Latest News

And we’re back… from Africa!

No comments

In October, our volunteers travelled to Africa, some of them for the first time, to work on improvements and to ensure continued development in Senegal and Gambia. The group had a wonderful time, discovering local customs and learning about the people that you are helping to support. Without you, the village in Gambia might not have its new water pump bringing the villagers closer to self-sufficiency in their vegetable garden. Without your donations, our medical team would not have had the funds to buy vital medical supplies, treating the children and testing for malaria.

Some of our volunteers give a personal account of their experiences and update you, our wonderful supporters, on life in Gambia and Senegal.

Nutrition Project Round-up

“This was our first time in Balanghar, Gambia and this amazing experience has made us think about our life in Europe compared to such a different reality in Gambia.

When we first arrived there we noticed that the vegetable garden seemed a little abandoned with no one taking care of it, but as soon as the new pump was installed the work in the garden started again. We raised the money for the new pump and transported it to Gambia –such an achievement!

Another important task for us was to carry out questionnaires on nutritional habits of the people of Balanghar. We interviewed around 20 people representing 20 families, giving us a sample of eating habits of approximately 160 people in the village.  

We also held meetings with the gardeners and agreed on some improvements to make the garden more profitable.

We are thrilled to be managing this project and happy that the new crops will help feed around 450 children from the Balanghar school.”

-The Nutrition Project is managed by Valeria and Nicholas.

Health Project Round-up

“We arrived in Dakar at 1am and the first thought was “WOW it’s HOT!” with 30 degrees heat during the night. One of the Senegalese men, Malik, that helps us with our activities took us to Dakar city, where the Italian charity Diritti al Cuore owns a house.

Volunteer nurse Laura performs health checks

The first medical visit was to children, in the afternoon of the 29th. In Pikine, a suburb of Dakar.

Our medical visits are structured in the following way: we have a triage where the volunteers take information re: health problems, check the children’s weight, height and so on, then they wait to be called by the doctor, of which we have two. One of these was a Senegalese medical student called Joelle, studying for her final year, and  involved in the project for students of DAC. Communication with local people was easy thanks to Joelle, as not all the Senegalese speak French or English fluently. After triage, the children have routine checks and minor treatments with the nurse.

We normally finish visits at sunset time, then once at home, one of the most important activities in the evening is to complete “screening”, where we classify the diseases we found during the day, so that we can observe which are the most common health problems and adjust the quantity of medications we bring for the next medical check.

We spent the 31st of October getting ready to go to the villages. The plan was to divide the medical team in two: one group going to remote rural villages in
Senegal, where projects are already ongoing; the second group going to a rural village in Gambia, where the charities started their project only last year and
where People for Change is on route to take charge of the medical, educational and nutritional projects.

Our first stop was the Gambian pharmacy to buy the medication we needed for our visits in Balanghar; the pharmacy had already received our order and despite a delay we managed to collect all we had requested.

We spoke to the local nurses to learn how they manage health in the village: the government provides paracetamol, mebendazole and amoxicillin but in quantities not sufficient to treat everyone in need.

Conducting malaria tests on the children whose temperatures were spiking, we are happy that all results came back negative! The tests are simple, (similar to blood sugar tests) but very useful, as they allow to screen in a couple of minutes for one of the most tricky diseases in those countries. During our stay in Gambia we also
held educational/medical courses in the school: washing hands, brushing teeth and malaria prevention.

After another two days’ of tests, we reach 600+ babies and children checked! Quite an achievement!

PROUD OF ALL OF US and a big thank you to the school teachers who translated English to Wolof, and to Diritti al Cuore for supporting our efforts.”

-The Health Project is managed by Laura and Monica.

Education Project Round-up

Although it was not the first time for me in Africa, the charm of this land never fails to amaze me. Its colours, its rhythm and the warmth of the local people, who are always smiling despite the difficult situation they live in.

During this trip our group visited 4 different Senegalese villages and schools, then focused most on Gambian projects in the village of Ballangharr. Here we have started a partnership with the local Ballangharr basic cycle school (which has classes from nursery to 7th grade) initially built by The English during the colonial period, to provide assistance with education materials and to those children so poor that they can’t afford to attend school.

I was accompanied by 5 other volunteers and we arrived with 138 kg of donated goods from the UK:  from 4 bags full of clothes for poor students to 5 bags of stationery collected by employees of the company News UK, to books gifted to us by Harper Collins which were donated to the school library.

I was astonished to be welcomed with a show from local women and children who danced and sang for us to thank us for the help we were giving.

It was an amazing feeling to see many mothers who came to speak to each one of us and introduce us to their families, and to thank  us for the gift of education to their children.

After so many months of work in cold London, we were able to finally see the “fruits” of our projects in the Gambian sun!

The following days were spent redecorating one of the 8 classes of the school, the first year of nursery which had not been renovated in over 15 years.

We bought paint, brushes, stickers etc and transformed this rundown class into a more suitable environment for children. We also hooked up their electricity and purchased some fans to allow students to study indoors even in the most torrid days, where temperatures can exceeds 45 degrees.  

The kids were extremely happy to see their environment transformed into a fun and colourful place and could not even wait to let the paint dry before entering the room!

Here is a video from them thanking us all for the support.

 

We concluded our trip by meeting the new headmistress and all the teachers to better understand the school’s needs and how to scope our future projects.

