Children do charity

March 19, 2009 at 11:18 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , )

With charity and giving being on everyone’s mind at the moment for Comic Relief tonight (Fri), people are putting themselves through all kinds of trials and tribulation to raise money for children both in the United Kingdom and Africa.

This year the slogan is ‘Do something funny for money’, and students, schools and businesses all over Cardiff are performing tasks such as dressing in pyjamas all day to telling jokes to raise funds for the cause.

But what happens when all the fun surrounding Comic Relief stops? It is easy to forget the help that is needed, especially in Africa where children are suffering daily. One Cardiff school broke the trend and decided last year to raise money for an East African orphanage, so they would receive money and help at a time of year when they may not be in the forefront of everyone’s mind.

Albany Primary School, Albany Road, Plasnewydd celebrated their harvest festival in October by raising money for the East African Mission Orphanage in Kenya. Now the money has been put to good us and the orphanage has just managed to buy new bunk beds with the donations that were raised by the pupils. The beds means the children, who are in the orphanage after losing their parents to disease or not being properly cared for, can have a better night’s sleep and be more comfortable in their surroundings.

All classes, from class one to class 14 took part in the Harvest Festival on October 6. They had the choice of either donating food to local homeless centres or donating money to the orphanage. They managed to raise £150 to be sent to Kenya. Jody Sage, 27,teacher of class 9 pupils, helped organise the donation to Mission Orphanage after she travelled through Africa and had visited the orphanage herself.

The school prefers to donate to a cause that is linked to one of their teachers, so Mrs Sage suggested the orphanage would be perfect as the children would be able to relate to it by helping other children.

Mrs Sage said: “We spent 24 hours at the orphanage with the children. They are children at the need of the day and need help. It is a brilliant orphanage but it is only voluntary so they need support.”

The orphanage has been established for more than 10 years, and provides a home for more than 125 children and teenage mothers. They care for children who would end up either dying a premature death through malnutrition, or walking the streets in search of food. They often turn to as a means of survival. The children are often taken into Kenyan gangs and are exploited by the gang leaders. The orphanage tries to find the children and help them before they are forced onto the streets.

Because they are so short of funding, they rely on donations to survive. The orphanage only applies to children who are orphans, not HIV victims, which Mrs Sage say is a problem for the institution, as HIV sufferers often get a lot of coverage and support but places such as the orphanage are overlooked.

The children at Albany Primary School were sent photos of the orphans and the new beds they had brought with the donations from the school. Mrs Sage said the children were very pleased to have seen the photos and how their money had been used to help other children like themselves.

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Oxjam

February 22, 2009 at 9:24 pm (Features) (, , , )

In a time of economic turmoil, charities are beginning to suffer as more and more people are losing their jobs and disposable income is scarce, the phrase “charity starts at home” has never rung more true.

 

Shops in Cardiff are struggling as people are donating their clothes less and less, yet more people are buying the clothing they sell. Shelves are already starting to become empty and it will not be long before stock dries up completely.

 

But charities are still in great need of donations, so there has to be a new appeal to convince people to part with their finances.

 

Cardiff University student, Luke Todd, 23, of Linden Avenue, Roath, is tackling this problem by organising the music festival, Oxjam 2009.

 

The idea is new bands will play in Cardiff venues and all the proceeds made will be donated to the Oxfam Charity.

 

The first event is a jazz event, called the Jazz Sessions, which starts on February 28 at Tommy’s Bar, Howard Gardens, Cardiff. This is a new part to the festival and hopes to promote and nurture the talents of young people.

On Saturday 28 February, the festival will feature the Lil Big Band, a 22 piece big band, who plays a mixture of classic swing, funk and Latin numbers.

 

 

The second strand of the festival is being put together by Mr Todd, who aims to set it up for the end of March or April.

 

Mr Todd is the leader of the Cardiff Oxfam Group, and got involved with the cause when Oxjam was first launched in 2006.

 

He said: “I had gone to an Oxfam Live conference at St David’s Hall and found out that Oxjam was to be their latest campaign. I then joined the Cardiff Oxfam Group because I wanted to become more involved.”

 

Mr Todd says he has organised a number of Oxjam gigs each year since the launch and really enjoys being part of the cause.

 

Oxjam festivals take place all over the country, but the events in Cardiff have been one of the biggest successes.

 

So far, the events all over the country have raised £373, 212 and after the festivals in Cardiff the figure should increase by a significant amount.

 

Events can stretch room festivals such as Cardiff’s to a small party, or even busking in the street.

 

Mr Todd says he hopes that the music event will encourage music lovers in the city to go and will encourage people to donate their money to charity as they will get something out of the event.

 

He said: “People often want to give money to charity but they are not sure how, or it is easy for the idea to slip out of people’s minds. If there are events like this, people can not only turn up and have fun, but they can also help a very worthwhile cause.”

 

Mr Todd says he hopes the event will be the biggest one in Cardiff yet.

 

There are other parts to the festival apart for the music, including a raffle with prizes such as £20 vouchers to spend at high street shops, and a signed copy of the Kate Rusby songbook. Awareness is also being raised through a photo caption competition online with a prize of a free meal at Nandos restaurant.

 

The jazz night will also show a 20 minute video, Sisters on the Planet, made by Oxfam to show why the cause needs help and where the donations will go.

 

Mr Todd says he hopes the events that are being organised in March will be able to be held in a bigger venue so they can get wider audience in to make even more money to give to Oxfam.

 

Oxfam’s biggest focus now is those affected by the Gaza conflict and those in Zimbabwe who are suffering from the cholera outbreak.

 

The Gaza appeal is the newest appeal for the charity, and shops are desperately trying to raise the money to help civilians who have been caught up in the conflict.

 

The money raised by the Oxjam festivals will go to help the charity provide services and care for people all over the world and help to fight poverty across the world.

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