• about

    who we are

    ABOUT

    “There are those who say that what we are doing is a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less without that missing drop”. Mother Teresa

    Kind Gestures echoes the sentiments of Mother Teresa through its charitable work. Wherever there is a need we are prepared to listen and most importantly, use our energies and resources to respond.

    By not identifying ourselves solely with one particular illness, project or disability, Kind Gestures has been uniquely able to respond to cries for assistance from many different areas and for many different purposes, whether it is the long term education and training of a special needs child, or a request for emergency aid following natural disasters.

    Kind Gestures has its eye on the world, supporting both local and international projects. The mandate of Kind Gestures is to provide medical, educational and leisure facilities for children suffering from illness, disability or poverty, where ever and whenever they occur.

    The public response to Kind Gestures continues to be tremendous and, to date, Kind Gestures provides assistance to no less than 60 beneficiaries in the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, Asia, Africa and Europe. Donations to these various recipients come in the form of funding, equipment, facilities and/or manpower.

    A salient factor of all the projects supported by Kind Gestures is that they are run at the local level, thus ensuring that as much of the money donated as possible goes directly towards the needs of the children.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Afghanistan

    Bangladesh

    Cuba

    Haiti

    India

    Kenya

    Lebanaon

    Pakistan

    Philippines

    Saudi Arabia

    Sierra Leone

    Tanzania

    Thailand

    United Arab Emirates

    Yemen

    Zanzibar

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    PROJECTS GALLERY

  • EVENTS

    OUR FUNCTIONS

    EVENTS

    Kind Gestures has many events throughout the year to raise funds for children’s charities worldwide. We have been fortunate enough to be supported in our endeavour by the generosity of the people of Dubai, who have always readily come forward to pledge their help for our events.

    Following are the events that we have been holding annually for the past many years.

    1. Children’s Fair The first Children’s Fair was held in 2004 and then every successive year till 2013. The purpose was two-fold, to fundraise for children’s charities worldwide and to create a forum whereby children in the community could interact with those with special needs, something that they were rarely able to do in Dubai. Companies in Dubai responded wonderfully, sponsoring the food, drinks and gifts for the children to take home and it was amazing to see how our children helped those who were “different” to play the games and enjoy the day.

    2. Ladies High Tea

    3. Ladies Lunch

    4. Gala Dinner

  • Events gallery

    EVENTS GALLERY

  • COMMITTEE

    OUR MEMBERS

    COMMITTEE

    • Zenny Hirji
    • Deena Motiwalla
    • Ashumi Siroya
    • Aziz Nizari
    • Ezzat Kanaani
    • Faridah Ajmal
    • Jawahar Chhoda
    • Jyoti Karmali
    • Kamu Bhavnani
    • Munira Gangji
    • Yasmin Kassam
    • Yokut Schmid

    PATRON

    • H.H. Sheikh Ahmed Bin Saeed Al Maktoum
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    STAY IN TOUCH

    CONTACT

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    DONATION

    Kind Gestures Have Long Echoes

    Kind Gestures appeals to philanthropists, donor agencies, communities and individuals to join with us in our efforts to help those in greatest need.

    Your support helps the poor to help themselves in ways that allow them to create change from the bottom up, on a massive scale.

    If you are able to contribute or would like more information on Kind Gestures please contact us at
    kindgestures1@gmail.com

    We thank you for your continued support!

  • CHF

    DISCLAIMER

    CHF DISCLAIMER!

    Thank you for visiting CHF Dubai. Due to changes in local regulations, the Dubai chapter of the Children’s Hope Foundation has closed.

    However, the committee of volunteers continues to work with local organizations, raising funds for those who need it the most, the children.

    Please continue browsing this website to see the projects we have supported in the past and the children we are committed to helping on an ongoing basis.

    To donate, please go to the Contact page and fill out the form given there.

    Thank you for your support!

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Focus Humanitarian Assistance (Kabul)

    FOCUS is an international group of agencies that complements the provision of emergency relief, principally in the developing world. It helps people in need reduce their dependence on humanitarian aid and facilitates their transition to sustainable self-reliant, long-term development. Focus Humanitarian Assistance is affiliated with the Aga Khan Development Network, a group of institutions working to improve opportunities and living conditions, for people of all faiths and origins, in specific regions of the developing world.

    FOCUS continues to assist the most vulnerable mountain communities in the province of Badakhshan in north-eastern Afghanistan through relief and recovery support in education, health, nutrition and livelihoods. Badakhshan is one of the most remote and least developed provinces of Afghanistan and has a history of precarious economic situations with decades of food insecurity.

    FOCUS distributed, in collaboration with Aga Khan Foundation USA and the United States Department of Agriculture, over 1,000,000 litres of milk to schools in Afghan Badakhshan. In addition, the World Food Programme (WFP) and FOCUS distributed meals to hospital patients and staff in Badakhshan and Bamiyan.

    FOCUS provided supplementary nutritional rations on a monthly basis to over 30,000 children. This was complemented by the establishment of immunisation centres and the provision of treatment for the acutely malnourished under a programme supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF).

    In Badakshan, where almost no other relief organisation has been working, FOCUS distributed over 10,000 tonnes of food, again, primarily to vulnerable populations in high altitude areas dependent upon rain-fed agriculture. Almost all of this food was used to pay labour for building over 1,600 km of irrigation channels, 700 km of roads and the rehabilitation of schools and health clinics.

    As an affiliate of the Aga Khan Development Network, FOCUS hopes to enable as swift a transition as is possible into long-term development initiatives of the type that the Network has already successfully launched in similar high-mountain environments in Tajikistan and Northern Pakistan.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Medical Institute for Children (Kabul)

    In a country like Afghanistan where war has cast its shadow for the past three decades, where bullets kill mercilessly, where blasts rock habitats and where mines maim innocents, children - who are often unwitting victims of violence - need special care and recuperation.

    The Institute was opened in November 2005 as a collaboration between the Governments of Afghanistan and France and the Aga Khan Foundation. By January, 2008, 130,000 child patients had received medical care and 3000 surgeries, including 350 cardiac, had been performed with 300 local staff trained. The Institute provides general paediatric and orthopaedic surgery for congenital malformations, as well as reconstructive surgery with an emphasis on the hands and the face.

    It provides 100 beds, including 15 for intensive care. This is like an oasis of healing for the young and impressionable in a war-ravaged nation. CHF hopes that the assistance it provides will help nurture and care for the most vulnerable citizens of that country, its children who will also shape its future.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Roshan Community Project

    Roshan’s mission for its Social Programs is to be a key driver in the reconstruction of Afghanistan by investing in the community in which it operates, providing education and opportunities for a better future in order to build human potential and capacity in the region.

    School Construction:

    During 2010, in partnership with Save the Children, Roshan Community completed construction of an 8-classroom school to hold over 1,000 students and is co-funding school construction efforts by contributing water wells, perimeter walls and latrines at projects which will provide drinking water and sanitation facilities.

    Educational Sponsorships:

    There are currently 189 children sponsored through this program. These sponsorships enable children, often the principle wage earners for their families, to attend some form of formal education that can help them reach for a better future.

    Helping Children Play And Grow:

    Outdoor playgrounds facilitate creativity, exploration, imagination, physical activity, friendship and adventure. Due to the lack of infrastructure, access to quality education and basic healthcare, the importance and positive impact of play has been pushed aside. Roshan recognizes the value of play on the growth and development of children and has sponsored construction of playgrounds throughout Afghanistan.

    Sports and Development Center & Kabul Women’s Shahrara Garden Sports Facility:

    With the Aga Khan National Council for Afghanistan, Roshan Community is building a centres in Kabul offering girls and boys access to sports and youth development facilities. The former will provide separate areas for girls and boys to enjoy indoor sporting activities, intellectually stimulating board games and access to technology, while the latter will offer girls the opportunity to participate in organized sports in a safe and protected environment, something that is currently lacking in Afghanistan.

