Wednesday, 30 November 2011


 One of the main facets of World In Need is our child sponsorship programme. Through this we find people who will help support children in the developing world, giving them a start in life, and opportunities for the future they would otherwise be denied.

Sheetal Wajid hopes we will find a sponsor for her. At fourteen years old, Sheetal is on the verge of womanhood, and sponsorship now could make a huge difference to her adult life.

An intelligent young lady, Sheetal has been attending St Francis Girls’ High School, a Roman Catholic school in Rawalpindi, where her favourite subjects are English, Science, History and Religion. However, her family is very poor and her father is no longer able to pay the school fees for her, putting her education in jeopardy.

A sponsor would solve the problem, allowing Sheetal to finish her studies and fulfil her true potential.

Sheetal’s father helps World In Need in Islamabad, trying to alleviate the problems of the homeless, poor and needy of his community. It can be a tough job, and it is made harder when he is worried about meeting the needs of his own children. By finding a sponsor for Sheetal, we can relieve him of some of the burden.

As Sheetal’s sponsor, you would receive regular updates on her: a report on her school progress and correspondence from her, as well as the priceless gift of knowing you’re making a difference, not just in one young life, but to the future of an entire community.

Sponsoring a child like Sheetal costs £20 a month, although we do recognise that times are hard, and sponsors have to budget, like everyone else. So it is possible to join with one or two others and sponsor a child between you, thus splitting the cost and giving a child a future without breaking your own bank.

If you’d like to know more about child sponsorship – or family sponsorship – you can speak to Anne or Magda on 01892 669875. They’ll happily answer your questions and, if you do decide to sponsor a child, they can guide you through and help you choose the child that is just right for you.

A lifetime is built on the foundations of childhood. Why not find out about helping us make those foundations firm today?

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

A sudden death in the family

What would you do if you were starving? How far would you go to put food into your mouth? Would you cheat? Steal?

What if your children were crying with hunger and there was no other way to help them?

In Northern Uganda last week, a young woman tried to fend for herself and her children, aged 7, 5, 3 and six months by stealing cassava from a garden.

Cassava is a plant from which we, in the developed world, get tapioca, but in places like Northern Uganda it is a vital staple, producing more food energy per unit of land than any other crop. Its leaves are eaten as a vegetable, providing vitamins and protein, and the tuber is like a nutritionally superior potato. All in all, a plant like this would be of great value to a desperate mother and her children.

Unfortunately, she was caught. And in a place where food is at a premium and many are dying daily of starvation and malnutrition, her defence met with little sympathy. Those who caught her meted out swift and exacting justice: they beat her until she was dead.

Her young children were left with no-one to care for them except their grandmother who is 87 years old and blind. In a world where, too often, only the strong survive, these children will be at a disadvantage before the struggle even begins. The hopelessness moves on to a new generation.

Our representative in Northern Uganda, George Amoli, will be doing what he can to keep an eye on this family. He’ll try, as far as he can, to ensure they don’t miss out when food is distributed. Hopefully, we can help by providing the children with sponsors, people who will pledge a small amount of money monthly.

Sponsored children are fed and clothed, given access to medical care and are able to go to school, thereby getting the education and qualifications they need to end the cycle of poverty.

£22 a month doesn’t seem a lot to most people in the developed world. In Northern Uganda, it can literally be the difference between life and death.

If you do not wish to pledge a regular amount but would like to help this family and others who, like them, have been affected by the worst drought in East Africa in 60 years, you can donate via World In Need’s drought relief fund at

Together, we can make a difference.

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Poverty: The fight back

Poverty is a dreadful enemy. It tortures its victims, leaving them hungry, cold and downtrodden. It destroys their lives and their hopes and dreams, ravages childhood and, finally, kills.

Poverty kills more people than war and natural disaster combined. And it does so with our permission. When we allow people to work long hours in gruelling conditions for less than a living wage, we feed poverty. When we allow children to beg on the streets or be forced into prostitution rather than ensure they have the education they need, we let poverty grow. When we put profit above the wellbeing of those living with treatable diseases, we give poverty power over us all.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Poverty is an enemy that can be beaten, but it takes effort and will, and teamwork. Those living under its heel cannot fight free alone.

World In Need uses myriad weapons in this battle. Our child sponsorship programme ensures children are able to go to school and gain the education that can lead them to good careers with decent salaries. By improving living standards and teaching basic hygiene, we help eradicate common diseases which should not be killers in the twenty first century. Through partnership with those in the front line we enable them to increase both their incomes and their hope.

For example, a family that owns chickens not only has a source of food for themselves, but they can take surplus eggs to market and sell them, giving them money to buy other essentials. A man with a bicycle can generate income by offering taxi services. Palm trees yield palm oil which can be sold to provide income for whole communities.

This year, World In Need is offering these items, among others, as part of our Alternative Christmas Gifts. These are gifts you buy for people in developing countries, on behalf of a friend or relative, thereby spreading the joy of Christmas and, at the same time, pushing the front line a little further back.

Together, this is a war we can win.

Friday, 11 November 2011

Giving at Christmas

It’s six weeks to Christmas and the shops are already full of goodies. Turkeys and trimmings, chocolates and mince pies, all piled high for us to indulge in feasting and being merry.

Even in times of economic hardship, food in the west is plentiful and rich, and this can sometimes make us forget that it isn’t the same for everyone.

In East Africa, where the rains have failed for the last three years, there are dreadful food shortages, and people are starving to death. Whole villages are being abandoned as all but the old and most infirm leave in search of food and water. Crops fail and livestock dies and the people, who had little enough to start with, are left with nothing.

In northern Kenya and Uganda, refugee camps are filled to bursting with people who are desperate for the basics of life. Some have trekked hundreds of miles, watching friends and families die along the way.

Once they reach the camps, their problems are not over. With so many people in such dire straits, there are long waits for help and sustenance, and it’s a constant struggle to ensure the supplies stretch to everyone. Some parents have actually abandoned their children at the camps and then left, hoping this sacrifice will give the children a better chance of survival.

At World In Need, we think EVERYBODY should have that chance. We have a dedicated fund especially for those affected by this drought and famine. If you feel you’d like to help us in this work, you can donate via our page: or you can phone us at 01892 669834. Don’t worry if you don’t think you can give very much: what is a little to you can be life changing to the people in East Africa, and every penny matters.

Between us, let’s spread the joy of Christmas a little further this year.

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Gifts for Christmas?

It’s that time of year again, when the conversations go something like this:

You: “What would you like for Christmas this year?”

Your friend: “I don’t know. I can’t think of anything I want.”

Infuriating, isn’t it? You then spend ages traipsing round crowded shops, looking for that special something which doesn’t look mass produced and soulless, which they will appreciate and be proud to receive.

If the thought of all this fills you with dread, World In Need can help you.

Buy something from our Alternative Christmas Gift catalogue and you’ll not only have a present for your friend, but you’ll also be spreading the Christmas spirit to people who really need it.

For example, a goat given to a family in Uganda will give a supply of milk and cheese, a chicken in Kenya will provide eggs for food and for sale, while a blanket will keep children warm through the bitterly cold Afghan winters.

We will send you a hand crafted card to give to your friend, so they’ll know exactly what was given in their name.

You can find out more about the Alternative Christmas Gifts by calling our office on 01892 669834 or emailing

With your help, we can spread the cheer, and give hope this Christmas.