Tag Archives: global fund for children

February 6, 2013

The Global Fund for Children in South Africa (Part 2)

To learn more about the experiences of children and families in South Africa, we spoke with Emmanuel Otoo, program officer for Africa at The Global Fund for Children (GFC). If you’d like to donate to The Global Fund for Children to support their work in South Africa and beyond, visit their website or add a donation at check-out when making an online purchase from Tea Collection!

If you missed part one of the interview with Emmanuel, you can see it here.

Photo taken at the Sophiatown Community Psychological Services in South Africa.

 

 

What inspires you about the South Africa region?

Despite their painful history, South Africans exhibit strong unity and determination to succeed, and that inspires me a lot. I am also inspired by the South African constitution, and the vision and passion that went into its making. The vision and bravery of Nelson Mandela, his selflessness, and his willingness and ability to sacrifice his freedom for humanity have always been a source of inspiration as well.

Photo taken at the Sophiatown Community Psychological Services in South Africa.

Describe a day in the life of a typical GFC-sponsored child in South Africa.

Chipo is the 14-year-old son of Angela, who fled with him and his two siblings to South Africa following a gruesome attack on their home by rebels in a war-torn country.

Chipo sleeps in a kitchen that his family shares with another family in an overcrowded apartment in a huge slum building. In the morning, Chipo gets up and eats a bowl of porridge. He helps his mother with some household chores and assists in taking care of his younger siblings before leaving for school. After school, Chipo drops off his schoolbag at home and goes to the market in search of leftover food or work to bring some money home to supplement his mother’s income.

When he returns home, Chipo goes with his mother and two siblings to Sophiatown Community Psychological Services, a grassroots organization supported by The Global Fund for Children. There, his family participates in art therapy and counseling, receives food, and plays games. Chipo is one of hundreds of refugee children who are being supported by Sophiatown to help them recover from their traumatic experiences.

Passionate about animals, Chipo loves to hold and care for them, and he hunts for abandoned kittens on the street. His dream is to be a teacher when he grows up—it is our hope that GFC and Sophiatown will help give him that chance.

Photo taken at the Sophiatown Community Psychological Services in South Africa.

What does Ubuntu mean to you?

Ubuntu is an Nguni word that has its origins in the Bantu languages of Southern Africa. While it has no direct translation in English, it is used to describe a particular African worldview that focuses on people’s allegiances to and relations with each other. Ubuntu describes a situation in which people can only find fulfillment through interacting with and supporting other people. It represents a spirit of kinship across both race and creed that unites people for a common purpose.

Leymah Gbowee, a Liberian peace activist, defined Ubuntu as “I am what I am because of who we all are.”

Archbishop Desmond Tutu, a South African activist, said, “A person with Ubuntu is open and available to others, affirming of others, does not feel threatened that others are able and good, based from a proper self-assurance that comes from knowing that he or she belongs in a greater whole and is diminished when others are humiliated or diminished, when others are tortured or oppressed.”

That said, Ubuntu does not mean that people should not enrich themselves. It means you need to think and act beyond your immediate personal needs—you will benefit from doing so, in addition to benefitting others. The question, therefore, is: Are you going to enrich yourself in order to promote the well-being of your community? If the answer is yes—that is Ubuntu.

 

 

February 4, 2013

The Global Fund for Children in South Africa (part 1)

To learn more about the experiences of children and families in South Africa, we spoke with Emmanuel Otoo, program officer for Africa at The Global Fund for Children (GFC). If you’d like to donate to The Global Fund for Children to support their work in South Africa and beyond, visit their website or add a donation at check-out when making an online purchase from Tea Collection!

A child at the Teboho Trust, a GFC grantee partner in Soweto, South Africa. Teboho Trust makes sure orphans and other vulnerable children get the support they need to succeed in school–sometimes that means going to school on the weekend to stay ahead! But the hard work pays off: last year, 100 percent of the students were promoted to the next grade level. Congratulations, kids!

What is the major need in the South Africa region at the moment?

According to our partners in the field, the major need is to systematically and practically promote social inclusion and improvement in the education system, especially at the early-childhood and elementary stages.

