Of reading! Last Thursday it was World Book day.
In the UK and several countries around the world quite a big thing is made of the day with special events held and children dressing up as characters from their favourite books, here in Algeria it is not such a big deal but, hoping to encourage an interest in reading and always ready to give gifts to kids we joined in the fun by giving books (and a few other treats!) to children in Algiers.
The week ahead looks to be another busy one,the weather is gloriously Spring like with flowers popping up all over the place, my mind is bubbling with lots of ideas for our craft workshops and I am whipping up a storm with paint and glitter -what could be better!
Whatever you have planned for the week I hope it’ll be a lovely one!
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.
This isn’t my usual type of request for help but, I know that our followers are such a fabulously mixed bunch of people that I am hoping and praying that there is at least one of you that is fluent in French who could help me out with translating some information. It’s not ‘War and Peace’ just some promotional material…Anyone?……please…
If you can spare the time, you really would be doing me a huge favor!
Right, back to emu-making!
It’s cold in Algiers at the moment, not quite snowing like it is in Chrea (pictured above) but it is wet and very windy and much colder than I remember it being before…so when my boiler broke a week ago it really was the last thing that I needed! It will hopefully be fixed soon but in the meantime I am sat huddled around an electric fan heater while wearing several pairs of socks, 3 cardigans and boiling up pans of water just to do the washing up….(I keep telling myself that I will never take these things for granted ever again but, I know that is probably not true as it is so easy to forget once the moment is over…) but it got me thinking about the people who live without the basics all the time, the ones for who the moment is never over, the ones like the family I was told about the other day who are currently living in two tents-just thin plastic sheeting protecting them from the thrashing rain and gailforce wind….. How ever does it get to that stage?….The choices we make? Surely no-one chooses to live in hardship and poverty do they?
I am frequently told that people can’t be trusted, that people always lie about their circumstances or at least exaggerate them. We rigorously check the details of all families before they are added to the list of those we help and unfortunately during the process have, on occasion come across those that are lying so yes, there are those that are dishonest but, I like to think it is a small minority rather than the norm. Besides, is it really fair that ALL people get tarred with the same brush? Like beggars for example, there are lots of beggars in Algiers. Some wave prescriptions asking for money to buy medicine, some seek sympathy and money because they are disabled in some way, women sit with babies and children with lost looks on their faces and there are also many refugees from Mali and Syria who appear to operate in groups…are ALL of these lying? With the average wage being very low, much lower than the cost of living some say beggars earn more than those who are employed.. like it’s a legitimate career option with zero start up costs or something. Do people really want to beg? whatever the reasons of the adult I know for certain that it is not the lifestyle choice of the child sat on his mother’s lap, or of the group of young girls that ask for spare change. I know, because as children they have no choice.
Assisting vulnerable children has always been one of our priorities but this year we plan to step it up a little and go beyond just assisting we want to help create happy memories for these children. Are you in? I hope so as together we can do so much.
Have a wonderful (and warm) week!
February is here already- wherever does the time go! We have been super busy lately and judging by the fabulous donations that have been arriving you have been too!
Look at these gorgeous cardigans for our baby packs-aren’t the sparkly buttons just lovely?!
I don’t have the patience to knit for anyone bigger than a baby but, I am so glad that some of you do and with such beautiful workmanship too!
More perfect pastel creations for our baby packs which are appreciated so much by our new (or new again) mums.
Plus fantastic colourful blankets!
Thank you all so much for your generosity and support it means the world to us!
Have a great weekend, Emma x
Just one seed is our newest and biggest project yet and a little different to anything that we have done before. It is an environmental project which will show that even the smallest of actions can create big changes.
This year we will be encouraging children and young people to care for their environment and learn about nature in fun and creative ways. We have also set ourselves the challenge to fill neglected areas with colourful flowers and create beautiful community gardens in a number of places.
Our first adventure is to create a community garden complete with play area and seating in Meftah, an area just a little outside of the capital. This garden will be a place for the whole community to enjoy. It will provide a fun space for children to play in and an area for adults to sit and relax. Through creating and caring for the garden It will be a place for people to come together, share their skills, gain new experiences, care for the environment and make a long lasting difference. The benefits for everyone are far reaching. Work has already started on our first garden and we are so excited and totally thrilled at the prospect of turning mud and debris into something gloriously beautiful and beneficial but, to do it we really need your help.
In Algeria there is a saying: one hand can’t clap. individually, even with the best of intentions we are limited, but collectively the possibilities are endless. Together we can do so much more, together we can make our community gardens a reality . Are you ready to join hands and make some noise?
The ‘before’ picture!
How to help:
▪ We would love for you to donate seeds. We really hope to nurture plants from all over the world and your donation of even just one seed could help us do that. We are up for a challenge so all types of seeds are very welcome-flowers,herbs,fruit,vegetables we are happy to try them all!
▪ If you are in Algiers and fancy volunteering to get your hands dirty please get in touch (our email is firstname.lastname@example.org) we would love to hear from you!
▪ Alternatively you may like to sponsor something beautiful for our gardens and green spaces. This is a great way for groups, individuals and businesses to support our work. Sponsorship starts at just a ‘one off’ £1. for more details on how to help in this way visit our website.
Just one seed is all it takes to make a difference. You can make that difference.
well maybe not for a while yet! however when the time comes the little lady who receives this adorable vest will be well prepared!
Lots of beautiful items have been arriving and I have posted just a few pics below. As always thank you so much for all of your efforts.
Aren’t the heart buttons adorable?! The baby project is one that is very close to my heart. I have been blessed to have been able to prepare a hospital bag full of clothes and stuff 5 times over for my own children and am so happy that with your help we can help women who have so little for their newborns get together an outfit and other essentials.
Some fabulous treats to stash away for later in the year. These party bag treats are just perfect for our Eid gifts!
And I am thrilled to say we have received our first donations of seeds…more about this, our latest project in my next post!
Thank you so much for making a difference.