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 - 2017



It's that time of year again and GAGA Director Sarah is beginning her preparations for her trip to South Africa next week.

She'll be sharing her experience with you through her blog, giving you updates from the projects supported in South Africa by GAGA. You can follow her blog by clicking here.

Building a Brighter Future at First Step Right

Building a Brighter Future at First Step Right

What a great start this year has gotten off to. Things are in full swing with the building work at First Step Right, but we really need your help to continue ...

Builders are hard at work at the school in South Africa, creating 3 new classrooms plus toilets, from an old derelict building on the school grounds. This will create extra learning space, a place which can be used for the pre-school children, to ensure they have their own inviting classrooms. We are so excited to see the work in motion.

The total project cost however, is over £13,000 and we really need your help to reach our fundraising target. Much of this funding has been raised in memory of former GAGA Trustee Richard Harrod; and some from fundraising events and our fantastic ambassadors. We hope to now raise an additional £1,000 to help with the final costs of the project.

Please visit our Crowdfunder page, take a look at the video to find out more and donate if you feel able. Alternatively, please share this Crowdfunder far and wide - the more people that see it, the better. It is all or nothing and so if we don't raise £1,000 by 15th February we won't receive the funding that has so far been pledged.

Click HERE to visit the page.

In the words of one of the children at First Step Right: 'I like the school because the teachers likes to teach us to work. I like to change something, I would like to put grade 4 to the other class, so there wouldn't be many children'. We can't wait to make these changes!

Thank you for your support in helping us to build a brighter future for the children at First Step Right school.


National Citizen Service support GAGA UK

National Citizen Service support GAGA UK

Last summer, two groups of young students joined GAGA UK for a professional visit. They found out all about GAGA and also had the chance to pitch some fundraising ideas to us. It was a great opportunity for them to see a charity working environment, and also to get some support and advice on their fundraising ideas; it was also great to hear what they had to say.

The students were part of the National Citizen Service and spent three weeks physically challenging themselves, as well as meeting new people, engaging with their community and volunteering.

A different team also visited Compton Verney, who have supported us with our yarn-bombing. They were asked to do some fundraising, and very generously Compton Verney put our name forward.

For the fundraising, the team took part in a sponsorship event - a Zumbathon!! It involved 7 hours of dancing and team challenges. They raised money through donations from friends and family. In total they raised £126.23 for GAGA UK - amazing work!! Huge thanks to Compton Verney, NCS and of course the volunteers and their team leaders for their support of GAGA UK.

Hillcrest AIDS Centre, 2017

Hillcrest AIDS Centre, 2017

At a GAGA Trustee meeting towards the end of last year, GAGA decided that we would continue our support of the wonderful Hillcrest AIDS Centre and their Respite Unit. The Respite Unit is a 24 bed facility which offers support to those suffering from AIDS related illnesses, and this support inclues care, love, hope and a second chance at life.

We were able to sponsor a bed for another year at the incredible unit, and stories like this remind us how important this support is...

Palesa was a recent patient at the Respite Unit. She was diagnosed as HIV positive and was on medication for TB. She grew up in an atmosphere of abuse: 'I was born in Kwa-Zulu Natal and grew up with my father... I was very bright and also shy... I never experienced being a child - no dolls, no toys - we were not allowed.' Palesa's father was very strict, and controlling. 'Once I had done the ironing and put it neatly in the cupboard, they would come and deliverately crumple it up and force me to iron it again. I was also beaten...'
It is the sad truth that those who experience violen and abuse during their lives are more at risk of contracting HIV, for various reasons.

Palesa was admitted to the respite unit in October 2016 when she was struggling with diarrheoa, could barely walk and had a very lowe CD4 count. Palesa describes how she was so happy when she was able to use a proper bathroom at the unit, and how grateful she was for the clothes that were donated to her.

Following a total of 6 weeks at the unit, Palesa was discharged and returned home to her children where her recovery continues to be monitored by the HACT team. Palesa, before her discharge, said that her 'dream is to have my own business ... I want to give something back...'

You can read Palesa's full story by clicking here.


Go Loopy for GAGA

Go Loopy for GAGA

Want to challenge yourself in 2017?

Why not Go Loopy for GAGA UK?

On 18th March we will be holding an Aerobatic Flight Day at Take Flight Aviation in Wellesbourne. If you think you might like to take part, simply click here for more information.

GAGA Support for KYGN Continues...

GAGA Support for KYGN Continues...

We are pleased to announce that the GAGA Board of Trustees have agreed to continue our support of KYGN, through KYGN UK.

Kilimanjaro Young Girls in Need is a primary school based in rural Tanzania, providing education for young girls, and also boys, in need of a sound education and a good start in life.

£1,800 has been donated to help assist the school for the year, with vital running costs. This will help them significantly, whilst the school also continue to develop a sustainability plan and look at how they can increase their own fundraising to help cover these costs in the future.

We are incredibly happy to be supporting such a worthy cause once again, and assisting young children access the education they deserve.

Thank you to all our donors for your support - we would not be able to help KYGN without you.

You can find out more about the school by clicking here.

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

A very Happy New Year to all our supporters.
Wishing you all the very best for 2017.

Please click here if you missed our end of year video, showcasing some smiley faces from 2016.

Keep your eyes peeled as we start the year off with a bang with great updates from building work at First Step Right school, and info on a crowdfunding campaign.

Sarah is now back in the office after taking annual leave, and will be responding to all emails today and tomorrow - apologies for any delay.

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