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African Revival - A UK-based charity making a positive difference in Africa

LIKE MANY charity organisations who get a media boost after participating in an internationally renowned event, African Revival got this exclusive attention for taking part in the 2008 London Marathon. I actually caught the quickie bit of the BBC pre-race interview with one of African Revival’s eleven runners who were targeting to raise £25,000 for projects in Africa. I later plugged to the internet to google the charity. I thought, for this marvelous course, this charity needs, most especially, our paper’s support; to let our readers, in Africa and Diaspora, see the brilliant efforts the organisation has put into making a positive difference in Africa.

I emailed Richard Bailey, Executive Director of African Revival, and then James Smith, the Operations Manager. Going through the website, via emails and telephone conversations I got all that’s about African Revival.

Formed in 2003 by Tony Allen of the A&A Group and Chris Knott (Chris Knott Insurance), African Revival was created to transform lives by supporting self-sustaining projects in Africa, with the aim of making a positive and sustainable difference to people’s lives; helping them to help themselves.

African Revival works in partnership with local community leaders and trusted partners to identify areas of need.

All its projects are monitored closely to ensure it’s providing effective and appropriate support to best improve beneficiaries’ quality of life.

African Revival has done projects in countries such as Uganda, Malawi, Sudan, Mozambique, Kenya, South Africa and Zambia. Northern Uganda has been torn apart by war for the past 20 years resulting in genocide with many surviving families losing their homes and livelihoods as a result. African Revival has just begun a programme which helps farmers return to their land from Internally Displaced Persons (IDP) camps in Northern Uganda by providing a start up package of a plough and oxen, seeds and equipment.

The charity also facilitates links between schools in the UK and schools in Gulu and Amuru Districts in northern Uganda as well as sponsoring 300 children through nursery and secondary education in Gulu, for £12 a month. In partnership with Starfish Malawi, African Revival runs a number of education, health care and micro-finance projects in Malawi. Friends Malawi is the schools arm of Starfish.

It provides resources for local schools and facilitates a school link scheme. At present over 100 schools in Kent, East Sussex and Essex have agreed to take part and this mirrors the programme of linking schools to those in Northern Uganda. Kaputu School was the original project that Starfish Malawi started in 2004. The school has 1,200 children and 22 teachers. A brand new school has now been built. New teaching blocks and a teachers’ house were built and all pupils are given one meal a day. This has led to an improvement in their general health.

Encouraged by the success of Kaputu School, Starfish then repeated the procedure at another school in the Salima area, Simayiwa, in a village just a short distance from Kaputu.

The initial project there was to build a borehole to provide the school and community with fresh drinking water.

This was finished in August 2005. More recently 2 new school blocks with two toilets have been built.

African Revival sponsors 10 students each year in Yei, Southern Sudan, to study carpentry, building, or mechanics. The charity also supports a small crafts industry for the women of the area, by requesting them to make ‘Thank You’ cards and Christmas cards. Through funds raised from African Revival’s annual ball in September the charity is supporting the Martha Health Clinic. This clinic supports over 10,000 people in the area, with some traveling a distance of up to 40 miles to reach it, and yet there has been a severe lack of staff and equipment in order to serve this population sufficiently and adequately.

There is a high death rate from malaria particularly among children aged less than 5 years and the other main causes of death are waterborne diseases and pneumonia. Through the help of its partners, Poppy and John Spens, African Revival is funding the improvement of effective testing facilities, treatment and prevention programmes of malaria and other diseases and provides health education to encourage use of clean water and sanitation, rubbish disposal, diet and more. Necessary equipment is also being purchased and the employment of additional trained staff implemented to improve the ability to tackle the needs of the area.

In partnership with the Maluane Project, the charity’s focus is in the Quiterajo District in northern Mozambique. The first proposal is a water project as the villages are situated far from the nearest permanent water points, which they have to share with elephants. Over the past three years there have been 19 attacks by elephants on humans, of which 6 ended in fatalities. African Revival is therefore partfunding the repair of the wells that are in disrepair and putting new wells in villages that do not have any. With its partners, The St Mavis Lwala Community Group, an established community based organisation with over 500 members, African Revival is providing a borehole to serve up to 3,000 people in Lwala Village, Western Kenya. The area is situated in a remote rural region where the people have to walk 6-7 km to reach the waters of Lake Victoria.

A borehole will provide clean drinking water for the community and reduce waterborne diseases. In partnership with Brighter Futures, a UK registered charity; African revival has supported the U-Bumbano Pre-Primary School, a crèche (day nursery) for over 85 children in the Port Elizabeth area of South Africa. African Revival has just started its work in Zambia, one of Africa’s poorest countries and also a country badly affected by the HIV pandemic.

African Revival’s founder has purchased a farm in the Southern Province of Zambia and has given African Revival an opportunity to work on the farm on a commercial basis, with a view to generating a profit.

As well as employing several hundred local people. All of the profits will stay within African Revival Zambia and will be used to support development work in the surrounding region. This project fits perfectly with African Revival’s core aims of ‘helping people to help themselves’ and also of developing self sustaining projects. Richard Bailey spent ten months in Maziba Farm, Zambia, putting the project on a sound footing.

African Revival’s overheads and administration costs are entirely sponsored and every penny raised goes to Africa. But the charity’s work also relies upon the work of volunteers in and around Hampton Hill where the charity is based. Visit: www.africanrevival.org

 

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