    Water Wells:

    19 water wells were drilled in 2009 and a further 28 water wells are being constructed for villagers and communities that are in need of a clean drinking water supply.

    One Laptop Per Child (OLPC):

    By the end of 2009, the OLPC project had successfully delivered laptops to 6 schools across Afghanistan. In 2010, the project expanded to an additional 6 schools.

    Motorbikes:

    These bikes are designed to incorporate a Public Call Office (PCO), and a safe for Roshan’s Mobile Money Product. The bike comes with either a bed or a carriage so that it can act as an ambulance for rural populations. It additionally has a cooler to carry either vaccines or cold products for sale and has the ability to power a small computer allowing rural communities access to the internet.

    Roshan Clinic:

    The Roshan Clinic continues to grow and provide services to the Roshan Community and its partners. They have undergone a total refurbishment to upgrade all the facilities and we have added a second dental chair. The clinic provides basic outpatient medical, dental and laboratory services, health education, first aid training and vaccinations.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Roshan Social Programs

    Roshan’s mission for its Social Programs is to be a key driver in the reconstruction of Afghanistan by investing in the community in which it operates, trying to reduce distress, providing opportunities for a better future and providing education in order to build human potential and capacity in the region.

    Soup Kitchens:

    Malnutrition is an endemic problem in Afghanistan; particularly, for children in returnee camps and for street working children. With the ever raising cost of food and lack of income many children are in danger of not have a minimum daily intake of nutrition. Since 2006, Roshan has supported Aschiana education activities in the camps as well as out-reach centres by providing a hot nutritional meal (a healthy meat and vegetable broth soup and bread) per day to children in Kabul, Parwan and Mazar-e-Sharif.

    School Construction:

    Hakim Nasir Khurso School located in Kabul was the first school constructed by Roshan Social Programs. When Roshan first visited the school, there were seven dilapidated blocks and one purpose-built block, which was unfortunately insufficient for the number of children that attend the school. Many of the seven thousand (7,000) primary and high school students that study in three (3) shifts a day were taught in tents. Roshan Social Programs funded the construction of a large, three-story, 24 classroom school building with a flagship Playground.

    Girls School:

    RSP is currently funding the construction of an all girls school in Doshi District, Baghlan Province in partnership with the Aga Khan Foundation-Afghanistan. The Kalan Gozar Girls School is to be completed and ready for hand over to the Ministry of Education in 2009.

    Dental Education Workshops:

    Dental education workshops are provided to children and mothers to educate them about the basics of good oral hygiene including daily brushing, flossing and gum care. Over 2,000 children in Kabul have participated in these workshops to date.

    Play:

    The situation in Afghanistan has meant that children often miss out on one of the most important childhood experiences – play. Studies show that play helps kids develop cognitive skills, build confidence and learn social skills. Outdoor playgrounds facilitate creativity, exploration, imagination, physical activity, friendship and adventure. Play is a crucial factor in the overall well-being of children. However, because of lack of infrastructure, access to quality education and basic health care, the importance and positive impact of play has been neglected. In a conflict stricken environment, playgrounds facilitate play, which offers friendship and an opportunity to overcome past community differences. Roshan recognizes the value unstructured play has on the development of children and is sponsoring the construction of playgrounds throughout Afghanistan.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    BRAC (Dhaka)

    www.brac.net

    BRAC’s vision is of just, enlightened, healthy and democratic societies free from hunger, poverty, environmental degradation and all forms of exploitation based on age, sex, religion and ethnicity.

    BRAC works with people whose lives are dominated by extreme poverty, illiteracy, disease and other handicaps. With different development interventions, BRAC strives to bring about positive changes in the quality of life of the poor people of Bangladesh.

    BRAC is involved in various income generating enterprises through its Microfinance projects. Poverty reduction programmes undertaken so far have bypassed many of the poorest. In this context one of BRAC’s main focuses is the ultra poor. Given that development is a complex process requiring a strong dedication to learning, sharing of knowledge and being responsive to the needs of the poor, BRAC places a strong emphasis on their organisational development, simultaneously engaging itself in the process of capacity building on a national scale to accelerate societal emancipation.

    Although Bangladesh has a primary enrolment rate of over 92 percent and gender parity at both primary and secondary levels, high dropout rates, particularly among girls, and lack of universal access remain a problem. Access to education is an issue particularly for children living in remote areas, from extremely poor households or ethnic minority groups, and those with special needs. There are also few services to prepare children of illiterate parents to enter and stay in school. The dropout rate among these groups is especially high.

    Another major challenge for all education service providers in Bangladesh, including the government, continues to be in the provision of quality basic education. Education today faces the challenge of creating a level playing field for all children in an increasingly globalised world. Education should provide children with the attitude as well as the skills that are conducive to promoting creativity, problem solving, and coping with uncertainties. Bringing every child into the classroom is no longer enough - each child is entitled to a high quality of education that will best prepare them for the future.

    The goal of the BRAC Education Programme is to make a significant contribution to the achievement of education for all in Bangladesh. We aim to improve the quality and delivery of services in education appropriate to the needs of poor children, in particular girls, and to increase their access to those services. Our purpose is to help fill the remaining gaps in coverage, retention, and quality of compulsory primary basic education in Bangladesh.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Music Fund for Cuba

    www.musicfundforcuba.org.uk

    A UK registered charity which supports education and the development of performing arts in Cuba. MFFC needs to replace many old, rotten and damaged buildings at the Abel Santa Maria School, a music school for the visually impaired. A Dubai-based group visited the school during and did some manual work there.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Music Fund for Cuba

    www.haitihospitalappeal.org

    A UK registered charity working with the North Haiti Health Department to provide a range of health services in Haiti. It currently operates a primary health care clinic, a spinal care unit (20 beds), an ambulance service and the House of Blessings Children’s Home for 60 children with physical / mental disabilities. The HHA is seeking to build a paediatric ward for boys and girls aged 8 and above.

  • PROJECTS

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    AIM for SEVA

    www.aimforseva.org

    The All India Movement (AIM) for SEVA is an integrated community development program, reaching out to rural and tribal children across 15 Indian states.

    “Our story began with a deep understanding of rural India’s problems: be it the commute to schools, domestic pressure or lack of extra-curricular activities in education.

    We thus proposed a solution that has now brought the school to the child’s doorstep: providing access, enhancing the quality of education, providing life skills and an environment that’s conducive to learning: AIM for Seva Free Student Homes(FSH).

    A student home is an activity center, a classroom and a learning institute put in one.

    Empowering children to learn by providing them a place to live close to their schools; with a clean environment, nutritious food, schooling needs, value based education, extracurricular activities and much more. So that they don’t just keep up with the rest, but lead a life-ready childhood to contribute to their family, society and the country as a whole”.

    Our Vision

    To transform society through a network of “seva”, of caring, to help each child to contribute to the progress of the nation.

    Our Mission

    To have education within reach of every child across the nation through the concept of a Free Student Home. Besides education, their other initiatives centre on primary healthcare through hospitals, clinics and mobile medical units covering over 2 million people across 5 states as well as rural women empowerment programs and community training across villages to help develop self-sufficient societies.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Asharan Orphanage

    The Asharan Orphanage is a project of the Hope Foundation, an affiliate of Hope Worldwide, an international charity that changes lives by harnessing the compassion and commitment of dedicated staff and volunteers to deliver sustainable, high-impact, community-based services to the poor and needy.

    The word “Asharan” was derived by putting together two words in the Hindi language: ‘Asha’, which means hope and ‘Sharan’ that means refuge. Therefore, Asharan was created to mean a Refuge of Hope – and this was the aim for the abandoned and orphaned children who find their way there. Currently, they have a license to house 25 children at the orphanage.

