Spirit of Christmas A Ray of Hope Cebu City Philipinnes

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Merry Christmas and wishing All a 2011 filled with health and happiness.

Friday, December 17, 2010

From Bulgaria - Snejana wishing everyone a Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Mozyr, Belarus - a special place with very special teachers and children.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Gardening and cookery supplies purchased for the school for diagnostics and development and also a printer for Svetlana and the 14 language teachers.

Uganda - Seguya's campaign trail gathers momentum

Nigeria - Resource Sharing Network


It's been ages since we communicated with you last, we really do hope that you are doing pretty well. Best wishes in all your endeavours.

Once again, we want to thank all our Youths Mentors, Sponsors, Donors and Friends.... thank you for giving a helping hands to these needy ones....we appreciate you.

Today, we've been able to complete the WAEC registration process of a disadvantaged young man who's been eager to go to school but withoutthe means... We are so thankful to one of our Mentors for such a great assistances!!!. Last year, we also did sponsor Anu -a female student to write the 2009 WAEC exams and today, she's an undergraduate of Tai Solarin College of Education. Thanks to God, and to everyone for the immense support!

To our 2010 volunteer Mentors, we urge you to always keep in touch with your Mentee....while those who are yet to get their Mentees' details should please look forward to receiving it this week!
Happy New Month.

Nigeria - from "our Anu" and mother of "Hope"

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Widow's Mite...

The last time i read about the Widow's mite was in the bible....it is a story about a woman characterised by uncommon art of giving....she never hesitated to donate her last mite to her master! Really, I never knew the reality of giving your last card out on charity basis until recently when i was "tempted" to do likewise~and i had no option!

Yes, November 18th, 2010 is another day that i won't ever forget in a jiffy....just 4days after my birthday...although, the day started out on a bad note...my cutie, lovely baby girl was ill and i had to take her to the clinic...it sucks to watch your love ones hurt...and sucks more when you cannot do much to alleviate the pains and hurts....but, the day ended with smiles and good feelings... :)

Inasmuch as i hate to write about what i do to help others, i just cannot help but write about this, for some good reasons....Prior to that day, i've been receiving frantic calls from one of our mentees who needed some help because he was returning to the University...and he had no money to go back having lost his father some few days back....exactly two weeks ago!

At first my reaction was passive, because i felt i had no money...my salary for the past 2months hasn't been paid and i just knew it that i wouldn't be able to help in this situation....i felt hurt really, but what could i do when i needed help myself....:)

Then, i remembered i had N3,000 in my bank savings account....that was my last but "surviving" cash. And, my first reaction was a no-no-no .....because it sounded like a huge joke....giving out all my savings....just like that?! It was a difficult decision for me to make, but then, i remember how much this young man needs the money....i know he needs some financial assistances badly because only recently had he gained admission into the University and he's got lots of dues to pay for....and to worsen it all....his father died when he needed him most!!! Life seems so cruel to him...but then, his own life must go on...and, to the university, he must return...

Finally, i summon the courage to do as my heart bids me, and i left for the bank and emptied my widow's mite and transfered it into his account. ......finally, yes finally, i bid farewell to my surviving cash...lol.

Half of the time on my way on....i thought of my action deeply....a part of me regretted the action, but another part rejoiced greatly because I've only saved a soul....that needed some help....i felt happy and struggled to put my action behind me....remembering the woman in the bible who gave her all and was thereafter blessed for it....and, that truly was my consolation.....that, maybe some day.....maybe, i shall be remembered for good too.... i thought....i wished...i prayed solemnly...:)

Then, and then....my phone beeped....I received a text message from a friend who attended an annual WOMEN SYMPOSIUM organised by an ngo in my country. She wrote to alert me that I've just been awarded the sum of 750 dollars (N115,000) for my youths project! I wowed!!!!

I just couldn't contain myself....as i leapt for joy....isn't it amazing how sometimes our little and unrecognised act of kindness culminates to greater blessings...?

