'Supporting families and
young people to achieve...'
Intouch Gambia has just received a shipment of 8,000 brand new books from Book Aid International! In a feat of cross-country collaboration, non-profit organisation Riders for Health transported the shipment to Intouch Gambia coordinator Michael Mendy who is now able to distribute the books - alongside solar lamps - thanks to his new pickup truck.
The books for children include picture books, phonics books, young adult fiction and non-fictional education such as English as a Second Language texts. The diversity of age-appropriate books provided for young readers ensure that the children have the books they need for every stage of learning.
As well as the acquisition of a new vehicle, Intouch Gambia is currently in the process of recruiting two additional field workers to assist with operations as the organisation grows and continues to help more families and communities in the Central River Region of The Gambia!
Below are images of an HSPCCO volunteer distributing sandwiches to a street community in north western Cambodia, a project supported by Intouch Global Foundation. The organisation (which stands for Helper Students for Poor Children of Cambodia Organisation) run schools in Siem Reap which teach reading, writing, maths, science, rudimentary agricultural skills, as well as lessons in human rights and English. The area has access to very limited resources, and children here don't receive a state education.
The founder and leader of HSPCCO, Samuth "Lucky Man" Noem, is so named after his incredible escape from the Khmer Rouge Killing Fields, navigating the deadly minefields to the safety of the Thai border where he sought refuge.
In 1975, following the Cambodian Civil War, the Khmer Rouge overthrew the government and executed then 15-year old Samuth's father, a governor in southern Cambodia, along with the rest of his family. Samuth escaped into the jungle, joining a group of 33 who set out on foot to flee Cambodia. Samuth was one of only three who survived the journey and from this time forth became known as Lucky Man.
An estimated 1.7 million people died during this regime from 1975-1979 - a quarter of Cambodia's population. Lucky Man survived, and vowed to help the children of those who did not have his faith and good fortune. IGF support Lucky Man by donating food, books, school supplies, uniforms, and basic medicine, allowing him to continue his remarkable work in regions around Puok Village, Siem Reap.
In February we shared photos of a temporary classroom which would eventually become Flame Cambodia's fourth activity centre, and we are delighted to share news of progress made since then!
There are three centres already in Sen Sok, Steung Meanchey, and Bong Tom Pun, and this Centre, funded by InTouch Global Foundation, will attend to children from the Boeung Trabek community in the capital city of Phnom Penh. In Cambodia, public schools are only open for half the day and Flame's centres serve to provide study assistance and extra tuition to all children - even those not officially enrolled on to their programme.
Classes are given in Maths, English, Computing, Khmer (the national language of Cambodia), as well as in dancing and music, providing invaluable benefit to children who may have missed years of schooling due to poverty, helping them to catch up with their peers. Flame also ensure that no child leaves the centre without having something to eat; every child receives a meal and a carton of milk when they visit.
What started out as a temporary makeshift classroom consisting of plastic tables and chairs is now laid with concrete and, as of last week, has a roof! Walls will not be erected to give the structure an open setting. The idea behind this visibility is so that the classroom is viewed as being as accessible and approachable to children in the community as possible. Upcoming developments also include setting up solar power to run security lights at night, providing sustainable and affordable energy for the facility.
The children, all from backgrounds of poverty and deprivation, are eager to learn. Nicola Palairet, Communications Director of Flame Cambodia, says of the centre,
"We have 55 children coming most days, and they really are engaging and learning. There are about 500 kids in the wider community, which is overwhelming, to say the least, but our work is significant in the midst of poverty. Without education, these kids just don't have a pathway forward.
We have been getting feedback from our staff that the kids' attitudes are changing and improving, and I believe this new facility is what is making the difference… because we are now a stable part of the community, there's a sense that we are committed, and we aren't just fly by night, here one day, gone the next. This makes a difference to the kids. Our partnership with IGF is essential and has been the catalyst for change and major upgrades!"
Here are photos of students of Essau Lower Basic School enjoying their brand new classroom!
The Republic of Gambia is the smallest country on the African mainland, and unlike the UK and other developed countries which have used sophisticated support and teaching techniques for many years, it has very limited facilities for deaf children.
