Beauty With Heart
For a week now we’ve had a brand new store from The Body Shop in Chichester. The sparkly new look doesn’t just speak about a great shopping experience for customers but is also designed to reflect the essence of their branding ‘Beauty With Heart’.
The concept is based on the idea that products from The Body Shop help you to ‘Look good, feel good and do good’. The ‘do good’ bit is where Children on the Edge (along with many other charities supported by The Body Shop) come in. Children on the Edge was originally set up by Anita Roddick and has been grateful for the generous support of both The Body Shop and The Body Shop at Home over many years.
As the new look stores open cross the country, different local partners and heroes from the charities and organisations supported by The Body Shop are being asked to cut the ribbons and be part of the launch of the brand. Our Head of UK Ben Wilkes was asked to cut the ribbon at the opening of the new Chichester store.
“It was a real honour to be involved in opening the store” says Ben. “Over the years we’ve seen the real impact of ‘Beauty With Heart’ for the children we work with and we’re excited about what the partnership can bring about in the future”.
You can support Children on The Edge during the Jubilee frenzy this week by buying the fantastic new Union Jack Bag for Life from The Body Shop which can be bought at any store or The Body Shop at Home party. It's just £4 from which 80p will be donated to our work!
Last Friday Jobsite hosted a 5-a-side ‘Euro 2012’ Football tournament to raise money for our work. It was held at Portsmouth FC’s Fratton Park Stadium and 20 teams battled it out in 10 minute matches through the day to try and win the Jobsite cup.
Each team donated £100 to play which came directly to our projects. They beat their target and raised a fantastic £1,150!
Thank you so much to Jobsite for picking us as your chosen charity, and to all the teams involved. On the footballing theme, what you’ve raised will support two children’s football teams from the slums of Port au Prince, Haiti for an entire year.
Most of these boys still live in tents from the earthquake two years ago, many face chronic malnourishment and are vulnerable to criminal gangs in the slums where they live. The sports programme we support here gives them a hope and a future. Thanks to local fundraisers like Jobsite, children are provided with a safe place to go where they can receive training, support and weekly food parcels to take home after each practice.
If you or your workplace would like to raise money for Children on the Edge then please get in touch. We’d love to hear from you!
'The Edge' in Jinja, Uganda
Soweto slum, on the outskirts of Jinja, Uganda is home to 4,000 displaced people. Here, HIV prevalence is high, child headed and grandmother headed households are common and malnutrition is a chronic problem. There are no health or education services and the main industry is alcohol brewing which stifles the community.
Last year Rachel Bentley, our director at Children on the Edge, made a connection with an organisation called ADSN (Adolescent Development Support Network) who do fantastic work with street teenagers many of them originating from the slums. These slums are home to 85% of the city’s population and found on the periphery of Jinja. ADSN want to develop a preventative programme to target younger children living in the slums to give them the necessary support and skills they need to avoid ending up on the streets. They have asked Children on the Edge to help with this.
The problems in Northern Uganda have become well known and in the past few years the media and aid agencies have flocked to the area. What is less well known is the sheer volume of people displaced internally by the conflict and troubles of the North. Not only are these people facing displacement, but the AIDS pandemic has created a huge number of orphaned children, child headed households and elderly headed households.
Soweto is one of 8 peri-urban townships surrounding Jinja and identified by ADSN as the neediest slum. It’s 4,000 inhabitants are all cramped within 10 acres. The majority have been displaced from Northern Uganda with additional numbers having fled from Rwanda and Sudan. Conditions in the slum are appalling. There are no health centres or schools, houses are built from mud and people eat once a day if they are lucky.
Often unattended and with no place to go throughout the day children are exposed to a number of vulnerabilities, including child sacrifice. Brewing and distilling alcohol is Soweto’s primary economic activity. Many small children are given the dregs of the brew and the toxins from the shack breweries run through the streets where they play. Child abuse is common with continual exposure to inebriated men and prostitution leaves children vulnerable to abuse and HIV.
Children in Soweto have little hope, there are no sustainable livelihoods open to them or their families and malnutrition is rife. There is heavy dependence on witchcraft as people use it in a desperate bid to escape poverty. Consequently child sacrifice is a growing issue, especially for these children left without care.
In partnership with ADSN, Children on the Edge aim to establish a child friendly space in the community providing essential services for these children. This will be a safe place to receive help and protection and will give them a chance to simply play and be children. An important component to this project will be an agricultural programme to provide an alternative to the alcohol industry that reaps such destruction.
Please help us make a difference to these children who really are ‘on the edge’. Watch this space to see what develops and if you think you can help with raising or donating money then please do get in touch.
Pupils in Wargrave House, one of the boarding houses at Eastbourne College in Sussex, completed their 24 hour non stop 'Eastbourne to Dakar Challenge' on Sunday 12 February.
Rowing across the sea and cycling across the land (virtually), to reach Dakar, Senegal, without stopping, each pupil completed at least one row and cycle – both consisting each of 10 minutes - in a relay form style throughout the night to raise a whopping £2342.50 for our work with vulnerable children across the world.
Our community fundraiser (also a former housemaster at Eastbourne College), Euan Clarke, thanked the boys and staff for their outstanding commitment to raising funds for our work. Current Housemaster Nick Russell said: 'I am delighted we managed to exceed our expectations and that the boys have been able to make such a magnificent contribution to the work of Children on the Edge'.
