Indian medical assistant holding a child after a cataract operation

Additional Project Information

Below we have provided additional information on projects Radio Cracker Ballymena has supported, along with pictures and videos.

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Additional Project Information

In February 2014 Radio Cracker made a donation of £7,500 to Care for Cambodia for the purpose of building classrooms in 3 CFC projects. The villages chosen were Songkei in Svey Reing Province, Chur Teil in Prey Veng Province and Koh Svay in Pursat Province.

In each of these villages, previously classes were held under a teacher’s house. These were cramped learning spaces that did not allow for the possibility of splitting classes according to age or ability. Each project offers supplementary education, Monday to Friday.

The money was received in Cambodia in early April and building work began immediately. Construction took about 6 weeks to complete in Svey Reing and Prey Veng, however, in Pursat the building work was delayed a little as our provincial leader (Yee Sokun) wanted to supplement the donation with his own money to make a structure completely from brick. This required a considerable financial sacrifice of almost 500USD. This delayed the building project here for over a month.

Once the building was completed, the classrooms were furnished. There were significant delays as ’shopping around’ and comparing prices between the respective provinces and Phnom Penh was a lengthy process. By September all buildings were completed and furnished, ready for the government school year to start again on 1 October.

Please see photographs below of the classrooms in each of the provinces:

Songkei Village, Svey Reing province (56 Children)
Photos clockwise from top left
1. Photo of the classroom in July when the structure was completed.
2. Photo taken in September when the building work was completely finished (addition of furniture, mango trees, and sign).
3. Children inside the classroom, having just received their school packs for 2014.
4. Provincial leader Keo Ratha adding the final touch to the classroom in September 2014.

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Chur Teil Village, Prey Veng Province (80 Children)
Photos clockwise from top left
1. Jonny Hamill presenting CFC provincial leader, Net Ban, with the Radio Cracker sign.
2. Photo taken in September when the structure was complete but furnishing was yet to be purchased.
3. Classrooms fully furnished.
4. Front profile of the classroom.

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KohSvey Village, Pursat Province (36 Children)
Photos clockwise from top left
1. Completed classroom in September 2014.
2. Furnishing and teaching aids being presented to local staff and children.
3. Front profile of the classroom.
4. Children in front of the new building having just received their 2014 school packs.

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Furnishings for the classrooms include:
- Library books and educational posters
- Tables and chairs
- Teachers’ cupboard
- Whiteboard
- Shelves
- Clock
- Water filter and cups

Thank you to the Radio Cracker board, volunteers and donors for their significant investment into the lives of hundreds of both current and future CFC children.

Radio Cracker's donation funded Dr.Samuel's surgery this year at Bamdah Christian Mission Hospital in Bihar, India.

Bamdah is our most secluded partner hospital in Bihar serving a huge area in need. Living accommodation is basic. In September Second Sight’s Andy Richards took his experienced surgical hands there to help resident surgeon Dr. Samuel Murmu. He returned again before the end of the year.

The little boy is called Sibdhan Madhani and is 7years-old. His parents noticed that there were white areas in what should be black pupils in both his eyes and that the child was showing signs of not being able to see. They were right-- he had congenital cataract.

They were turned away by hospitals in the state of Jharkhand where they live but then heard about Bamdah. The travelled over the border to Bihar and Dr.Samuel performed the cataract surgery on the left eye with good results. They will return for surgery on other other eye.

Dr.Samuel's team are doing well in their targeted area of Chakai in Bihar in which they hope to totally eradicate cataract blindness. There is no other charitable or government hospital doing this work.

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Radio Cracker donated £10,000 to the work of E3 Initiative's partner, Key Ministry International (KMI) in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. The funds have been spent on developing a Cassava farm and starting a second microfinance group in a township called France.

In August the Cassava plants were starting to produce leaves. Cassava leaves and roots are used for food in most countries in East and Southern Africa. These photos show the progress made by Key Ministry with the funds from Radio Cracker.

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As per the budget, Key Ministry managed to purchase a vehicle. They bought a bigger second hand vehicle, which is in good condition, to enable them to drive safely on untarred roads that lead to the Cassava farm.

The vehicle is a huge asset to KMI. It is mostly used to transport people and farm materials to and from the farm, and also church members to their homes after the Sunday Church service. It has even been used to transport the sick within the refugee community to the hospital.

One of the photos below shows Revd Samson standing by the fence that is being put up to prevent cattle and goats from neighbouring farms destroying the Cassava crops. All materials for the fencing were bought with funds from Radio Cracker and transported to the farm using the KMI vehicle.

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The funding from Radio Cracker has also helped to initiate a second E3 Microfinance group in France Township, a place known for xenophobic attacks against refugees. Several refugees have been brutally murdered in this township. The group consists of refugee women who were trained by KMI staff and are now starting small businesses so they can provide for their families.

Malawi has, at 10%, one of the highest rates of HIV in the world. There are over 1.4 million Malawians living with the disease!

Radio Cracker donated £11,731.00 to EMMS International for a project to recruit, train and equip HIV+ ‘mother buddies’ to support HIV+ pregnant women. When the project is over, approximately 1,000 women and their partners will have been tested for HIV and given advice, support and information on how to prevent HIV transmission. Also, 600 HIV+ mothers will have nutritional support, access to reliable treatment and social support, and medication to prevent ‘mother to child’ HIV transmission.

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SUMMARY
Project recap:The indigenous people of Honduras’ Mosquitia region struggled to access clean water during the dry season. Skin complaints among the women were common due to their practice of washing laundry standing waist-deep in the lagoon. This project provided rainwater collectors, eco-laundries and sanitation education to help the residents lead healthier lives.

