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Fundraiser... to buy a cow

Posted on October 19, 2016

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Next Saturday sees a great fundraising event in Dorset that will buy a cow for the Child of Hope school!

The fun event takes place at the Canford Magna Centre, Canford Parish Church, Wimborne, BH21 3AF on Saturday October 29, 11am-4pm... and you're invited!

It aims to raise £1,000 to buy a Friesian cow (the world's highest-production dairy animal), build her a small barn next to the school and employ someone to look after her. She will produce milk each day for some of the malnourished smaller slum children at the school and at the same time, they can learn about how to look after animals.

Organisor Yasmin Harrington said: “Come prepared to join in with some of the crazy things taking place, from milking a cardboard cow to games, karaoke, a craft stall, a teddy tombola, a raffle and a sponsored run and bounce for the children. Not to mention homemade cakes and refreshments for sale.”

If you can't attend the event but would like to support it with a donation... please click here!

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Could you leave a gift in your will?

Posted on October 17, 2016

Christian Legacy Week.jpgThis week is Christian Legacy Week (October 17–23) – which offers you the chance to think about the long-term difference you could make by leaving a charity gift in your will, and helps you in making that decision. 

Leaving a gift in your will to Child of Hope would help ensure that your beliefs and values are passed to future generations of the people of the Namatala slum through the work we do. And it could help us change lives there, long into the future.

Christian Legacy offers a free guide to making your legacy giving and will-writing easier, including all the information you need for planning your legacy. You can download it online here.

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If you book a holiday or travel through travel agent Not Just Travel, the company makes a generous donation to Child of Hope!

CoH has entered into a partnership that will help us raise ongoing funds for our work with slum children. And at the same time, you may even pay less than going direct to holiday operators – and you’ll be delighted with the amazing range of holidays that are on offer, and the very personal service the staff give you.

To make contact, first visit our joint website www.notjusttravel.com/child-of-hope  

Not Just Travel is probably the UK’s fastest growing travel company and part of Hays Travel Ltd. Its travel consultants have over 450 leading brands and tour operators to choose from and over 12 million holiday options at any given time – it’s no wonder it is now the trusted travel partner of major organisations such as Marie Curie, The Royal British Legion and London University. 

For more information, please click here

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Sponsorship worked for Peter

Posted on October 3, 2016

Peter.00705.jpgPeter (aged 15), used to be a street kid… but is now pretty chuffed with himself for reaching secondary school.

He was 8 when we first met Peter’s mother, who begged and pleaded with us to help her son. He had run away from home and was living on the streets. He had grown tired of the constant gnawing hunger of poverty and had been seduced by the seemingly free lifestyle of the street kids.  

He seemed like a good candidate for our help and brought him into our nursery. But it was tough going for the first year of two – a life on the streets changes a child and he was constantly fighting with other children and generally getting into all kinds of trouble.  

After a lot of love, attention and strict boundaries, Peter’s life started to turn around and we realised that he was actually pretty bright! His mother died a couple of years ago and Peter now stays in our children’s home. 

His life since coming to Child of Hope hasn’t always been easy going, though. A couple of years ago ‘the street’ called to him again and we had a tough job getting him away from bad influences. But he turned things around again and worked really hard for his primary leavers’ exam. He managed to achieve division 2 results (narrowly missing division 1 by just 1 mark) and is happy to be in secondary school…  a huge change from the certain life of crime (and possible early death) that was his future on the streets back in 2008.  

He said: “Thank you to Child of Hope for sponsoring me. I am now living a good life and in the future I’d love to be an astronaut – but if that doesn’t work out I’m hoping to study to become a doctor. Please continue helping us.”

Would you like to sponsor one of the children at our school? Click here for more information.

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Bex is often asked: “How do you choose which children to take into Child of Hope?” It’s a serious question and the answer is evolving and improving year-on-year. A lot of parents in the slum want their child to get a free place at the nursery school, thereby accessing all the other Child of Hope programmes (healthcare, food, primary education, income-generating opportunities for families, clothing and welfare).  

Well, we won’t provide a place to a child where her family could actually afford to send her to school themselves. So, over the years, we have developed a process of assessing the homes and families that the children come from in order to ascertain if the family is suitable.   

Welfare officers checking assessment forms (1).jpgOur staff use a form containing various questions that give a clear indication of how poor a family actually is. For example: How many members in the household? Can the (oldest) female head/spouse read and write with understanding in any language? Does every member of the household have at least one pair of shoes? 

The welfare team visits the homes in pairs and simply writes down the answers, which are then scored and compared against other families’ answers back at the office. Local officials and pastors can recommend families for a placement, but they still have to undergo the same assessment. 

