January 2012 AfriKids is a Child Rights Organisation working to improve life for Ghana’s most vulnerable and disadvantaged children in a holistic, inclusive and sustainable manner
HAPPY NEW YEAR
And a difficult goodbye to AfriKids’ Founding Father Happy New Year to you all! 2012 is AfriKids’ tenth year of operation as a charity and promises to be a fascinating year in our development and a time for many celebrations. We look forward to sharing all of this with you but first, as we enter the New Year, we want to pause and use this newsletter to remember someone who has been very special to AfriKids over the years. In December very sadly Peter Cohen,
who was the father of AfriKids’ Founder Georgie Fienberg, died of cancer. Peter, along with his wife Carole, has always been an enormous supporter and he was quite literally the father of AfriKids. This newsletter will focus on just a few of the many ways in which he helped the charity grow. From the day he gave Georgie his blessing to start AfriKids because ‘if you believe in something enough you are halfway there’, to his trips to Bolgatanga, to his last days spent reading and sharing the articles on AfriKids in the Telegraph, Peter was a rock of support for AfriKids.
“We have lost a great man; we will forever remember him for the great inspiration he has been to AfriKids economically, emotionally” Nich Kumah Director of AfriKids Ghana
One Simple Way to get to the Heart of a Community; football CLP Structured Finance, the company which Peter Cohen created from scratch, has always been a generous donor to AfriKids. It was one of the first supporters of AfriKids Ghana’s Annual ‘Next Generation Games’ which takes place in Bolgatanga in October each year. The purpose of this event is to raise awareness of the plight of street children. CLP donated £10,000 to renovate ‘Ramsey’s Stadium’ and fund the games. Since CLP’s support and the success of the Next Generation Games, football has been a key tool for community engagement right across AfriKids’ projects. In the Kassena Nankana District the annual Easter Child Rights Festival is crowned by a football tournament between local schools. The festival aims to improve understanding of child rights and continue the campaign against the spirit child phenomenon which blighted and
ended so many lives for previous generations. To read more about the programme click here In the Talensi Nabdam District AfriKids celebrates annual child labour day in June with a football tournament which raises awareness of the different types of illegal child labour going on in the district. This is often accompanied by a march by local schools and child rights clubs. To read more about the programme click here In Zuarungu the beacon school supported by AfriKids hosts an interschool football tournament every year which brings the communities together in celebration of their youth, not to mention a bit of healthy competition. To read more about the project click here
AfriKids Academy AfriKids Eco Village AfriKids Ethical Trade AfriKids Medical Centre Bolga Area Programme Educational fund Kassena Nankana Area Programme Medical fund Operation Bolga Operation Mango Tree Operation SINGh Operation Smiles Operation Zuarungu Street Mothers Association Talensi Nabdam Area Programme Young Entrepreneurs
01: Peter Cohen awards a footballer at the Next Generation Games 02: Julie comes to see Peter at Mama Laadi’s Foster Home 03: Some spectators (and budding activists) at one of the football tournaments 04: Peter Cohen with AfriKids’ Ambassador and founding Trustee, Hugh Taylor 05: A football tournament in action
06: One of the ‘Next Generation Stars’
Julie’s Story Julie is one of the remarkable young people in northern Ghana’s whose story touched Peter Cohen’s heart and to whom he personally quietly offered support over several years. Julie is from Bolgatanga, northern Ghana and grew up in a typical village home with her extended family. Sadly she lost both of her parents as a young child and never really received the support she needed to keep healthy and obtain an education. As a result she spent her teen years shuttling between the streets of Bolgatanga, Kumasi and Accra. At one point she was taken in as domestic staff in a house in Kumasi but learned from a colleague that she and three other young women had actually been recruited to be sold for body parts to be used in traditional medicine. Avoiding a drugged meal and running away in the night, Julie narrowly escaped with her life and made her way back to Bolgatanga. Once in Bolga Julie became known to AfriKids Ghana when, at 18, she became the oldest pupil at the ‘School of Night Rabbits’ for street children in an effort to catch up with her missed school years. She was taken in by Mama Laadi’s Foster Home and with Peter’s support was able to finally finish her primary schooling. Julie’s extraordinary tale had one more twist to come when she came across a European man collapsed in the street just outside of Bolgatanga. He had fallen ill during a volunteer placement and was trying to reach the town’s hospital but had reached a desperate state and without Julie having found him and helped him into town he may not have survived. Prompted by Mama Laadi Julie spent the next three months at his bedside providing meals from the foster home as is the traditional role of family members. On recovering and realising that he owed his life to this young lady the man helped Julie set up her own business and today she is a prosperous entrepreneur, a fitting tribute to Peter, who was an indomitable entrepreneur himself.
