Community Newsletter July 2019
Dear Friends of Children for Health,
I warn people that I’m always a bit tired and grumpy in July. It’s an, ‘end-of-the-academic-year’ thing. An ‘I-need-to-go-on-holiday’ thing! This is especially true this July as my oldest child was taking her end of school exams. We call them ‘A levels’ in the UK and they probably are the toughest hurdle to jump in any person’s academic life. The courses are deep and broad, you take the exams when you are in the throes of being a teenager and in the summer when the sun is shining. It’s intense. On top of this, the system now has switched back from a balance of course work and exams to being mostly exams, so they are mostly a giant memory test and even when they are very well prepared, it’s just luck how our children feel on the day.
On a GREAT Podcast!
This a necessary introduction as my focus has been as much on my family since the last newsletter as it has on the work of Children for Health – I’m sure this is a good thing! Lately, I have been reflecting on how important it is for us all to get a work-life balance. This is one of the things I discuss in this podcast where I am a ‘listener guest’, my bit starts 25 minutes in.
It’s a GREAT podcast to subscribe to and, as you will hear, there is so much I’ve learned from these two incredible women that I have been able to apply to my work. This has been the case for well over a decade. Have a listen and share on social media!
Oh dear, oh dear – why is it so spectacularly hard getting funding into the charity to carry on doing what so many say is great work? One supporter has likened us to a “duckling paddling like mad and no one shouting about how far it has gone and what it has achieved as all the effort is invisible below the water line.”
I spent many weeks applying to the last ever Wellcome Public Engagement Fund – only to be told that that we were INELIGIBLE for the grant as what we do does not count as ‘engagement’ – or their version of it. I’d read the guidelines at least five times, slowly and carefully highlighting every bit that connected with our field work and in different ways and only proceeding when I was completely convinced we were in with a shot. This has made me feel very stupid indeed and a sad about the huge amount of effort wasted. So, what to do when I don’t even understand the words funders use on their guidelines?
The Trustees and I are trying to get very clear about the reasons behind our challenges. We wonder if we should ‘pivot’ (do the work in a different way). Any ideas? Do get in touch.
But please don’t feel it’s all doom and gloom! We have two new important proposals being deliberated. We may have a new supporter or two in Cambridge and there are many things in the pipeline. But perhaps our days of trying to get through the front door for bigger grants are numbered? We are probably too small. I’ve always liked back doors better anyway. If you are a part of or know of an organisation that might be interested in working with us, please point them in our direction!
We love, love, LOVE the handful of supporters who give us a monthly subscription. THANK YOU! Every time a donation comes in we are notified and it feels like a hug and a cheer. If YOU love what we do, please consider setting up a monthly donation. It is a huge deal.
Annual Report 2018
We have just published our Annual Report for the year ending 2018. This is required for submission in September 2019 and we are a little ahead of ourselves this year. We plan to have the 2019 report out by March 2020! Please click here to view our Annual Report.
We have included a summary of our all activities throughout 2018. We have been really busy and we’re so proud of the impact we’ve had and continue to have!
The BUSY Digital Hub
The busy digital hub I reported on in April… is only getting busier – with 1,948 downloads of our content in May and June! We MUST be doing something right!
We’re also pleased to have links highlighting our longstanding relationship with WorldReader – they specialise in providing books for people exclusively on mobile devices. Browse the selection of Children for Health books for mobiles/tablets here now.
Be sure to check out the rest of our resources too!
More Languages, More Languages!
Our content and activities linked to 100 health messages for children to learn and share are now available in four more languages. 14 languages in April and 18 languages now!
All 18 are slowly, but steadily, being turned into PDF booklets that can be downloaded from our resources section for free. Assamese, Bengali and French should be available by the end of the month.
If you know another language and you’d like to help translate our content, get in touch!
Our Work in Cambodia has Landed
We have been helping the Save the Children team in Cambodia develop school-based materials that they are using to train young adolescent leaders to work with other groups of children on five key nutrition messages and activities. This as a follow-up, here are some of the photos of the children at the workshop in December 2018. It’s taken a little while to get confirmation that we have the written consent to publish from everyone in the photos!
New Eye Health and Vision Materials
We are putting the finishing touches to an Eye Health and Vision Handbook and new poster that we have developed for Peek Vision. We expect this to be available from our website in September. Please do get in touch if you have a particular interest in this topic.
In the previous newsletter I mentioned our new behaviour change and development approach.
We think this is a game changer. It was born from the work of Sarah Newton, an adolescent behaviour specialist, and it influenced the way we applied some of the principles and tools to our nutrition work in Mozambique over the years.
We are in the process of adapting the approach for the Eye Health and Vision Programme and we were expecting to finalise this as part of a field-based project, but plans changed and we have yet to test the approach as a whole. It is designed to be useful for any topic where health eduction or health promotion is the goal. It builds upon 60 years worth of work and insights! Both from ourselves and our collaborator.
We are very keen to find partners who want to work with us on this. Please get in touch if you are interested.
I’m taking the time at the moment to read these two fascinating books and they will be coming on holiday with me next week too.
These links are made with Amazon Smile, here is our Amazon Smile account. If you have us set as your charity of choice, any time you purchase anything Amazon, they’ll donate a proportion of that sale to us.
In other news on the blog…
Here are links to other posts on the blog since our last newsletter.
- Understanding Humans In the Wild
- World No Tobacco Day 2019
- Youth Leaders for Advocacy For Nutrition Toolkit
- Text Message Support To Teachers In Kenya
- Internet of Good Things
Thanks always to our wonderful Trustees: Madeleine, Tobias, Shelley and Anise and to Amy and Jean for your ongoing work on the blog and the website and to Sarah for your incredible patience and support as we have grown our work together.
I’ll now be taking a break. It’s not all down time but a chance for reading, thinking and planning. I find August a good month for this. I will be posting on the blog and there will be a newsletter in September.
Thanks to you all for being here.
CEO, Children for Health July 2019