2013 was a tumultuous, exciting, challenging and ultimately uplifting year for Street Action. Here’s a roundup of what the last 12 months brought for the charity.
The year started with tragedy, as a devastating fire hit the market in Bujumbura, Burundi, affecting hundreds of lives including Dieudonne Nahimana’s own family. We started an emergency appeal to help pay for food, shelter and losses incurred; together we raised over £5,000 to help in the aftermath of the fire.
Only a few months later there was good news for our partner in Burundi, New Generation, as we learned that the boys’ football team had been chosen to take part in the 2014 Street Child World Cup (SCWC) along with a team from Umthombo. This is an incredible opportunity for the boys, not only to travel and meet teams from around the world, but also to become ambassadors for other children living on the streets in Burundi.
We had a busy summer, starting with the Surfers Not Street Children team visiting London, accompanied by founder Tom Hewitt. The now-surfers: Lucky, Andile, and Sihle spent an evening with the Street Action Board, past volunteers and some members of last year’s cycle ride to talk about how they have become ambassadors for street children their hopes for the future.
In August Dieudonne came to the UK for an extended visit, which was a great opportunity for him to make new connections and inspire more people with his story.
He had a packed schedule: speaking at Greenbelt festival, meeting supporters from across the country and speaking at reconciliation projects in both Coventry and St Ethelburga’s in London. For several days he joined Tom and the other people from street child organisations across the world for the Street Child World Cup summit in Cambridge, where they both made an impression with their passion for helping street children through their work.
Before returning to Burundi, he helped send off the 2013 Cycle Ride from London. In its 5th year, the ride saw 16 intrepid cyclists tackle the hills and vales of London to Lands End: 300 gruelling miles, which raised £20,000 for investment in New Generation.
In November, one of our loyal cycle riders Danny, went out to Bujumbura with a coffee machine to help set the Tree Cafe up. Through the twitter account @brewundi he kept us all up to date with developments and we hope that this year the cafe will be boasting the best cup of coffee in Burundi!
Also in November we had the chance to start fundraising through the online platform Global Giving. This is an American initiative, which allows organisations that reach a specific fundraising goal to then use the platform to engage people from America in future fundraising activity. We had a month to reach a fundraising target from 50 individual donors. And with a few days in hand we made it! This is an excellent opportunity for us to engage expat communities and other street child supporters based in the States.
So that’s it for 2013. Thank you for your support throughout the year: from donating your money, or your valuable time, to sharing our news with your friends and colleagues, thank you so much for helping us in our work!
If you want to know more about how you can support Street Action in 2014, email us at info[at]streetaction.org.