In the villages of Dor Fazy, Goz Byna, Hillat Hassan, and Hillat Kharif, and in the nomads community of Elkuma, there is jubilation. Relief is tangible.
These are five of the poorest communities in Darfur, but people here know that life is going to change because these are the villages that we are adopting this year by Kids for Kids.
This means that 15% of the poorest families will be lent six goats. A further 15% know that in two years they will receive six healthy goats, the first born offspring of these first Kids for Kids goats. We will give all these families a donkey, two blankets, mosquito nets and a plough. We will teach them how to care for their animals, and we will train some of their nominated villagers to be midwives, first-aid workers and para-vets. We will provide veterinary drugs for a Revolving Veterinary Drug Fund, and, for the first time, we will be able to provide medical drugs for a Revolving Medical Drug Fund for our first aid workers and midwives.
Most important, we will train the communities and volunteer committees to run the projects. Our aim is to lift families out of abject poverty and give them a chance. We will do our best to find water near their village and provide water carts to help bring it to the local school. We will plant trees and give families fruit trees that they can plant around their huts.
Even from a distance, you can recognize a Kids for Kids village in Darfur because there is a haze of green from the canopy of the trees which we have planted.
Sadly, as we finally confirm that we would help Dor Fazy and the other four communities, we have disappointed 13 other village leaders, who had come to us asking for help.
Each leader had told us that children had died in their villages in the past 12 months, not from untreatable diseases but from starvation or malaria--both preventable.
This is what haunts us. We would help them if we could, but we are still short on monetary resources.
There are 5,200 families in these 13 villages with children under 10. The smallest children are the most vulnerable. Malaria is still the biggest killer across Africa. We do everything possible to prevent catastrophes, and children dying from malaria is a catastrophe.
We are determined to provide all these families with mosquito nets before the next rains in July, even though we cannot provide goats, donkeys or anything else this year for these families.
But they will not be forgotten. And as soon as we can, we will adopt them with your help.
Education is the road out of poverty
Every mother in Darfur dreams of her children going to school. Very few women in the villages have been to school, or, if they went, not long enough to read and write. They know that education would give their children the means to a better life.
When we started Kids for Kids 14 years ago, mothers were able to save a little so that at least their eldest boy would have a
chance of finishing school. Now few can. Sudan is facing crippling inflation. In Darfur children are dying because people
cannot afford to feed them--paying for school is an impossibility.
The little boy whose walk for water inspired Kids for Kids did not start school until he was nine. That was when we installed a hand pump in his village and gave his mother goats. He no longer had that terrible walk across the desert to find water. Water nearby enabled every little boy and girl to go to school.
That boy is now 22 and still studying, but it is a struggle. The early years are the formative years. If you lose those, it is almost impossible to catch up.
This is why our first Kindergarten is making history in Darfur. The State Director of Education said that there is nothing like it in Darfur. We must build more. It is simple - two classrooms, a small office, a veranda, a surrounding wall and latrines.
We have also provided educational toys and equipment to the school, something unseen elsewhere in the region. We want to build three Kindergartens this year, and we need your help to do this.
I urge you to tell your friends that children are starving inexcusably, but that Kids for Kids can help--with their support.
Kids for Kids Events 2014
Tour of Mansion House London - 14th May £15 entry fee.
Nightrider - 7th/8th June - £249 - an unforgettable way to experience our capital city - London by night.
(£39 entry fee £60 commitment fee + minimum sponsorship £150)
Double your Money - 1st - 20th July - Global Giving has set aside £5,800 IF we can match this amount. Please donate on line at children-face-starvation-in-darfur Please quote project number 13955
Friends of Kids for Kids Summer Event - 9th August. Private House in Surrey. No charge but please apply for a ticket Supper included provided by the Surrey Committee. Please apply early.
Join the London Triathlon - team or individual entries - 2nd or 3rd August
£449 (£99 entry fee + minimum sponsorship £350) This is the challenge of a lifetime and sells out fast. Knowing you are helping starving children in desperate need will keep you going that extra mile. Ask Debbie for more details
Kids for Kids Annual Fishing Day - 4th October - Full day £95, half a day £50
For beginners or experienced fishermen. Fly fishing for trout on a private lake owned by the Duke of Northumberland. Tuition and tackle provided if necessary. All meals etc included. This event sells fast so please book as soon as possible so you are not disappointed!
4th December 2014 - Candlelit Christmas Concert - All Saints Fulham, London
People say our Christmas Concert is the start of Christmas - it is incredibly beautiful, with wonderful music, our best loved carols to sing and Readings by famous people who come because they believe in what we are doing to help children in Sudan.