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.
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.
It’s a bit of a tradition for a lot of people to start the new year with new plans and resolutions. Whether it be to lose 10 stone, book up a holiday of a lifetime or simply to eat more fruit, the start of a new year focus’s the mind on what one hopes to achieve in the coming months. So looking forward, along with continuing with all our usual projects here are just some of the goals that Algerian Action are aiming for in 2013-
The baby pack project– From the very beginning we have given clothing and essentials to destitute mothers for their newborns. We have always distributed these to women in the community but from this Autumn we have started to give them to women in the maternity ward of a hospital. In 2013 we intend to expand the project further by offering the packs to women in more hospitals and to supply an orphanage that specialises in assisting abandoned babies.
A travelling library- This is our new big project. Starting in the summer we plan to operate a travelling library in Algiers. We will be visiting children in hospitals, orphanages, schools and other community venues and provide them with the opportunity to have books they would otherwise not have access to. We will also be holding fun story telling sessions and craft workshops too. The first step to achieving this aim is to reach our goal of collecting 1,000 books.
Last year our Eid Appeal enabled us to give gifts, sweets and toys to 762 children. In 2013 we plan to reach even more children by adding 2 new areas to our list.
In addition, we have recently found out about a women’s refuge based in Algiers that are really in need of help. Organisations like refuges are very few and far between in Algeria yet they are most definitely needed and a vital resource for some women. We are currently in discussion with the directors about how we can best offer help and support so, offering assistance to those women in need is also an aim for 2013.
Today saw the arrival of our first hand-made sanitary towels. They are fantastic!
5 sets of five pads that come complete with matching drawstring bags, the lady also included a few extra outer pockets too. These are so needed and will be appreciated enormously by the ladies in Algeria. Thank you so much for your efforts!
40 knitted squares were received from Betty -they are in such a great mix of colours and the perfect size for ‘quick’ blanket making! Thank you for continuing to provide the project with so many squares.
Another regular donor sent a beautiful crochet baby blanket and some gorgeous baby cardigans and jumpers, as always the work has been perfectly done. Thank you so much.
baby blankets, baby cardigans, boots and two lovely ponchos were sent in by a lady in Southampton. Everything is wonderful and the blankets are the perfect size for our baby bags. Thank you for supporting the project.
Thank you to everyone who sends donations in, every item is both needed and appreciated.
Filed under donation, women
Most of the work of Algerian Action involves helping needy babies and children. However these children will usually in fact, will always come from families who are also in need so whereever possible we do what we can to help the adults out too.
A few weeks ago a friend who lives in Algiers, told me something that I didn’t at first believe, She told me that she had met women who were using bin liners as sanitary towels. They simply did not have the money to buy such luxuries so managed with black sacks. Apparently because of the expense this happens quite frequently.
I am realistic enough to know that it would be impossible to buy and distribute pads every month. So, I think the best and probably the only way to help would be to make washable pads that ladies could re-use.
With this in mind I have dusted off my sewing machine and have made up a super easy pattern that I will add to the ‘free patterns’ page shortly. There are of course plenty of other patterns available free on line which could also be used. They are really quick to make and are perfect for using up scrap fabric. If you would like to join me in making these ladies a little more comfortable your help would be really appreciated.
** The pattern has been added and can be found under the heading ‘Project washables ‘ at the top of this page.
Filed under crafts, women