Category Archives: donations

The best made plans….& something exciting!

I know, I know, I haven’t written a post for ages and ages!

Things have been manic busy for me over the last couple of months…too much to do and too little time. Really, I haven’t had time to stop and think or take a breath….

A gazillion of you have been in contact asking about when donations can be sent in again and I know so many of you get the hooks and needles out over the Winter months and will be eager to donate your beautiful creations. Well, the good news is that we are still in need of EVERYTHING and are still distributing to children and families in need but, practicalities dictate that we have to change the way we collect and transport things to Algeria. So, rather than accepting donations throughout the year we will be holding a number of donation drives at set times. The first of these will be in December. I appreciate that this is not ideal for those that like to send off their donations as soon as they are ready but, we are now going to be sending donations to Algeria less frequently but in larger quantities four times a year and we simply do not have the storage space to hold lots of donations before they can be shipped. I hope you understand and will continue to support our work. Your help is so much appreciated!

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For those that need to get in touch, please note that our email address has now changed.

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For some unknown reason we are unable to access the old inbox so if you have sent a message over the past month or so it hasn’t been received. Please use contact@algerianaction.co.uk from now on if you need to drop us a line.

paint brushAs you regular readers will know, I had so many crafty plans for the Summer, I really wanted to hold workshops and encourage creativity but, disappointingly with one thing and another it just didn’t happen. People were on holiday….I needed to go away too for a while…. and with the Summer heat, everything went s-l-o-w-l-y in Algiers which made it difficult to organise things…. But, it’s now cooler (a bit!), things have settled back down (for now!) and I have something very exciting to share with you: My new BIG project !!  This is something that I have been working towards for a long time, something that I am passionate about, naturally, something creative, something that will develop and grow and something that I hope will provide opportunities and make a difference to children in Algeria. Without further ado let me introduce:

 

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You already know that I love all things creative and some of you might know, my ‘thing’ is education…. the early years and special needs are my specific areas of expertise. Artylingua is built around this. It is where language and creativity collide to create a range of workshops and courses that are perfect for young minds and as you would expect, they are accessible to ALL children irrespective of ability or social background.  The rooms have been filled with handmade furniture and fantastic materials to facilitate learning and I have created a fab art room where  children can let their imaginations run riot! Can you tell I’m thrilled?! The art outreach programme I started with Algerian Action will continue through Artylingua- It is my personal mission to get all kids here painting, sticking and creating…I would love for you to join me on that journey – so many things can be achieved when we work together!

If you would like to find out more about the project, take a peek at the website.  If you would like to stay up to date with what’s going on please add your email to the mailing list on the site (it wont be shared with anyone it’s just a way for me to keep in touch). There are lots of activities and events planned for the rest of the year including a fun filled Arty Afternoon of free workshops on 28th October as part of the International Big Draw festival. If you are in Algiers please do come along, it would be lovely to see you!

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Wishing you all a great week full of creativity!

Emma x

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Thank you!

Over recent months an amazing amount of donations have been pouring through our UK letter box . Thank you so much, you are all absolutely wonderful! With so much arriving we will now have to arrange different storage and try and increase the frequency that we ship items over to Algiers. While we organise this can I ask a huge favour? that is, can I ask you to hold on to your donations for a few weeks until it is sorted out- it would be such a huge help if you could do this. Thanks a million!

Below are just a few of the fabulous things that have arrived over the last couple of weeks….

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Ramadan is almost over (it seems to have passed so quickly this year…) and so thoughts are turning to organising the Eid sweets and treats for children here in Algiers. I am also super busy right now working on a personal project which is very close to my heart and something which I have been working towards for quite a few years now. I am looking forward to sharing the details with you all very soon as although it isn’t ‘Algerian Action‘ it will be based in Algeria and as so many of you are dear friends I know that you will be happy for me.

The weather looks set to be glorious next week in both Algeria and the UK- enjoy the sunshine everyone and have a great week!