The results: Rainwater harvesting tanks have been installed to provide a safe, reliable source of water for 80 families in five communities. The same communities have also received an eco-laundry to improve their health and environment. Eighty community leaders have been trained in good hygiene and sanitation practices.

Thank you for your support.

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HOW HAS THIS PROJECT MADE A DIFFERENCE?
For Efigenia, dirty water used to make her life in Cocobila on the Mosquitia Coast a daily struggle.

‘We spent several summers taking water from small wells (only one foot deep) on the edges of the lagoon,’ she says. ‘The water is reddish and salty.’ The community members had to dig many of these shallow wells to try to meet their water needs – but danger was lurking beneath the surface.

‘I would normally feel unwell because the taste of the water sickened me,’ Efigenia remembers. ‘Sometimes the children had diarrhoea, mostly when they went to school and drank water directly from the wells.’

When Mopawi began talking to the community about safe water, they all agreed that a way of collecting clean water was a necessity. Since then, Mopawi staff have worked with the community to install a rainwater harvesting tank with a capacity of 5,000 litres.

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Efigenia has seen a remarkable change in her community since the start of the project. ‘We are in a better spirits because our stomachs no longer hurt after drinking water,’ she says. The improvement can literally be seen in the colour of the food they cook: ‘The rice, yuca [cassava] and green bananas used to get dark every time we cooked them in the past,’ she remembers. ‘Now they look different.’

‘We are very happy!’ Efigenia says. ‘Thank God that this project chose our neighbourhood. God has heard our prayers and helped us.’

WHAT DID THE PROJECT ACHIEVE?
Scores of people like Efigenia are now feeling the benefits of cleaner water and healthier lives.
· Clean water: Five rainwater collector tanks have been installed in five communities, providing safe, clean water for 80 families.
· Eco-laundry facilities: Five eco-laundries have been installed, meaning that 100 families now have access to a safe, environmentally friendly way of washing their clothes. There are already reports that the skin complaints that women previously suffered with are disappearing, as they no longer need to wash their laundry in the lagoon.
· Sanitation education: Eighty community leaders have been trained in basic hygiene and sanitation, including managing water use in the home and the importance of hand-washing.

WHAT IMPACT WILL THIS HAVE IN THE FUTURE?
This project has been designed with sustainability in mind and should provide clean water and sanitation facilities for the communities for years to come. Forty community leaders have been trained to install and operate the water tanks. The beneficiaries have agreed to contribute a small monthly fee towards the maintenance of the eco-laundries. The amount of soap used by the eco-laundries is much less than that required for washing clothes in the lagoon, meaning families will also feel financial benefits.

Although it is early days as yet, in the future it is hoped that the lagoon’s environment will improve through the use of the eco-laundries.

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"Raise the Roof (NI) has been established to construct a seven to ten classroomed school in Uganda, in the hope of providing much needed facilities for vulnerable African children by offering them an education and instilling a sense of integration, acceptance and unity in young people from all walks of life and backgrounds.

The aim of the Management Committee of Raise The Roof(NI) in presenting the sizeable challenge to build a school for under privileged children in Uganda, is to develop, in our choir members, the attributes of generosity, appreciation and responsibility towards the needs of others whilst enjoying being part of a community choir who work together in harmony towards those goals.

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Radio Cracker has donated £10k out of the targetted £75k.

Two Classroom blocks plus latrine facilities will be initially constructed. Once the requisite funding is in place, the timeframe is 4-5 months from tendering to completion of the project.

The local community is estimated at 2000 and the area has a minimum of 800 children who will benefit from this project.

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Chinchpada Christian Hospital – Maharashtra India
Rebuilding the surgical ward and replacement of water supply and storage

Last year, EMMS International asked Radio Cracker to support the rebuilding of the surgical ward at Chinchpada Hospital and the upgrade and replacement of the water supply and storage system. This work is now nearly completed. The following photographs were taken at the end of June 2013 and beginning of July. The work is expected to finish within the next 2 months.

EMMS International is delighted with the progress so far and the impact on the local community. We were unexpectedly honoured with an award in July at the Institute of Fundraising National Convention in London for the fundraising appeal for the rebuilding of Chinchpada. Radio Cracker’s support was essential in achieving this and we are happy to update you on the progress that your contribution has helped make possible.

The team of builders and craftsman have been employed from the local communities. The income and new skills they acquire will broaden the impact and legacy of this project image003.jpg image005.jpg

This young woman is being trained as an assistant builder and will provide an important contribution to her family’s income as well as ensuring that this rural community has access to improved healthcare. These villages are some of the poorest in India with 75% of families in the area living on less than 80p per day. Chinchpada Christian Hospital serves as the only free and low cost medical facility in the area.

Material and fuel costs have been high, so managing the budget carefully has been a priority. Reusing some of the quality teak timber and roof tiles has helped to maximise the budget and minimise the impact on the local environment.

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The hospital is currently serving 998 villages in the Nandurbar district. This is over 1.3 million people. Despite the difficult and changing conditions over the past year, the hospital has carried out over 1800 surgical procedures and delivered 135 babies. As a result of this final phase of renovation and building, the hospital will now be able to start to meet the growing needs of the area.

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This is the water supply works for the surgical and other blocks. In addition, there are now toilets for male/female surgical wards which are part of the surgical block. A bore-well is being used to supply water to overhead tanks in the surgical ward.

This bore-well is recharged by a water-harvesting system integrated all around the renovated and newly constructed blocks, so ground water is recharged by water harvesting and stored in natural underground tanks for filtration.