India - toys arrive for the prison and street children.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Uganda - Lunch4learning

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Uganda Lunch4Learning

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Support to purchase 200 agricultural/gardening tools furnished to Lunch4Learning

EKYEMISANA becomes LUNCH4LEARNING on 1 October. We aim to improve the learning experience of Ugandan primary children by helping schools provide a lunchtime meal. The first pages of the new 'lunch4learning.org' website should be available on 1 October. As Ekyemisana, we have been helping Ugandan primary schools start and maintain plots on which they grow food to feed their children at lunchtime. This is a completely sustainable activity involving schools and their extended local communities. Our work started in 2008 and we are already working with 37 schools and have 34,065 children in our programme. Attendance at school is considerably better - a first step towards accessing education. But the need to build upon our work is crucial and that growth is only limited by the funding that we are able to generate. We can include a child in the programme at a 'one-off' average cost of 59p/$0.90. We are currently working in the District of Jinja where there are 212,000 children registered in schools. To achieve our objectives, we are working with the Ministry of Education, Local Government and the Church of Uganda. Should we succeed in this Challenge, we could add a further 850 children (one school) to the programme.

In July, I visited Uganda, ran some workshops and with the help of some generous donors, we increased the number of children in the programme to 34,065. As that was also harvest time, it was very exciting to see crops ready to be picked.

During last week's visit, that number was increased to just under 50,000 across 54 schools. I am still putting together some important data I brought back but it seems we have increased the amount of land under our care from 121 acres to around 190 acres. I also opened talks with local government and the Church of Uganda. They are both much better informed about our work and have declared that they will release land for our programme. How much is something I will have to nail down in the weeks ahead. Similar conversations have started with the Madhvani family who run the biggest sugar plantations in Uganda. I have a meeting with them in London in mid-February.

We recognise an urgent need to collect data that will help us assess the impact of our work in the standards of learning across the schools involved in the programme. To that end, we have renewed to April 2011, the position of the District Coordinator whom we have put on a retainer to liaise with schools and report to trustees in Kampala. That brings me to the new administration structure in Uganda.

During the course of this year, Trustees recognised that using the 'Ekyemisana' name was creating obstacles in our fundraising efforts in the UK. So, on 1 October we became Lunch4Learning in the UK whilst we continue to use Ekyemisana in Uganda. We are now, therefore, effectively 2 organisations. Lunch4Learning will operate in the UK and will also raise funds in the USA and Canada. Ekyemisana will operate in Uganda only.

We have registered Ekyemisana in Uganda with a different board of 9 trustees, 7 of which are Ugandans. The memorandum and articles of association have now become our constitution in Uganda. This registration, has allowed us, in turn, to open a bank with Standard Chartered and will facilitate the flow of funds from the UK to Uganda.

The application process for NGO status is also underway. All these tasks are being undertaken on our behalf by Shunobi-Musoke Legal Associates. Mr Peters Musoke is a trustee of both the Ekyemisana board and the Lunch4Learning board.

Ekyemisana trustees have approved the job description for the appointment of a Programme Manager who will liaise with District Coordinators, fundraise locally and report quarterly to Ekyemisana trustees and to myself here in the UK. That position will take effect from 1 February 2011.

One of the trustees has generously given us office space in Kampala at no cost to the charity. He has also agreed to pay the Programme Manager's salary for a year.

You know about our order for 300 hoes that will go into schools on 1 February. I will try to edit the video (which is in 5 sections) before sending it off to you.

So, as you can see, we have been very busy but the challenge of fundraising continues in Oxford where administration continues to be cost-free.

Spain - Melanie attends European Conference on Romani Cuture et al

These are photos of the First Congress of Roma Women, meeting in Barcelona.

Hosted by Drom Kotar Mestipen.
Melanie Price and Rita Varey were two Roma Women invited to the first Congress of Roma Women in Europe.

The congress is to Unite Roma Women in a view to empowering them, via their Human Rights, and Dignity. Also to find ways to dispel the stigma, that goes with the name Roma, or Gypsy.

Over 300 women gathered in Barcelona in October this year. The Mayor of Barcelona hosted all 300 women with a wonderful dinner in the City Hall.

For 3 days, the women gathered together in the audetorium to share ideas in what they could do to be included into society, and to be accepted by the World Governments and Countries.

Many positive testimonies were given, as women after women told of how they had been persecuted and had racial abuse directed at them, but they all told of how they had to avoid all negativity from the media, and the locals, to rising above it, and staying focused on changing peoples concept of the Roma, which has been very negatively viewed to the European public.

Roma women were Air cabin crew,Conference Hostess s,Domestic Engineers. One girl was a training to be a Police Woman. Another was a teachers assistant. Many were working in Social work. Some admitted they didn t tell their employer what race they came from. Some Roma Women had started their own busines s in Dancing, and Music, and Cultural Understanding Seminars.

All women had many stories in common, and the whole Spirit of the Congress was Electrifying as the Roma Women gave Hope to one another.