    The home provides custody, care, protection, and rehabilitation including adoption of children. It is a great joy to see the children who had gone through a lot of trauma being healed both physically and emotionally at the home. Care for the children at the orphanage is relatively expensive. Most of the children arrive malnourished and in need of special care and medical attention. The orphanage spends heavily on items such as milk, cereals, eggs, and special dietary supplements: utensils, bottles and nipples; detergents, toilet soap and baby oil; clothing and linen; electricity, fuel, and transportation; antiseptic lotions, medicines, laboratory tests and hospitalization; and on-site professional staff such as nurses and paediatricians.

    Asharan’s first effort is to restore children to their parents if this is possible. If not, the next effort is to place children in adoption with suitable families, and to give the children within Asharan a secure, loving environment while they stay here. In cases where the child cannot be adopted, the child is transferred to a ‘fit person’ Foster care Home where the child receives the same care and facilities offered by the orphanage. Children are brought by the police, left at the gate, or in cradles by unknown persons. Some are transferred from hospitals where the parent abandons the child. Often children are relinquished directly by their parents who are unable to take care of them because of one reason or another.

    As at the end of December, 2008, Asharan had taken in a total of 403 children, reunited 207 of those with their biological parents and arranged 104 domestic and international adoptions.

    By supporting Asharan, Kind Gestures ensures that children who are left on the street by their parents or guardians have a safe haven to turn to, a place where they can be cared for whilst a permanent home is found for them. This means they are not preyed upon by organised crime elements and made to turn to begging or other such activities.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Bala Mano Vikasa Kendra

    “Join hands with us to make the mentally challenged child a self reliant, well-adjusted and dignified member of society”.

    This is the ethos behind this wonderful school in Bangalore, India, started in 1972. Through Kind Gestures continued support, this school for mentally challenged children has been able to install equipment for vocational training and further upgrade its on-site facility. The contribution also went towards uniforms and free mid-day meals for all children.

    The school admits mentally challenged children between the ages of four and twenty for special education. Experienced, trained and patient teachers, therapists and specialists, along with parents draw up a plan for special education with short and long-term realistic targets for making the child self-reliant.

    Training is consistently and patiently given in self-care skills, like eating, sitting, walking and speech therapy, along with enhancement of motor and cognitive skills. The child is encouraged to take part in sports, music, drama, painting, drawing and handicrafts, including weaving, knitting, tailoring, basket making and paper work. All this helps each child to eventually – to the best of his/her ability – become a self-reliant and well-adjusted member of society.

    Our School Facilities

    • No fees are levied for the education and books, uniforms and a mid-day meal are also provided free.
    • Periodic health check-ups are carried out and medicines given at no charge.
    • Educational excursions are arranged.
    • Language and speech therapy provided by specialists.
    • Vocational training is given to the older children.

    Many of the children who have passed through the school are now employed in sheltered workshops, factories, news agencies and industrial units, with some employed in fields in which they gained vocational proficiency in school.

    Our Achievements

    • The school has been awarded the Suvarna Vidya Kendra award, with three children receiving the Balashri Shree Ratna award.
    • One of the students, Indumati, represented India in the Special Olympics meet at Minneapolis, USA and won a gold medal. She earns a living doing tailoring jobs in school and at home.
    • Students represented India in the Asia Pacific cricket tournament and won gold medals.
    • Sreenivas, afflicted with Down’s Syndrome, donated a month’s salary to the school as did another graduate of the school.

    Our Future Plans

    • To gear up the infrastructure to meet the increasing demand for admissions up to a total of 100 children.
    • The setting up of a vocational training unit.
    • To recruit additional staff and specialists like a vocational instructor, sports teacher, occupational therapist, craft teacher and a full-time speech therapist.
    • To provide funds for terminal benefits to retiring teachers and staff who have served the children through the school.
  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Building Blocks

    Millions of children in India lack the chance to receive a basic education. Families rely on child labour to make ends meet and so education is not a priority, especially as it can be too costly.

    Building Blocks aims to provide slum children with good quality education in a safe, secure and stimulating environment, so empowering them for a brighter future filled with opportunities. Through a number of Learning Centres, children aged 31/2 to 6 years old are taught sight reading, simple arithmetic, writing and motor skills development. Great importance is placed on all round emotional, physical, cognitive and social development, with the children not only being taught activities such as drama, art and singing, but also life-skills such as cleanliness and good manners.

    The children attending are all given the following, free of cost:

    • A nutritional breakfast, lunch and snacks each school day.
    • All required school materials.
    • Uniforms, shoes, stationery items and school supplies.

    Additionally, Building Blocks arranges for free medical check-ups, excursions and birthday parties for each child.

    Children graduating from Building Blocks are helped to gain admission into good English Medium schools, with sponsorship where possible.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Fidai Orphanage

    www.buildingblocksindia.org

    Restoring And Sustaining Human Dignity

    Fate is not always kind to children. They often become victims of circumstances or natural calamities, loose one or both parents, or find themselves members of broken or poverty-stricken homes - in vice-infested surroundings or in remote areas with no educational facilities. Fidai Institutions is a non-profit organization that provides education to children living in poverty in Mumbai. For 73 years, Fidai has provided opportunities for children to get a good education and prepare to overcome their misfortunes so as to achieve a better future for themselves and their families.

    No matter how badly affected such children are, society must see that they are not allowed to live in squalor and in a state of despondency. They must be provided every opportunity to survive with dignity, get a good education and prepare to overcome their misfortunes so as to achieve a better future for themselves and their families. The purpose of Fidai Institutions is enabling children to recover and maintain their dignity as befitting their status as God's greatest creation.

    In the emerging world of meritocracy the best guarantees for their success are knowledge, competence and a deep sense of values that will guide them for the rest of their life. The message given to the Fidai students is that the trauma they have suffered should become a spur for motivation to think, to work intelligently and courageously and to commit to improving their future.

    While much has been done, much more remains to be done. Efforts are on to bring in more educated and experienced professionals on the staff and arrange for their further training to meet the specific need of the Institutions. At the same time, voluntary assistance is sought from professionals in specialized fields.

    A Caring Environment

    Fidai, like a big family, provides all the basic amenities to create a comfortable secure and disciplined environment for growing children.

    There is abundance of natural greenery in and around the campuses at Andheri and Panchgani. The campuses provide clean, well-ventilated and lighted dormitories, dining rooms and study rooms. Works of emerging painters are displayed in living areas of the children. The Fidai grounds offer excellent opportunities for a wide range of sporting and cultural activities. Equipment and training facilities are provided for indoor and outdoor games. There is a full-fledged laundry at the campus at Andheri and garment washing machines at Panchgani, to ensure that the children are always wearing clean clothes.

    Qualified dieticians prepare a balanced weekly menu with high nutritional value, keeping in mind the needs of growing children. Food is prepared in hygienic, well-designed kitchens. Fruits and milk are served every day. "Special Meals" are provided at least once a week.

    Children are encouraged to be regular in the practice of faith. Picnics and excursions are organized occasionally to help students see the outside world and to appreciate the beauties and bounties of nature. Newspapers, periodical magazines and television viewing are made available to keep the children abreast of happenings in the world.

    Every child at Fidai is treated as a self-respecting individual and expected to act with integrity, responsibility and concern for other children and towards the Institution. Peace, harmony and warm affection amongst students are encouraged. Efforts are made for the children to preserve links with their families. Parents are encouraged to visit their children on designated weekends. Most children spend their vacations and happy and sad occasions with their families.

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    OUR WORK

    Humane Touch

    “To Make Every Human Being Self-Sufficient and Capable of Earning a Living”.

    This mission statement encapsulates the ideals behind Humane Touch, a secular NGO working in Bangalore since 1999. It started with a group of young women, determined to make a difference in the lives of those less fortunate. Initially, they began by working with those affected by polio, sponsoring callipers and surgeries, but soon widened their reach.

