AfriKids’ letter of the week

We don’t usually favour one donor over another here at AfriKids; all generosity that is aimed at our work is appreciated hugely. Last week, however, we were particularly taken by one donation we received from a young girl called Flo.

 

Flo sold loom bands and teddy bears to raise money for AfriKids and sent us this fantastic letter. It was definitely our favourite letter of the week!

 

 

This isn’t the first time Flo has fundraised for AfriKids. Last year Flo and her friend Freya raised money by selling napkins and Freya also got sponsored for swimming.

 

AfriKids would like to say a very big and public thank you to Flo for brightening our week and for donating to our work.

#StopTheMyth about global poverty

It’s been reported that 77% of the UK public think that efforts to tackle global poverty over the last decade have made little or no difference. Here at AfriKids we know that this isn’t the case; we know that by working accountably, transparently and with the right people, we’re seeing a difference every day. We’re encouraged to see that VSO and Restless Development have been working together to educate people and #StopTheMyth. The great video below shows the positive messages they’re intent on sharing and shows some of the misconceptions that the public hold.

 

It’s fascinating to see people estimating that the UK Government spend up to 40% of the annual budget on overseas aid. The real figure? Just 0.7%.

 

AfriKids is grateful to be the recipient of some of this funding. With the support of the Department for International Development (DfID) AfriKids is working across 238 schools and 75 communities with our Education Bridge project. We’re able to make a very real difference to hundreds of young people accessing education and learning about their rights.

 

Watch this video, share it, and help #StopTheMyth about overseas aid.

 

A new CEO for AfriKids

As founder Georgie Fienberg’s role evolves, AfriKids welcomes a new CEO to the team. Here Georgie gives us the news in her own words.

 

 

AfriKids (UK) exists to fund and support our partners, AfriKids Ghana, as they work towards long term sustainability and independence by 2018. With just four years to achieve this goal, I and the senior management team have been reflecting on the right management and leadership structure to best make this happen. AfriKids has now grown to be a large organisation, and with its size comes organisational challenges to match; as an organisation evolves, so too does its leadership needs.

 

I’ve taken the difficult but exciting decision to make way for a new CEO to lead us to 2018. With a substantial and complex set of operations to oversee in the UK and support in Ghana, the CEO needs to understand and lead on fundraising, business, international development and social welfare initiatives, as well as ensuring good governance. It is a role that requires a commitment of time that I can simply no longer offer the organisation alongside my commitments to my own young family.

 

I’m thrilled to announce that heading up AfriKids (UK) as the new CEO will be Amy Parker – someone who has been a key part of the AfriKids family for the past five years; first as a corporate partner, head of  the Deutsche Bank Charity of the Year programme during our partnership, then as committed volunteer and donor, then more recently as an Ambassador and AfriKids Director of Fundraising. Amy is someone who knows the organisation inside and out and has the skill set, drive and fierce commitment that this role requires. Supporting Amy, AfriKids now has in place an excellent Executive Operating Committee (EOC) and a highly qualified and driven team of staff and I am confident that the organisation has what is needed to achieve our goals.

 

As for me, this certainly won’t be the last you hear of me. My intention is to take a short break before returning in a role which best complements the new CEO, structure and strategy. I will remain on the Board of Trustees, and will play a supportive and ambassadorial role for AfriKids. I will continue to maintain relationships with our key supporters and will continue promoting AfriKids and our approach throughout the industry. AfriKids is an organisation I am very proud to have founded and will remain committed to for life – this is not a departure for me, but simply a change of roles.

 

From a personal perspective, for the past 17 years since founding the organisation, I have lived and breathed AfriKids and can honestly say I’ve loved every minute. I will always remain a key part of AfriKids, just as AfriKids will remain a key part of me. I plan to continue to visit Ghana regularly, regardless of my role, and I want AfriKids to be a something my young sons grow up being a part of, just as the organisation has at various stages absorbed all my friends and family.

 

Over the years the changes I’ve witnessed in northern Ghana are remarkable and the people I’ve worked with and seen AfriKids help are inspirational and a testament to the power of local people in delivering sustainable solutions. I’ve thrived on inspiring people to give to such a worthy cause and have been gratified to see an amazing network of colleagues and supporters build up around AfriKids. It has genuinely been my dream job.

