Monday, December 25, 2017

Day 25: Merry Christmas full of little Gestures. Thank you very much to all who help us to grow every day!

In 2017, your support to ALG helped c. 2’500 beneficiaries, mainly underprivileged children, many of them orphan and vulnerable. We continue growing mainly with the help of Volunteers and minimal administrative costs. We rely mostly upon our friends’ word of mouth and on ALG’s Friends and Friendly Companies fund raising campaigns to limit headquarters’ expenditures. Our heartfelt THANK YOU to all!

Since our launch in 2005 up to 2017, ALG and our sister charity UPG Portugal registered in Sponsoring initiatives:
· £1.2 MM generously raised by you 
· £1.1 MM already invested on the field benefiting UPG Sponsored children in Xai-Xai, Chokwé and Chongoene
· In 2017 alone, we supported 877 children through direct, individual and loving sponsoring initiatives.
Over a decade ago, ALG has been developing, jointly with our sister charity Um Pequeno Gesto, local Projects that strengthen our support to sponsored children. This year our projects more than 50% were Education projects (from Pre-schools to University Scholarships), 20% were Infra-structure projects such as Family housing, and 20% Poverty relief initiatives such as our HIV Day Care Centre. 

Since 2005, your Great Help has totalled:

· £2.1 MM raised between 2005-2016, £2.4 MM2005-2017YTD
· £1.6 MM invested on the field between 2005-2016, £1.8 MM 2006-2017YTD

In 2018, we want to enlarge the ALG family, continue investing in our children’s Education, secure the School Meals Programme and the HIV Day Care Centre at SLM School. We want to launch more Income Generation Programmes, support extremely underprivileged families and children and break the cycle of poverty step-by-step.
THANK YOU VERY MUCH to everyone who enable us to fulfil ALG’s dream of improving the lives of children, families, youngsters and elderly in Mozambique. Every Little Gesture Helps!
 

MERRY CHRISTMAS ALG FAMILY!!!

Sunday, December 24, 2017

Day 24: ALG Technicians bringing us closer to children

ALG’s local technicians are vital for our fieldwork. They are mainly young, hardworking underprivileged youngsters, who are the connecting link between the Headquarters’ administrative needs and Local Partners, who are very present and well respected, but also extremely busy with other community issues.

Each technician is crucial for ALG’s work. In Chokwé, the hardworking Jaime (SVP school) and Orcídio (SLM school, with Cristóvão’s support) intensify our intervention in large schools with several projects in place. At ALG pre-schools, hired in 2017, we have Abel at EFI and Cremilde at ESC who took on their new responsibilities with joy and expertise. In Chongoene we have Arnaldo – himself a promotor of ALG’s IT centre – and in Xai-Xai we have Hélder – one of our newest graduates, in Law! These technicians provide support and tenderness to children who have been growing up with us for the past years. Every one of them provides us details of the children they know so well, pictures of happy faces and reports on an unsustainable hut which makes us want to build a house...   we could not forget our dear Hilario, ALG’s General Coordinator and a friendly voice guiding all these youngsters. This Summer, Hilário gathered all the technicians in order to truly assess the difficulties and joys of working with ALG on the field. These meetings will happen again because at ALG we want you to be at your best to help our children which are at such a long distance!

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Saturday, December 23, 2017

Day 23: Colourful smiles - ColorADD's mission

ALG invited the Portuguese NGO ColorADD to visit our operations in Chokwè in February 2017, including the SVP and the SLM school projects.

Between the 19th and the 28th February, a ColorADD team made their initial visit from what ALG expects to develop into a long-term partnership between the two charities. This visit by team leaders Bárbara Neiva and Joao Santos included a recognition visit, the distribution of ColorAdd kits (bag, pencil and activity books) and awareness raising towards color-blindness. ColorAdd has developed a color identification system through a code that allows color-blind people to be inserted into society.

During this visit the team ran a screening of all the children in the HIV Centre with a report fully available for consultation and photos here. The children were thrilled with all the attention and both parties concluded this was a mutually enriching experience to be repeated over the medium-term!

