It’s been a couple of months since my last newsletter! I’ve been back to the UK to see family and friends and then back to the island on much reduced work hours for August. It’s been an exhausting 18 months since the first lockdown and I feel I’m not alone in needing to take things slow and give myself some thinking time. I hope that you are too!
This one is a little longer than usual as I left it so long! I find it hard to find the time, but it’s a good process as it makes me step back and remember what we have DONE. It’s all too easy to just focus on what there is ahead to do.
In June and July our resources were downloaded 8,387 times from our website. We have now had a total of 86,207 downloads by people in 181 countries!
Regular readers will know we have been co-creating this with partners in Guam since early May. We had a large team involved in helping with it – global experts and many from Guam too. Unusual and exciting is that the donor funded 500 copies for distribution in schools in Guam and two more donors have come forward already to print a further 1000 copies. We will keep a close eye on how the poster is received and used in these schools and let you know.
Click the image for the free poster on Diabetes or here to learn more about its development.
We are working on a 10 lesson toolkit too, to be linked to this poster to scoop up some of the ideas that just didn’t fit on the poster!
This is a project we started some months ago, but stopped for the school holidays in Guam. Children go back to school this week and all the teaching is face-to-face. We will be repurposing the online workshops we designed for the children during the pandemic when they were learning online. We hope to get children more excited and involved now they are back with their teachers – and get more feedback and ideas!
We are closer to getting this started! A donor has come forward in Nigeria and we are working with them and The Vaccine Centre for Disease Control to design a project there. Also, we have not let go of working to raise more funding to work with Pikin to Pikin – a prospective partner in Sierra Leone who found a funder to match find the costs of a new two-sided poster in Immunisation. These materials are much needed to address issues around vaccine hesitancy and what can children do. Learn more about how these posters are funded and created or view our immunisation content now.
Our work in Eswatini began and then stalled as there was a lockdown and school closures and then political unrest. All has calmed down and the schools re-start on the 23rd and we can get going on this programme again.
Here’s another project affected by recent lockdowns. As with other partners, schools closed, gatherings of any kind were banned and our mental health promoting SBCiZ activities had to be suspended. We resume our work with our wonderful small team next weekend. I cannot wait – and nor apparently can the children who have been nagging their teachers to get going as soon as they can!
Also nice is that Peace Corps in Ghana have developed a 2022 calender focusing on Malaria using our illustrations! It is no longer available, but thank you to everyone who downloaded it.
Our fundraising campaign is going well with a further £5,400 arriving since June (thank you donors!). A part of this is earmarked to develop our work in Mozambique.
We had disappointing news on a major proposal to further our child nutrition and health programme in Mozambique. It took A LOT OF WORK to develop (don’t these donors realise the time these grant applications take?). It would be easier to take the rejection if there had been a bit of advice and guidance and not just the “Unfortunately, … blah blah blah”. I’m a BIG fan of the donors who ask for one page concept notes first and shortlist after that and then providing at least some feedback with their rejection letters.
It is SO hard assessing which grants to go for and what not. This particular ‘call’ for proposals was made for us. We have a fantastic team in Mozambique; we have a great partner who was going to handle the digital side; we have a project that has have formally invited us to scale the programme nationally.
There is a desperate need. It’s taken us 10 years to get to this point – and it was a NO.
What do you think? URGH – advice please. It’s so dispiriting.
Our current fundraising campaign is our “trying go through the front door” strategy… but back doors are often better – especially for an organisation as peculiar as ours!
Anyone reading this who LOVES our work and what we do and who might have contacts with potential donors – please do get in touch. We’d also love to hear from those who just want to understand effective development a bit better. Our ideas may not be the same as you might find elsewhere, and they are based on 32 years of navigating the sector and working with a HUGE range of partners from the World Health Organisation, governments, UN organisations, UNICEF, INGOs like Save the Children, universities, community based organisations (CBOs), teachers, health workers, parent organisations, individual donors, schools, artists, videographers, volunteers, etc.
We are too shy about the huge amount we do with our minuscule budgets and I’m thinking that it may soon be time to get out the loudspeaker.
We’ve been busy on the blog since we last wrote. Here are links to our latest posts on a wide range of topics.
It is good to be back again – thank you for reading and your continued support!