Most Roma Women could speak Romanes, and so Communication was easily accessed.

Everyone agreed that those Roma Women who couldn t speak the languge, should learn themselves, and their future Generations, so Culture, Language, and Traditions can be kept alive, and shown to the World, that Roma has a virtual Nation of its own, and will keep its identy, whithout the old problems of being misunderstood, and kept as a social low class Citizens,status .

Outcome, Countries United, via the Roma Women. Cross networking. Invites to teach Roma History

Nigeria - Resource Sharing Network

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

We trust that you are doing greatly wherever you are... Wishing you good health, peace and happiness, always. Attached herewith are some of the photographs of our last Mentoring

Orientation Program held at Sweet Sensation Hall, Opebi, Ikeja. Special Highlights of the day include: Presentation of Award to Best


2009 Most Well-Behaved Mentee -Farouk Tackie an ex-student of Opebi Grammar Sch., Ikeja.

2009 Best Mentee- Oshovire Onofe who was the best graduating student in his 2009 set, He scored 290 in JAMB and presently a student of the University of Agriculture, Abeokuta. Also, an ex-student of Opebi

Grammar Sch., Ikeja.

2009 Best Mentor -Mr. Tunde Majiyagbe (UBA)

2009 Most Supportive Mentor -Mrs. Taiye Falolu of Standard Chartered Bank,

Really, these mentors have demonstrated high level of commitment to the mentoring schemes and they have affected more lives.

And, to our Professional Guest Speakers:

Mr. Tunde Olubola -UK Certified Educationist

Mr. John Ekundayo - A COREN registered engineer and Organizational

Leadership Graduate from the Monash University, Australia. He is based in Malaysia

Mrs. Olubola Adeleye - UK Qualified Mortgage, Loans and Insurance Broker

Engr. Zaidan - Quality Assurance Manage, ARIK Air

Mr. Adewale Adebusoye - A young professional and Computer Science M.Sc holder from Netherlands.

Thank you to Kay and Ann - miscellaneous countries

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

Thank you to Ann and Kay for their wonderful generosity and the supply of stocked pencils cases, toys and trinket boxes. In the near future worthy recipients will benefit from their kindness.

Kenya -Thank you to the David Tyler Trust

Thank you to the David Tyler Trust for the substantial provision of pencils, biros. jotters and mathematical sets for needy students in Kitale, Kenya.

Nigeria - London

Science books, educational supplies, teachers' notes and lesson plans arrive safely in London with Ayodele for onward passage to needy teachers in Nigeria.

Nigeria - Resource Sharing Network

Saturday, November 06, 2010

Please, be reminded that our Annual Mentoring Orientation Program is TODAY.

And, we look forward to meeting you there!!

Venue: Sweet Sensation, Hall, Opebi Ikeja

Time: 12:00noon prompt
Car Park Space: Abiola International School (Opposite Sweet Sensation).


"Every mentoring match can thrive if the mentor puts in the right

amount of time, dedication, and effort."

Nepal - Metta Centre from Piya

Our children and Nepalese are celebrating Dipawali...kind of celebration with music, song, lighting. and the sisters respecting their brothers so that sisters get gift form their brothers, fire works and prayer to the Lucky ..money Goddess called Laxmi is honoured, fireworks, food, family get together similar to the Xmas celebration. These are the some of the features of the Dipawali...The Festival of Light, flowers. I will send you some pictures after the event. The festival is going on now and on Monday ( 8 Novemner) is the last day of the event. But our kids are not enjoying as others do...as they are away from their families yet we bring them to others family, outings, food..and fun that they deserve. Love from kids

India - toys for prison and street children.

Friday, November 05, 2010

Thanks to Ann and Santa's wee Village, toys begin their journey to India for prison and street children.
Safe journey Carol. photographs to follow.

Nigeria - Prismoni School, Lagos.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Educational supplies, desk top science books, teachers' lesson notes and resource information sent to Prismoni School. The school was established in 1975, has 36 teachers at 900 pupils in nursery, primary and secondary levels. Situated on the outskirts of Lagos it delights in being able to assistance those children who are financilly challenged.

Nigeria Resource Sharing Network

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Support sent to assist 25 students with the mentoring induction programme.
Best wishes to them all.

South Africa - Jenny visits.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Friends of Goboti

Just had a packed three week visit to Goboti in South Africa during September, making plans for future work

Primary school children ready for class at Upper Enduku and very happy to be in their new dry school.