    Activities are undertaken in response to the needs of the community – Primary Education, Vocational Training for Girls, Scholarships for Higher Education, Adult Education, Medical Camps, Mass Weddings and Distribution of food/clothing during Ramadan.

    Humane Touch aims at providing Education to every child who is in need. Every year hundreds of enthusiastic children are provided with scholarships in order to continue their primary & high school education, allowing them to work towards their dreams. Students who are interested in higher studies are also benefited a great deal from the Scholarship Program.

    The Al-Azhar Foundation School was adopted in 2002, which had 60 students and 4 staff. Today there are close to 400 students studying from Nursery to class 7 with 20 staff members. We manage Dr Homaida Kazim Nursery School, in Mominpura which has 125 students. All students are provided with 2 sets of Uniforms every year.

    Future Plans include the starting up of a mid-day meal programme as it has been proven that children study better on a full stomach. Additionally, Humane Touch plans to set up a Residential Home for destitute girls and orphans and is fundraising for this purpose.

    Kind Gestures supports them in this endeavour, knowing that the future of an area lies in educating and feeding its children.

  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Ish Naman Integrated Rehabilitation & Social Welfare Society

    Our Vision

    To show the unconditional love of God through physical, economic, moral and social development programs.

    Our Mission

    To serve humanity with simplicity.

    Our Activities

    • Distribution of school bags and stationery items among the children of slum areas.
    • Distribution of blankets among the elderly living in the Aastha Nikunj old age home.
    • Distribution of stationery items in Bethel Orphanage.
    • Free general medical camp organized in Metguda along with free medicine distribution wherein 297 patients benefitted.
    • Two days Leprosy Training Programme was organized in Jagdalpur, where 20 participants were trained about all aspects of the disease, in collaboration with the District leprosy Department.
    • Fruit distribution programme among the Leprosy patients in LRC Centre, Vivekanand Tribal Hospital, Jagdalpur.
    • Two days Leaders Seminar organized in Shantinagar, Jagdalpur.
    • Successful completion of Urban Leprosy Sensitization Awareness Campaign (ULSAC) in association with National Rural Health Mission and Chhattisgarh State.
    • Celebration of World Handicap Day and World Women’s Day.
    • Has taken over running of a school in Kalipur, with a strength of thirty five regular students.
    • Opened a free medical OPD in a slum area in Metguda, focusing on the health needs of the slum residents.
    • We have taken over an orphanage which was about to close and will officially run it from June 2014 with 22 children.
  • PROJECTS

    OUR WORK

    Malleswaram Shishu Vihar

    The school was started by an eminent educationist Smt. B K Thirumalamma in 1953 with the intention of providing quality education to the children of financially under privileged parents.

    Classes are offered from pre-primary to the tenth standard in the English medium. Apart from studying, the children take part in extracurricular activities like sports, inter-class and inter-school competitions, debates, etc and have obtained many awards.

    The school has received recognition for its good work by the Government Education Department. They use various teaching aids, models etc, as well as an audio-visual class-room which makes learning more interesting and easier. In addition, they are taught computer skills.

    Most of the old students of the school are now well established in good positions in various parts of the world, having received needed qualifications. Much of the equipment, including the furniture, computers etc, that are currently in use have been donated by the old students, who also sponsor distribution of sweets on festival days. A mid-day meal is provided to the children sponsored by Sri Sai Mandali, again organized by one of the old students. This speaks for itself about the rapport between the teachers and the students.

    Currently the school is in need of financial assistance as the parents are unable to pay even the low amount charged. As a result the school strength is gradually lessening by the year. In order to attract more children, they are contemplating introducing transport facilities to allow children to get to school avoiding traffic and crossing roads. Also required are laboratory and library facilities for the children, which are considered essential for their further development.

    Kind Gestures is helping such schools make a huge difference within their communities.

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    OUR WORK

    Shimla Cancer Care

    Since 2001, the Kind Gestures has provided support to this charity which provides medicines mainly for chemotherapy treatments to poor children suffering from cancer.

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    OUR WORK

    St Mary’s High School

    What could be a better gift to children than education?

    As someone wisely said, “If you feed them today they will be hungry tomorrow, but if you give them education, you ensure that their hunger and poverty will be eradicated forever”.

    That’s exactly what Kind Gestures has done by continuing to support St. Mary’s High School in Champakulam, Kerala. With the funding from Kind Gestures in the past, the school has been able to build additional classrooms and upgrade their library.

    Additionally, with the charity’s help, the school has now been able to complete the building of the Science laboratory for the students in this poor village.

    We are not only helping in building a school, we are also building dreams and hopes for the children.

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    OUR WORK

    The Life Institute for Girls

    Run in conjunction with the Malekkhanu and Sherali Visram Memorial Trust, based in Ontario, Canada and Binghamton, New York, (MSFV Foundation – registered both in Canada and USA), the LIFE Institute for Girls in Pune took on the responsibility for those children whose parents were unable to educate them or take good care of them due to personal and economic conditions.

    The MSFV Foundation (the ‘Trust’) is a public charitable trust registered under Mumbai Public Trust act under serial No. 21443, which has as its objective the advancement and promotion of education, welfare and upkeep of the children financially. The Foundation’s underlying motivation and spiritual strength is derived from the life of Sherali Fazal Visram who exemplified that the greatest of all human achievements are found in the simple yet all powerful acts of common men and women who lead their lives with grace, wisdom and a spiritual and emotional commitment to human compassion.

    The hostel officially started its day to day functions on the 11th of July 2001 after welcoming the girls and getting them settled in. The main objective at that time was to provide a comfortable living space, with proper beds, study tables, clean and hygienic bathrooms and toilets, bed sheets, toiletries etc. The common areas provide tables, chairs etc which the girls use for studying for daily homework, tests and exams at school. Today after a number of years and with the assistance of our donors, we have a prayer hall, library, dinner room, computer lab, playgrounds etc.

    The Life Institute also ensures that fresh and healthy food is provided to the girls residing at the hostel on an ongoing basis. Efforts are also made to provide packed food for all the girls to carry to school for their lunch and periodically the children are taken out for dining depending on funding.

    With the help of the local Trustees and devoted honorary workers, admission was secured for the children in English language convent schools such as Stella Maries School, St. Francis School, St. Arnold School, St. Joseph School, Holy Angels School, Christ College, Don Bosco Junior College etc. At school, emphasis is also given to extracurricular activities like karate, singing, dancing, music, art etc. The girls are provided transportation to and from school and for all activities related to their educational trips and curricular activities.

    Currently, there are 104 girls between the ages of 6-16 years old residing at the Institute and attending the different local schools.

    In India, girls are usually not given quality education in the remote and poor villages. By providing long term support to such projects, Kind Gestures can support girls’ education, welfare and activities, thus allowing for them to provide a wider scope of service to humanity especially similarly situated girls in need of such help.

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    Assist a Child to School (ACTS)

    www.acts-kenya.org

    Primary education is compulsory in Kenya and government schools are supposed to be free. But, the education system is hopelessly overstretched: there are not enough places, there is a shortage of teachers and for most it is too expensive, even in “slum schools” where children sit on the floor in mud huts. Each week, ACTS is approached by at least 10 parents who are too poor to educate their children.

    ACTS works to find sponsors for the children. Equipped with an education, children gain confidence and self-esteem, as well as knowledge, helping them to be more employable and enterprising. They dream that one day they will be able to earn a living so that their families will have access to things that we take for granted, live food, access to safe water and medical care.

    Originally the charity focused on gaining individual sponsorship for primary pupils but it has grown considerably over the last few years.

    They now support secondary and third level pupils through their education as well as running a Schools Support Program which aims to set up libraries, provide desks, text books, and other valuable resources for local schools.

