Press story - http://www.sunderland.gov.uk
In Dec 2011, a group of volunteers from the Box Youth Project travelled out to Gambia to volunteer with children, young people and families in the Gunjur region. They were fortunate to meet a group of teachers who on a voluntary basis set up an organisation called AFNOW which provides support for almost 300 orphans in the locality.
When children are orphaned they often end up living in the compounds of extended family members or neighbours. There is no state support available so orphaned children often lack the basics that we take for granted i.e. clothes, shoes, a filling meal each day, the opportunity to go to school, access to healthcare (it can cost the equivalent of a day’s earning to visit a doctor!)
Whilst in Gambia the volunteers from the Box Youth Project supported AFNOW to raise awareness of World Orphans Day by taking part in a 4km walk around the villages. They made banners and flags to promote the cause and were joined by the local scouts who led the march playing drums and recorders. Lots of the orphans held the volunteers hands as they did the walk - the difference being that the volunteers had shoes, sunglasses, and water to help combat temperatures of over 40 degrees, the orphans had only the clothes they stood in!
AFNOW raised the equivalent of £57 on the morning of the march…..This was the most money they had ever raised and the organisers were extremely grateful. The money raised will help AFNOW provide food and second hand clothes for the orphaned children in Gunjur for two whole weeks!!
The volunteers were so moved by what they saw and experienced that they want to take positive action to make life easier for the children they met. They hope that you may be able to help! In the summer of 2012 they plan to ship a 40’ container to Gunjur. They also plan to travel back out to Gunjur to unload the container and ensure its contents are distributed to those most in need. If you, or your friends / family are having / plan to have a clear-out they are looking for….….
Flip Flops / Sandals / Trainers / Socks / Knickers / Boxer Shorts / Baby; Toddler; Children's & Teenage Clothes; Football Tops; Flat Bed Sheets; Toys; Books.
Any donations (no matter how small!!) towards the cost of shipping or towards supporting volunteers with the trip to Gambia would be very much appreciated! Please contact Denise (07885274646) or Lisa (07775711927) if you can help!