; his vision also entails a new way of teaching and curriculum. At the moment the school has 120 children in attendance from Grade R to Grade 11. The results have spoken for themselves. Although Khetahni is at the earlier stage of development, all the signs are very promising and it’s hoped that similar models can be adopted in different areas in the future. GAGA granted Khethani some funds to continue its great work and we are delighted to learn that Mona and ‘From Shetland with Love’ will be supporting them actively.

Read more 

Christmas in the baking sun...

Christmas in the baking sun...

Christmas is a time of giving, not only presents but thanks too, this year GAGA, along with various partners, including Spirit of Africa, St John’s Priory, Banbury and other clubs, as well as individual donors, have contributed greatly.

Across all our projects we gave some sort of party, which contained a mixture of pre-school graduations and GOGO’s luncheon clubs. Below is an account of each from our RSA Liaison Officer Debbie Young who was able to attend each special party;


The Ithembalihle Christmas party was held on Christmas Eve, partly because the children requested Kentucky Fried Chicken, and they are not open on Christmas Day, but also because they have a church service on Christmas Day.

Children from the community were invited to, as it would have been too hard and very unfair for us to have a party which they would know about, and to exclude them.

We asked Ithembalihle to put their names down about 10 days before the party, and the planning was for the 33 children on the list.  Being Africa of course on the day of the party an extra 10 children turned up, and we couldn’t turn them away.

The children had Kentucky Fried Chicken and bread rolls from the local Spar, and then pudding, and there was cooked food provided for the parents who came.

The presents each contained an outfit – dresses for the girls, shorts and t-shirts for the boys, underwear, facecloth, toothpaste and toothbrush, and then sweets and a small toy, or body spray and lotion for the older children.  Because of your generosity they were chosen very carefully so they were all really nice meaningful presents, and I must admit I was excited about the children getting them.

After the children had eaten they sang a song thanking GAGA, Spirit of Africa and Banbury (although it took me a while to work out that they were saying Banbury, which sounded more like “granny’) for their support, but unfortunately something went wrong when videoing so I never got it on video.  They were very happy with their presents, and they loved the party, which was very heart-warming, because many of the children are clearly from poor households, and it was a great treat for them.

Kwa Ximba Creche and Preschool

Promise decided on a Christmas party for the children, as they did not have a formal graduation this year.  The party was held on 14 December, which was the day on which she closed for the holidays.

The children had a Jumping Castle for entertainment, which was a huge hit, and they had to be dragged off to eat and to receive their presents.

The school looked beautiful, with a long VIP table, draping, flowers and other decorations, which Promise borrowed and arranged very artistically. After the opening speeches the children and adults ate a cooked meal, and then the children played and parents chatted outside for a few hours.

Children and parents were then called back into the school for cake and presents, and each of the children was called up to receive a gift bag with little toys and sweets to take home.

It was a great party and the children had a lot of fun, especially on the Jumping Castle.

1000 Hills Community Helpers

1000 HCH also opted for an all out Christmas bonanza, which coincided with the year end graduation function.  This was a huge and very formal party as the graduation of the 31 Grade R pupils was an important event for both children and parents.

The guests of honour were the Principal and Grade 1 teacher from Imbaliyezwa Primary school, as the Grade R class falls under the auspices of the school, and Mr Khumalo, the Principal, takes an active interest in the progress of the pupils.

Parents also attended the event, and the preschool was beautifully decorated by the teachers, with children’s tables set up for the graduates with a red plastic bucket for each child filled with sweets and small gifts.

The children performed a song and dance to a popular South African song, which they had rehearsed for weeks before, and they were really very cute and all looked beautiful.

Dawn has a system which I think is really amazing -the centre has a collection of party dresses and formal wear for children, so that the children from poorer homes have something gorgeous to wear on the day and are not marginalized in any way.

After the speeches the children all received laminated certificates – the Grade R children for completing Grade R for a variety of achievements during the year. As a special surprise the entire centre staff also received certificates for their work during the year.

A special meal was served to parents, teachers and staff, while the children had hot dogs and party food.


The Sithembakuye Christmas party was held on 16 December, a Public Holiday in South Africa, the Day of Reconciliation/Youth Day.  The party was for all of the children who are part of their feeding scheme and for the Gogo’s who attend the luncheon club.  They had a huge party, and the Gogo’s all received Christmas presents. About 70 grannies’s turned up with the children they care for. It was a day of great merriment and for that afternoon everyone’s worries disappeared.

EU supporters

EU supporters

We are delighted at GAGA to have received a donation, form a Church, based in Stuttgart, Germany. Our director is friends with one of the congregation of the church; they both worked in South Africa together. However, we are delighted that our work has attracted the attention and support of others from another European country. It’s a clear indication, of the belief, in our work and cause. 

We use cookies to improve our website and your experience when using it. Cookies used for the essential operation of the site have already been set. To find out more about the cookies we use and how to delete them, see our privacy policy.

I accept cookies from this site.
EU Cookie Directive plugin by www.channeldigital.co.uk