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Vidya is 3 years old. She is sitting with her parents on a new resting area built around a tree in the centre of the hospital to provide shade for hospital patients. She has a fever resulting from an infection and has been admitted so she can have intravenous antibiotics and be monitored further.

The newly renovated buildings offer proper clinical conditions in which to treat patients. Vidya’s parents explain that they have nowhere else to go for treatment. Everywhere else is too far away or too expensive. Chinchpada Christian Hospital is an essential part of their community.

Her parents remember coming to the hospital when Vidya was born. Though they are grateful to the staff, they have no fond memories of the damp and dirty building which once stood here. The delivery room where Vidya was born has already been renovated along with the maternity ward. Now her parents explain it’s new and clean. They feel safe and happy to bring their daughter here.

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In India poverty and blindness go hand in hand. But cataract surgery can break the cycle of poverty -- in fact it has been listed amongst the Ten Best Health Interventions to Reduce Poverty. An experienced eye surgeon can restore sight in just a few minutes and at a cost of less than £20. For over a decade Second Sight has worked in the state of Bihar-- the poorest state with the greatest number of people who are unnecessarily blind from cataract. And last year nearly 60,000 people had their sight restored thanks to Second Sight's partner hospitals. Radio Cracker supporters funded around 250 operations.

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Another achievement in Bihar : a football-education-training scheme for girls once destined for child marriage saw the first rural girl finish her schooling and enter a Diploma course in optometry. In three years she will be a skilled ophthalmic assistant.

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In 2013-2014 Second Sight plans to boost the work of its most remote partner hospital--Bamdah Christian Hospital-- run by a lone ophthalmologist and a small dedicated team and serving perhaps the most neglected area in Bihar state.

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This little three year-old came in to Bamdah. He has congential cataract in both eyes. Dr.Samuel Murmu, the resident eye surgeon-- a Santhal tribesman whose family converted to Christianity two genrations ago-- did the surgery for free and the child is seeing well post-operatively.Working alongside Dr.Samuel is Second Sight's own volunteer eye surgeon Andy Richards, performing exquisitive surgery at the age of 79.

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Optimism is high about Bamdah stepping up its contribution to the eradication of cataract blindness in this much neglected area.

All Second Sight's professionals-- from eye surgeons to fundraisers to english teachers to football coaches-- are volunteers. No donated money is spent on administration, salaries or publicity. As a result this small no-frills charity punches well above its weight amongst organisations working to eradicate blindness in India

More details on the Second Sight website.

The video below shows details of the effect of Radio Cracker's support in Guatemala...

The community of Kiim is located deep in the Ecuadorian jungle. In September 2013, two of HCJB’s missionaries, Wim and Eric, visited Kiim, taking a bus for five hours and then walking along a very muddy trail for about one and a half hours.

Wim and Eric had been invited by the community to come and inspect the timber which the people had cut from the surrounding jungle. This timber will be used to construct the water tower which forms a large part of the Radio Cracker water project. Radio Cracker funds will be used to purchase a submersible pump, solar panels and to send cement, pipes and other materials into the jungle. HCJB missionaries along with the community themselves will install the pump into the existing well, the water will be pumped up the nine metre tall tower and from there the local people will be able to take the clean well water from a communal tap at the base of the tower. In the future, the community will be able to work on a second stage of the project to build a pipe network which will deliver clean well water directly to each family’s house.

Wim and Eric found that the people in Kiim have pulled together to harvest this wood and to prepare it using hand tools and chainsaws only, often bringing the timber almost an hour’s walk away. Almost all the timber is ready for the water tower but on inspection they agreed that some of the pieces show signs of rot. Wim and Eric asked that they prepare the remaining pieces and notify them when the community is ready.

In asking the community to gather the locally available materials themselves, HCJB seeks to empower the local people and to foster a sense of ownership of the project, although this approach does mean that the project moves at the pace of the community. Kiim is a highly motivated community and the people there are keen to see this project move forward.

In January, Eric reported that they were able to get the four main posts painted, upright and most of the cement poured for the bases. The community worked really hard. They had already hand carried yards of sand from the river in sacks, cut 22 logs 6" x 8" x 14 feet long, and 4 posts 10" x 10" x 30 feet long.

The people worked well together to setup posts and hand mix yards of cement. They are really looking forward to completing the project this year.

The photos below show progress to date:

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The photos below show the progress being made on the new Radio Cracker funded classroom:

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ONE YEAR EDUCATION PROJECT TO IMPROVE SLUM CHILDREN’S ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION

Introduction
The Higher education project supported by Radio Cracker in the slums of Delhi has completed five months in July 2013. The project through its course not only achieved the quantifiable outcomes in relation to the objectives outlined in the proposal but also was able to create an environment of acceptance in the above mentioned communities towards education. Considering the sustainability of the project, it was not only the students, but also the families who were involved in the education project.

The biggest achievement of the project could be seen from the result of class XII national board Examination results. All the 15 children from the slum under this programme who were supported have passed.

Objective 1:
To provide materials and information that will support students during their final years of school and improve their chances of getting good results

Outcomes:
Sample paper books played a crucial role in the preparation of a student preparing for her/his final years of schooling (11th and 12th class). Based on the specific demands of the students, sample papers and guide books were distributed. This year sample paper books in subjects like Economics, History, Political Science, English, Accountancy, Physics, Chemistry, and Biology, were distributed to 15 students in different slum communities. After distribution of the sample papers, the staff conducted mock exams at the slum centres in order to monitor directly the usage of the sample paper books. The regular follow-up by the staff motivated the students to be serious in their studies and strive for high marks in the national Exams.