Spot checks are carried out on some of the answers by a staff member outside the welfare department, as an anti-corruption method. Many families have attempted to bribe our officers in the past in order to achieve a placement for their child!  

After the analysis and comparison of ‘scores’ for the families, it becomes easier to see who is most in need and therefore most suitable for a place at school. No-one has to use their judgement and no-one is biased by a ‘cute-looking kid’ or a manipulative parent!

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Business for bed

Posted on September 12, 2016

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Mum-of-six Margret was so poor that she didn’t have a mattress to sleep on – which became one of her goals when we helped her start her own business selling vegetables.

Now, a few years down the line, she is able to pay for three of her children to go to a local school, while one attends the Child of Hope school for free. Two of her children are of pre-school age, but she hopes that they too will receive an education.

One thing that has really helped in her business was to acquire proper scales, so she can sell her goods at a fair price… and be known for it.

In the future she hopes to be able to buy a plot of land and build a house on it. She said: “ Having my own business has taken away stress and worry and anxiety about the future.” 

And yes… she’s been out and bought a new large mattress, which she and all her children sleep on.  

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A special supporter

Posted on September 9, 2016

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Remembering lovely Margaret Barlow, who sadly passed away recently. Margaret was a huge supporter of Child of Hope and knitted lots of blankets and clothes (pictured) for CoH families – who were so poor that they couldn’t afford proper clothing for their children.

Her husband Dennis donated her clothes to CoH, which raised £252.76 through a car boot sale and special clothes sale – held at the home of their friends Alan and Diane Aylett, who invited their neighbours for a cake and coffee morning.

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Christian Legacy Week… coming soon

Posted on September 8, 2016

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Next month sees Christian Legacy Week (October 17–23) – which offers you the chance to think about the long-term difference you could make by leaving a charity gift in your will, and helps you in making that decision.

Leaving a gift in your will to Child of Hope would help ensure that your beliefs and values are passed to future generations of the people of the Namatala slum through the work we do. And it could help us change lives there, long into the future.

Christian Legacy offers a free guide to making your legacy giving and will-writing easier, including all the information you need for planning your legacy. You can download it online here.

Child of Hope is a charity partner of Christian Legacy.

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She beat the burns

Posted on September 5, 2016

Alice.00700.jpgMeet Alice. At nine years old she was fighting for her life after an horrific accident with a paraffin lamp that gave her third degree burns over her abdomen, chest, upper arms and neck. 

But as one of our sponsored children, she received huge amounts or love and care… and has now (aged 14) completed her nursery and primary education and moved on up to secondary school. In fact, she’s the first person in her family to go to secondary school, ever!

Alice started with us back in 2008 when we first had the idea of having a nursery in Namatala slum. Her father died when she was little and her mum was struggling to bring up four children by herself (Alice was the youngest). Two years later she suffered her terrible accident and was admitted to JOY Hospice for several weeks, then spent a further couple of months living with Bex and Moses while her mind healed from the trauma. 

Not long after, her mother abandoned her in Namatala and went back to her village home, taking two of Alice’s siblings with her, while the third sibling was married off in her teen years, leaving Alice on her own. But she was very happy to come to our children’s home, where she has lived ever since.  

Alice is a quiet girl with a ready smile, who can’t quite believe she’s made it to secondary school. She’s not the brightest girl in the class but has worked very hard indeed.  

She said:“My life is transformed from the ordinary life to a new life. I have loved studies so much. I will trust God to help me finish my studies. In future I want to become a doctor or a nurse, so I can help the needy ones in the hospitals. I like singing and dancing to gospel music, because if it wasn’t for God by my side, I wouldn’t be what I am today.”

Would you like to sponsor one of the children at our school? Click here for more information.

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Farming for the future

Posted on August 31, 2016

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A plot of land behind the school has been converted for an ongoing project that will train our pupils in growing certain vegetables, such as potatoes, peas, beans, cabbage, egg plants and tomatoes.  

Now, thanks to a generous donation, the children will try various techniques to see which produces the best harvest and then roll up their sleeves to get muddy! They’ll learn which plants help the land and give nutrition back to the soil, how to prevent free-roaming animals spoiling the crops and the problems of waste management (plastics, etc). As a bonus, hopefully the children will be able to eat the end product!   

The foundation to this is that we want our children to understand their important role in looking after God’s creation – to grow up knowing that their environment must be cared for and to give them the skills to do so. In addition Uganda has a long tradition in agriculture/farming and many people in Uganda have a small plot ‘back in their village home’ where they grow crops to make money in addition to their ‘normal’ employment. We realised that this was something our ‘slum-dwelling’ children were missing out on.

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