Emma x

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Family fun!

Last week I was busy but, in a different way as my Mum and Dad came to visit! Algeria is my home so I usually just do normal, everyday stuff… it was nice to do touristy things for a change…

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While I have been enjoying myself and eating way too much ice cream you lot have obviously been busy crafting away!

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As for this week….it’s another busy one for me! Ramadan will start next weekend. Our food parcels will be distributed to families in need the middle of next week (so that they can start their food preparations and have the peace of mind that comes from knowing that they will have enough to feed themselves and their children during the month.) So, this week I will be going around gathering up the donations of food items that people have been collecting and making up food parcels-

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if you are in Algiers and want to give there is still time- you can drop off things at Hopeland Institute in Cheraga or if you want to give it to me personally get in touch. I am also finalising the details of a special Ramadan Appeal for children in hospital….so watch out for my next post!

Whatever you plan on getting up to I hope you have a great week!

Emma x

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Catching up

So what have you been up to? I have been busy, busy, busy but, all is good- well apart from breaking a tooth that is!

Ramadan is less than 3 weeks away and it is amazing how so many of you have come forward to donate food items and arrange food collections in your places of work or study…even children are doing collections among their class mates…Thank you all so much! If you are in Algiers and would like to donate an item of food you may drop it off at Hopeland Institute in Cheraga or get in touch to give it to me personally. Remember nothing is ever too small and all is very much appreciated.

alice blue (1) We are steaming ahead with our craft workshops. We will hopefully be holding some during Ramadan for orphan children where we will be making and decorating glass lanterns which will be lots of fun! We are also in the process of organising two outdoor craft events which will be held in the Summer and open to all children. As I have said before some crafty items are difficult to get hold off here so I am super thankful to all of you lovelies that have been sending in donations of crafty bits and bobs, here are just a few.

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I am also chuffed at the huge pile of paint that has been donated by Techno (an art supplies company in Algeria).

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As you might have gathered I love flowers and gardening so am really happy  to have  started a mini planting project in the Casbah- this is an area steeped in history and an UNESCO World heritage site. The Casbah is an ancient citadel with a maze of winding streets that are so narrow that donkeys are used to collect the refuse. It is one of my favourite places in Algiers but, unfortunately over the years it has crumbled and needs urgent repair to restore it to its former glory or sadly, even just to make it safe in some parts. The picture below shows how one street looked in 1903 and then in 2012- As you can see, massive restoration work needs to be undertaken A.S.A.P.

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So starting small, the plan is to fill one little street  with plants and flowers and take it from there. Last week I took three planters filled with blooms and was met with a gaggle of  kids who thought that they looked beautiful  but, told me that I was crazy to leave them there as they would get stolen. Yesterday the pots were still in place and the same kids have been looking after them, when I told them I wanted to line the stairway with more pots this time they were excited and interested to help…it’s amazing what a few flowers can do!

Hope you all have a great week!

Emma x

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Who do we help?

The other day someone asked me who were the ‘type’ of people that we help. Type of people? well I said, we help… people. Just people, there is no type. Because here’s the thing, the people who we help are just the same as you and me. Today I’m doing OK and I hope you are too but, in the blink of an eye it could all be gone and I could be the one in need of help, just like you could.

In Algeria, there are many people whose lives are balanced on a knife edge. All it takes is one small change and everything can come tumbling down. There isn’t a safety net…there isn’t something in place to tide people over . No work means no food and if renting, no home either it is as simple as that. The fortunate have friends or family who can help out but, it’s not a long term solution nor is it guaranteed. This is exactly what has happened to Rachida, a lady I found out about yesterday. She got divorced, she was made redundant, she now lives with her son in a dilapidated building with no bathroom and no heating. A place with cracks on the walls and broken windows. A home with a kitchen that has fallen apart and a sink without plumbing. She has literally no income and relies on friends for food.

