Blessing’s Story

Blessing’s Story

In the heart of Uganda, a remarkable young girl named Blessing is living a life that exemplifies resilience, determination, and the pursuit of dreams. At just 14 years old, Blessing is in year seven and aspires to become a scientist, but her journey is far from ordinary. She faces a daily challenge that most of us can hardly imagine – the lack of access to clean water.

Blessing’s dream of becoming a scientist is fuelled by her insatiable curiosity and thirst for knowledge. Despite the numerous obstacles in her path, she remains unwavering in her determination to achieve her dreams. She envisions a future where she can make a difference in her community and contribute to the scientific advancements of her country. But in order to pursue her education and dreams, Blessing faces a daily ordeal that many of us take for granted – fetching water.

For Blessing and countless other children in Uganda, access to clean water is a daily struggle. Instead of focusing solely on her studies and pursuing her passion for science, Blessing is burdened with the responsibility of carrying water for her school and home twice a day. This is not just a physical challenge but also a tremendous drain on her time and energy.

When I had the privilege of visiting Blessing’s school, I had the opportunity to experience her daily routine firsthand. Together, we carried containers filled with water from a distant source, and it was an eye-opening experience. The weight of the water felt heavy on my shoulders, and I could only imagine how challenging it must be for Blessing to do this every single day.

Carrying water with Blessing was a humbling experience that highlighted the importance of empathy. It allowed me to better understand the daily struggles that Blessing and many other young girls like her face in their pursuit of education and dreams. It also reinforced the significance of the work being done by organisations and individuals dedicated to improving access to clean water in Uganda and around the world.

Blessing’s story is a reminder that access to clean water is not just a basic necessity but a fundamental human right. It should not be a barrier to education or hinder the dreams and aspirations of young individuals like Blessing.

As we reflect on Blessing’s journey, we are called to action. We are responsible for supporting initiatives that aim to provide clean water to communities in need, ensuring that children like Blessing can focus on their education and chase their dreams without the burden of carrying water.

Blessing’s determination to become a scientist despite the daily water challenges she faces is truly inspirational. Her story reminds us of the resilience and strength that can be found in the most challenging circumstances. As we strive for a world where every child has access to clean water, let Blessing’s story serve as a beacon of hope and a testament to the power of dreams and determination. Together, we can help Blessing and others like her turn their dreams into reality.

Yusuf Celik

Head of International Programmes 

Yusuf Celik
Head of İnternational Program Manager

Time to Help (UK)

 

Ramadan: The Month of Giving

Ramadan food distribution in Pakistan

Ramadan: The Month of Giving

Ramadan is a month of fasting, prayer, and reflection for Muslims worldwide. It is a time to purify the soul, strengthen faith, and renew one’s commitment to serving others. One of the most significant aspects of Ramadan is the emphasis on giving to those in need. In this blog post, we will explore why giving is so important during Ramadan and how it can benefit both the giver and the receiver.

The Importance of Giving During Ramadan

Giving is an essential part of Islam and is especially emphasised during Ramadan. The act of giving is not only a way to help those in need, but it is also a way to purify one’s heart and soul. Muslims believe that giving during Ramadan is a way to gain the blessings of Allah and to increase their own spiritual growth.

Giving during Ramadan can take many forms, including donating money, volunteering time, and providing food to those who are fasting. The act of giving is not only about helping others but also about fostering a sense of community and empathy. It is a time to come together and support one another, regardless of race, religion, or socioeconomic status.

The Benefits of Giving During Ramadan

Giving during Ramadan has numerous benefits, both for the giver and the receiver. For the giver, giving is an act of worship that can increase their spiritual growth and bring them closer to Allah. It is a way to show gratitude for the blessings in their life and to share those blessings with others. Giving can also bring a sense of joy and fulfilment that comes from helping others.

For the receiver, giving can be a lifeline during difficult times. Ramadan is a time when many people struggle with hunger and poverty, and giving can help alleviate some of that suffering. The act of giving can also bring a sense of dignity and self-worth to those in need, knowing that others care about their well-being.

How to Give During Ramadan

Giving during Ramadan can take many forms, and there are many ways to get involved. Here are a few ideas:

  1. Donate to a reputable charity that supports those in need.
  2. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen or food bank.
  3. Prepare food for those who are fasting and distribute it to those in need.
  4. Donate clothes, blankets, and other necessities to a homeless shelter or refugee center.
  5. Offer your time and skills to help others in your community.

