Community Newsletter | 24 May 2021

Alderney | May 24th |  2021

Dear Friends

It’s been a while…

Things ticking along smoothly at Children for Health (still based on the island)…

We are pleased that the UK is coming out of lockdown, but concerned for our friends in India.

We began a fundraising campaign last month and we are already seeing results. If you know any individuals, Trusts or Foundations who may be interested in international work, health, education and innovation – then please let us know. If you can spare a bit for us each month and you are not yet a contributor – please consider becoming a friend.

The new funding means we can look to develop more core content and the topic of Immunisation is very high on our radar. I am baffled as to why we still haven’t been able to raise the funding to work on this – the ‘hottest topic’ in the world right now re: Covid-19. We know that children and young people can be a part of understanding and addressing public hesitancy. So now we have funding for HALF of what we need. If any member of our community knows where we can go to raise a further £1,500 GBP – please let us know.

As part of our well-being project in Guam, Children have been doing workshops and have developed ideas which we are now transforming into a story with our author and illustrator team – Liz and David Gifford. This has been an interesting process and we have also become aware of how difficult it is to get children engaged and excited about creative work ON ZOOM! The facilitators and teachers there have done a great job.

We are onto a second project in Guam focussing on Diabetes and we are in the process of developing a poster as a teaching tool and we expect to do a bit of training too. The posters will be translated into local languages and distributed to schools.

A third project in Guam is on the pipeline to develop a storybook on Diabetes. We have an energetic, engaged partner in Guam!

There is great interest in our work in Zambia on how our approach can be used to promote adolescent and youth mental health. The work is underway to establish a baseline and the children are really enjoying the activities. I meet the team each week and, last Friday, heard from one of the team that the children are enjoying it all so much that they are asking to do the activities ‘every day’! As the children work through a tool that measures well-being and resilience – the children have told teachers stories that the teachers describe as opening their eyes, “Before we did these activities I thought I knew the children, but I realise that I had been looking at them only superficially. After listening to them and hearing them talk so emotionally all the team was so touched. We realise that there is so much more we can do for these children”. Creating greater cohesiveness between children and between the children and their teachers is already happening and they haven’t started the main programme yet!

We’ve just begun our HIV and AIDS project in Eswatini co-creating a poster and storybook – and it was fun to talk to Banjwayini (a headteacher involved) last week on WhatsApp – who showed me her house and farm! Schools are beginning to go back, but there are still a lot of restrictions they must navigate and Banjwayini tells me the children have lost a lot of their skills and learning.

We’ve also submitted a proposal to continue our work in Mozambique and test a mobile learning and training tool. This, we think will help with a national level scaling as requested by the National Government. This is a big one. We are really hopeful and long to get back to Mozambique.

There is a proposal in to develop well-being work in Kenya and another proposal almost finalised to link up with Stowelink in Nairobi – a  young team of public health entrepreneurs focusing on preventing Non-Communicable Diseases in Kenya. It would be great to work together to develop new messages and other content to address risk factors such as alcohol misuse, smoking, drugs misuse and the lack of physical activities – all of which ‘lifestyle factors’ lead to so much unnecessary suffering. For NCD’s probably MORE so than for other topics, we need to be finding out ways to get stakeholders problem solving.

So, dear friends, there’s a LOT happening at Children for Health and even more in the pipeline. After a very strange and difficult 12 months – we are back on our feet again.

A final question – what do you like about our newsletter and what would you like more of? We often send links, but our stats show there is very little action from this newsletter to open the links we set out here – do you like the link summaries anyway? Any feedback on how we can better serve our community would be warmly welcomed.

Best wishes

Clare

P.S. Spring flowers are out on the island.