Apart from this, the students were also encouraged to use the slum centre for studying as it provided a quiet environment away from the hustle and bustle of the slum. Computers and newspaper facilities were also utilized by the students to complement their studies.

In June 2013, All 10 children who were studying in the final year of schooling got admission in regular courses in different colleges of Delhi University. This is quite commendable as more students are going for higher education and getting admission to the Delhi University colleges.

Objective 2:
To promote the value of higher education both to prospective students, their families and among wider slum communities

Outcomes:
The biggest challenge that Asha faces is to make the slum dwellers understand the importance of higher education as education is not put as priority and the parents sometimes force their children to work to supplement the family income. This happens mostly at the expense of the child’s education. The Asha staff through the past 5 months has been working closely with the families of the student slum communities. Asha conducted 14 workshops on importance of education in each of its slum centers. The workshops also stressed on the long term benefits that education would provide the family in terms of income as well as social standing. The Asha women’s groups as well as the children’s group also were roped in spreading the awareness about education and with their support the dropout rate of the children from school decreased substantially.

Asha staff also organised weekly meeting with the final year school students to get a feedback regarding their progress as well as current status of their studies. These meetings were also used as forums for the students to share among themselves the challenges they face and study techniques that are used and as a result form a support group.

The community as a whole has been appreciating the efforts of Asha staff and the community volunteers. However there have been pockets of resistance where efforts of Asha have failed to convince families to return children to school. Asha sees these obstacles as challenges to be overcome in the coming year.

Objective 3:
To motivate students in their final year of school and provide them with all the information and guidance they need to choose a suitable career path.

Outcomes:
Asha staff held workshops with the students to impart information on different careers options available. One to one meetings were also held to discuss their future plan and to remove any kind of apprehensions concerning their careers. Educational trips were also organized to different colleges and institutes offering professional courses and orientation sessions were arranged with the faculty to remove any doubts the students may have.

Students who are already in the university from the slums are acting as mentors for the students doing their final two years of school. Today the students from the three slums are very clear as regard to their future course.

Objective 4:
To encourage an increased number of girls to pursue their final year of school thus enhancing prospective admission to tertiary education.

Special efforts were made to encourage girl’s education. Out of the 10 students who had appeared for the final year school leaving exam in March 2013, 6 were girls. This is quite an achievement for Asha in the slum community which till very recently thought about girls in terms of household work and marriage only.

Conclusion
The efforts put in by Staff of Asha and the support received from Radio Cracker in last few months has brought about many positive changes in the lives of students, their families and the slum communities as a whole. Many more students are following the examples and are aiming for higher education. The community has started realizing the importance and value of education and this has given encouragement to Asha staff to go the extra mile in molding an educated generation from the slum communities.

Case Study of Senthil
Senthil wanted to become an accountant and he started working towards it from his childhood, in spite of all the hardships of living in a slum. Senthil lives his parents and four siblings in Jeewan Nagar slum colony. He has been associated with Asha since he was 5 years old. Senthil always stood first in his class and won many prizes in school.

Although Senthil‘s parents were supportive of their children’s studies but were unable to support due to financial problems. His father is a labourer and his mother works as maid. Due to this Senthil‘s sister had to leave her studies to work as sales girl in a showroom.

Asha provided him with books and sample papers and supported and assisted him in many ways so that he could appear for his class X exams confidently. Senthil knew that in order to get into Delhi University he has to work hard. Senthil used to spend at least ten hours every day studying and led disciplined life. As a result of all his hard work he secured 89% in aggregate and 95% in Math and economics and was able to get admission into Venkateshwar College.

Senthil in the narrow lane outside his house
Senthil in the narrow lane outside his house


Case Study: Deependra
One of the first children from Anna Nagar to have secured admission to the degree course in Delhi University this year,19 year old Deependra came to Delhi with his mother and younger brother in 2002. With parents having separated at a very early stage, Deependra initially grew up at his maternal grandfather’s place in Durgapur, West Bengal before coming to Delhi. “I initially hated to stay in this city. I had never grown up in such cramped temporary settlements with shared toilets. I was used to the comfortable lifestyle afforded by my grandparents back in Durgapur. But things were very different here. From the very first day I resolved to get out of here.” Deependra was introduced to Asha in Standard X where he received assistance in the form of sample papers and tuition classes. The partnership with Asha continued in Standard XII all the way to the rigorous and competitive process of admission for the Hindi Honors in Aurobindo College. Both Deependra and his mother were initially skeptical about his pursuing a four year full time course in college since he wanted to start working in order to contribute to the four thousand rupee monthly income (£44) of his mother. However, he has now been convinced by the Asha staff to complete his education in order to have a more stable and secure life ahead. Slightly introverted but nonetheless confident boy, Deependra loves to flip through magazines and newspapers having grown up in his grandfather’s book binding store.

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Story of Sevati
Sevati is a 16 year old girl from Dr. Ambedkar Basti slum community in South of Delhi. She has been associated with Asha right from class 6 through the children’s group. Being from a Muslim family her prospects of studying beyond 10th class were bleak. Her parents were of the view that Sevati should get married as soon as she completes class 10. The Asha staff took special efforts to convince the family about the importance of higher education in the present world especially for a girl and took counseling sessions for both the parents as well as the child. Finally the parents allowed Sevati to continue studies after the 10th class.

