Thursday, 27 May 2010

Bringing every child to school, giving equal opportunities to all

That was the answer given by Bevs, who runs Cypress Christian Foundation School for World In Need in the Philippines, when she was asked what her ambition was.

Bevs was at the World In Need International Conference in Crowborough, England, which finished last Monday. Delegates from 15 countries met for ten days to discuss their work, how we could all help one another, how things could be improved so that our work was more effective, and a host of other things besides.

The school is in Baguio City, about four hours north of Manila, and it caters for the children who live on and around Smokey Mountain, a giant rubbish tip which gets its name from the fact that the rubbish is always burning. It is so big, the smoke from it can be seen from the northern outskirts of Manila.

People live on the tip in homes made of cardboard, scrap wood and metal, and eke a living by collecting what they can recycle from the rubbish and taking it to the local market to sell. Very small children can be seen daily, scampering over the mounds of garbage, picking up whatever they can find. Their tiny feet are criss crossed with scars where they have trodden on broken glass and other sharp objects.

Bevs would like to see more of these children brought into school, where the education they can receive would equip them for a life that is a big improvement on their present circumstances. She believes, as do we all at WIN, that every child deserves the opportunity to achieve their fullest potential.

WIN helps find sponsors for the children so that they can afford to go to school. Not only does this give them a chance at a future, it also means they don't have to work on the tip now. There is a need for more sponsors, to help more children.

When asked what we could do to help with her work, Bevs had five requests:

1. They need to purchase or acquire the property where the school is. Although it is safe for now, the school has a landlord and there is always a danger that he or his family could ask them to leave. If we can buy the building, the school will be much safer.

2. Curriculum development materials are needed to enable the school to give the children the very best education they can.

3. assistance and suggestions, comments to improve school operations,

4. More modules and books to help the children learn.

5. People willing to come out to help for short periods of time, people who can help teach art, Bible studies, and other subjects, and who would be prepared to spend a few weeks at the school.

If these are things you feel you'd like to help with, or you'd like more information on the school, please contact us at

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Palm Trees offer more than just shade

We've all seen the classic desert island picture, a small piece of land, one palm tree, a marooned sailor resting under its leaves.

We've all dreamed of beaches in the Bahamas, blue seas, white sands ringed with palm trees, and the perfect holiday.

But to some people, a palm tree is far, far more than a source of shade on a hot day, or an element in a picture postcard setting. For Sister Faye, World In Need's representative in Thailand, palm trees are, quite literally, life savers.

Siser Faye explains:

We have schools and community projects in southern Thailand. We educate children and enable them to achieve their full potential, and we support families. We also have people we've trained, who are expanding the work into the middle and north of the country. However, the work costs money, and there is always a fund shortage.

Our dream is for the projects we run to be completely self sufficient and able to sustain themselves, and perhaps even to grow. For this, we need an income.

Palm trees grow quickly. Three years after first planting, we can harvest the palm oil from them. This oil is valuable in the aviation industry and is in demand. With what we can make by selling the oil from 200 trees, we can pay the entire costs of our projects and make ourselves self sufficient and self sustaining. We have the land but we need to buy the trees to plant there.

Palm trees are sold at $10 (about £6.50) each. This means the 200 trees Sister Faye requires would cost a total of $2000 (approximately £1350). Allowing for extras such as fertiliser, the project could be running if we can raise $2200 (about £1500).

The trees would allow Sister Faye to build on her work, and would freeWIN funds, currently used for that work, enabling us to help even more people throughout the world. Sponsorship of children would continue unchanged.

Now all we have to do is raise £1500...

Wednesday, 19 May 2010

A Jungle Woman in rural England

Sister Faye Carnaje has been called “The Jungle Woman”. A Filipina, she works in Thailand for World In Need, where she heads a team that runs schools, trains missionaries and builds relationships with the local communities. This week, she is in England for the World In Need International Conference.

Sister Faye is one of twenty four delegates from fifteen countries who have descended on the rural Sussex town of Crowborough for this tri-annual conference. They have travelled from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, the Pacific Ring and the United States of America to be with us for a week of teaching and fellowship.

