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
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…
While I have been enjoying myself and eating way too much ice cream you lot have obviously been busy crafting away!
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-
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!
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!
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!
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!
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.
I mentioned a little while ago about our plans to run craft workshops for children in Algiers, now with funding in place I am so excited to be able to announce the first two dates – 22nd and 29th March which coincides with school holiday time in Algeria. Little Stars language Centre in Baba Hassen has generously allowed us to use their premises for these sessions but, we plan to hold them all over and wherever we can to reach as wide a section of the community as possible…if you have any suggestions or would like us to hold one where you are please let me know.
So, the session will be a fun -filled two hours of cutting, painting and gluing! During the workshop, each child will get to make a variety of puppets including Spoon, Shadow and Mask. Children will be encouraged to make up stories using their puppets and play them out in our specially made puppet theatre.
The workshop will develop creativity and imagination and build confidence through self-expression. Instruction is in English so it will also be an opportunity for those learning the language to develop vocabulary and practice speaking skills. Knowledge of English is not a prerequisite though-ALL children are very welcome.
The workshop will be led by a U.K. qualified teacher who is a native English speaker .
These sessions are suitable for children aged 5-11 years and are completely free of charge. Places are limited so it is essential to book a space for your child(ren) as soon as possible to avoid disappointment(details on the flyer)
If you would like to download and share the flyer (and it would be great if you did!)please use the links below.
If you are in Algiers I would LOVE for you to book spaces -I promise, your children will have so much crafty fun…and it is always nice to meet our supporters!