We gave £3,828 to top up funds raised by our partner, FISCH, enabling 193 street children in Iringa, Tanzania, to take up their school places. The money was used to provide the uniform and stationery that is required, The uniform was made by street children - in a sewing club and starting a business.
We sent a cheque for £4,683 to FISCH to enable 67 children to attend school, ten to receive vocational training, three girls to begin a sewing business together, and 32 kids to play in one of the FISCH United teams. Part of the money pays for provision of uniform and stationery, without which children cannot take up their free school places (ten secondary and 57 primary). The vocational training is to provide opportunities to become taxi drivers, electricians, mechanics, and other trades. Football boots will enable the kids to play against other local teams.
This girl had missed her chance years ago to attend government school, and so FISCH has been supporting her to attend a private school (her only option). She has done well to progress each year, and is now entering her final year (effectively A-Level 6th form). The total school fees for the year = 975,000tsh which is approximately £310 at today's rate.
We provided a grant of £340 to cover the final-year fees and other expenditure.
A grant of £2,835 to UK charity, FISCH (Future for Iringa Street Children), is providing for their needs. It was used to buy: sewing machines to help girls set up in business; musical instruments and Bibles for FISCH Church; soap and detergent; repairs for computers to enable their use in teaching computer skills; stationery and clothing for school; vocational training for one of the boys; first aid supplies; and a roofing repair.
We supported Paul Ssemubage (not his real name), a youth worker and musician ministering to refugee children in Africa. With a total grant of £2,673 he bought many musical instruments, music lessons for himself, and items to enhance his wife's cafe, which provides them with financial support.
A grant of £2940 has been given to cover the cost of buying and installing a large bouncy castle and a large trampoline at the Matumaini Rehabilitation Centre in Molo, Kenya. The Centre is dedicated to caring for the needs of disabled, orphaned and destitute children and young people, helping them reach their full potential in life and giving hope for a good future. The items have been installed in their newly-completed playground.
A mechanical hoist enables this severly-disabled Belarusian youngster to be moved into bed, bath, etc., with safety and dignity. Some hoists are built into the ceiling and so can only be used along a certain track; however this hoist is on castors and thus can be used anywhere on a suitable floor. We gave a grant of £840 to UK charity The Belarusian Orphanage Project to enable it to provide this item.
Having built up a sizeable sum in our Vilnius Fund - from selling CDs and cassettes - we sent it to Vilnius, where it was formally passed on to the hospital by Stephen Conlon, Deputy Head of Mission & HM Consul at the British Embassy there. He kindly produced an enlarged copy of our cheque for the photographs! They plan to use the £1,000 to buy one or more syringe infusion pumps.
Construction workers in India sometimes have to leave their young children to look after themselves on the building site while they're at work. A charity called "Mobile Creches" provides craft activities for these children, keeping them occupied and out of danger while also helping them to learn social and pratical skills. We spent £75 to provide them with a plentiful and varied supply of craft materials.
A range of laundry equipment, but none in working order any more - that was the situation at Spaask School - so one woman did all the laundry by hand. Through Love Russia we donated £2075 to refurbish and re-plumb the laundry, providing new machines.
At Pronskaya Scholar Internat, a residential school in a very remote part of Russia, the outside temperature can fall below -30 degrees C for a whole week! We gave £1275 for the repair and overhaul of their central heating system.
Asenyevskaya Dietski Dom is a home for 25 orphaned and needy children in a very remote village, 40 km from the nearest town. The children range from 6 to 16 years. A major need was for a small estate car or minibus to enable them, amongst other things, to purchase and collect the supplies required to keep the home running. We raised £5000 for that purpose.
Not only have over 500 toothaches been cured, using dental equipment you helped to provide, but also over 2000 people have heard the Gospel as a result of the Convoy of Hope.
The Convoy, comprising just two vehicles so far, has made three major trips from its base in St Petersburg to the Ural Mountains, where Europe meets Asia. Each trip took three days and an average of 1400 miles each way. Altogether 655 people have been treated, between them having around 350 fillings and over 500 bad teeth removed. They included homeless and old people at a shelter (along with the staff of the shelter!), and pastors on retreat. An ex drug-addict, now working at a rehabilitation centre, had the roots of 15 teeth pulled out, the teeth themselves having fallen out long ago! The dental equipment was purchased from a grant of £4,230 provided by Natalya’s Fund.
Neonatal medications to the value of £609 were provided for the Vilnius University Children's Hospital, Lithuania. They were purchased from ECHO, a charity which specialises in supplying equipment and drugs to overseas hospitals.
The New Life Street-Children’s Centre in St Petersburg, Russia, provides a safe and friendly day-centre for children who end up on the streets because of a dysfunctional family life, often brought on by alcohol. The charity provides overnight accommodation, too. Wherever possible it helps to support children’s families in the hope of rebuilding family ties. A grant of £2,480 paid for 10 double school-desks, 10 dining tables, a freezer, a computer, a table-tennis table, more than 30 chairs, 20 benches, a fridge-freezer and an overhead projector.
Solotcha Children’s Home gave us their typically Russian seal of approval in response to our provision of a large refrigerator, costing £900. Photographs of the children were included with a stamped letter of thanks in a compact presentation file. Marina Fomenko, Children’s Home Director, wrote, “Dear Friends! The Administration of the Solotcha Children’s Home would like to express their warmest thanks to Natalya’s Fund for the warmth of your hearts, and care and attention towards orphans of Russia. May God bless you for your kindness.”
A Neonatal Intensive Care Unit was in urgent need of a computer for data collection and analysis, to get current medical information via the Internet, and for working out different teaching programmes. Unfortunately, the hospital had no computer network at the time. We therefore gave £1,295 for the purchase of the computer.
Moscow’s Orphanage 15 is dreadfully short of staff for the adequate care of violently disturbed children, so these children have to be strait-jacketed to protect themselves and the other children. When we heard about this situation we released £1,000 to equip a room where the children could be liberated for some of the time at least. Another charity, Love Russia, is seeing about provision of more staff.
In central Moscow, the House of Infants is an orphanage for over 100 children, from newborn to 6 years old. They are all ill, the majority seriously so, with various crippling problems. Many were spending all day every day just lying in their cots or beds. The staff are very caring but were lacking the resources to do much to help the children. Now, because of our grant of £1,000, the children can have fun and exercise without hurting themselves. They now have a bouncy castle, a plastic tunnel and a dry pool (filled with plastic balls). They have also received immunisation against a flu epidemic.
A pulse-oximeter and a reconditioned incubator were given to the maternity unit of Siauliai Hospital, Lithuania, at a total coat of £2,350. Lukas (in the picture at 5 days old) was born 8 weeks premature. His parents said, "Only you helped for our Lukas, otherwise it could have been very difficult for him those first few weeks of his life. All of us thank you." Lithuania had not long beforehand left the Soviet bloc and had not yet joined the EU.
It is vital to monitor the oxygen level in a premature baby's blood: Too much oxygen can lead to blindness while too little can cause brain damage. In the UK we use a pulse-oximeter, an electronic, non-invasive unit with a sensor that fits over the patient's finger. In Lithuania, however, monitoring has to be performed by taking regular blood samples and testing them. The delay in this invasive process slows down the response to any problem. We provided a pulse-oximeter for the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit of the Vilnius University Children's Hospital, in response to their request. It cost £1,200.