    Kind Gestures 2010 donation was used for the porridge/lunch programme for primary school children.

    As Zenny Hirji, Kind Gestures Chairperson said on her visit to the school: "We will have happy children with full stomachs – the best way to ensure learning!”

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    Children of Kibera

    The problems faced by Kibera’s inhabitants include high levels of unemployment, low-quality housing, lack of health-care, hunger, domestic violence, and drug abuse. Solutions are not simple, but one way of bringing about long-lasting and sustainable change is through the caring for and education of the children of Kibera.

    Ken Okoth grew up in poverty in the slums of Kibera, but now teaches at a private institution in northern Virginia outside Washington.

    Okoth says his personal life experience motivated him to create the Children of Kibera Foundation:

    “I can’t just sit back and think, `I made it, am successful, I will move on with life.’ I know at every stage, somebody gave something to me and I can never pay them back for the help they gave me.”

    The foundation partners with individuals and organisations whose creativity, skills, generosity, and dedication make it possible for the children of Kibera to overcome the obstacles of poverty, disease, and social alienation and to realise their dreams as productive, healthy citizens.

    Many of the childrens’ hopes for a good education depend on a small private school established in 1998 by a retired Kenyan school teacher.

    Protase Buluma is the deputy director at Red Rose Nursery and Children Center. He says the school is like a drop in the ocean, but it is giving hope to these kids.

    It caters for the needs of the orphaned children in the slums, who have nobody to take care of them. So far they have 40 orphans out of a population of 89 kids.

    Despite their circumstances, the children have reason for hope. They are enthusiastic and eager to learn through the various teaching methods the teachers have developed at Red Rose School.

    For the few who go to the Red Rose School, they get more than reading and writing there. School Deputy Director Protase Buluma says “Where they would have lacked education they now receive it here. Where they would have lacked nutrition, they get it here. Where they would have lacked love and hope, they are now getting it here.”

    Okoth says this will change the future of the children: “Being poor is just a circumstance where you start in life, but it is not your destiny and it can change.”

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    Children’s Home

    It started when a couple of local ladies found an 18 month old baby wrapped up in plastic and shallow buried. They rescued her and named her Mercy.

    This then took on a life of its own and since then, about 24 abandoned children of varying ages live in a completely run down abandoned house which the ladies use as a home. When our Kind Gestures committee member first saw the home it was totally bare with peeling walls and small rooms.

    These doubled up as teaching rooms in the day and then at night thin and worn out pieces of sponges were simply laid out as bedding.

    There was no water and or electricity connection and no support until our committee member discovered them and ensured monthly supplies of food and basic provisions.

    The first Kind Gestures donation was used to supply clothing, basic hygiene products for the girls and new mattresses.

    The next step is to try and establish a water and electricity supply. Also required are blankets and warm clothes, shoes and some basic teaching aids for the older children and toys for the younger ones.

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    Runda

    Located about 45 minutes out of town is the small village of Runda. Although not much to look at, it is an area which exemplifies what can be achieved by those willing to help others.

    It started with one family, making the trip out on a weekly basis and giving what they could, inspiring others in the community. Together a group of like-minded volunteers decided to make regular visits to the area, giving whatever food items they could. As word spread more and more needy people arrived, and now every Sunday between 1,000 and 3,000 people of all ages arrive, some of them having walked since 4am that morning to get there. They come hoping to get food and - if they are lucky – a little “something special” to go away with. Items provided include basics like milk, bread and biscuits and the occasional “surprise” like shoes, chocolates, blankets or sweatshirts.

    A shaded area has been set up and a few rooms have been built for some of the older or disabled people with nowhere else to stay. Wheelchairs and a few basic amenities have been provided for them also.

    Over the years it has become a known fact that whoever needs food can come and be given something. There is an amazing amount of support within the poor that some of them help in ensuring there is an orderly queue where they will wait for their turn in receiving something.

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    The Gift of Sight

    Dr. Soraya Janmohamed, of Capital Opticians, Dubai, took up the noble task of helping the children at Bosco Boys, a school for Kenyan street children and orphans, by providing them with eye check-ups, eyeglasses and medication.

    Dr. Janmohamed and her team of optometrists conducted eye examinations for 100 street children in August 2008. She hopes to broaden this project by partnering with opticians and organisations in India, Kenya and Syria, whereby they will conduct eye camps and dispense eyeglasses to needy children.

    Kind Gestures will play an important role by donating funds generously to this project.

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    Verkaart Trust

    Verkaart Trust is an orphanage for 40 boys just outside of Mombasa. Because the orphanage is not in the city they do not benefit from ACT which puts their most talented boys at a disadvantage as the public school system is severely lacking.

    This is the only facility that takes albino children who are badly discriminated against in Kenyan society. Many of these albino boys suffer from skin and eye issues and some of them require substantial dental care.

    The home is in very bad need of repair. School fees and medical care for the children are an ongoing issue and the project clearly requires regular funding.

    Kind Gestures donation has helped repair the home’s kitchen that burnt down and has also put the plumbing and electricals back in order.

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    Family Care Lebanon

    Family Care Lebanon is a non-profit humanitarian association based in Beirut, Lebanon. It conducts programs throughout the country with the goal of helping anyone in need regardless of background, colour or creed. It has been active in Lebanon for over 10 years, working side-by-side with other dedicated professionals from educational and service-oriented institutions.

    Over the past 10 years, Family Care Lebanon’s projects have been:

    • Supporting “Club Al Mahabba” for girls in the poor, inner-city neighbourhood of Nabaa for seven years.
    • Bringing comfort, hope and a personal touch to children in hospitals.
    • Providing essential food and clothing for needy families in peace and war time.
    • Holding motivational seminars and workshops for youth on the theme of social work in the community.
    • Providing high quality animation, professional face painting, balloon sculpting and recreational activities for underprivileged children.
    • Holding special activities for underprivileged children and families at Christmas and Ramadan.
    • Distributing of educational books and audio/visual programs for children focusing on character building and moral development.
    • Having a professional performing team that conducts shows for children bringing out educational and social messages such as care for the environment, teamwork, cleanliness and health-awareness, etc. These are conducted in schools and institutions in all areas of the country and with all communities. The cheerful nature of the shows and the warm interaction of the volunteers make for a motivating and uplifting experience for the children, wherever they perform.
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    Association for Children with Emotional & Learning Problems (ACELP)

    ACELP was begun in 1974, by Mrs. Mehr Hassan, with her own funds and operating from rented premises. Today, the school has expanded to 4000 sq ft premises along with a new gym facility and serves over 120 children from all socio-economic backgrounds. This means that any family with a physically or mentally disabled child can send its child to the school. For those not able to afford to pay the fees, the school finds a sponsor for the child to be able to attend school.

    The school is equipped with physical therapists, psychologists and certified teachers as well as staff physicians. Children are first evaluated and then placed in a capability appropriate classroom, i.e., one that best fits their developmental level.

    If a child cannot be educated due to his or her psychological condition, the school provides vocational training as a means to help the child gain independence in his or her life. Such training includes skills such as carpentry, weaving, sewing and typing. Shuttle buses are available to transport those children who would otherwise not be able to get to school.

    The school works with educating children in a new way, using pictures, and colours, and even musical instruments to make learning a creative and fun process. The children are taught independence and self-worth and are given skills that they can use for their life after they graduate.

    Equally important is the school’s role in helping the parents of the child. Many parents don’t understand the best way to take care of a disabled or disadvantaged child. From fear of upsetting the child or in order to avoid temper tantrums, many parents and grandparents tend to spoil the child or avoid any discipline. The trained psychologists and psychotherapists at ACELP help guide the parents in terms of the best way to help their child progress both on a practical level as well as in terms of education. The school’s mission, through the various programs, is development of each individual towards maximum independence.