Workshops at the conference include Child sponsorship, small business development, bookkeeping and self sustainability. Guest speakers include Alex Haxton, CEO of World Emergency Relief, who gave a passionate and informative talk on “Building a vision – the state of the world today” and Brian Nell, talking about the difference between “Mission and Missional”, while WIN Director Ron George talked about “Principles of working with Muslims” and “Kingdom Attitudes”.

Each day begins and ends with prayer and worship, and there has been opportunity for local people to meet with the delegates, build friendships and learn a little more about the work they are doing in their home countries.

Some delegates are attending local churches, taking part in their Sunday services, giving talks and testimonies, and allowing people to see and know how they can make a difference to the lives of others. Sister Faye is one of those who has been able to talk about her work.

A tiny lady, less than five feet tall, Sister Faye is full of energy and enthusiasm for her work. She began her ministry eight years ago, working alone in an area of Thailand near the Malaysian border. She works with young people, teenagers, helping them prepare for life, focusing their attentions in a world where it is all too easy to drift.

Other people soon came to Faye to help with the work and be trained by her, after which they spread throughout the country, taking the work further and further. Today, more than a dozen workers are helping more than four hundred children and young people to get a good start in life, and through that, to reach their fullest potential, gaining qualifications, training and experience and working in careers that would otherwise have been closed to them.

It has been a privilege to meet with delegates such as Sister Faye this week, and to learn about the work they are doing as part of the WIN family. We will highlight the work of some of the other delegates in future blog posts.

If you’d like to know more about Sister Faye, any of the other delegates, or the work of World In Need, please contact us at, and we will do our best to answer all your questions.

Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Plane crashes in Tripoli

This morning, Wednesday 12th May, the Afriqiyah Airways plane from Johannesburg crashed while trying to land at Tripoli in Libya. 104 people were killed, with only one survivor, a child. Our hearts and prayers go out for them and their loved ones.

World In Need representative Rev. Tope Ajanaku was in Tripoli airport, waiting to board that very plane for the next stage of its journey, to London. Tope was on his way to attend the World In Need International Conference which starts on Saturday in Crowborough, England. He and his fellow passengers could only stand in helpless horror as their plane disintegrated.

The passengers made their way to England on a different flight, and as they arrived at Gatwick they were separated from their fellow travellers so they could be looked after, treated for shock and given bereavement counselling. They may find they need further help as time goes by.

We thank God that Tope has arrived in England safely. We would ask for your prayers for him and for all WIN representatives travelling to the conference, for safety and well being on their journeys.

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

All Aboard the Dragon!

In September, World In Need supporters will have fun and raise funds for us at the same time at the annual Dragon Boat Festival at Bewl Water, near Lamberhurst in Kent. This is the thirteenth year that the festival has taken place on this reservoir, and it has grown year on year so that now, as well as the actual races, there will be field events, tented activities, bands and celebrities, making it a good day out for all the family.

The festival, which takes place on Saturday 11th and Sunday 12th September, is the largest event of its type in Europe. Over the two days, 100 teams compete in ten boats, while upwards of 15,000 spectators cheer them on. The teams are often raising money for charity – over £1.4 million has been raised for 175 charities since the festival began.

This year, World In Need will be one of the charities to benefit from the event. We have one team taking part in the festival, made up of members of the Royal Spa, Tunbridge Wells chapter of the BNI, and we hope to field another team made up of WINners who like a little fun with their fund raising. If you think you’d like to be part of this team, all you have to do is contact our Director, Ron George, at and he’ll give you the details.

This Dragon Boat Festival is one in a national series of Dragon Boat Races. Other races take place throughout the year at York, Bristol and Milton Keynes, as well as many other places. The Bewl Water festival has become a major event on the South East calendar.

Dragon Boat racing is a Chinese tradition which goes back over 2000 years. No-one is sure where it originated but one theory is that it was an attempt to appease the powers of darkness before the death and decay of winter set in. There would be a mock battle between boats and the losing teams would symbolise sacrifice. If a losing boat sank, the crew might be left to drown in the belief that they had been chosen by the gods to be a literal sacrifice. You will be relieved to hear Bewl Water does not follow this part of the tradition. If anyone does fall in, there’ll be a rescue boat on stand by!