Kick starting with a Christmas Charity Fair, Form 6 at Cranleigh Prep school have been busy fundraising for Children on the Edge this school year.
Bea and Sam, the school’s Charity Prefects told us a little bit about what they got up to:
“In the weeks leading up to the Christmas Fair we made many things to sell to raise money for Children on the Edge, such as fudge, Chocolate crackle (with many different flavours), apple chutney from the apples in our orchard and greetings cards. One of our teachers kindly made friendship bracelets from coloured bands. On the day of the fair all of the charity committee took part in a rota to man the stall as it was very busy. In the end we made £500 for Children on the Edge and had a great time!”
In addition to the amazing amount raised at the fair (pictured below left), there are more plans in the pipeline to help raise even more vital funds for our projects around the world.
A Krispy Kreme donut sale will be tempting the other students at school to part with their cash as well as a summer fayre, mufti day and an end of term service and concert. We can’t wait to hear the updates as the school year progresses!
One of the Housemasters at Cranleigh Prep is going one step further and has decided to support Form 6’s fundraising endeavours by taking on a huge challenge of his own. Dudley Manning (pictured below right) is taking part in the Hardmoors 160 run which is an endurance race of epic proportions. The challenge is to run 160 miles in just 48 hours. Dudley explained why he has taken on the ultra marathon:
“This may seem tough - but it is nothing in comparison to the life long suffering that millions of children around the world are going through right now. This year, Form 6 have chosen to support the “Children on the Edge” charity, which exists to help forgotten children, living in barren and dangerous places across the globe, and helps restore the ingredients of a full childhood by generating hope, life, colour and fun. This is part of our attempt to raise awareness and help young boys and girls all around the world.”
If you wish to support and encourage Dudley in his challenge, please visit his JustGiving page.
A huge thank you to Form 6 at Cranleigh Prep School as well as the rest of the staff and students. The money and awareness that you are raising really does make the world of difference to forgotten children living in some of the most vulnerable communities.
As Mother’s Day approaches, our nation queues in card shops and arms itself with flowers, readying itself for a huge expression of thanks to our tireless, loving mothers and grandmothers.
Few places are more dependent on the care of mothers and grandmothers as Soweto slum in Uganda. The AIDS pandemic has all but wiped out a generation of parents and the conditions here have been so difficult that feeding children adequately and protecting them from disease has been an overwhelming challenge.
All mothers have their work cut out raising their kids, but imagine a mother, who becomes a grandmother, only to lose her adult children to a disease. She is then left alone, to look after up to 15 grandchildren, in a dangerous area, with no resources to keep them protected and in good health. There are no affordable schools and no safe way to gain an income or grow food. This is worth more than a bunch of daffodils, and we’re humbled to have been able to work alongside these heroic ladies for the last 2 years.
Since our first visit to Soweto, we have worked with our local partner ADSN to establish a Child Friendly Space in Soweto providing education, nutrition and a safe place for children to be in the day. We have supported an agricultural programme to enable local women to earn an alternative income to the breweries and provide a sustainable source of food. We have also worked to develop a Community Child Protection group, to tackle some of the issues that have left children so vulnerable to abuse.
The transformation over this time has been incredible. Most of the dangerous breweries that dominated the economy 2 years back have now shut down, and the Mum’s have described how the agricultural programme is starting to provide nutrition for children at the Centre and local households. The area is cleaner and the incidence of both child sacrifice and child abuse have greatly lessened.
Here are some more comments from some of the Mums…
- Judith the mother of 9 children says “The Centre did not discriminate and choose family and friends to come, they looked for children who were like ‘rubbish’ those who were not seen as anything in the community, and they chose these ones. So they were surprised and very happy”.
- Priscilla is a grandmother of 15 children. She says “The children used to loiter. Through the workshops parents now know their responsibilities, even those who don’t go to the Centre have now started to take their children to school. There used to be rubbish everywhere, and now although it is still not too clean, it is much much cleaner and also you don’t find faeces everywhere because of the training that is held”. Ruth, another grandmother of 13 next to her chips in at this point to say that the crime rate has also gone down.
- Grace is a mother of 5, she describes how “The cleanliness has changed dramatically. Workshops have taught people how to dispose of waste. Now there are holes dug in set places, and they put their rubbish there. ”
All these things have started to support mother and grandmothers in turning their community around and making a better life for their children. There is still a long way to go, but the difference is plain to see.