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Rachida’s Kitchen

So, who do we help? we help the Rachida’s of the world, we help the people that need it and do as much as we can because in the blink of an eye it could so very easily be you or me walking in Rachida’s shoes.

Emma x

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You’re the best!

You lot are just wonderful! It has only been two weeks since I wrote about our ‘toy drive’ and our plans to give out as many toys as we can this year but, I have already been inundated with emails telling me about the fabulous toys that so many of you are in the process of making and of groups that are going to do teddy and doll making as their monthly challenges and then send them on to us…it is just absolutely brilliant that you have all leapt on-board wanting to help. Thank you!

So far 96 toys have been sent in, that includes a whopping 45(some pictured below) from the lovelies at ‘Loving Hands’.

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People have also contacted to say that they would love to help but don’t craft so ask can they buy a toy instead? The answer is Yes, of course! So many of our supporters make amazing things and they like to gift those things to the children and families we help but, bought toys are very much welcomed too.

For those that sew or would like to try, Del told me about this wonderful free pattern for a ‘ Mermaid Milly doll’ available for free here  I haven’t had time to try it out yet but, it does look really good and there are accompanying youtube videos too for the more visual learners among you.

A week or so ago, a friend posted in a facebook group that i’m in  asking if there was anyone who could make some little dolls for her. She will shortly be visiting children in a cancer ward at Mustapha Pasha hospital in Algiers and she wanted some small toys to give to the younger children there. She was quite specific about what she wanted- small dolls with no facial features wearing typical muslim dress (a scarf and a long dress) I agreed to do it but couldn’t find any type of pattern on line that was suitable….I wanted simple as she needed them quickly and I also wanted them to be pretty-ish too. So I made up my own. In case you fancy making one I will add the pattern here  They remind me a bit of Russian dolls.

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And for now, that’s it from me.

Hoping you all have a very happy weekend!

Emma x

 

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DZ dollies (& other soft toys)

This year Algerian Action reaches it’s 10th Anniversary- how time flies! One of the ways we hope to mark the milestone is by giving as many children as we can a handmade doll or stuffed toy. From the beginning we have been giving children toys ,this isn’t anything new…in fact it was the distinct lack of toys that spurred me on to start the charity in the first place and it is for this reason that it seems so appropriate that a decade on, we continue our efforts and put as many toys as we can into the hands of children that need them.

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The dolls/stuffed toys will be given to children all over- street children, orphans, refugees, those in hospital and those from the many families that struggle to make ends meet.

Now, as I have said so many times before ‘ we can’t do it without YOUR help’ I really am relying on you dear sewers , crafters , knitters and other kind supporters to help us pull this off. Algerian Action has always been about the small actions of many making a big difference…and believe me to the person wearing rags, to the one who is cold, to the one who is hungry, to the mother with nothing for her child your donations of clothing, blankets and food do make a big difference, they make every difference.

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So, about the dolls or stuffed toys… I know what a creative bunch you are and I really want you to use your imagination and creativity- Remember, the doll that you make may be the only toy the child has or will ever have so make it special!

Just a few considerations-

*They shouldn’t be too large, I’m thinking around 15cm-25cm tall. Some children will receive toys as a group so it is better if toys are of a similar size.

*Make sure that any embellishments are securely stitched on so they wont fall off or be a hazard for younger children.

*They can be made using any fabric or yarn and can be in any colour.

That’s it, the rest is up to you!

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We really want to give as many toys as we can so, if you know of a child (or children) living in Algeria that would love  a doll or soft toy to cuddle and play with please let me know by emailing me at info@algerianaction.co.uk 

And for those living in Algiers there are some fun, toy related children’s workshops being lined up for Spring so watch this space for more details coming soon!

As always, thank-you so much for your continued support.

Have a great weekend! Emma x

P.S. If you come across any fab free patterns please share and I will post them up to give others inspiration.

Edited to add– If you are not a crafter but, still want to help bought toys are very much appreciated too!

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