A TESTIMONIAL FROM COLORADD
We went looking for the smile inside a child's eyes... we came back with a lot of colourful glances and with a full heart! From Escola Santa Luísa de Marillac to the Day Centre for HIV positive children, we were always welcomed with open arms and were able to share experiences with almost 1000 children and their teachers, carried out colour-blindness screenings, offered ColorADD kits with school material... but, more than that, we touched and were touched by the generosity of every single person who accompanied us in this adventure. For now, we have the certainty of wanting to go back and the promise that we will go back... there are many other smiles to colour!!! A strong and heartfelt thank you to all those who helped us make this crusade possible. To UPG/ALG (Um Pequeno Gesto/A Little Gesture), who supported us from the beginning and accompanied us on the field through its Director, Anabela Nina, its Volunteers and its Local Technicians... from all we received the strength to go on doing more and better... and we will!!! Color is for All!!!

ON THE HIV CENTRE CHILDREN
“Which child marked us more? ALL! For themselves and for the incredible work being performed by ALG and the Vicentine Sisters in the Centre!!!
If we have to chose, me Barbara I chose Helio Machavane, a hyper sensitive, creative and intelligent boy, and Marcia, incredibly docile though naughty, very independent. Mano Joao was surrendered to Lavinesse, to her sweetness and intelligence.”

Barbara Neiva, ColorADD, March 2017

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Friday, December 22, 2017

Day 22: Thank you UPG Portugal volunteers!

This year it was Vírginia, Olga and Pedro turn to drop everything and travel to discover a new and unknown reality. They flew to Mozambique where they got in touch with new scents, new flavours, a new culture and new people who, with so little, can give so much. They did an outstanding job at SLM and SVP. Their activities focused on the pre-school, on supporting the technical courses, the children at the Day Care Centre, the study support initiatives and by setting up the Three Mosquiteers challenge.

During this Christmas season at headquarters we had, as per usual, our volunteers providing a great support, helping out with the Christmas post cards which bring so much joy to the UPG Sponsors. Thank you Manuela and Muno.

To the more than 30 volunteers who help us with our daily tasks, our heartfelt Thank You.

This year UPG Portugal, took a major step forward by acquiring the Salesforce CRM to improve our management skills, this help is still precious to us, so come and join us!! (contact us at: voluntariado@umpequenogesto.org).

Donate to ALG now!

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Day 21: Hokwé’s fantastic four

Hokwé’s children entered an UPG sponsoring programme, in boarding school regime, between 2011 and 2016. By the end of 2016, the 4 youngsters concluded the 12th grade and moved on to the ALG Technical-University Scholarship Programme.

Artimisa entered a Civil Service technical course, with an ALG scholarship aimed at students who wish to attend shorter and intermediate level courses. Anselmo, Pedro and Adriano received an ALG University Scholarship and are attending the Human Resources Degree!


This was a year of adaptation, Artimisa is living with the Vincentian sisters, ALG local partners, and the boys ae sharing a house! They are all living in Chokwé and we are so proud of their first steps into adulthood!   

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Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Day 20: Full bellies always learn better

In 2016, ALG strengthened the After-School Support snack at SVP (São Vicente Paulo school), an after-school programme providing a much-needed academic support to UPG Portugal sponsored children. In a year of huge draught and shortage, our meals were reinforced with rice and beans.

Because this initiative was so successful, in 2017 we asked  to continue providing this help! ALG began by providing 2 meals per week in After-School Support, varying between beans and greens. In return we have healthier and more motivated children, eager to learn more, and even bigger smiles!

With £2'575 in SVP – average £11 student/year – ALG finances instructors to provide after school support mainly for the subjects of Maths and Portuguese, occasional school materials and lunch – a key factor to ensure attendance


At SLM this programme has an annual cost of £564, providing only a snack – at this school children already benefit from free lunch with the ALG School Meals Programme.