    In a city like Karachi, where disabled children are more often than not neglected and not found to be worthy of an education, ACELP has made it its mission to break the societal conventions and help as many disabled children as it can.

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    CEENA Health & Welfare Services

    CEENA was formed with a mandate to provide pragmatic solutions to the emerging issues in the community that were being overlooked. In this way, CEENA became a voice for the voiceless and unheard.

    The Northern Areas of Pakistan is a beautiful, but very poor area. Its harsh climate, isolated areas and lack of communication facilities provide many challenges to the people who live there.

    CEENA is an issue-based organization, identifying what needs to be done at what time and responding to those needs. Amongst its key achievements are:

    • Establishment of a blood bank, which has saved lives and raised awareness about blood donations.
    • Provision of medical relief services to the poorest patients coming from far-flung villages.
    • Purchase of life-saving drugs for needy patients.
    • Organizing health awareness programmes.
    • Supporting needy children kept out of school due to parents’ inability to pay the school fees.
    • The establishment of an Empowerment Centre where talented students from across the Northern Areas are housed and looked after during their studies.

    It also provides a refuge to abandoned and orphaned babies and children until they are adopted. Adoption is usually from other parts of the world in families that have the means to provide a comfortable life for these children.

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    Concern for Children

    www.concernforchildren.org.pk

    Our Mission

    To Design, implement and replicate models for sustainable development for children within at-risk populations based on intensive needs assessment.

    CFC is a children’s advocacy group that initially focused on preventive and primary health care, health education and health awareness.

    Recognising the lack of resources within the social services sector in Pakistan, CFC strives to carry out each project in partnership with other organizations. Successful pilot projects then serve as models for replication, in an effort to meet goals and build models for sustainable development for social problems concerning children within at-risk populations.

    CFC began its advocacy practices in December 2007 with the Sustainable Community Driven Development Pilot Project in Mohammadi Colony, also known locally as “Machar” Colony, partly a reference to the high number of mosquitoes found in the area.

    As the settlement is an illegal one, the area is not served by water, sanitation, education or healthcare.

    There is an 80% illiteracy rate in the community, with a majority of these numbers being women and girls. Less than ten percent of the community’s children attend school, as they are encouraged by their families to seek employment – usually within the shrimp peeling industry.

    CFC has established a Mother Child Health Clinic, a Mobile Healthcare Programme providing free medical services to students in designated schools in the area, TB intervention programs and quarterly healthcare camps.

    Another initiative was focused on empowering local Para-medical clinics by providing them with basic medical training, supervision and eventual provision of medical equipment, medication and support staff.

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    Developments In Literacy (DIL)

    In 1997, a group of Pakistani-Americans started this non-profit organisation with the purpose of improving the education standards in the underdeveloped areas of Pakistan.

    Today they operate 150 schools with approximately 15,000 students. Their hearts (Dil) are surely in the right place, with a mission to provide quality education to disadvantaged children especially girls. Their vision is to make sure that every child in Pakistan reaches his/her full potential to contribute towards the betterment of their communities.

    Kind Gestures heart beats together with that of DIL as we share our resources with them to help them achieve their dreams, which are also our own hopes for the children of the world.

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    Umeed-e-Noor

    People living with disabilities face severe stigma and discrimination in Pakistan. Within this population – estimated to reach 10% of Pakistan’s overall population – children are particularly at risk.

    Hashoo Foundation merged Umeed-e-Noor under its structure in July 2007 and has since then developed more inclusive programs.

    Located in Islamabad, this multi-purposed project provides special needs children with emergency relief, training and skills. At present the school has 270 day students and 22 orphaned children that live in them – many of them bed-ridden.

    To compliment the vocational training the students receive in trades such as sewing and repairing electronics, they receive speech, physiotherapy and medical care.

    Realising that the huge percentage of children still are in dire need, Umeed-e-Noor started constructing a Centre of Excellence for Special Children that will increase the existing capacity.

    The 3-storey facility is not yet completed, but once fully on-stream, Umeed-e-Noor will provide training and care for double the number of day students plus 50 live-in children.

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    Bagong Lumad Artists’ Foundation Inc.

    It has been proven that children learn better on a full stomach, and for a relatively small amount, Kind Gestures is able to effect such change.

    The malnourished children are fed twice a week since it has started receiving donations from Kind Gestures. We continue these feeding programs through the help of our donors.

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    Taguig Education Project

    How many times do we hear children complain about going to school, or about the food they receive?

    In this squatter camp in Manila, there are no such complaints as children are sent out to work to contribute to the family income.

    • This project began, as most often do, in a simple manner in January 2007. A class in human values and a fresh meal was provided to 100 squatter children each weekend in a couple of tiny rooms. However, such was their indefatigable spirit and desire to learn that at the weekend up to 100 children happily squeezed into a small room, barely 8ft by 8ft to attend a school run by volunteers.
    • Within months, the project grew and was able to sponsor 65 of the squatter children to attend a regular, non-profit, school, the HSL Braille College, which offers kindergarten, complete elementary schooling and secondary schooling up to grade four.
    • At the end of the 2008 school year, three of the squatter children attending the school were high-scorers in mathematics and qualified to enter the Regional Training Program of the Mathematics Training Guild, a program for high scorers selected from across the country.

    The objectives of the program are:

    • To provide education for up to 200 children from the squatter areas.
    • To provide free weekend classes on Human Values Education for up to 200 children.
    • To provide a sustained feeding program at the weekend class for attending children.
    • To conduct a monthly medical clinic for the children and their immediate relatives and guardians.
    • To conduct a livelihood program for the adults with a concurrent microfinance program.
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    The Charitable Women’s Society

    The Charitable Women’s Society in Dammam, Saudi Arabia looks after the needs of orphan girls aged between 8 and 20.

    They arrange for their enrolment in government schools or special needs schools, as required, as well as providing food, clothing and health services.

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    All As One

    www.allasone.org

    All As One provides complete care to Sierra Leone’s most vulnerable children at their facility in Freetown. It was established in 1997 with a mission to respond to the critical dilemma of the orphaned, abandoned, abused and destitute, through the:

    AAO wishes to provide rehabilitation, medical care and education for hundreds and thousands of war-affected, orphaned, abandoned, and destitute children and adolescents in Sierra Leone. With the right opportunities, destitute children and adolescents can become self-sufficient and responsible adults. These opportunities enrich not only individual children, but are passed on to the community, the nation, and future generations.

    All As One Children's Center

    Providing a safe home and care for orphaned and abandoned children in Sierra Leone.

    All As One School

    Working to meet the educational needs of the children in their care and in the surrounding community.

    All As One Medical Clinic

    Helping to keep Sierra Leonean children and families healthy, by providing preventative intervention and medical treatment.

    The first priority is to provide shelter, medical care, schooling, meals, clothing, social interaction and love for the Centre’s children in Freetown. In addition, both the clinic and the school serve the surrounding community by reaching out to many families over the years, establishing single mothers with their own businesses and temporarily assisting with housing costs when a family would otherwise be put onto the streets.

    All As One has purchased 6 acres of land just outside Freetown. This area has an available water supply, as well as a large population of displaced and war-wounded children and families, who would greatly benefit from All As One's services.

    All As One’s plans for the six acres include:

    • An expanded Clinic/Hospital: this small hospital (50-75 beds) would serve thousands of Sierra Leonean children and families each year.
    • A larger school for primary and junior secondary education to the children in the community and for evening vocational training classes for adults
    • An expanded Children’s Center: for up to 150 children, who would otherwise die or be left homeless.

    Additionally, a new administration building for the entire compound, guest quarters, a centrally located cafeteria/kitchen with large dining hall, plus a soccer playing field and playground for the children, are also part of the plans.

