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….
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!
It’s that time of year again!
A huge thank you to all of you that donated to our Ramadan appeal. Because of you and your generosity for the 9th year we have been able to provide food parcels to our most vulnerable families. Each package contained a variety of food including oil, sugar, flour, salt, semolina,couscous -all the essentials to make Ramadan meals along with a few household items.
Have a great weekend everyone and for those that are fasting may the month be easy for you and of course, filled with blessings . Emma x
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.
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.
I am also chuffed at the huge pile of paint that has been donated by Techno (an art supplies company in Algeria).
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.
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!
Time is flying by and it wasn’t until a few days ago when one of you dear readers asked for more info that I realised that I hadn’t posted anything on here about our Annual Eid and Ramadan Appeal …and as Ramadan will begin in around 5 weeks time I am cutting it mighty fine to say the least!
So as many of you regulars will know, every year during Ramadan we provide the families we support with a parcel of basic food items (things like oil, flour, sugar, coffee, lentils,rice,cous cous, semolina and pasta) plus a few treat items (things like biscuits and dates) and some fresh fruit and vegetables.
For those of you that don’t know, Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar it is a special time of year when Muslims all over the world fast from dawn to dusk. We provide those in need with essential food items to ensure that they are able to eat before starting to fast and to enable them to break their fast with a nutritious meal too.
If you’re not in Algeria and would like to contribute something to our Ramadan food parcels the best way to do so is by making a monetary donation, this can be done online here on our website or by bank transfer to our charity account (details can be found here) -There is no minimum amount and 100% of your donation will be used to buy food items for those in need. If you are in Algiers and would like to contribute items of food please get in touch to find out where your nearest drop off point is, we will need to receive items by 20th May. No donation is ever too small…a bag of flour or a packet of sugar can make all the difference to a family in need.
The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid ul Fitr. It is a time of celebration and fun which often includes visiting family and friends and eating lots of cakes and biscuits! At this time we distribute as many gifts of toys, sweets and balloons as we can to disadvantaged children in the community. The children are always thrilled to receive a bag of goodies which usually contain a variety of small items…a ball, yoyo, pencils, hair clips, stickers, bracelets..you know the type of thing! If you would like to donate items to be given to children at Eid ul fitr and are living outside of Algeria donations must be received by 10th May to ensure that they will arrive in time for the big day. If you are in Algiers and would like to donate you have up until the middle of June to do so.
This year, in addition to distributing food parcels and children’s gifts we will be holding a number of Ramadan themed craft workshops for children…we plan on making painted glass lanterns, sun catchers, silhouette paintings and much more.
I know I am a little (a lot!) late in posting but, fortunately I also know how great you guys are at rallying round and making things happen!
Have a super weekend!
Do you remember me telling you about the hand-shapes that children drew and decorated? You know, the ones that were going to be turned into a ‘beautiful peacock’? Well, ta-da! here he is, in full multi-coloured glory!
It now just needs to be framed and will form part of a series of children’s art work that will be displayed in an old people’s home in Dely Ibrahim, Algiers.
Our Arts and Crafts project really seems to have captured people’s interest with people offering to help in lots of different ways which is encouraging! Lot’s of you lovelies have sent in crafty bits and pieces with your knitting which is so generous and wonderful of you-Thank you so much! Materials are a tad limited here…so far it has been an absolute mission impossible to find googly eyes and pipe cleaners but, I have been well informed that everything can be found here so I remain positive in my search!
The past few days I have been busy planning our Ramadan and Summer time activities for children which are set to be lots of fun! And this week I am going to try out a new type of craft activity with school children……a ‘craft challenge’ where using the same materials children will work in teams to produce a picture of a pot of flowers. They will have my one as an example (and to use as a guide if they wish )but, the activity is completely open to their own interpretation….the ‘best’ one will be chosen by the teacher. I am hoping that the challenge will encourage creativity and appeal to their competitive nature……I will let you know how it goes!
Hope you all have a great week and to those of you in the UK -enjoy the bank holiday!
On Friday we had lots of fun doing an arts and crafts event in Draria for a large group of orphan children.
We made masks:
And we got the kids to draw around their hands and then colour them in.
I am planning to turn the hands into a beautiful picture of a peacock which will be hung in an old people’s home in Dely Ibrahim that we will be visiting later this month to distribute cakes and things. Algerian culture and religious belief mean that the majority of families look after their elders here but, unfortunately not everyone does and so some people live out their last days alone. I am hoping that a picture made from the hands of orphans will in a small way show the residents that that they have not been completely forgotten and for the children who are orphaned, it illustrates that we all have the capacity to help make things better for others whatever our own circumstances may be.
There has been so much enthusiasm over our art and craft sessions and it is so wonderful to see the children being creative and enjoying themselves. When children were asked if they had fun on Friday one boy said “it was the best day of my life!” I’m not sure feedback gets better than that!
Thank you all for your ongoing kindness and support.
Have a great week!
A little later than I had intended but, here are few pics of some of the latest donations…time unfortunately doesn’t allow for pictures of every item to be taken but, I know how much the crafters among you like to look at the handmade items…and aren’t these mermaids just wonderful to look at! I have previously attempted to make one of these myself but, it didn’t turn out anywhere near as lovely as these beauties!
Plus lots of colurful knits, squares, hats and teddies!
It seems just the other day that we were thinking of doing puppet workshops in the school holidays and now they have been and gone!
The kids had fun and we learnt a thing or two to make the next sessions a little better. We intend to hold Ramadan themed workshops in June and and others throughout July and August so right now I am busy planning lots of fun, craft activities for 5-11 year olds!
The weather is starting to warm up now in Algiers and although there are some rainy days most are bright and sunny- perfect for a spot of gardening!
With a group of children in Sidi Youcef we turned stones into lady-birds, planted small mint and basil plants and sowed sunflowers and salad leaves in pots. The kids were really enthusiastic and were excited to be growing things that they could eat.
Thank you all so much for your on-going kindness and support.
Have a great week!