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Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Day 19: Margarida Mundlovo: a Mummy from Santa Luísa’s

In mid-February, our SLM local technician Orcídio informed us that Margarida Mundlovo was pregnant. Usually this is followed by a communication informing us that the future mom is going to abandon school.
But Margarida immediately revealed a willingness to continue studying, with a small interruption when the baby is due, of course.  In Mozambique it is not common, nor well accepted, to have pregnant young ladies studying. Margarida entered the UPG Sponsoring programme in 2011 and we take Margarida’s willingness to continue studying as our own. Together with the Vincentian sisters, ALG Local partners in Santa Luísa de Marillac, we incentivise Margarida's continuation of studies!
It was a success! JEMILIO was born of the 14th of May and a few days later Margarida was already back in school. Mom is providing a huge help with the baby and her Portuguese Sponsors, thrilled with the news, besides supporting Margarida are also providing formula for little Jemilio!
A story with a happy ending. We believe these little gestures and this change of mind set will help other young moms! 

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Monday, December 18, 2017

Day 18: Children at the Day Care Center "kick" the disease every day

Because the days at the HIV Day Care Centre in Sta. Luisa Marillac can and should be fun, this year ALG decided to give a different present to these children who live with such a dramatic disease - HIV. We decided to build a football field with the support of British Foundation the Egmont Trust who tries to mitigate the suffering of children affected by HIV. When the new footballs arrived, the joy was contagious among children and adults!

SLM HIV Day Care Centre is ALG’s newest project. In this region, hugely affected by this disease, the centre provides personalised care to 32 children living with HIV/AIDS: adequate meals, medication control and constant medical support. With £499 per year - £45/month per child in 2017 – we provide a healthier and dignified childhood to our little ones!


Children at the centre still live with the virus but they are stronger, healthier, fit to study and more importantly... they are loved and very, very playful.

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Day 17: Thank you to all the companies that joined us in 2017

ALG and UPG Portugal are so proud of having several Solidary and Friendly Companies in Portugal. Since day one PLMJ has provided us precious legal support. We have new initiatives dedicated to UPG such as a NUD with word search puzzles. Caia launched the gorgeous Solidary Caia.  Mii displays our clutches on their stands. Multicert is raising funds internally for UPG with lots or creativity. We cannot forget SETH, responsible for financing a large portion of the School Meals Programme benefiting 800 children on a daily basis, Ribacapital who promotes Merit Scholarships at EFI, and StepAhead responsible for revolutionising our management skills through its SalesForce ... so many initiatives, so many ways of helping us and our children.

We would also like to highlight ALG/UPG friendly schools, always present with enthusiastic children, who are our biggest ambassadors, stimulating our campaigns!

Each company or school, in their own way, choose how to support us and their favourite projects. A Great THANK YOU to all of them!

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Saturday, December 16, 2017

Day 16: The best events ever are with UPG Portugal

UPG Portugal love to create new partnerships with generous institutions and individuals who open their doors and hearts to raise awareness and funds.

This February, UPG Portugal was one of the four institutions supported by the Portuguese National Ballet Company through their Solidary Dress Rehearsal, offering us 200 invitations for the play “ITMOI – IN THE MIND OF IGOR”.

With this opportunity UPG Portugal managed to raise £2’100, inviting a total of 164 spectators with a donation of £13 per ticket. The amount raised during this event was fully applied in one of our most ambitious projects – School Meals at Stª. Luísa de Marillac, Mozambique. This project feeds 900 children every day. We would like to thank the amazing CNB’s corps de ballet who managed, from such a long distance, to bring some magic to the lives of our children in Mozambique.

In the same month, we had another successful solidary initiative this time with Life Training, jointly with APDP (Portuguese Academy for Personal Development). The event “Inspiration for a magical life” was developed with the purpose of inspiring Portugal, and revealing the "formula to access a magical life ", during a dynamic and fun seminar.
In total we raised £1´500 which were also applied in the School Meals Programme in Stª Luisa de Marillac.


Thank you to all who joined us in such inspiring events.

Donate to ALG now!