There is also a major skills shortage in South Africa—a significant number of youth have not received relevant education or acquired the appropriate skills to be competitive in South Africa’s job market. To that end, development of small businesses, social enterprises, and community entrepreneurship is another area that needs reengineering and support.

What’s something special about South Africa that most Americans do not know?

Perhaps what many people are not aware of is that migration is an integral part of South African history and its present reality, and that cities like Johannesburg owe their existence to migrant laborers. Also, in spite of the country’s extreme levels of poverty compared to the United States, South Africans come together and make efforts to support one another.

More of the students from the Saturday Academy run by Teboho Trust.

What are some games that the kids like to play in South Africa?

Most boys in Africa are passionate about soccer, which they often play in school or on practically any field they can find. The same is true in South Africa, where boys make their own soccer balls out of rolled, stuffed, and string-tied plastic bags. Kids also make their own toys, such as cars made out of scrap metal and wire, which they often play with on the sidewalk.

Young girls in South Africa play skipping, clapping, and jumping games. One favorite game for girls is jumping through and over elastic bands made from old pantyhose. At school, girls often play netball because equipment for this game is usually available on the playground.

How is playing different in South Africa from playing in America?

The average American kid plays games on computers, tablets, iPods, and video game consoles like Wii and Xbox. There is also a strong culture of play at amusement parks such as Walt Disney World, Six Flags, and Busch Gardens during warm months and in warmer states like Florida and California.

Kids in South Africa, especially those who are part of the populations GFC serves, do not have easy access to technology, are unfamiliar with “gaming” as a form of recreation, and also do not have access to playground equipment or amusement parks. They improvise by creating innovative toys made out of scrap materials and leftover fabric. They often do not have designated play areas and resort to playing on sidewalks and in empty fields.

But kids in the United States and in South Africa are perhaps more similar than they are different—they all love to play, have fun, and make mischief.

Stay tuned for the rest of our interview with Emmanuel later this week—he’ll tell us about Chipo, a South African boy served by one of GFC’s grantees. Emmanuel also shares his own understanding of Ubuntu.

 

November 19, 2012

Tea and the Global Fund for Children in action

Kids in Tea clothes in China

GFC distributing Tea clothes in Feng County.

Over the past few years, Tea has worked hand in hand with the Global Fund for Children (GFC) to donate money and resources to grassroots organizations that transform the lives of the world’s most vulnerable children.  This past summer Tea sent clothes to GFC to donate in China’s Feng County.  Many children in this area of rural China are considered “invisible” because they are neglected by the government and unaccounted for.  It takes dedicated grassroots organizations to find and help these forgotten kids.

Boy in donated Tea clothes.

One reason we keep giving. Do your part today.

You too can help GFC reach more needy children.  Every holiday season, Tea and GFC collaborate and create the Little Citizens Holiday Pajamas.    All proceeds from the purchase of these pajamas go towards the Global Fund for Children, so they can help children around the world learn, grow, and thrive.

Tea Collection's Little Citizen Pajamas

Dress your little citizen up for the holidays!

 

March 14, 2012

Global Fund for Children Visits Tea!

corporate/nonprofit partnership

Left to Right: Leigh (Tea Co-Founder), Kristin (Global Fund for Children CEO), & Emily (Tea Co-Founder)

We were thrilled to host Kristin Lindsey, the CEO of the Global Fund for Children, a grantmaking organization that benefits vulnerable children worldwide, last week at our office.  Tea continues to raise funds for this amazing organization by donating proceeds from our Little Citizens line as well as designating certain days where we donate a percentage of our sales to their work.

During her visit, Kristin inspired Tea staff by sharing stories of the children and women aided by the programs they fund. She highlighted how they work with grassroots organizations led by community members who can make a greater, longer lasting impact compared to imported solutions.  We left that day feeling thankful for our partnership with such a wonderful organization.  To learn more about The Global Fund for Children’s work, visit www.globalfundforchildren.org.

March 9, 2012

More than a Uniform

Elise Hofer Derstine is co-author of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World, a Global Fund for Children book. Part of the proceeds from each book sale supports The Global Fund for Children’s (GFC) grantmaking program, benefitting vulnerable children and youth worldwide. Total War Against AIDS Youth Foundation, featured in this post, is a GFC grantee partner.