    AAO has a vision for an expanded child welfare project in Sierra Leone that is designed specifically to meet both the immediate and long-term needs of children and young adults in desperate circumstances.

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    African Education Society Inc. (AES)

    www.africaneducationsociety.org.au

    The African Education Society Inc. (AES) was established to support learning and life skills education of street Children in Dar-es-Salaam, Tanzania that will allow them to engage in economic activities and build healthy and productive lives for themselves.

    The priority is to establish a life-skills education centre by the year 2010; however, following a visit to the project in July 2008, the AES saw the urgent need to build a dormitory for the girl-mothers (young girls with babies) as soon as possible.

    Vision: For street children to participate effectively in the Tanzanian community through access to education, health awareness and sustainable work opportunities.

    Mission: To provide financial assistance to develop programs for the street children of Dar-es-Salaam to enable them to have right choices, skills and opportunities to make a better life for themselves.

    Programs: Cultural dance group - Ubuntu Edutainment Dance Group has already been established. The dance group and the life skills education and training give the street children self-esteem, hope and opportunity to participate in a legitimate economic activity.

    Street health: particularly HIV/AIDS awareness programs

    Educational skills: (formal and informal training) to assist in obtaining productive work

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    The Lady Fatemah (a.s.) Charitable Trust

    Project provides care for orphans at the Kibowa Orphanage Centre in Lemara, Arusha, Tanzania. This facility accommodates 56 children and the children range in age from nursery school to high school. They all attend public school and have an additional facility for attending Quran classes in the evening.

    The centre provides all basic needs for the children through private funding but has recently undertaken a poultry project to help offset some of their expenses.

    Kibowa Orphanage Centre is also considering goat farming to become more self-supporting. Our donation is used to buy food for the children and to purchase more chickens for the poultry project.

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    Tumaini Children’s Home

    www.tumainichildrenshome.com

    Tumaini is an orphanage that provides care for young AIDs victims. All the children have lost their parents to HIV and some of the children are also HIV positive. This well run facility not only provides basic needs to the 40 children that live at the facility but it also has a very equipped small clinic with a doctor on site that provides basic medical care for the children and the very poor surrounding community. New lab equipment is now in place so that patients can discretely come to the clinic for AIDS testing and medications. AIDS is rampant in the area but people will not go to government hospitals for testing because of the stigma and high costs.

    The kitchen at Home of Hope also provides lunch to a 120 kids at the primary school next door which is a real boost to this very poor area. The 80 year old founder of Home for Hope will use the Kind Gestures donation this year to provide some recreational activities for the children including a field trip.

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    Ban Pamark Border Patrol Police School

    In 2013 we joined with the Hua Hin community to provide school supplies, food, medicines and sports equipment to Ban Pamark Border Patrol Police School before rainy season. With this year's long and intense rainy period the efforts were needed more than ever as the community was completely cut off by swollen rivers for almost three months.

    During the summer and autumn, the Hua Hin community raised funds for a water system that was installed in the village school in November and we proudly contributed to the cause. This will provide water for consumption plus proper sanitation for the 179 children that attend the school.

    An irrigation system was also installed to ensure the school garden can survive dry season. This garden and chicken project provide food for the children's lunch program. If you come to school lunch is served free of charge each day. A great incentive for a poor community.

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    Chiva Som Charity Fund

    We also donate to donate to the Chiva Som Charity Fund who will use the funds to make repairs to the small orphanage and school that caters to Karen children close to Hua Hin. Any excess will be used for supplies and perhaps a day trip.

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    Mercy House

    Mercy House is an orphanage that provides care for children with and without special needs from the age of 6 until they complete high school or have the skills to enable them to seek employment.

    Mercy House provides for 24 children at present and each child is expected to learn to care for themselves and their possessions as well as share together in work and play. The children are also encouraged to give assistance to the community. All the children attend school with 5 of them presently at college level. Many of the children in care are from the Burmese Karen tribe and special emphasis is placed on cultural learning.

    Mercy House opened a workshop on their site in 2006 which teaches a variety of skills to help further the children’s career potential. Kind Gestures and Chiva Som joined hands this year to make a sizeable donation to Mercy House. The money will be used for facility improvements.

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    Patacore School

    Patacore School serves 244 children in a remote area of Hua Hin Province with 85% of the children being from the Burmese Karen Tribe. This marginalized tribe fled Burma when the present regime came into power and the army began to burn villages and murder these traditional subsistence farmers.

    The Karen people live in deplorable conditions but the Thai government has built a few schools in the area which are run by the military. The children do not pay fees, they receive uniforms and supplies free of charge and are fed a hot, nutritious lunch on school days.

    The school has a large garden that supplies all the vegetables and fruit for the students. They also raise chickens for the school and to sell to the community.

    They also have a small clinic at the school and one of the army staff has been trained as a medic. Patacore has been trucking in water for three hours a day because of a broken water pump. Kind Gestures has provided the school with a new water pump and a technician to put the pump in place.

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    Pbamak School

    Pbamak School is only 9 miles from the Burmese border and at the end of the highway. There is a check stop to get into this very isolated area which becomes completely shut off from the outside world during the rainy season. To get to Pbamuk you drive up narrow, steep roads and ford streams but the scenery is fabulous and the welcome is worth the effort.

    Pbamak School has 126 students (all from the Burmese Karen Tribe) and is one of the Royal Princesses’ projects but, like many of these projects, although the building is lovely there are no regular funds in place for administration.

    The school is the lifeline to the extremely poor community that surrounds it and takes on many roles in the community including informal clinic and food supplier. Their main donor has recently pulled out and the present stock of food (they serve lunch to the school children), medicine and school supplies will only last until May, 2011.

    The children in the area are being taught to weave baskets to develop a skill and, even though the baskets are quite rudimentary, the children are very proud of their finished products. This school is again run by the army. The idea behind these army/government schools is to develop community trust so the large refugee population does not threaten security in the area. Unfortunately, because the school’s student body is 100% Burmese, the Ministry of Education does not provide any financial support and the community is too poor to pay any fees. The army personnel that run the schools are poorly paid but end up spending much of their monthly salaries on school necessities. This is truly a humanitarian gesture on their part.

    One teacher said it best “We give with our hearts not with our hands.”

    Kind Gestures has promised that food staples, basic meds including malaria treatment and school supplies will be brought to the school before the middle of April before the rains begin in early May.

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    Sangklaburi School

    Sangklaburi School has a small make shift school at present but with children now coming from the neighbouring 2 villages (so far there are 99 kids) to attend classes the village requires a proper school to be built as soon as possible.

    An intensive fundraising project will take place in Chiang Mai. In the past Kind Gestures were able to provide the school with money for sports equipment and supplies for arts and crafts.

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    The Vegetable and Chicken Project

    2013 also saw success in our two projects in the North outside of Chiang Mai. The vegetable and chicken project at Sob Mae Stop continues to thrive. The women have learned to prepare better meals with an abundance of fresh vegetables ensuring the free school lunch is much more nutritious than in the past. The villagers do not eat chicken but use the eggs for food preparation and sell any excess to buy staples for the lunch program.

    This project is basically self-sustaining and, except for fencing and small maintenance, we will now concentrate on getting the veggie/chicken project up and running for the more remote village of Sangklaburi.

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    Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs

    www.alnooruae.org

    Al Noor Training Centre for Children with Special Needs has been in existence since 1981 and provides quality and effective training to the Special Needs community of Dubai. The children range in age from 2½ to 18 years. The Centre supports children with challenges such as Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy and Autism. These are addressed through special education methods, physiotherapy, speech therapy and occupational therapy. Al Noor also has its own Work Placement Unit which trains children with an aptitude for open employment.

    The team at Al Noor consists of a Special Educator, Speech and Language Therapist, Psychologist, Vocational Trainer, Sports Instructor, Computer Teacher, Islamic and Arabic Teacher, Art and Craft and Music Teacher who formulate the Training Programme for the children.