There is a lack of routine testing of babies and young children for deafness so, although some deaf children have been identified, it is probable that many other deaf children have not been diagnosed or offered help. Some of these will be kept at home and considered uneducable.
Working in partnership with The Gambian Deaf Children Support Project (GDCSP), IGF pledged to build new and improved facilities to support deaf children in the Gambia, their parents and their teachers.
Earlier this year we shared photos of the site in construction, and now it is open and in full use, benefiting deaf and partially hearing children from the area!
Taiz is a city on the South West coast of Yemen, nestled amongst the Yemeni Highlands. Renowned for its coffee and architecture, the city has effectively been under siege since the outbreak of the Yemeni Civil War in 2015, with regular reports emerging of food, water and medical supply shortages.
Earlier this year, Intouch Global Foundation donated food and grain supplies to local communities in Taiz and have now pledged to fund the restoration of the local school that has fallen into a state of deep disrepair.
The project will initially focus on the overhaul of three classrooms, paving the way to providing a safe place for the basic education of the local population which includes around 400 children.
Sanchong Teenager House is a youth centre based in Taipei, Taiwan. Supporting young people by offering extra tuition and the opportunities to engage in positive social community projects, Sanchong provides consistent support that empowers young people to explore a variety of interests with the encouragement of skilled and caring adults.
Scroll through the gallery below to see the wide-ranging events and activities available to these students.
Working with Book Aid International and Windle International Kenya (WIK), Intouch Global Foundation have funded the Solar Homework Club, a project that aims to support the provision of quality education by providing access to books and solar lamps in six secondary schools in Kakuma Refugee Camp, Kenya. This has enabled the shipment of 3,065 books comprising of text books, revision guides and teen fiction (all donated to Book Aid International by UK publishers), as well as 864 solar lamps to be used by school teachers and students.
There is no electricity for the refugee population across Kakuma, leaving students unable to study or do their homework at home, and teachers have unanimously agreed that lending the lamps to students is the best long-term solution. Schools will own the lamps and students will be provided with lamps on loan until they bring them back upon completion of their time at school. This will allow the school to serve more students and help others the following year. Teachers noted that the lamps will encourage school attendance among students and have a profound impact on their learning.
A planning workshop in Kakuma Refugee Camp
The diagram below is an excerpt from an Arabic translation of The Oral Health Manual, a project funded by Intouch Global Foundation in support of Teeth Relief.
Teeth Relief are a London-based organisation whose aim is to make knowledge of oral health a fundamental part of health education in low income communities and developing countries.
Since dental work is expensive and therefore inaccessible to so many, acting to prevent problems before they develop is a valuable investment and, in 2017, Teeth Relief created The Oral Health Manual to equip health works with a guide of basic dental health and practices. The guide contains useful teaching material, clearly explaining oral health practice in plain language.
This year, IGF funded an Arabic translation which has been distributed in Syria with the view of further-ranging distribution in future. This has proven a significant and effective step in improving oral health and hygiene of thousands of displaced people who have limited access to even the most basic and routine healthcare.
Intouch Games Limited won the 2019 Midlands Business Corporate Commitment Award! The company earned the accolade last week specifically for the work they do with IGF and the numerous projects they have supported on both regionally and internationally. This award celebrates their partnership with us to facilitate a programme of social initiatives with measurable and sustainable results. IGF Director Kevin Bailey collected the award on Intouch Games’ behalf at The Athena in Leicester on Friday evening.
In January, we announced that Intouch Global Foundation would be funding the construction of Essau Lower Basic School Unit, a project in partnership with the support of The Gambian Deaf Children Support Project (GDCSP). Based in the coastal region of The Gambia, the school will teach deaf and partially hearing children from the area who are deprived of an adequate education by mainstream government schools.
Since then, building has steadily been underway and the school is ready to open next week! The photos below show progress of the unit and what is already an enormous improvement from the temporary classroom the children are currently based.
This blog is to show the progress and activities of Intouch Global Foundation, and the charities it supports.