The old school, damp and dark, which they will soon be able to leave behind.

Showing off the wall of the new school which the mothers had just painted.

Nigeria Resource Sharing Network

Sunday, October 17, 2010


Trust your week has been good, happy weekend!!

Last week Friday, was such an awesome day for all of us who visited

high school students within the metropolis of Lagos. We had a Mentor

visit the students in their schools....:) . Find pictures attached...

It was such a refreshing time, as "Le Dynamique Professeur" Samuel

Ekundayo fed the youths with inspiring words of life and of wisdom.

Samuel E, profoundly called Ldp is an exciting young man who left the

shore of Nigeria some years back, started his PhD degree at the age of

23!..and still matching on....dreaming on and on....He is such a young

professional with a good spirit and sound mind who is so passionate of

young people. Starting PhD at such a young age is a 'mirage' and

almost impossible in this part of the world, and reasons why this is

so, aren't far fetched, and i know those of us in here, can attest to

it.....ASUU strike, unstable educational system, etc.

The decision to have him as our Guest Speaker was to inspire a cadre

of young people. Already, enough has been said about the distractions

our youths face in the society, the pressure to be a millionaire

overnight without having to work for it, the negative influence of

entertainments, technology, models etc.Truly, some of them have very

bad role models and all these are eating deep into their lives and

systems.....Most recently, due to the new education policy by the

Lagos State Education Board, a very high percentage of SSS 2 students

couldn't make it into SSS 3. Now, we have very few classes of SSS 3 in

most public schools in Lagos State....and very few students, compared

to what we used to have in time past...I know this might be a strategy

to raise qualify students to write the next WAEC exams....let's hope

things work out as planned. :) But, my concern in here, is that while

most of these young people were demoted because they couldn't pass

specified compulsory courses.....it's saddening that majority of these

students REFUSED to go back to repeat their classes....the new policy

hit them real hard and at such.....they find it difficult to repeat

classes only because they didn't pass English and Mathematics at

once!They choose not to register into their new classes and decided to

completely stay away from school....

Now, the concern is ....what is the future of such kids....who have

decided to stay off school....?

Yesterday, we were able to visit two schools and we were gladly met by

their Principals, School Counsellors and teachers, We sincerely hope

that our objective of exposing these kids to successful young

professionals like Samuel would help them think straight and know that

whatsoever the mind can conceive, it can ACHIEVE.....but, they've got

to DREAM ON....and keep their dreams alive....

We look forward to visiting more schools this coming week....


Our next Mentoring cycle begins in November and our annual Orientation

Forum has been post poned from the 23rd of this month to the 6th of

November, 2010. And, due to the greater number of Mentees/Students

that we've got to reach out to, we hope to pair more than ONE mentee

to a MENTOR. Hence, we would like to read from as many of our Mentors

who would prefer to mentor more than one students.... pls send us a


Thank YOU.

RSN -Reaching out to YOUNG PEOPLE

Nepal - Metta Centre

Friday, October 15, 2010

Congratulations to the Director Staff and our daughters on celebrating the 10th Anniversary of the Metta Centre.
Our daughters get more beautiful by the day.

More photographs can be seen here.


A Ray of Hope

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Sorry for the delay in the updates as life has been rather hectic.
Updates not in any order but as they come to me.
1. Thank you to Ann for her donation of many toys and packed pencil cases ideal for Hungary/Romania amongst other places. Thank you
2. Metta Centre Nepal celebrates its 10th anniversary - photographs to follow ( new traditional costumes purchased for all of the girls )
3. Jenny returns from her projects in South Africa - photographs to follow
4. Next trip to Belarus November - gardening equipment for the special school for diagnostics and leotards for the school for art and music supplied by David Tyler Trust and Roch Valley resp. Thank you
5. New FaceBook group A Ray of  Hope another strand for friendship.
6. Melanie attending the first Romani Women's Conference EU  in Barcelona
7. New video for International National Peace Day 2011 loaded on YouTube - thanks to Paula Eduarda (Brazil) Reet (Estonia) Kay (UK)
8. Seguya's parliamentary campaign progressing well in Uganda
9. "Ray" and  "Hope" thriving in Lagos Nigeria.
10. Paula Eduarda reaches the finals of Brazilian Talent Competition
11. New journal in South Korea our thanks to Serena
12. Sujata's projects developing favourably in Kashmir, India.
13. Binod organised science teacher workshops in Nepal
14. Some money becoming available soon for further support to 5 projects
15.  Gardening tools to be purchased for Lunch4Learning in Uganda
16. Monthly logos for A Ray of Hope designed each month by Snejana in Bulgaria - music composed monthly by Reet in Estonia.
17. Educational supplies sent to Ghana
18. Competition trophies sent to Sierra Leone

and we are having a bit of a lull !!!! Best wishes and thanks from us all to those who deserve our appreciation and esteem. Apologies as I am certain to have left something out.