If you’d like to show some solidarity on Mothers Day, and support these dedicated ladies in transforming Soweto, please find out more about the project, and consider donating.
Children on the Edge brings an essential child-focussed approach to children displaced by conflict.
Since the breakdown of a ceasefire between Burma’s central government and ethnic Kachin rebels in June 2011, sporadic fighting has displaced more than 100,000 people in northern Burma. Children in the internally displaced camps have suffered trauma from the violence they have witnessed, many have been separated from their parents and nearly all have inability to access basic services and resources, such as food and education.
A recent article by the Irrawaddy has highlighted that although various aid groups are getting through to the IDP camps near Laiza to deliver resources, that the educational needs of the children are not being fully met. During one of the Irrawaddy’s recent visits to a camp, they described how ‘a UN truck arrived at the camp, unloading school textbooks, mosquito nets and solar panels…Some children eyed the textbooks with interest, but few here find camp life to be conducive to furthering their education”.
Children on the Edge focus on 12 outlying, higher altitude settlements, which are not currently being reached by the larger organisations. After a full consultation with local groups and a thorough needs assessment, we have partnered with local organisations, the Kachin Development Group and the Kachin Women’s Association to develop a three year program that supports the physical and psychosocial needs of 1,440 children, through 12 Learning Centres.
This work is carefully planned in order to, not only provide educational materials, but to implement an Early Childhood Development curriculum, together with teacher training. Its approach recognises how unlikely it is that these children will automatically slot back the learning styles they were familiar with in their own homes. It also takes into account that a purely academic focus is inadequate for children who have lived in a war zone for an extended period of time. Components are specifically designed for children who have experienced trauma.
John Littleton, our Asia Regional Manager describes how crucial a child-friendly approach is in these circumstances: “The effects of neglect in these formative years can be cumulative and lasting. Young children who experience extreme stress are at greater risk of developing cognitive, behavioural or emotional difficulties”.
The Centres are safe places with a trusted adult presence, where children aged 3-6 can access early childhood education and creative play. The aim is to allow these children to simply enjoy being children, in a vibrant place, for a few hours a day and provide them the opportunity to mature into healthy, stable young people.
Find out more about our work in Kachin State.
Montezuma’s Chocolates have raised an amazing £12,898 for our work this year with their ‘Bags of cash’ scheme.
Our good friends over at Montezuma’s Chocolates have been supporting us in many different ways for several years now. From sponsoring our annual Easter Trail event in Priory park, to a dizzyingly fun-packed charity week, to both sponsoring, running and stocking the goodie bags for our Chichester Half Marathon, they’ve made a tremendous difference to the children we work with across the world.
In addition to these events, one of the ways Montezuma’s have been raising money for our work is through their ‘Bags of Cash’ initiative. In each of their five stores, staff have been highlighting the plight of the children we support in Soweto Slum, Uganda, and asking customers to donate a few coins to us when they use a carrier bag.
Over the last year, through this simple scheme, the five stores have raised a whopping £12,898, which is enough to pay for 70 children in Uganda to benefit from pre-school education for a year, with daily breakfast and lunch, and regular support from a trained social worker.
Carrie Burton, Area Retail Manager at Montezuma’s says “We are so proud to be able to help such a fantastic charity and are continually amazed at the generosity our customers show when donating for our paper bags or supporting our charity weeks. I was fortunate to experience this first hand when a customer donated a cheque for £1000 pounds for paper bag! I'm still amazed every time I think about it. Whether it's 1p or £1000 every single donation makes a huge difference and we're proud to help in any way that we can”.
The ideals that Montezuma’s started out with have stayed with the company and are firmly rooted in every part of what they do. Montezuma’s is a business where ‘substance wins over style, where sustainable and organic business growth wins over greed and where a Trading Fairly Policy sweeps a path of ethics covering everything..’.
Esther Smitheram from Children on the Edge commented, “We are so privileged to benefit from Montezuma’s commitment to values, and in our own small way, be a part of their expression of ‘substance’. We’d like to say a huge thank you not only to their generous chocolate loving customers, but to the Montezuma’s staff who continue to support and promote Children on the Edge so ably”.
To find out more about the magic of Montezuma’s and learn more about the work they are currently focussing on in Uganda.
This year’s Easter Chocolate Trail, sponsored by the wonderful Montezuma’s Chocolates will be celebrating a decade of spring time fun and learning.