In March 2013, Sevati completed her school education. To support her studies, Asha gave her reference guide books and sample papers. Her confidence level has really soared high, and she has no inhibitions in expressing herself. She has become very serious about her studies and has enrolled in college so that she could become a banker.

The story of Sevati is the story of hope and is an inspiration to many girls in her Muslim community to follow her example.

Sevati utilizing the Asha study room
Sevati utilizing the Asha study room


Story of Jasbeer
Jasbeer is a 19 year old boy from Dr. Ambedkar Basti slum. His father is a tailor and his mother is a housewife. The family income is meager enough to make ends meet. When Jasbeer was in his finishing years of school, he was planning to join some vocational course and get into a small job, in order to augment the family income. He did not have any plan or inclination to do college. Asha field staff spoke to both Jasbeer and his family about the value of education. They were initially reluctant but after constant effort from the side of Asha, the parents allowed Jasbeer to continue studies after school. Today Jasbeer is in his first year in Bachelor of Arts in Motilal Nehru College of Delhi University. Jasbeer was able to enroll in college as he was supported by Asha with college fees.

Going to college has transformed Jasbeer’s life. He has become more confident in facing life. He is now able to pursue his passion for learning the guitar in his college. Recently, he got a part time job which he can support his family as well fund for the extra tutorial classes.

Jasbeer in front of his college
Jasbeer in front of his college


Story of Bindu
Bindu Kumari is the third child among five siblings. Her father, Mr. Vinod Kumar runs a small flower shop on road side and her mother is a house wife. The family of 7 live in a small one room house in the slum colony of Ekta Vihar. Today Bindu is in the first year of Bachelor of Arts in Hindi from Ramlal College of Delhi University. One year ago to think of studying in a college was just a dream for her.

When Asha staff approached Bindu in her final year of school, she was preparing herself for marriage in few months’ time. Even though she expressed her desire to study further but was not able to voice it in front of her parents, being well aware of their resistance. When the staff from Asha approached the family they expressed their apprehensions regarding her travel arrangements to and fro from college, whether she will able to find a suitable boy once she is graduate etc. After much counseling of the family, Raviat was allowed attend college.

With the family’s approval, the Asha staff immediately got down to assist Bindu in the admission process of the Delhi University colleges. Finally, after much follow up she got admission in Ramlal College and was supported by Asha for the fees.

Today Bindu is very happy to become first in the family to go to college. Her Family also is very proud about her achievement. Bindu is now helping Asha in spreading awareness about education especially among the girl children in her slum colony. Bindu is very grateful towards Asha and its staff for the pursuing the matter with her family and getting their consent and changing her life.

Bindu with the Asha staff outside the Asha Slum centre in Ekta Vihar slum
Bindu with the Asha staff outside the Asha Slum centre in Ekta Vihar slum


Some photos of the finished halfway-house:

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Grant from Radio Cracker for building Shallow Wells in Malawi

Why Shallow Wells?
Many of the underlying health problems throughout the world are water-related. This is especially true in rural areas of Malawi where dysentery, cholera, malaria, and typhoid are often the result of lack of access to safe drinking water. Many villages in Malawi still depend on surface water collected from open ponds and water holes. This water not only carries disease but also can be polluted from farming chemicals and run off from animal tending.

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A typical water hole before the construction of a shallow well

When there is no well in a village, young women can spend up to half their day fetching and carrying water from several miles away to meet their household needs. This often means they are unable to attend school and get an education. The creation of shallow wells can not only make a major change in the health of an area, but has a life changing impact on the people in the area, freeing up young women to access school and education.

The project funded by support from Radio Cracker is taking place around the Livingstonia catchment area in northern Malawi with a population of over 90,000 people. Currently, only 30% of this population have access to safe and clean water. In 2011 the area was badly affected by an outbreak of Cholera causing 8 deaths and over 20 hospitalisations at David Gordon Memorial Hospital and the Luwuchi health centre, making this water project a high priority for the people living in the area.

One shallow well can provide safe drinking water for up to 400 people.

As a result of Radio Cracker’s support, 36 new shallow wells will be completed in the next two months (the well digging season is from June to November to take best advantage of the weather and water table levels). This project will ensure clean safe drinking water for over 14,000 people.

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"We are very happy to have safe and clean water. We were experiencing a lot of diarrhea cases during the rainy season and spent a lot of money for treatment at the hospital"- Grace Ndovi (Local resident of a village with a recently installed well)

How the money is spent
Each well costs c. £208.00 each – there is slight variation for each well according to transport costs and local labour costs (36 wells – total £7500.00)

Costs include:
Site identification – survey of water quality and viability assessment of each well
Labour for excavation of the wells – local labour used whenever possible providing employment to the area
Cement and pump costs – local materials are used whenever possible
Training of the local communities’ water and hygiene committees – on pump use and maintenance
EMMS International is grateful for the support of Radio Cracker’s listeners. Without their generosity, this project would not have happened.

In 2004, an earthquake devastated many villages in the Rif Mountains in north-west Morocco. Seven years later, many villagers are still living in ‘temporary’ mud and straw huts. During the winters, when the rains come and the temperature drops to freezing, hundreds of families are unable to stay dry and warm. Many children struggle and die with related illnesses such as pneumonia. Here are some pictures of the work we have been able to do with your help.

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Below you can see some photos of one of the many paediatric patients who have benefited from the work of Second Sight.

The eye surgeon was Dr.Samuel Murmu at Bamdah Christian Hospital located in a remote area of the state of Bihar in north India.This place has the worst cataract blindness problem in the world.