 

I have no doubt that this is a positive change, taking us into the very exciting new and final chapter of our journey to 2018. Thank you for your continued support.

 

If you want to contact either Georgie or Amy, you can do so via georgiefienberg@afrikids.org and amyparker@afrikids.org

September 1, 2014 - 1:46 pm

Kat Miller - Congratulations Amy! Looking forward to working together and growing the AfriKids/Alquity partnership further.

September 1, 2014 - 2:08 pm

Neil Kerfoot - …Just got the newsletter you have become the new CEO

You will be great….

Good luck

Neil

September 1, 2014 - 2:46 pm

Melinda Coss - Strong move Georgie and doubtlessly the right one. I hope you take some time to stand back to assess your amazing life achievements and the huge contribution you have made to positive change. Huge respect and love coming to you from here – we are so proud of you xxxx

September 1, 2014 - 3:53 pm

Lynda Chalker - Georgie-Thank you for ALL you have done and intend to go on doing as Founder and on the Executive Committee.

Amy-Welcome to your new role which will have some real extra challenges. Please do ask if you ever think I can be of help to you as Chief Executive.

Afrikids is one of the most amazing and worthwhile organisations working for Ghana. I share the great pride all your friends have in the work you do.

My blood donation to the AfriKids Medical Centre

Back in 2012, AfriKids established a blood bank at the AfriKids Medical Centre. Two years later this service is literally saving and transforming lives. In order to do this it relies on local and visiting blood donors. Our UK fundraiser Ama Atteen recently visited the centre and gave blood. Here she tells why she decided to donate and what it will mean to the patients at the centre.

 

 

I’ve been working at AfriKids (UK) for four years and have had the pleasure of seeing the AfriKids Medical Centre go from strength to strength. Back in June I went out to Ghana for my fourth trip. This time I decided to do something I’ve never done before, in the UK or in Ghana – I decided to give blood.

 

The reason I’ve never given before is really quite pathetic. Like many people, I don’t like needles. However after spending time with Bismark, the manager of the laboratory at the AfriKids Medical Centre, I was totally struck by the challenges they face in getting blood donors.  While the team in Ghana have done really well, managing to increase the number of donors in 2013 following a radio advertisement (something they now do regularly),  they predominantly rely on donations from patients’ relatives  and AfriKids Ghana’s staff.

 

On average the AfriKids Medical Centre receives nine donations of blood per month. Most of the recipients tend to be children because they are more susceptible to tropical diseases like malaria, deteriorate faster and are therefore more likely to need a blood transfusion than adults. One of the more common reasons a patient will need a blood transfusion is malaria that has led to further life threatening complications, like anaemia. Malaria remains the most commonly treated condition at the AfriKids Medical Centre.

 

It was really simple to make the donation. They took a sample to screen my blood, I came back an hour later after visiting other departments in the centre and was told I could donate. Bismark and Ramatu, his colleague, were really excited because I have one of the rarer blood groups – O negative. This apparently means I am a universal donor and my blood can be given to almost anyone regardless of their blood group. However people that are O negative can only receive the exact same match for blood transfusions – essentially should I need blood I can only be given O Negative. This blood group is so rare, so the team at the Medical Centre have a list of potential O Negative donors  in the area that they can call on for instances where O Negative patients require a transfusion.

 

The actual process of making the donation took about 20 minutes, and then I had to rest for a while after. Every donor is given a sweet malt drink straight after which helps with the process of boosting bloods cells and energy levels. I was also given a chocolate drink and a can of carnation milk for the following  morning.

 

I gave 200mls of blood, which doesn’t sound like a lot, but it’s enough to provide life-saving treatment for two infants under the age of two. In fact, while I was there they told me about a baby boy who was critically sick with malaria and as a result had developed anaemia so would potentially need blood. I don’t know whether he required a blood transfusion in the end and if so whether he received my donation. What I do know is that someone will receive my blood who needs it and that’s a good feeling.

 

Find out more about The AfriKids Medical Centre here, and donate (cash, not blood) here