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The Incredible Myra's Wells - Burkina Faso

We were contacted by a lovely lady looking to buy some knitted cardigans for babies in Burkina Faso, one of Africa's poorest countries. We told her to visit us to see if we could help - this has now become a bit of a mission for us now that we have heard exactly what the local charity she represents does for these children...

Due to a tragic road accident, a man called Eddie was left wanting to do something special in memory of his wife. He visited a school near the Burkina Faso capitol and was appalled that the children had no fresh water to drink, having to make a four mile journey just to fetch dirty water. He decided to help initiate a well building program which has turned into a labour of love and providing the water so desperately needed.

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Along with his African school teacher friend Christine, Eddie decided that once the children had their water, then they needed more schooling and provision to be able to get an education and more support in the form of basic items that we take for granted - hence now sending out containers of aid which he and his wife Karen have often physically accompanied on the gruelling trek to Africa. Here the dried food, clothing, blackboards, exercise books, pencils, shoes, bedding, even vehicles and spare parts, finds their way to the children and their families and to an orphanage in the Village of Hope.

We were delighted to have the opportunity to meet CHRISTINE, the school teacher from the Zongo school, who came to the UK and explained the school system and how she has 535 children taught in only 6 classrooms - it was a great insight into their lives and her dedication to the children in her village and their families.

Every penny that is given to Myra's Wells charity goes directly to the project to provide fresh water. Any administration charges incurred in publicity, fund transfer or project management in Africa are funded by the trustees personally. Click the button below for more information or if you wish to sponsor a well.

We look forward to being able to donate more clothing and other items when further containers are shipped over and thank Eddie and Karen for their ongoing hard work with this amazing project.

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Casuarina House Orphanage & FEED 500 programme

During a chance conversation in a radiotherapy waiting room in Southampton Hospital, Dana Elsworth from TEDS and Kate Michell discovered a shared passion - helping children! Kate had travelled to various countries including Estonia and Peru to teach children and had helped out at various schools and orphanages abroad. Hearing what amazing work Kate did, Dana invited her to the TEDS shop in Ringwood and a huge suitcase was filled to the brim with lots of toys, games, musical items and lots more for her visit to the Casuarina House Orphanage in Utange, eastern Kenya. Once a week, on Saturdays, 500 orphans would turn up from the village and the neighbourhood for a free hot nutritious meal. Sometimes the children would not have eaten for days and arrived tired and weakened by their journey. Volunteers would cook and interact with them, also handing out a bag of maize flour to take back to their guardians which helps feed them for the following week. Kate’s role for her three months volunteering at the orphanage included helping out with the Saturday “FEED 500” project, as well as being involved with house tasks, growing vegetables, cooking for the children, helping the resident orphans with homework and activities and assisting at the local primary school by listening to children reading aloud. Click the button below for more info if you wish to help or take part too.

And to Kate and people like her - You really do make the world a better place and we thank you!

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Lisa from "Squidge and Pop" and her trip to Malawi

We first met Lisa when she felt compelled to pop into the shop during Ringwood Carnival. She very quickly saw that we would be able to help each other and we arranged for her to return with another very large suitcase for her to fill up! We found lots of amazing toys and baby clothes that she transported to Africa and handed out to various nurseries and centres focusing on child education and teacher training. As children are often encourage to learn via repetition with little or no sensory based learning, Lisa worked with the Rainbow framework and the Learn To Play initiative to help educators understand techniques that will help support childhood development. Click the button below to reach the website of Love Support Unite and see the opportunities they offer in Malawi or contact Lisa directly if you would like to know more about her journey.

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