Conclusion

Ramadan is a time for reflection, prayer, and giving. It is a time to come together as a community and support one another, regardless of our differences. Giving during Ramadan is not only a way to help those in need but also a way to increase our own spiritual growth and connect with Allah. By giving generously and selflessly, we can help create a world that is more just, compassionate, and loving for all.

Ladies’ Coffee Mornings: Building Community and Improving Mental Health

Ladies’ Coffee Mornings: Building Community and Improving Mental Health

At Time to Help UK, we believe in the power of community and connection. That’s why we’re excited to announce our latest initiative: ladies’ coffee mornings in temporary refugee hostels. These events bring together asylum seekers and our volunteers for a morning of arts and crafts, coffee, and snacks. But beyond just providing a fun and social activity, these coffee mornings significantly impact the mental health and sense of belonging of those who participate.

One of the most challenging aspects of being a refugee is feeling isolated and disconnected from one’s community. This can be especially true for women, who may face additional barriers to accessing resources and building connections. Our ladies’ coffee mornings provide a safe and welcoming space for women to come together and form friendships and support networks.

Participants in our coffee mornings reported feeling more connected to their community, hopeful about their future, and less isolated. One asylum seeker, Fatima*, shared, “I came to the coffee morning feeling very alone, but now I have made new friends and feel like I belong here.

In addition to the social benefits, our coffee mornings also provide an opportunity for participants to engage in arts and crafts activities. These activities are known to positively affect mental health and well-being, as they offer a creative outlet for expressing emotions and promoting relaxation.

It is so nice to come and do something creative; it helps me forget about my problems for a little while,” shared another participant, Rania*.

At Time to Help UK, we are committed to supporting asylum seekers’ mental health and well-being. We believe that building community and providing opportunities for connection, and self-expression are crucial components of this work. We are thrilled to see the positive impact of our ladies’ coffee mornings and look forward to continuing this initiative in the future.

Please consider supporting our cause by donating, volunteering or reaching out to us for more information.

*Not real names.

Exhibition in Exile finds refuge in Newcastle upon Tyne Church

An exhibition of immigration cartoons by renowned cartoonists who had to flee persecution in Turkey together with its organisers in 2016 found refuge in St James’ Benwell Church of Newcastle upon Tyne. Time to Help joined Human Rights Solidarity, GemArt, Comfrey Project and Being Woman as the organisers of the four days long exhibition.

A consortium of humanitarian aid, human rights, immigrant support organisations and a local church in Benwell are hosting an exhibition of cartoons on immigration, refugees and asylum seekers and the cynical response of the industrialised world to this emerging phenomenon. The exhibition is formed of cartoons that themselves had to flee Turkey in late 2016 when the organising humanitarian aid organisation Kimse Yok Mu (KYM), then a member of the UN’s ECOSOC, was taken over by the authoritarian regime in the country. Hence, the name Exhibition in Exile.

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Greece Refugee Food Pack Appeal

On this year’s Christmas evening, some people cannot spend their night with their families in their warm houses not only because of the pandemic that is escalating once again but because of them being compelled to flee their countries. They are the asylum seekers and refugees who we usually see for a minute on the main news channels, sometimes pass by without noticing on the street but often never feel their presence and witness their lives closely.

Refugees are forced to flee their homes due to wars, environmental pollution, natural disasters, scarce resources, hurricanes or floods caused by climate changes, pressure on freedom of expression, limitations on religious practices and ideas, and injustices. Regardless of how difficult it is, they are compelled to leave their families, loved ones, relatives and friends behind and immigrate to other countries.

Fleeing from floods, running away from bombs, escaping from the risk of being unjustly taken to prison under the silence of a whole nation, they could bring neither belonging nor a memory. All they could do was to run away from the cruel reality. They abandon their languages, cultures, traditions and customs in the quest for safety. Just like a newborn baby, they shoulder the burden of learning a new language, try hard to get to know a new country and its people, adapt to a foreign culture, acquire a new identity and build a life from scratch.