Children in Uniform from Madaraka Community School

Just about anywhere in the world, you can find children wearing school uniforms.  Kids sitting in rows of desks, wearing pleated skirts or khaki pants, knee-socks or cotton dresses—wearing blue, purple, gray, or yellow.

You can easily spot the kids who attend the Madaraka Community School in Likoni, Kenya, because they wear a beautiful, vibrant pink. You’ll see them eating breakfast together before school starts, or at the end of the day playing in clusters of twos and threes.

For many of these children, and so many others throughout the world, a school uniform is a cherished and special outfit. Likoni is one of the poorest districts in the area surrounding Mombasa, Kenya’s second largest city. Though Mombasa itself boasts a breathtaking coastline, with all the amenities and attractions of a top tourist destination, the aura of luxury quickly fades in Likoni.

In addition to the community’s daily struggle with poverty, HIV/AIDS is a significant issue. Despite Kenya’s national HIV prevalence rate of 6.3 percent, in Likoni the rate hovers around 16 percent. As a result, many children are orphaned or abandoned, left to live and work on the streets where they are at risk of exploitation and abuse.

But the children wearing pink are being cared for and protected. Total War Against AIDS Youth Foundation (TWAAYF), which runs the Madaraka Community School, is a youth-led community development organization that empowers orphaned children and youth through art and education.

At the school—one of three core programs at TWAAYF—children receive learning materials and a nutritious breakfast and lunch in addition to their lessons. Classes are taught by specially trained teachers with a curriculum that borrows from the Montessori model. Though the school asks parents and guardians to pay a small amount of money to support the program, no child is rejected because of an inability to pay.

And of course, each child gets a pink uniform. The children come from poor households, and many of them have lost loved ones to AIDS. But the uniforms show they have a place where they belong—a place where they can be nurtured and cared for, and where the future is bright.


February 27, 2012

Celebrating What We Wear

Today we’re thrilled feature an interview with Maya Ajmera, the founder of The Global Fund for Children and co-author of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World , a children’s book that uncovers significance and connections through global clothing.  A portion of the proceeds from each book sale supports The Global Fund for Children’s grantmaking program.

children's book

What inspired you to write a book about children’s clothing?

As a child of South Asian descent growing up in the US, I loved when we had dress up day at school. I would dress up in a Salwar Kameez from India—a long tunic with pants underneath. It was very colorful and fun, but it was also very different from the really nice Easter dresses that the other girls were wearing. Growing up in the South at that time, I didn’t know a lot of children who were different culturally. This book hits home for me—it explores and celebrates those differences.

school house children in Cambodia

Kindergarten students at the Self Help Community Center in Cambodia show off their new school uniforms.

How does the book relate to your work with The Global Fund for Children?

Throughout the world we support children in various circumstances, and even if the children are poor, they always have something nice to wear set aside. It could be a good pair of shoes, or a nice top, a school uniform—but it’s something that a child or family holds onto very dearly, often for celebrations.

I think about our work with indigenous groups in Guatemala and their traditional woven clothing. Or the Self Help Community Centre in Cambodia; these children are extremely poor, but they have brightly colored uniforms that they love—those uniforms mean a lot, and those colors mean a lot. It’s about dignity and identity.

Guatemalan Girl

This young Guatemalan girl wears a dress traditional to the indigenous Ixil Maya. A beneficiary of GFC grantee partner Asociación para el Desarrollo Integral y Multidisciplinario APPEDIBIMI, she is also featured on the back cover of What We Wear: Dressing Up Around the World.

What do you hope children will get out of reading this book?

I hope children will recognize the many things they have in common in how they dress up. But I hope they also notice and enjoy the many differences in color and style. Everything from sports uniforms to beadwork to face paint—it’s all dressing up and it’s all fun.

What’s up next for Global Fund for Children Books?

We’re finishing up a book about global health called Healthy Kids. It explores the things all children need to be safe and healthy. And part of being healthy is the clothing you wear—clothing in many ways is about identity, but it also provides protection and helps you stay healthy!

Be sure to enter the “What We Wear” photo contest by submitting a photo of your child in their favorite outfit to globalfundforchildren@gmail.com for your chance to win a copy of the “What we Wear” book and a $100 Tea gift certificate. Find the official entry rules here: http://bit.ly/AAa1XB.