If you come down to Priory Park on Easter Saturday (19th April) you’ll find a fun-filled Easter Trail with a difference. We have organised this popular family event each Easter Saturday in Chichester for the last ten years. Each year has presented local children with a different theme, twist or challenge, and this anniversary event is no exception.
To celebrate 10 years of the event and 10 years of us being based in Chichester, we are using the trail to highlight 10 children’s rights that we support around the world.
All the work of Children on the Edge is guided by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, a treaty which was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly in 1989. Through an array of interactive stands at this year’s event, children can explore and learn about their own rights, find out about the lives of other children around the world and collect delicious Montezuma’s chocolates along the way.
Alongside the trail there will be the usual array of treats and refreshments including O’Hagan’s sausages, fete games, bouncy castle, tombola and much more, both indoors and outdoors, so come along rain or shine!
Primary School children around the area will also be designing their own Easter Eggs for Montezuma’s Chocolates, in order to win an egg with their design on it. The two winning entries will be presented with their eggs at the Easter Trail. If your child would like to enter, just download the flyer which includes the egg shaped entry form, and send their designs to us at the office, or drop them into the Montezuma's Store in Chichester.
Entry fee for the trail is £4.00 for 1 child, £7 for 2 or £10 for 3. Do call the Children on the Edge office with any queries on 01243 538530 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Horse racing is a common fixture in the British sporting diary but a very special type of horse racing event happened at Fittleworth Village Hall on the evening of Thursday 27th February. The hall became, as if by magic, an elaborate flat race course, complete with Tote, steward’s offices and licensed bar, all wonderfully co-ordinated by Nick Rowley from Moonlight Events.
Chris Taylor, one of our Children on the Edge Ambassadors, organised a night to remember with a novel set of horse races to keep the punters entertained. The packed programme comprised six sponsored races, each having six imaginatively-named horses; a surprise double-jockey relay race, and a grand final.
The chosen jockeys, all sporting ‘full safety equipment’ (amounting to little more than a flimsy cap), mounted their saddles (village hall chairs) and, upon a shrill blast of the steward’s whistle, began frantically to wind-in their wooden steeds using just a short length of broom handle and string.
The jockeys were facing in the same direction as the horses which meant that they didn’t have a clue who’d won, until the steward blew his whistle again.
As you can imagine, this was a very serious business – as was the betting. After all, who can resist a small flutter on a fine filly?
After a short gastronomic break, of fish & chips, the final race, the Douglas & Gordon Derby, was won by Anna McMorran on Albert, holding off a stern challenge from a jockey too shy to be mentioned. Her prize was a huge silver cup (exquisitely crafted from cardboard and tin foil) and a bottle of champagne – which looked surprisingly real.
It proved to be a most enjoyable evening for all those who attended and what’s more, a staggering £1400 was raised for Children on the Edge - almost without the race-goers noticing!
Children on the Edge would like to thank Chris and his team as well as all the race-goers who made this such a huge success.
Thanks also go to Martin and Chris who provided this write-up.
If you have some kind of imaginative plan to raise money for our work, just get in touch!
If you are a keen walker or even a gentle ambler, you may be interested in joining one of our Ambassadors, Dr Chris Taylor, on a series of walks through stunning Dorset scenery, to be held between the 4th and 6th of April, in loving memory of Georgina Maxse.
They are a wonderful way to experience new walks with old friends and to make new friends on the way, choosing exactly how far you want to walk. All money raised will be supporting both Children on the Edge and Cancer Research UK.
Day one will be taking in the sites around Berwick St John, Alvesdiston, Win Green Hill, Swallowcliffe Down and the Ox Drove. The second day is a glorious downland circuit via Zig Zag Hill, Charlton Down, Win Green Hill to lunch at Tollard Royal, returning via the very pretty village of Ashmore and Compton Down. The last day consists of country lanes, trails, farm tracks and Roman roads around Gussage Hill, Cranborne and Pentridge Hill.
If this sounds appealing, why not sign up for a half day walk, a full day walk, pubbing and picnicking or doing all three days! There’s even an option to take your dog along for the journey. Just have a look through the full information and, if you’d like to partake, download a form and send it to email@example.com.
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Chris, Sally Marien and Barbara Roberts (with the help and encouragement of Tony Maxse) for organising such a fantastic event, and we hope the sun shines on you all!