This little boy,called Sunil Marandih, aged 8 years, was born with cataract in both eyes. He had some vision and was able to go to school.Then his cataracts progressed to blindness and he started refusing to go to school. (His parents, as is often the case in such situations, did not suspect failing vision as a cause for his truancy).

Staff from Bamdah Christian Hospital found the boy when they went door-to-door doing screening. He has had one eye operated on with great results and will shortly have the other done.

Dr.Samuel is a Christian doctor from one of the many tribal communities in this area of Bihar. He was trained over a period of two years by Second Sight's most experienced ophthalmologists Dr.John Sandford Smith, MBE who is also a committed Christian.

Without Second Sight's training and funding of eye surgery and equipment many children would simply remain blind in Bihar. Even charitable hospitals (of which there are only a few) routinely turn away paediatric patients because their doctors do not have the expertise to operate on them. Christian mission hospitals suffer most from the lack of doctors. Thus Dr.John's training of Dr.Samuel and our funding of the surgery he carries out are having a huge impact on the lives of otherwise forgotten people.

Thank you Radio Cracker for helping us continue this work. We hope that you will be able to do so until we reach our finite objective : the total elimination of cataract blindness in Bihar by the end of the year 2020. Every penny of donated money goes to this work; we do not spend any on admin, salaries our publicity. Every professional who works for Second Sight does so as a volunteer. Our hospitals are very efficient so it costs between £16 and £20 to cure a blind person : this cost includes every cost from going out to villages to screen patients to the artificial lens put into the eye and the post-operative eye drops.

This coming year our partner hospitals in Bihar will cure up up to 60,000 blind people!

More information can be found on www.secondsight.org.uk

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Kids4school works in schools in Tanzania enabling children, who otherwise couldn’t, to go to school. We work with some of the poorest families in the world. We are a child sponsorship charity now helping 600 children to get an education. We work in 5 primary schools (6, from January 2013) and 3 secondary schools. We also run vocational training programs including such things as sewing and uniform making to welding training. Many children will not make the academic route so we see vocational training as a very necessary supplemental part of education. Unfortunately the schools where kids4school work are in need a lot of help. That is why we are involved in not only providing uniforms, books etc., but feeding the children a meal every day. This meal could well be their only meal that day. In addition to that, we go farther by providing equipment and books to schools that are short on just about everything. Also, these schools have no water supply, no electricity, no school meals and no proper toilets.

After application to Radio Cracker in 2011, kids4school was given £10,000 to build necessary toilet blocks and water tanks at the schools. The money was used to build a 12-cubicle toilet block at Kitelera Primary School. Radio Cracker also financed 3 water storage tanks, one at Kitelera, one at Nzasa and the other at Bwawani Primary School.

Every 15 seconds a child dies due to polluted drinking water - that is a hard fact to take in. By harvesting rainwater from the school roof into specially constructed concrete water tanks, the children at the schools will have clean, safe drinking water. Previously there was no water at all at any of the schools. In fact the houses and the villages from which the students come have no clean drinking water at all.

In May, when I was in Tanzania I took a picture of a little girl called Pelisi at Nzasa Primary School. She was having her first drink of clean, pure, safe water and it was from a tank that Radio Cracker had provided. I have to say that I was so excited and just a little bit proud of the folks around Ballymena. It is hard to believe, living somewhere like Northern Ireland where there is sometimes too much water that places like Dodoma Region in Tanzania are so dry and dusty that something as common to us as a drink of clean water, is so precious and important to these children.

Because of the generosity of Radio Cracker, children in our schools will have clean safe water to drink. They will know the benefits of proper sanitation with the toilets we have built. With the help of this great group of committed people, kids4school will continue to be able fulfill it’s motto of ‘making a difference’. I would just like to say on behalf of these children at the 3 schools where Radio Cracker have tanks, Asante Sana – thank you very much.

More information at www.kids4school.org

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VISPA High School was officially opened on 22nd August 2012. Thanks to almighty God for his care and providence.

I would like to thank each of you, and I would like to pass on the heart felt thanks of Hellen , George and all the staff and pupils at VISPA for all your kindness, support and generosity in relation to the building and opening of the school.

The opening ceremony was attended by representatives from the Kenyan Dept of Education and the Administrative Chief of Nyanza provence, and the children performed praise and every speaker gave God the glory for His grace. It was a wonderful day.

The pupils see the school as a great blessing and opportunity, and evidence to them that the Lord has a plan for them. Over 140 pupils are now enrolled in the school, many of whom would not have had the chance of a secondary school education without the intervention of VISPA , and also many who have progressed through the primary school at VISPA and who are currently residing at the orphanage. God willing, 90 pupils will be added each year until the school reaches capacity. This will be a challenge , but God has been faithful to date.

Some pictures are below.

Thanks again for your kindness which has blessed so many, and will be a blessing to come.

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ADVANCE started working in Ogugu village in 2007 when members of 2nd Donegore Presbyterian Church came out to build the Donegore Centre for HIV counselling and care. The work has grown to including care and sponsorship of orphans and vulnerable children, general medical assistance, care of new-born babies whose mothers have died in childbirth, provision of clean water and general Christian care outreach to the community.

The SWELL borehole project has been a resounding success in the village. A village committee is up and running to maintain the borehole and the queue for the taps is long every morning and evening. Muslim and Christian women alike stop us in our path when we visit the village now, to thank us for the clean and accessible water! We pass on their thanks to you as it is only through the funding of Radio Cracker that the project was completed.