We thought about what we could do more for them during this time of the year. They were once, just like us, sitting around a table with all their family members in their beautiful warm houses. Why not gather them around a table this Christmas too?
When we dream, it is all you who help us to achieve it. This time, it was a dream beyond borders. A beautiful, magical dream has come true once again. Thinking of refugees far from us, Time to Help UK and its associations Time to Help Netherland, Belgium, France, Luxembourg have conducted a joint project with the Tuna Foundation’s hosting. On 11th December, 50 volunteers from the Time to Help fled to Bucharest, Romania to load a full cargo of food parcels.

The exciting and marvellous project reached £3,639, hitting higher than the target of £3,400 with donations from 52 donors. Each pack worth £42 included 40 packages of 31 different products from essentials to candies for kids. First stop at Salonica, the truck has arrived in Athens on Monday and distributed the parcels to the refugee families in Greece. Now, getting even more attention and support than the expectations, another truck will be sent again. We are proud of the donors and volunteers who made it possible with their enormous generosity and kindness.

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Packed Lunch for the Homeless in Westminster!

Homelessness had become omnipresent in Britain. According to the last Shelter report, at least 320,000 people are homeless, almost 5,000 are rough sleeping (likely to be a considerable underestimate), and 726 people died homeless in England and Wales in 2018 (a 22% rise from 2017). This year’s figure is not estimated to be less than in previous years.

At Time to Help, we believe, even a small help can make a massive difference in peoples lives. Therefore, We have decided to support Sant’Egidio (a registered charity in Central London) with their efforts to provide nutritious packed lunches with a warm smile. We have been preparing and delivering this service for three weeks now, and we want to do the same for at least two weeks more.

If you want to make a positive difference and have some spare time on Saturdays (between noon and 3 pm for preparation in Enfield and 4 pm to 6.45 pm for distribution in Westminster) please visit our volunteer’s page and fill the form to register your interest. if you want you can donate to this appeal via this link.

We are volunteering to help people in need; therefore, we will be exempt from social gathering restrictions according to the latest government guidelines[1] which says;

“At all 3 alert levels, whilst providing voluntary services:

you are exempt from social gathering restrictions you can travel within and between different local COVID alert level areas to volunteer
Within workplaces, the risk of transmission can be substantially reduced if COVID-19 secure guidelines are followed closely. (gov.uk)”

However, we will still make every reasonable effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines set out by the government (2m, or 1m with risk mitigation where 2m is not viable).

[1] https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely–2/coronavirus-how-to-help-safely#how-to-stay-safe-when-accepting-help-from-others
Facts about Lack of Clean Water Sources

In developed nations, i.e., countries that have everything from technology to luxury, getting clean water at home is as ‘natural’ as breathing fresh air. It is something that most people from advanced countries may not particularly pay attention to, but this is not the case for the rest of the world. There are still many nations that do not have access to clean water sources or water that is fit for human consumption. Here are some shocking facts about water access around the world:

Approximately 2.1 billion people all over the world still are unable to access safe water sources within their home
In New York, USA, 8.3 million people were exposed to water contaminants in their drinking water that included viruses and various kinds of bacteria
Since 2015, more than 63 million people in India alone have consumed water from unsafe sources
In sub-Saharan Africa alone more than half of the population drink water that comes from ‘dangerous’ resources, like surface water. Approximately 102 million people are drinking surface water
In many provinces of South Africa, water is sometimes unavailable for two whole days. This happens approximately 60% of the time.
In Nepal, 91% of the population is drinking water from sources that contain E-coli, a fecal bacteria that can lead to many diseases including bacterial (stomach) infections.
5 Reasons Why Everyone Deserves Clean Drinking Water

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, “Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centers. These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”

Sadly, clean water is still inaccessible for many and will remain that way until governments are willing to take a stand. Here are five reasons why everyone needs access to clean drinking water and safely managed sanitation, right at home.

1. Provides Nourishment

Water is life. The sooner those in power understand this, the sooner this law of water being available to everyone can be implemented. Water is the number one source of nutrition. The human body is made of 60% water, and this is a clear enough indication of the importance of water. Humans need to be adequately hydrated for their physiological systems to function. Additionally, water helps maintain organ health and allows the blood to maintain the consistency it requires to flow freely and transport oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body.

2. The Prevention of Diseases

Did you know that if people are unable to drink safe and clean water, it gives rise to various kinds of diseases? Fatal medical conditions like cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A all occur because of the consumption and or the presence of contaminated water. Imagine the risks that people are exposed to when the only thing they can drink is water that comes from sewage and contaminated sites like industries. Clean water is essential not only to remain safe from disease but also to maintain good health.