 

January 17, 2012

Thank You for your Donation!

In late November of 2011, Tea donated one item of clothing for every order placed to the Global Fund for Children, an organization that helps advance the dignity of at-risk children by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic. Our response was amazing, and thanks to you we were able to donate over 2,500 clothing items to at-risk children throughout the world. The Global Fund for Children was so overjoyed with this donation that they sent us this lovely card, pictured below.

Thank you for continuing to help us support this wonderful organization. Learn more about our partnership with the Global Fund for Children on our website. Or, shop our Little Citizens line where proceeds from these items benefit the Global Fund for Children.

December 5, 2011

Tea’s Global Children’s Clothes Donation

On November 28th and 29th, Tea donated one piece of clothing to the Global Fund for Children for every order placed online or at a Tea retailer.  The Global Fund for Children is an organization that helps advance the dignity of at-risk children by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Through your purchases and the help of the Global Fund for Children, Tea was able to donate over 2,500 articles of clothing to the following organizations:

  1. Jamghat- Located in New Delhi, India, Jamghat provides a safe and supportive environment for street children to enable them to evolve physically and emotionally.
  2. Baoji Xinxing-Baoji Xinxing provides rehabilitation, education, recreation, and vocational skills to street children in central China.
  3. Associação Excola-Helping children in the heart of downtown Rio de Janeiro, Associação Excola works to empower youth living on the streets to make long-term positive changes in their lives.
  4. Homeless Children’s Playtime Project-Located in the District of Columbia, Homeless Children’s Playtime Project nurtures healthy child development and reduces the effects of trauma among children living in temporary housing programs.
  5. The Associate of Children and youth with Disabilities- Based in Moldova, this organizations provides direct support for children with multiple disabilities through an annual integration summer camp.
  6. Maison de la Gare St. Louis (MDGSL)- A child-oriented organization located in Senegal that works to promote the social and economic integration of talibés, young boys who are sent by their families to urban areas to study the Qu’ran but often end up being subjected to conditions akin to slavery and forced labor

 

We’re thrilled that our loyal fans helped us award these organizations with such a meaningful donation. Tea Collection supports the Global Fund for Children because they also work to celebrate cultures around the world.   How do you give back? Share your thoughts about charitable giving in the comments section below.

Learn more about Tea’s work with the Global Fund for Children.  Proceeds from our Little Citizens line are donated to the Global Fund for Children.

November 11, 2011

Give the Gift that Gives Back: Little Citizens Pajamas

The holiday rush is upon us.  This year, in the midst of all the gift-buying, wrapping, cooking, traveling, and relatives, Tea wants you to take a moment to focus on the core of the holiday:  giving and gratitude.

At Tea, we’re thankful for our continued success, our loyal fan base, and our dedicated, creative staff.  We’re also thankful that we all have food, shelter, and most importantly, our families.  We know that this isn’t the case for many people in the world and that’s why we believe in giving back by donating 50% of all proceeds from our Little Citizens line to the Global Fund for Children.

 

This holiday by purchasing our Little Citizen pajamas for all the little citizens on your shopping list, you will also be donating to the Global Fund for Children– an organization that works to advance the dignity of vulnerable children and youth by supporting and strengthening grass root groups and effectively utilizing media to highlight the disparities experienced by this demographic.

Give the greatest gift of all; partner with Tea as we work with the Global Fund for Children to ensure all the little citizens of the world have a voice.  Explore our Little Citizens girls pajamas and boys pajamas today. (View the inspiration and pajamas picture in behind the design.)

This year, how do you plan to give back?  Please share your stories of giving and gratitude below in our comments section.

October 14, 2010

Education Levels Around the World

Though we love designing and creating inspired children’s clothing, children’s education is one issue that is always top of mind, as parents and citizens of the world. This is why we continue to support the efforts of The Global Fund for Children, whose mission is to advance the dignity of children and youth around the world.

The graphic below speaks directly to the issue of global education and serves as a reminder of the progress that still needs to be made throughout the world. We hope you find it as interesting as we do and continue to support organizations like the Global Fund for Children and other non-profits that help the little citizens of the world.

(Click Image to Enlarge)

Education Levels Around the World

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