It is exciting to be able to share with you also that the emergency accommodation block is complete for now and also being used well. Occasionally we have been able to accommodate children and adults in dire need there. For example one of our child headed households headed by Henry spent some nights there some months back when their house was attacked by ants which were moving through the village! They were eventually able to move back to their house. The accommodation Radio Cracker funded in Ogugu has also been extremely useful for us to train church workers and leaders in issues surrounding HIV, compassionate outreach and child protection. This means that Radio Cracker has helped us reach more people throughout Nigeria with important teaching and skills, not just Ogugu. It is a fabulous resource for us to care and provide much needed emergency help for the community and also for us to expand our training to more people.

Part of the Donegore Centre accommodation which was built before the Radio Cracker flats now has permanent residents; Richard and Laura Morrison who are from Ballymoney and have come to work with us for 2 years. They are a wonderful boost to the work there and Richard is now in charge of completing our most recent project funded by Radio Cracker – the skills acquisition centre. We received your generous donation via Mission Africa in September 2012 and in the same month passed the work into Richard’s hands. He reworked the plan for the building and we contracted a builder to do the work. In early November the builder came back to us to change his quote – to a much higher sum! As you will remember with the borehole project it can be very difficult to find reliable workers who will stick to contracts. Therefore, the plan for now is that Richard will start the process of making bricks with local workmen rather than taking on the builder. This has caused some delay in the work, but we are eager to use every gift we receive as wisely as possible so that the money accomplishes as much as possible for the people of Ogugu, so we feel this is best for now.

We have a donation from another church for sewing machines for the Centre when it is built, and we will be working on the teaching manuals in the New Year. Henry, who I mentioned earlier, is an apprentice tailor and we hope that when the building is complete he will be our tailoring teacher. Victor who already works with us and Richard are both skilled in teaching basic computing so they will take on that part of the skills Centre. We hope that now the rains have stopped the building will go up fairly quickly. We already have a priority list of young people and women who will be part of our first intake next year.

One of the girls who will be a priority for the tailoring school is called Paulina. She is now 18 years old and therefore is ready to be ‘graduated’ from the sponsorship scheme. She was training as a tailor after failing school exams in 2009. However in 2010 she was attacked and raped in her own home and fell pregnant from the rape. We got involved with her at that time and both her and her beautiful baby girl are receiving sponsorship. The baby will remain on sponsorship, but it is our hope that Paulina can go back to tailoring with the help of the Radio Cracker skills Centre and through this she will see that there is still hope for her, even after all she has been through in her short life.

Radio Cracker has already established their legacy in Ogugu, and from what I have explained above it is obvious that there are many more young people and vulnerable children and adults who will go on receiving hope through the ADVANCE projects you have chosen to sponsor. I have mentioned just Henry and Paulina in this report, there are so many more Henry’s and Paulina’s in Ogugu who are being and who will be given a better chance for the future because of Radio Cracker’s generosity. So once again we want to say a huge THANK YOU to all of you who give your time to raise funds over the Christmas period, and for those of you who take time to consider projects for funding, and of course to the people of Ballymena who never tire of giving. May God bless you for all that you do for the most needy in today’s world.

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Zoë-Life specialises in addressing crucial areas of need, with a core focus on health (HIV, TB and malaria), child survival (infant feeding, nutrition, shelter and illness management), and family strengthening (psychosocial support and parental health). Zoë-Life operates from and in KwaZulu-Natal province, where the HIV and TB co-epidemic is most severe.

In conjunction with Westville Christian Fellowship, it hopes to embark on an ambitious project to build a church, a school and other multi purpose buldings in the Chesterville area of Durban, and funds from Radio Cracker will provide a classroom at the school. Find out more at their website - www.zoe-life.co.za

The renovations on Ward A2 begin in early 2011 thanks to donated funds from Radio Cracker and High Kirk Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland. Ceilings are lowered, walls are painted, and floors are resurfaced.

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July 2011: Leslie, Dave and Ken arrive onsite at McCord and commence their two-week renovation project: transforming what was originally three different office sites into what will become McCord’s brand new Baby Nursery!

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On behalf of every McCord Hospital staff member and from every mother and baby to whom this project will make a huge difference for years to come, SIYABONGA (thank you). You have made a profound difference. Please keep in touch and come back to see the Maternity Ward completed and in action. With love, McCord staff and patients.

Emmanuel Hospitals have been the beneficiaries of Radio Cracker funds for many years. Two years ago, thanks to Radio Cracker funds, Broadwell Christian Hospital was able to build new staff accommodation to replace the damp, cramped former building and last year funds helped to build a community clinic in Malawi. One of the alternative gifts available in the Radio Cracker shop is a mosquito net to help prevent malaria. For only £5, you can provide protection against this debilitating disease in Malawi.

This year Chinchpada Christian Hospital will receive money to build a new 20 bed maternity ward. Chinchpada Hospital, in Maharastra state, serves a mainly tribal community who are living a subsistence existence. They are some of the poorest people in India. The health and development indices of the area are among the worst in the country. 75% families live below the poverty line, 50 – 60% of girls are married before age 18yrs, female literacy is around 37% and maternal mortality is about 8 per every 100 live births. Tribal communities are unable to save for health care as what earnings they have are utilized for food and other basic needs.

Last year Chinchpada Hospital cared for 1,600 in-patients, 6,000 out-patients and conducted 200 deliveries and 400 surgeries. Over the years the hospital infrastructure, now 60 years old, has become run-down with, in places, severe fabric deterioration making conditions difficult for patients and staff and compromising hygiene and infection control. Some buildings are in urgent need of renovation and others have been repaired several times but renovating them to an acceptable standard is no longer viable or cost effective. Because the hospital caters for the very poor it does not have the capacity to pay for the upgrade of the hospital infrastructure. The team at Chinchpada are seeking support from outside the local community to help them improve the hospital and thereby its services.

