Tag Archive: Africa

Africa aid mission: Bradford grandma needs to raise £4,000 to send off container

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ON A MISSION: Razia Amini will head off to Sierra Leone with the 40ft container in October

ON A MISSION: Razia Amini will head off to Sierra Leone with the 40ft container in October

A fundraising grandmother from Bradford will be heading off on her latest charity venture later this year after filling a mammoth 40ft container with aid for those most in need.

56-year-old Razia Amini will travel to Sierra Leone in October as she aims to provide supplies to orphaned children and poverty stricken areas in the African country.

SUPPLIES: A range of goods have been collected and purchased, including gardening equipment

SUPPLIES: A range of goods have been collected and purchased, including gardening equipment

After spending 10 months collecting a plethora of goods, the selfless humanitarian is ready to embark on the mission on behalf of Humanity First.

“This will be my first trip to Sierra Leone,” she said. “Following the Ebola crisis and the increased levels of poverty in the country, I think help is needed there more than anywhere else.

“I have heard accounts from people who have travelled there in recent times and about the amount of help that is needed for so many people including a lot of orphaned children. The place is in such a bad state.”

Contained within the bursting storage unit worth of supplies are 50 bicycles, 260 school chairs, 30 tables, and hundreds of camping beds.

Twenty computers, all in good working condition, have also been donated to the appeal with Razia hoping to see them put to good use for a long time.

 “The intention is to set up a room, like we did in Gambia, where a minimum fee is charged and adults are taught basic computer skills,” she said.

“The money raised will go towards a charity in Sierra Leone so it is beneficial for all parties over there.”

With a bounty-load of goods still waiting to be moved from her Heaton home to the container, there is still work to be done by the one-woman crusader.

Despite funding the majority of the collections herself, Razia is now in need of support to help send the goods to Africa – a cost which will amount to £4,000.

 “My appeal is really to the big business people out there,” she said. “They can change the lives of so many people by helping to send this container. If we pass the target, anything extra will go towards supporting orphanages and children in Sierra Leone.”

If you would like to make a donation to Razia’s aid mission, you can do so by visiting: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Humanity-First1

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Ruth’s refugee recital: BBC voiceover call for local student

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NARRATING: Selame Negussie was chosen by the BBC to voiceover the animated story of a child refugee

NARRATING: Selame Negussie was chosen by the BBC to voiceover the animated story of a child refugee

A Bradford student, who arrived in the UK as a refugee from Africa during her teenage years, has been selected to voice a BBC cartoon about the plight of other child refugees.

Selame Negussie, who studies at Bradford College, has narrated an animated tale of a 14-year-old girl who, after being forced to flee her home in Eritrea, made the treacherous journey to England.

The short, called ‘Ruth’s Story’, was originally made for CBBC’s Newsround programme and is on the broadcaster’s website.     

In the story, Ruth decides she must leave Eritrea after being told she either had to marry someone she didn't know or join the military.

A harrowing journey by foot, lorry, boat and train through Sudan, Libya, Italy and France saw her eventually reach England, where she now lives with a foster family.

In their search for someone with an East African accent to provide the voiceover, programme makers contacted an Ethiopian restaurant in Leeds, Melkam Megeb, which is run by Selame’s family and the 21-year-old agreed to travel to Media City in Salford for the recording.

Having made the move to the England from Africa - albeit in less traumatic circumstances - and having done volunteer work with refugees in Bradford, Selame was thrilled to have been chosen to help with the educational piece.

“I hope that the children who watch this will become a bit more understanding when they see other children like Ruth, who didn’t speak English when she arrived in England, struggle in school,” she said.

“I hope that instead of laughing at them or mocking them, they can actually help them and become friends with them.

“Fortunately for me I did not go through such horrors, all thanks to God. But I do know of some people who have been through something similar.

“I'm very happy that Ruth is now in a safe place and I hope that her story can be used to voice the voiceless and help put an end to the current immigration crisis.

“The fact that I used my voice to tell the story of the girl from the same background as me felt amazing.”

Selame joined Bradford College in 2013, after moving to the UK. Having successfully attained GCSE and AS Levels at the college she is now on a science course that she hopes will help her progress to study psychology at university.

The cartoon can be seen at www.bbc.co.uk/newsround/36714334

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Police start moving migrants out of school

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Police started moving hundreds of refugees and migrants out of a decommissioned secondary school in Paris early on Friday 23rd October, ending a four-month stand-off over their use of the building.

Officers cordoned off the area before dawn as the inhabitants, including refugees from Afghanistan, Eritrea and other trouble spots, gathered calmly in the school grounds waiting for buses to pick them up.

Police at the scene declined to comment on the operation or say where the migrants were going.

About 100 migrants moved into the empty Lycee Jean-Quarre building in the capital's northern 19th arrondissement in July and numbers soon climbed to more than 700.

In September, a French court gave them a month to leave the premises, which city authorities had been hoping to renovate to turn into a temporary shelter for migrants and, eventually, a library.
European leaders have struggled to agree on a strategy to deal with a surge of people arriving at their borders from Syria and other war-ravaged regions in the Middle East and Africa.

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Generous Gran heads to Africa

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APPEAL: Razia has spent her on money purchasing sewing machines for people in Africa and is appealing for more equipment to be donated

APPEAL: Razia has spent her on money purchasing sewing machines for people in Africa and is appealing for more equipment to be donated

Sewing machines wanted prior to take-off

A charitable grandmother from Bradford is set to venture half way around the world later this year as she hopes to set up a sewing centre in one of Africa’s most deprived nations.

54-year-old Razia Amini, from Heaton, will head to Burkina Faso at the end of May as a representative of the Humanity First charity.

Having already completed two successful trips to the Gambia in the last two years, she is once again calling on the public to help her in her quest to support some of the world’s most vulnerable families.

“This year I am specifically appealing for sewing machines,” she explained. “When we arrive in Burkina Faso we are hoping to set up a self-operating ‘sewing centre’.

“Our initial plan is to hire one member of staff, and train her in the field before she then teaches them same skills to the group which will enable the site to run independently and self-sufficiently.

“The products they make, and services provided, will help them earn a wage in an area of major unemployment and also act as a safe place in the area.”

WORK: The machines will be used to set up a ‘sewing centre’ where women in Burkina Faso can earn a living

WORK: The machines will be used to set up a ‘sewing centre’ where women in Burkina Faso can earn a living

Razia will spend two weeks in the country alongside one or two other representatives from the charity where they will focus their work on the sewing centre and a local school.

A huge container full of supplies is already being prepared to be shipped prior to Razia’s departure, which so far includes more than 40 sewing machines amongst thousands of other items.

The truck-load of products will be twice the size of her previous collections, and Razia admits it will be a new experience.

“It is going to be a new challenge and we are going to a very poor area but it is something I am looking forward to and prepared for.”

As well as the sewing machines, Razia is also appealing for other donations.

“The major appeal this year is of course the sewing machines but I am also hoping to gather bikes which can help children get access to education which they previously never had,” she said.

“I’m also calling on schools, and businesses who may be refurbishing to donate desks, chairs and laptops which will be put to very good use in the country.”

Almondbury Community School, in Huddersfield, is one educational establishment which has already got involved with the appeal, donating masses of their furniture.

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