On Saturday 6th February, staff members Ben and Eloise travelled up to Telford, with two amazing volunteers, Jill and Helen, for The Body Shop At Home™️ February Conference. Here we raised a record breaking £16,000 in just one day!
Thank you so much to everyone who helped make this happen; this money will go such a long way to help support our work in Uganda and beyond.
The Body Shop®️ are a big part of Children on the Edge's history. The late Dame Anita Roddick founded Children on the Edge in 1990, after witnessing the appalling conditions in Romanian orphanages. Today, more than 25 years later, we are proud and humbled by the continual support from The Body Shop®️ around the world.
The Body Shop At Home™️ are a huge part of that support, and their incredible consultants and staff do not stop in their efforts to support Children on the Edge. Twice a year, we get to meet these wonderful fundraisers in Telford, at their bi-annual Conference. This February was no different, and our team from Chichester went up to sell Goody Bags with products generously donated by Revolution in Kindness (formerly The Body Shop Foundation), and raffle tickets with the help of our 'Champions' for Children on the Edge. As a result, we raised a whopping £16,000 for our work with vulnerable children around the world.
This total is more than we have ever raised at one if these Conference's before, and all the team at Children on the Edge are completely blown away by the generosity and support of The Body Shop At Home™️ staff and consultants, plus those at The Body Shop®️ UK and Revolution in Kindness (formerly The Body Shop Foundation). Thank you so much.
Not only that, Consultants broke records too! Through raffles, party sales, challenge events and countless other fundraising ideas; regional The Body Shop At Home™️ teams fundraise throughout the year for Children on the Edge. This year 7 out of 10 regions hit their fundraising targets, and overall, the teams from across the UK raised a phenomenal £83,898.....£13 898 above their target! Our Executive Director, Ben was thrilled to announce this incredible achievement to the teams on the day. We can't wait to see what the Consultants can do in 2017 and we've set an ambitious fundraising target of £85, 000. We're confident they can reach it!
Supporting our work in Uganda
A popular part of the Conference is when Children on the Edge get to update on our work and how all the money raised through The Body Shop At Home™️ goes to help our work with vulnerable children abroad.
Just a year ago, Ben had just returned from Uganda, where he visited Loco slum. He saw the desperate conditions and spoke to the people who lived there; who had no hope for a better future. Domestic violence was rife, and conditions, especially for children, were appalling. Last February, we asked the Body Shop At Home™️ to help us do something about it.
What a difference a year makes
Just a year later, thanks to their support, so much has changed in Loco for the better. Our Child Protection Teams have been training people on abuse, parenting, crime, human rights and many other issues. Domestic violence has now dropped dramatically.
Bikes and loudspeakers have been distributed to enable the Child Protection Teams reach help quickly, report emergencies to the police and alert the community of anyone posing a threat to children. In September, we opened a new Early Childhood Development Centre to help educate some of the most vulnerable young children. This has proved a huge success in just a few months of opening.
We told the conference about Daniel and his mother Annet. A year ago, Daniel and his siblings couldn't go to school. They had to go 'picking' for scraps and plastic everyday to try and find enough to sell. But after Children on the Edge gave his mother Annet, a loan of around £20, she has been able to set up a business selling fish; earning her and her family around £2 a day. Daniel and his siblings no longer have to go 'picking' and can go to school. He says "I am happy as a child and for that, I thank everyone". His mother Annet says "What gives me hope is that the community children are going to school. They are the next generation so at the end of it all their foundation will be a firm one".
With the support, kindness and generosity of The Body Shop At Home™️ , we have been able to do so much to transform the lives of the people living in Loco over the past year. But there is so much more we want to do. Our focus for the next year will be on education. Will you help us?
If you're a The Body Shop At Home™️ Consultant and want some help with fundraising ideas, please get in touch with us: email@example.com or call 01243 538530.
If you'd like to make a one-off or regular donation to support our work, please donate here.
Grace and Norah are twin sisters, aged four, born prematurely to a single mother in Loco slum, Uganda
Loco is a small village near Jinja, Uganda, formed of barrack blocks that were formally owned by the railway corporation for their workers. The area has poor sanitation with latrines overflowing into the streets. Income poverty has left children prone to exploitation, malnutrition, physical and sexual abuse and a high likelihood of ending up living on the streets.
There is one primary school, but parents and carers cannot afford the fees. When we spoke to Grace and Norah’s mother a year ago, there was no hope of education or support for her children. She said she had given up on life. She is HIV positive, and the girl’s father left when he saw they were twins. Never having had twins in his family, he believed that they couldn’t be his and abandoned them for another woman. After giving birth Grace and Norah’s mother was bed ridden for some time and had no one to help. She also developed a skin rash, which later prevented her from getting a job as people believed it might be contagious.
Through our local Child Protection Team, Children on the Edge have supported the building of a new Early Childhood Development Centre, designed to provide early years education in a safe, child friendly environment for the most vulnerable young children in Loco. Grace and Norah were among the first children to enrol.
Despite being twins, these girls could not be more different. At the start of term Grace was very shy, and preferred to spend time alone rather than playing with friends. She would cry every time her mother said it was time for school. Teachers at the centre worked closely with her mother and helped her encourage Grace. They focussed on allowing her to learn at her own pace. When the uniforms were given out they were sure to give Grace hers first to make her feel special. Soon after Grace began to enjoy time with friends and to learn at an rapid rate. She loves school so much now that she wakes early each morning to remind her mother to get ready!
Norah settled in much faster than Grace as she is naturally bubbly and outgoing. She had never been given any guidelines on how to interact with others, so her confidence had a tendency to run overboard. This resulted in many occasions of Norah threatening her classmates, fighting her sister and friends, hiding other children’s shoes in the grass or taking their lunch if she finished hers first!
Noticing how different she was from her sister, the teachers let her learn in a way that was suited to her personality. They engaged her interest and curiosity, channeling all that energy into learning and exploring new subjects. This was a turning point for Norah who now listens attentively to the teachers and treats her friends and her sister kindly.
Grace and Norah’s mother says “At home the girls no longer fight but watch over each other when playing. It’s amazing to see such change in the short time since they were registered at the school. Seeing this change in my girls makes me certain that the future for Loco children is bright since the Centre settled at the heart of the village”.
Find out more about the project in Uganda and please consider either a one off donation or providing longer term support by becoming one of our monthly supporters.