If you or your school would like to find out about fundraising for Children on the Edge, please get in touch.
Howard's House, Hurst Prep School, may not yet lead the House Points Competition, but their big hearted generosity raised £1128.86 for Children on the Edge in their annual charity day on Tuesday 13th March.
Throughout Howard’s charity day the children in the House created and ran their own stalls including bobbing for marshmallows in a bowl of flour, nail-painting, cream egg and spoon relay racing and a treasure hunt. One of the most successful competitions was ‘Beat the Stig Goalie’ where a mystery person was dressed as the Stig in front of a football goal and prizes were awarded to any competitor that scored. Everyone enjoyed taking part, especially those who were covered in flour for the rest of the day!
When presenting the certificate, Euan Clarke thanked the pupils for their outstanding contribution to supporting COTE projects.
Inspirational head, Heather Beeby, praised the pupils, parents and staff (particularly house mistress Alexandra Albury) for their tremendous efforts at the charity day. In addition Mark Travers and his team of musicians orchestrated a wonderful Jazz concert to raise £250 for vulnerable and marginalised children around the world.
If you or your school is interested in raising money for our projects, please do get in touch.
In February of this year we set up a new kitchen garden at the Children’s Crisis Centre that we support in Thailand. The Centre helps children on a temporary basis who have fled Burma and have lost or become separated from their parents. It provides food, shelter, education and trauma counseling for those who have been through traumatic experiences. It is vital in the protection of children who are otherwise extremely vulnerable to trafficking, exploitation and abuse.
The kitchen garden was set up to meet a number of needs and in the last few months it has really taken off. One of the primary needs is food. It costs £30,000 to ensure all the children receive adequate nutrition for the year and this is a way for the centre to start to provide for themselves in the long term. It cost just £3000 to set up and run the kitchen garden including the rent of the land, employment of a skilled gardner and the purchase of tools and seeds. The aim is that the produce from the garden will reduce the Centres’s food bill by 20% each year.
In addition to this, the garden project is a fantastic opportunity for the children who work in groups of five and use the experience to learn about responsibility, nutrition and basic agricultural skills. Each year both the staff and the children will be getting specialist agricultural training where they can learn about the land in their area and how to get the best out of it.
Yeye Win (the director of the Centre) described how the program has given many of the children a great creative outlet during this month's summer school break and thinks it will be really helpful for preparing them with skills for their future.
John Littleton, our Asia Regional Manager says “The children are very enthusiastic about the project and considering they have plowed and planted almost 3 acres of land in 3 weeks and helped dig a well, I’m pretty impressed!”
So far the children have planted eggplant, chillies, tomatoes and pumpkins, and they expect to get their first crop in 2-3 months time.
Feel free to find out more about our work in Thailand and consider donating to the project.
In December, pupils from St Christopher's School in Hampstead voted to support Children on the Edge as their charity project for the term. Spurred on by enthusiastic staff at the school, 186 girls skipped until they dropped (and the younger girls dressed up in support) to raise the astonishing sum of £5772.
On his visit to the school our community fundraiser, Euan Clarke thanked pupils and parents for 'lending a hand' (the chosen assembly hymn of the day) to help vulnerable children around the world. Susie West, the dynamic head said: “I am very proud of these generous hearted girls for supporting such a wonderful project with their enthusiasm and their energy”.
If you think your school would be interested in fundraising for our work then don’t hesitate to get in touch.
The Brighton Marathon is a gruelling event and training on cold winter’s mornings has never been a comfortable part of the journey, but 12 intrepid souls collected faithfully in Preston Park on a cold but sunny April Sunday morning in COTE running vests.
Sadly two of our runners had to drop out through illness or injury before the event, but the rest of the team finished safely and a full bevy of supporters bellowed support from strategic points around the course. Here’s what the runners had to say:
Production Coordinator Izabela Mayne, one of the 3 Musketeers from Wileys, said: ‘I can certainly say that I have absolutely loved every minute of the marathon. It was without a doubt one of the most exhilarating experiences of my life (so far!) and one which I wish to repeat again….. I certainly plan to support COTE by running further marathons, plus we are open for any other mad suggestions’.
Christine Binns, Maths teacher from London said: ‘Thank you so much for your support during the race. Any bawling at me would have only helped me along!! It was lovely to catch Euan in the Charity Village after the race - I can only apologise for my slightly cathartic state and inability to form a sentence longer than about 3 words. We went and had fish and chips on the beach which instantly brought life back to my legs!’
Keith Jamieson, Managing Director of an electrical company said: ‘calves and quads still sore, but no lasting effects. As I ran the last 800 with my son Jack we had to get back to the family, so no pampering I'm afraid but I very much appreciated your support and will always do my bit for Children on the Edge.
Body Shop CRM Manager Julie Cromwell said: ‘Thanks so much for your cheering from the sidelines – it was great! Hopefully I can convince a few more laggards to send some more – so hopefully by the end of the week, we should have a final total, but we’re pleased we’ve been able to smash our target of £1,500’.
Our wonderful COTE Heroes and Heroines have raised over £7000 as a result their magnificent efforts and we want to say huge congratulations and a very big thank you.