It was empowering seeing ALL children with all the equipment needed to study, regardless of their family’s income! This year we can grant access to education for all, and that means so much to us, and them.

-The Education Project is managed by Martina.

 

peopleforchangeAnd we’re back… from Africa!
read more

What does it take to change a life?

No comments

“One person at a time, one day at a time, and one project at a time. You can make a difference that will leave a lasting impact on the world.”

During one of our volunteering trips, while renovating a school in Senegal, Malvina – a volunteer, met Fatou.

A young girl of 19 from the village of Tataguine, Fatou had not been able to attend school because she was both dumb and deaf. As many young people usually do when volunteers visit their villages to work on projects, Fatou approached the group renovating the school to offer her help. Despite the obvious barriers, Malvina and Fatou found ways of communicating as they worked together. “As we spent more time together and got to know each other more, I began to think about how I could help Fatou to live independently. So I spoke with Fatou and her family about what she could do to earn a living,” Malvina said.

Fatou, along with her family and Malvina agreed that it would be best for her to learn a skill so that she could get a job. Six months after meeting Fatou, Malvina made a donation which was used to buy Fatou a sewing machine. Malvina was also able to arrange for Fatou to start an internship with a local tailor for 6 months, after which she was hired and she has been working for almost two years.

Speaking about the experience, Malvina said:

“Every time I’ve had updates from Fatou in the last 2 years, I can honestly say that she is happier every time and this makes me feel super optimistic about the big difference small donations can make to the life of someone who needs it. Fatou deserved it and she really wanted to become independent, that’s why she was able to make the most of my small investment.”

At People For Change, these are the encounters which inspire us. One person, day and project at a time, we hope to make small changes which have lasting impact.

If you share our values and would like to be part of our vision, contact us to discuss how you can make a difference.

No time to volunteer? You can still make a difference by sponsoring a child like Fatou to give them an opportunity for a decent life. Find out more about sponsoring a child in our education project or make a donation to help us improve the lives of more children.

Together we can make lasting change which will benefit generations to come.

peopleforchangeWhat does it take to change a life?
read more

Football for change!

No comments

A huge thank you to all the staff at News UK, Dow Jones & Harper Collins. They helped us raise £500 by taking part in the football tournament on the 30th of June.

It was so inspiring to see so many people playing together to raise funds for our projects. With the money we raised we will be able to buy medical supplies for our upcoming trip to Gambia in October!

 

Thank you all! And congratulations to the winning team, Newsprinters!

peopleforchangeFootball for change!
read more

Vegetables, cakes and an easy way to donate

No comments

As we here in UK await the arrival of the sun (it came out briefly but has since deserted us, it seems!), there’s plenty to keep us busy at People for Change.

Good news just in!

After a difficult series of conversations and investigations, we are overjoyed to announce that, after many weeks of not receiving food, our school in Ballanghar has this morning received a welcome package of rice, beans and oil with which to feed the students. This means they can stay in the classroom for longer, and more regularly, and we are very grateful to the World Food Programme for the successful delivery.

Browse our website to find out more, and click on our “Donate Now” button to support us, so that we can continue these vital projects across Senegal and Gambia.


News UK Bake Off!

The technology department of News UK held a Bake Off event last month to raise funds for our Charity.

11 cakes were baked and donations of a minimum £1 were asked in exchange for tasting the cakes
A Total of £176 was raised on the day and donated to People for Change.

If you too would like to host an event at your work, or organise some entertainment for a good cause, please contact uswe’d love to hear from you!


Extra Retail Therapy…

Thanks to website Easyfundraising, you don’t need to bake cakes or sit in a bath of beans to donate to charity. You don’t even need to pop coins into a donations box or hunt for your Paypal password.

Just by signing up at this link, and adding a reminder widget to your internet browser, when you make purchases with 100s of brands, from Sainsbury’s to Gap, they will automatically donate money (theirs, not yours!) to People for Change! You can even raise free donations by shopping at selected High Street stores!
It is now simpler than ever to donate to the good cause of your choice, so click the link and get shopping!


Courses and trips to Africa

We will be continuing our educational courses for fundraisers and volunteers throughout June starting on Monday 5th – email us to learn more.
We will also be returning to Africa in October, and would love you to come too! Are you a healthcare professional? Do you know someone that is?
Or perhaps you can assist us with IT in the UK and help get our website get more traffic? Whatever you can do, email us to get involved.


Producing food in Gambia


As you can imagine, growing food in rural Gambian climes is not the easiest thing, but we wanted to create opportunities for our villagers to obtain food self-sufficiency, giving them a sense of satisfaction and nourishing both their minds and stomachs!

People for Change has assisted in setting up a poultry farm, which produced over one hundred chickens for food, before, sadly, the funds ran out and we had to pause this project.
However, we are seeing more of a success story with the agricultural part of our venture:

  • As of February 2017, the village had 18 beds of onions, 9 of cabbages, 2 of lettuces, 17 of tomatoes and almost 20 other vegetable beds being cultivated.
  • In the last month over 20kg of onions and 40kg of cabbages have arrived at the school in Ballanghar to supplement the WFP delivery which arrived today.

But of course, we can do more, and that’s where you come in. Donate today to ensure better nutrition for some of the world’s poorest children.

Spread the love! Forward our site to a friend so they can see what we are doing, or join us on Facebook and Instagram to stay updated!

peopleforchangeVegetables, cakes and an easy way to donate
read more