Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Recent Local Fund Raising Events.

Hello from a cold but dry Filey, U.K.

On 16th March Filey Rotary Club held a Spring Fayre and we booked two tables to fund raise for Smiles to Tanzania.

We thought you might like to see some photos of the event.  The photo below shows a friend Margaret manning the soft toy stall, which proved quite popular.  Most of the soft toys were 'Easter' themed, being mainly chickens, rabbits or lambs.  Each toy was given a name and the customer picked a name out of the container to see which one they had won.  A prize every time!

I had a stall with a variety of goods where people picked a card and matched it with one on the table to see what prize they had won.  Again, a prize every time!

It was good fun, and thanks to Margaret and her husband Graham for helping out.


A couple of days ago Derek and I visited the Alba Rose Residential Home in Pickering, where we met the residents, and Derek gave a presentation showing slides of us with Lake Victoria Children's Society; giving out clothes, shoes, soap etc. to the outlying villagers, and also the lining of the well at the Albino Society.

Some of the Alba Rose lady residents had helped to sew up some of the 'fish and chip' vests which we had received from Thornton le Dale W.I earlier this month.  Before our visit, the Home had taken part in a coffee morning and earmarked the proceeds for our charity.

Many thanks to the Alba Rose Residential Home Management, and to the residents for their hospitality and donations.  It was good to meet you all.

Our photo below shows Ann Marflitt (Activities Coordinator) and Lena Gowthorpe, a resident of the Alba Rose Home.


March has proved to be a busy month for the charity.  Derek has given six presentations to various organizations to raise awareness for the need to help our friends on Ukerewe island.

Robert has been busy producing a tri-fold leaflet  which can be given to interested people. 

Christopher continues to work on our Web site.  Watch this space!

We have been given donations of mens and womens clothing,  knitted childrens jumpers and baby hats, books and soft toys.  Thank you all for your kindness.  

We wish you all a Very Happy Easter,

Until the next time,
Best wishes,

Diane, Derek and the team.

Urgent help needed to support Justine Lunzagi?

Hello again,

We have received this report from Alex Magaga, Chairman of Lake Victoria Children.  LVC also have a number of Ambassadors who live in many of the seventyfive villages on the island, and they look out for families and especially children who need special help.

The Story of Justine Lunzagi.

Justine is 9 years old.  He lives in Nantare village on Ukerewe Island.  Nantare is about two miles from the Lake Victoria Childrens centre.  Justine lives with his dad who is dying of AIDS.  Justine himself is HIV positive, and was infected by his mom either at birth or through breast feeding.  His mom died four years ago.

Justine is now in Class 3 in one of the community schools.  He misses school a lot due to falling ill very often.  He is very clever and comes second out of fiftytwo children in his class in exams. 

LVC discovered Justine through our programme HAP (Health Action Programme).  He is on Antiviral drugs to improve his health and so is his dad.  The problem is Justine does not have enough to eat, let alone nutritious food, to fight his illness.  He sometimes goes to bed hungry and Antiviral drugs are too strong on an empty stomach.

We are trying to help him through our HAP but there is very little we can do ourselves,.  He needs food to eat and be strong enough for the Antiviral drugs.  He has visited our centre twice with the help of one of his dad's relatives, who cannot do much himself. 

Justine's case is one of many exceptional cases we come across in villages and feel it is important we widely share his case.  Is there anyone willing to support him?  £30 will feed Justine healthy food for one month.  His biggest dream is to be a Doctor, but unless he wins his battle against HIV with medication, his dream is unlikely to materialise.

Thank you Alex for this very moving story.

If anyone can help Justine, please do contact us at

Best wishes,

Diane and Derek

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Helping Hands for Ukerewe.

Hello there,

We have been amazed at the kindness of people who are helping the charity.  As you know, we are continually fund raising for L.V.C  and the underprivileged people of Ukerewe.  Earlier this month we were given four dressed dollies.  The lady who had donated them has sat for many hours knitting, and then sewing on the bows, buttons and tiny pearl beads etc. and these dollies are dressed beautifully.   Thank you Mrs. Christine Thompson of Filey, U.K  for your kind generosity.  Two of them have already been sold.  We thought you would like to see them.  Brenda soon fell in love with the little boy dolly ...........

and this morning, the second dolly was sold.........

This dolly has little pearl beads sewn as eyes for the scotty dogs which are knitted in the clothes.  Vera just couldnt resist buying it!   Here are the other two which will either be sold, or raffled.

Aren't they beautiful?

We were recently given a donation of books from Filey Junior School - for which we are very thankful.  

A company called Benenden Co. U.K. donated hundreds of pens and note pads.  These will certainly come in handy on Ukerewe island when we send the next container. Very often, the pupils cannot afford writing materials, so thank you for your generous donation.

Our friends Steve and Patricia who have worked tirelessly to support the people of Ukerewe have received lots of small knitted tops from the U3A group in Redcar, U.K.   We have been given 50 of these, and we thank the U3A group most sincerely for their kind contribution shown below.

There is a story to these knitted vests.  On Tuesday night we visited Thornton le Dale W.I. group as they had been knitting for the charity.  They mentioned that the vests were called 'Fish and Chip' vests and told us why.  In Africa, very often when a baby is born there are no clothes to dress the child in, and so the baby is wrapped up in newspaper, hence the name 'Fish and Chip baby.'

For our overseas readers - Years ago,  our Fish and Chip shops in the U.K. always wrapped the food in grease proof paper first and then newspaper, to keep the food warm.  

Here is a lovely photo of the Thornton le Dale W.I. who have been so busy with their knitting kneedles.  The vests shown in the photo are just a few which had been knitted.  In all we came away with 79 vests ......

and this is what they look like!   Thank you Thornton Dale W.I. for your continued support.  There will be many, many babies looking cute and snug in these vests - and thats the way it should be! 

Until the next time,

Best Wishes

Diane, Derek and the team.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Alex's New Website for L.V.C.

Hello there,

Alex now has a brand new website which he has put together himself.  He works so hard for the Lake Victoria Childrens Society and vulnerable children in the villages, as well as being a volunteer for the Tanzania Albino Society in Ukerewe.

His dream that all the children on the island are fed and educated will take years, but he has set out his vision and expectations up to 2016.  Smiles to Tanzania are very mindful of Alex's hard work and dedication and we support him and his aims one hundred percent.  To log on to Alex's new site go to http:/   We know you will be impressed.

For those of you on Facebook, why not pass this website on to your friends.

Until the next time,

Best wishes,
Diane and Derek