The AfriKids Family Tree
For those of you who have supported AfriKids for several years you may be aware of our family tree. This is a record of everyone who supports AfriKids and how they connect to each other. We update it annually and use it as a tool to remind the staff team of where our funding comes from and how it develops. It always astonishes us just what a huge impact an individual can have on the organisation not just through personal generosity but also by making introductions and acting as an ambassador for AfriKids’ work. Peter and Carole Cohen’s branch of the family tree is remarkable; half the founding and existing trustee board members came to learn of AfriKids through Peter’s enthusiasm and many thousands of pounds have been donated by people and companies he introduced to the charity. With no pool of funds to get started with, or reserve to fall back on, AfriKids has always depended on the generosity and enthusiasm of our support base. Right from day one Peter imbibed in Georgie a sense of how important it was to thank and feedback to people who gave to what was at the time a little known cause. It is this principle, part good manners and part good business sense, that has enabled AfriKids to maintain a donor retention rate of between 85-95% each year and become renowned for our level of accountability.
AFRIKIDS ONLINE GAS Partnership Blog
The GAS Partnership blog has been highlighting just how much of a difference can actually be made in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana. (The GAS Partnership is a tri-partite partnership made up of Ghana Health Service, AfriKids and Southampton Universities Hospital Trust, working to improve health care provision in the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana primarily through strengthening manpower and promoting skill-sharing) In 18 months, the health initiative known as the G.A.S Partnership, has sent health professionals to the region to train staff in our targeted areas of Maternity, Paediatrics, Theatres/Anaesthetics and Imaging. Frameworks have been established to improve the patient pathway, theatre practice including the use of the W.H.O Surgical Checklist, estate and facility management working with 7 hospitals in the region, as well as assisting in the design and development of a dedicated mother and children’s unit. The health link has been awarded the prestigious 3rd Sector public/private partnership of the year in the UK and will continue to grow in strength. So, as an African proverb says and repeated by Dame Anita Roddick:
“If you think you’re too small to make a difference, try sleeping in a closed room with a mosquito!” To read the full blog please click here
added 29 new photos to the album Paul Apowida’s Challenge - in Ghana
Purple Lady UK @AfriKids many more big smiles on little faces - the mission for 2012 thank you x Henry Winter Thanks to fans of #mcfc #lfc #mufc #cfc + others who called @telegraph phone-in, helping raise £100k for @RDANational @AfriKids @ SkillforceUK
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AfriKids Good Morning! Yes, it’s a Monday, but let’s get off to a good start with the @AfriKids #adventcalendar ...
It’s December 1st! So... Q: What’s the most popular wine at Christmas? A: ‘I don’t like sprouts’ ...Hmmm. Jokes aren’t our strong point, but Christmas gifts are!
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For those that knew him and have not yet had the opportunity, do visit www.petercohen.co.uk to see and share memories from Peter’s life.
Join the Ambulance Rally for the last leg! In April 2012, a group of volunteers plan to drive a number of ambulances from Southampton to the Upper East Region (UER) of Ghana. The vehicles are desperately needed. The region of 9,000 square kilometres has only seven working ambulances for a population of 1 million. Most people live in rural communities and private cars are a rarity. Boosting this number of emergency vehicles will save lives.
FUNDRAISE FOR AFRIKIDS AfriKids 10 Year Ball! You may have already seen the ‘Save the Date’ which was sent out last week but it is our 10 Year Ball this year!
So far the team have raised a staggering £24,000 and are working towards a further £23,000. Nick Eastcott, leading the group, would like more supporters to join in. ‘We are really grateful to everyone who has contributed to our fundraising and would like to invite them together with any new donors (over the age of 21) to express an interest in joining us on the last leg of our journey. For those who express an interest, we are opening up the last leg of the Rally to 3 lucky winners. 2 seats will go to the people who give the largest donations and the 3rd will be decided by drawing names of all other interested donors from a hat, or Bolga basket!’ For more information, visit their justgiving page or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Please put ‘National History Museum, AfriKids 10 Year Ball’ in your diary on 20th September 2012. With 2018 being our final year of operation in the UK – this will be the only decade we’ll celebrate, so we’re making it count. You’ll get the opportunity to meet some of our most inspiring beneficiaries and celebrate what the organisation has achieved. Therefore, we’d like ALL of our supporters to be there so have made the evening accessible to everyone. Tickets will start at £50 which will include a three course meal and plenty to drink set around the famous dinosaur. Invitations will be going out in March, at this point you’ll be able to find out more and book tickets. Please feel free to get in touch in the meantime: email@example.com