Nepal - Metta Centre

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Finances sent to allow the purchase of new traditional costumes for the girls to be in their finest attire for the 10th Anniversary of Metta Centre on 2nd October, 2010. Those who care for our daughters in the Metta Centre deserve our highest level of respect and praise and the girls are proffered our congratualtions on their achievements. Hopefully photographs of the event and the girls to follow.
Photograph is of last year's costumes.

International Day of Peace 2011

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Nigeria - Resource Sharing Network

Friday, September 10, 2010

Firstly, Over the weekend, we received a parcel of books from a Friend and Donor in Netherlands - We really want to say A big thank you to our dear friend -Mrs. Toroti for the gesture and unusual support over the years. God bless.
Secondly, to intimate you that the much awaited GCE examination has started...and, we cannot but wish these young ones profound success!

Our third edition of the Mentoring Orientation/Youth Forum Program comes up in October 23rd, 2010. You might want to save the date. :). Last year, we had the following people on our Guest list.

Mrs. Layi-Babatunde (Lawyer),

Dr. (Mrs) Titi Akinlade (ExxonMobil),

Engr. Hannit (Arik Air)

Young Professionals -Volunteer Mentors

Selected SSS 3 students from different schools with their Parents etc.
For Mentoring Orientation III, we look forward to reaching out to more SSS 3 students with their parents from various schools. Highlights of the program include: Parent Forum, Youth Interactive Session, Mentoring Orientation Program, Icons of Hope Talk etc. Presently, we've got a friend and volunteer Mentor from Singapore here in Nigeria and we are planning to have him speak with the youths...on motivations, aspiration etc.
We look forward to having a great event! For partnership and sponsorship, pls do not hesitate to reply this mail.

Nepal - Well done Binod

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Many congratulations to Binod and  all involved - a brilliantly organised science workshop - 66 whiteboards delivered and the possibility of a further 60 being available.  If sufficient people do a little then so much is achieved.

Nigeria - Hope - named after A Ray of hope

Monday, September 06, 2010

Hope demonstrating that she is developing the skills needed to be a future director- general of UNESCO

at home with Technology
and Fashion Conscious

Hungary - Melanie and Girl Guides visit Hungary

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Three years ago, Ruth Riggs,( GirlGuide and Rangers leader) and I had just talked about the possibility of taking Guides and Rangers, from Stoke-on-Trent, out to Hungary to the poor villages, to experience the poverty, at. It was suggested that maybe the girls could interact with the children, and do some activities with them. Music and dance, games and sport is always the best introduction to our children in underprivileged villages in Hungary and Romania. August 10th this year was the planned date.

The girls were excited and apprehensive at the same time. Ruths husband Liam, drove one of the 3 cars that we hired, to take us from Budapest, up to the Romanian Borders.

Dani and Kati Beri, the Pastors of the local village Church, recieved them with open arms and a very warm welcome. Hungarian hospitality is first class, and the girls enjoyed eating true Hungarian Goulash on their arrival.

On the way, I took the girls to Bag, to see Ishtvan and David, and the people in the little village under the mountain. There we did a little programme of singing and dancing, and head, shoulders, knees, and toes, went down great

The next stop was in Hadjunnanas, to meet my friend Balasz, who works with special needs children. They were camping in a park area, and we were asked to join them. There were children in wheel chairs, and some of the bigger children had autism, and all them from very poor homes. There were a lot of Romany children. The parents were not allowed in, and waited all day outside on the grass. No Roma allowed. Once again the girls did their, head shoulders, knees and toes. I did a sketch about 3 men with disabilities. We ate together, potatoes, and paprika, and onion, it was delicious(fenom).....washed down with peach juice.

The weather was extremely hot, and the air was void of oxygen, or so it seemed. We continued up to Nyirbeltek, where we arrived around about 8.30pm..

The Girls had their first experience of another world, and another culture, and of a people who love with passion, regardless of their financial status, and living conditions.

Bulgaria - Snejana's logo for A Ray of Hope for September