    The Goals are selected from the Al Noor Curriculum and implemented in the different areas of development after the initial assessment of each child. The assessment is done comprehensively to determine a child’s level of functioning and once the programme is drawn up and implemented an evaluation is carried out to review the progress.

    The Curriculum is a series of skills covering all areas, arranged in a developmental sequence from a basic level to independency.

    The key to the development of each child is an individual, child specific training programme. The assessment of each child is conducted in consultation with each member of the multidisciplinary team and then the Individual Education Plan is created.

    The Centre still relies heavily on the contributions made by the community to cover its running costs and Kind Gestures is proud to count itself amongst its long-term supporters.

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    Dubai Autism Center

    www.dubaiautismcenter.ae

    The Dubai Autism Center works to successfully integrate children with autism into the community through a holistic approach to intervention and therapies. They also focus on efforts to create social awareness about autism.

    As well as working with autistic children, they also provide a support base for families, caregivers and professionals by offering facilities for research and learning.

    By providing a variety of consultancy services, research programmes and educational facilities, they work to raise awareness and create a better understanding of autism.

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    Dubai Center for Special Needs

    www.dcsneeds.ae

    The Dubai Center for Special Needs is an established, non-profitable institution that provides the highest standards of service in specialized education and therapy for children with various disabilities. It is a caring environment, largely dependent on the generosity of the local communities and corporations. Its aim is to provide each and every one of its students the key to a positive life, thereby "Lighting the path to a brighter future".

    The Centre works to give students, aged between 3 and 27 years, the best quality of life of which they are able physically, emotionally, socially and academically.

    For those children that are capable, prevocational training is provided, taking them to various organizations within Dubai for work experience with a view to helping them gain employment within the community and to take their rightful place in this world.

    It is the training that the older children receive that makes the Dubai Center for Special Needs shine amongst its peers.

    In the society from which many of the children come, the girls are still expected to help run the parental home, or even a marital home. To assist them in such a task, they are taught the skills required – how to use household equipment, the basics of household management, etc., to allow them to participate as much as possible in the home.

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    General Cases in UAE

    Kind Gestures is committed to supporting individuals in need in the UAE. To that effect, in the past year we have supported many children by paying their school fees to enable them to enjoy the level of education that most take for granted.

    Some of the other children we have helped are:

    Baby Ric Andrei was born prematurely in the UAE. Kind Gestures helped with the hospital bills

    Mohammed Farhan was born with a deviation of both eyes. His parents were too poor to afford the simple surgery required to correct the condition, so Kind Gestures contributed funds towards the cost of the procedure.

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    Manar Al Iman School

    Manar Al Iman is a charity school in Ajman that relies fully on charitable sources for all its funding requirements.

    The school was started in a mosque in 1994 with the purpose of teaching orphaned and underprivileged kids how to read the Holy Quran. Soon the number of students rose dramatically and by 1992, it moved to new premises and officially became a school. It soon grew into four schools for 2,190 boys and girls providing primary and secondary education.

    Apart from free studies the school authorities also provide free books, breakfast, health insurance and sponsorships to higher education institutions. It provides an education for the forgotten children of the UAE - the Bedouin and Arab expats who cannot afford to pay even the minimal fees for a government education.

    This is where futures are made and this is where the budding talents of tomorrow are shaped and strengthened. Of course, Kind Gestures stands shoulder to shoulder in providing support and encouragement to the students and the authorities by way of monetary contributions.

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    Manzil

    www.manzil.ae

    Manzil is a Special Needs school, based in Sharjah, that works tirelessly to promote inclusion of its students, whether it be into mainstream schooling, or into the work environment.

    Children learn the necessary skills to achieve as much as they possibly can, either at work or even in the home. They take great pride in packing gift items to order or making jewellery to sell, all as practice for holding down a steady job.

    They are not seen as disabled, just differently abled and with that ethos, they are allowed to maximize their potential abilities.

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    Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre

    www.rashidc.ae

    Since its inception in 2000, Kind Gestures has strongly supported the wonderful work that the Rashid Paediatric Therapy Centre continues to do.

    One specific project was equipping the Physical Disabilities section with all the equipment needed for the children’s exercise and learning. The children are taught what to us may seem the basic skills of balance and coordination, but to them is a hard-earned ability.

    The children have lots of activities that they participate in, including painting, music, art, sports, dance drama, cooking, swimming, reading, writing and, not to forget, playing and having fun!

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    Red Crescent UAE

    Very little needs to be written about the amazing work done by the Red Crescent Society worldwide. Here in Dubai, they not only support initiatives in places where war and natural disasters have taken a severe toll on human lives, but also work hard to help those living in the UAE, whether their needs be medical, educational or for those generally finding it hard to make ends meet due to temporary setbacks.

    Daily they are called upon to provide assistance and they work to help the most needy who seek their help.

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    Senses, Dubai

    Senses is the first residential care facility in the UAE and was co-founded by Nadia Khalil al Sayegh and Kerry Hackeson. A non-profit organisation, it provides 24-hour nursing care to children and young adults between two to 20 years with severe physical and learning difficulties.

    Senses offers them a range of opportunities to fulfill educational interests, participate in life-enriching pastimes, build self-esteem, increase independence and explore future life opportunities. Daily classes conducted by professionally trained and multilingual staff include those in art, life skills, communication, personal care, sports, physiotherapy, horticulture, literature and cookery. Regular reviews are held with parents and professionals to ensure that needs are being met and realistic goals being set for the future.

    Kind Gestures has included Senses in the expanding portfolio of projects it supports through financial and material assistance.

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    Special Families Support Group

    www.sfs-group.net

    Special Families Support (SFS) is located in Dubai and is an organisation that provides support to parents and siblings of children with special needs.

    They provide one-to-one peer matching involvement in ongoing support groups and have periodic social and educational gatherings. They help parents who have a child with special needs to make connections with other parents whose children have a similar condition.

    By providing emotional support, resources, information and activities, they help families cope better by realizing that they are not alone in their situations. The main aim is to bring families together on a common platform and focus on coping strategies for the whole family.

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    Safe Childhood Centre

    The Safe Childhood Center was inaugurated in 2003 following studies which indicated a high ratio of children in Yemen that had no home to return to at night after working all day on the streets.

    The Safe Childhood Center is the only shelter for homeless children in Sana’a and has an open-door policy: Homeless children can come and have healthy meals and a place to sleep with the freedom to come and go as they please.

    Along with offering a safe place for homeless children on a daily basis, the center focuses on trying to get the children back home if possible. Its social workers research both the children and their families in specific cases to learn if they can live with their families again. If it is not possible, the center can house them permanently.

    The Centre aims to rehabilitate street children socially, psychologically and educationally to become good citizens. The Centre has succeeded in making many positive changes in the behaviour of children, touching on different aspects of their lives, such as dressing, food habits, health and ways of communicating with others.

    It also provides schooling - since most are lacking in basic education and are illiterate - vocational training and healthcare.

    Kind Gestures supports such a centre as it provides children with a “safe” environment as well as one that offers a way forward from poverty and illiteracy. By offering education and vocational training, the children are offered a viable alternative to the circumstances in which they would otherwise be trapped.

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    Sirajatul Khairiya Charitable School

    This school was established in the Bwejuu village of Zanzibar to help abandoned abused and poor children by providing them with food, shelter, education and medical support.

    In 2005, the school had four classes with a total of 25 children. Now they have 114 students comprising 50 boys and 64 girls. A new building is being constructed to house the increased number of children studying at this institution. Apart from classes, it will also have other facilities necessary for the holistic growth of the students.

    As in many other parts of the world, here too Kind Gestures is at the forefront of supporting this initiative for the upliftment of children from the poorer strata of society.