You can find out more details on the Emmanuel Hospital website - www.eha-health.org

In 2006 a team of Coaching4Christ volunteers travelled to Kisumu, Nyanza province, Kenya to outreach using soccer, to the young people in this area. Whilst there they met George and Hellen Ochieng, founders of the Vispa Emmanuel Christian Academy and Vision and Passion Orphanage. It was after meeting George and Hellen, seeing and working with the children and witnessing the conditions of the orphanage and school that hearts were stirred.

Coaching4Christ would like to support Vision and Passion to extend it’s work by helping them relocate the primary school and build a new secondary school and dormitories on a new site. The land has already been purchased for the project, and plans have been drawn up for the building work to commence.

One of the most important first steps in the project is the provision of a clean, fresh water supply, and last year, funds from Radio Cracker went towards the sinking of a borehole and construction of a large water storage tank. This will ensure enough water for the building work, and then a clean supply of uncontaminated water for the children and staff of the schools for drinking, washing and sanitation.

Hellen Ochieng was in Ballymena in early November this year, and she reported back to Radio Cracker the effect that the borehole has had – "I can hardly begin to describe the difference that this has already made to the area: the people of the Rabour area are saying it has brought the very presence of God back to our town. It has given us much hope for the future. We have also been able to dig a vegetable patch, and have already begun to grow our own vegetables. Please pass on our sincere thanks to all those involved in Radio Cracker for their compassion, love and faithfulness. We are so very thankful."

This year, Radio Cracker hopes to further support the work in Kenya by providing funds to start bulding the school on the site. Find out more at the Coaching for Christ website – www.coaching4christ.co.uk

In 2010, £13,500 was given to the charity “Second Sight” to carry out 900 cataract operations in India. Charity founder, Lucy Mathen, was in India in August 2010, and met one of the children who underwent an operation to get back his sight, and she was told by his teacher that he is now top of his class in school – a wonderful story of new hope for that young boy.

The man in this picture is 32year-old Dr Shiva, an eye surgeon living in the state of Orissa in India. The woman is ophthalmologist Dr Lucy Mathen from the London-based charity Second Sight. The boys are 9year-old Subala Suna and 12year-old Ranjit Bariha. Both were blind and had their sight restored by cataract surgery. Lucy met Dr Shiva and discovered that: - He had single-handedly cured 6,000 blind people in the past year - He had offered all the surgery free of charge - He took no salary and sleeps on the floor of his office - He works from 4.30am till midnight most days. Why?

Shiva comes from a poor family himself. So he has dedicated his life as an ophthalmologist to eradicating blindness from his home state...an area where up to half the population lives on less than 15pence a day. With his surgical skills he could be earning a fortune in one of India’s wealthy cities (where 80 per cent of eye surgeons work in private practice). Second Sight seeks out doctors like Dr Shiva who are actually curing the blind. Second Sight's own experienced volunteer surgeons also work alongside teams like Dr Shiva’s and cure the blind themselves.

Second Sight does not spend one penny of donated money on office costs. Second Sight is run by volunteers. So our money goes straight to the hospital where the operation is carried out, and in 2010 Radio Cracker supported Gems Hospital, an evangelical Christian hospital in India. Find out more about Second Sight at their website - www.secondsight.org.uk

In 2010 Radio Cracker members Drew Robinson and Adrian Pogue visited some of the Mission Africa projects in Nigeria which have been supported in previous years, and they were most impressed by the way in which those donations were put to good use. In 2010 we were glad to be able to again support the wheelchair project in Jos for victims of polio with a £7,500 donation, and it was a very special morning when they visited the workshop where the wheelchairs were being made, and spoke with some of the men working there. Emmanuel, David and Edison are all victims of polio, and were busy putting together the bearings for the handlebars of the wheelchair when we arrived. Emmanuel was keen to explain how getting his wheelchair for the first time had transformed his life. He could now go to church, and go to work, providing an income for his family, and he wanted to make sure that we would bring his thanks to all those here in Ballymena who had made it possible for him and so many others to get a second start in life. In the afternoon, they attended the presentation of nine new wheelchairs to needy individuals.

Next day, was a visit to Gyero farm and school, bought with donations from Radio Cracker some years ago. Here, boys and girls are provided with an education and training in a trade which they can use to support themselves when they leave. Last year, money from Radio Cracker went towards the building of a dormitory on the Gyero site, and it is now up to roof level. In 2010 we were able to donate £1,500, which they hoped to use to bring water from the standpipe into all the buildings in the compound, and provide more toilet facilities for the children there.

Later in the trip they travelled down to Ogugu – over 8 hours by car south of Jos – to see some of the work being carried out by Mission Africa there. Advance is the name of the project run by Billy and Linda Abwa in the area looking after vulnerable children and people with HIV/Aids. Adrian and Drew witnessed the excellent work being carried out in the Donegore Centre in Ogugu – funded and supported by folk from 2nd Donegore church. There is an after school club, testing facilities for HIV/Aids, facilities for eye testing and provision of glasses where necessary, and they also have a sponsorship scheme for 96 children at present, which provides shelter, food, medicine and schooling for a child for just £10 per month, and there is a waiting list of over 160 other children. In 2010 we donated £7,000which will go towards completing some accommodation, pipe water from the proposed borehole in to the houses, and help support the children on the waiting list.

Further details of these and other Mission Africa projects can be found on their websites – www.missionafrica.org.uk www.advanceaction.org

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