3. Helps in Getting Rid of Toxins

Clean, fresh and safe water also helps in getting the body rid of all kinds of toxins, whether they are created due to bodily reactions, obtained from outside sources or ones that occur because of the consumption of contaminated water.

4. Needed for Agriculture and Food Production

When it comes to the production of food, clean water is an essential ingredient. If the crops and grains are given contaminated water, the bacteria and disease will spread to those who consume the fresh produce. Therefore, water that is used for agriculture must also come from safe and clean resources.

5. Improved Sanitation Facilities

Clean water is not just needed for drinking but for sanitation purposes as well. If clothes are washed, or the body is washed with contaminated water, this too will result in the rise of diseases. Same is the case for cooking, cleaning and other similar tasks that are an integral part of our lives. Clean water is necessary for good health.

Source: http://www.aidforum.org/topics/health-and-wash/5-reasons-why-everyone-needs-clean-drinking-water/

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Why Everyone Needs Clean Drinking Water?

Science clearly states that a human being can survive three weeks without food, but where water is concerned most people can’t go on 3-4 days without it! Dehydration sets in, and even if the person continues to breathe, they will go into shock and become vegetative. In other words, water is the primary necessity. Without it, a living being simply cannot survive. Yet, it is a horrific fact that there are billions of people around the world who do not have access to clean drinking water.

Facts about Lack of Clean Water Sources

In developed nations, i.e., countries that have everything from technology to luxury, getting clean water at home is as ‘natural’ as breathing fresh air. It is something that most people from advanced countries may not particularly pay attention to, but this is not the case for the rest of the world. There are still many nations that do not have access to clean water sources or water that is fit for human consumption. Here are some shocking facts about water access around the world:

Approximately 2.1 billion people all over the world still are unable to access safe water sources within their home
In New York, USA, 8.3 million people were exposed to water contaminants in their drinking water that included viruses and various kinds of bacteria
Since 2015, more than 63 million people in India alone have consumed water from unsafe sources
In sub-Saharan Africa alone more than half of the population drink water that comes from ‘dangerous’ resources, like surface water. Approximately 102 million people are drinking surface water
In many provinces of South Africa, water is sometimes unavailable for two whole days. This happens approximately 60% of the time.
In Nepal, 91% of the population is drinking water from sources that contain E-coli, a fecal bacteria that can lead to many diseases including bacterial (stomach) infections.
5 Reasons Why Everyone Deserves Clean Drinking Water

According to Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the Director-General of WHO, “Safe water, sanitation and hygiene at home should not be a privilege of only those who are rich or live in urban centers. These are some of the most basic requirements for human health, and all countries have a responsibility to ensure that everyone can access them.”

Sadly, clean water is still inaccessible for many and will remain that way until governments are willing to take a stand. Here are five reasons why everyone needs access to clean drinking water and safely managed sanitation, right at home.

1. Provides Nourishment

Water is life. The sooner those in power understand this, the sooner this law of water being available to everyone can be implemented. Water is the number one source of nutrition. The human body is made of 60% water, and this is a clear enough indication of the importance of water. Humans need to be adequately hydrated for their physiological systems to function. Additionally, water helps maintain organ health and allows the blood to maintain the consistency it requires to flow freely and transport oxygen and nutrients to every cell of the body.

2. The Prevention of Diseases

Did you know that if people are unable to drink safe and clean water, it gives rise to various kinds of diseases? Fatal medical conditions like cholera, typhoid, and hepatitis A all occur because of the consumption and or the presence of contaminated water. Imagine the risks that people are exposed to when the only thing they can drink is water that comes from sewage and contaminated sites like industries. Clean water is essential not only to remain safe from disease but also to maintain good health.

3. Helps in Getting Rid of Toxins

Clean, fresh and safe water also helps in getting the body rid of all kinds of toxins, whether they are created due to bodily reactions, obtained from outside sources or ones that occur because of the consumption of contaminated water.

4. Needed for Agriculture and Food Production

When it comes to the production of food, clean water is an essential ingredient. If the crops and grains are given contaminated water, the bacteria and disease will spread to those who consume the fresh produce. Therefore, water that is used for agriculture must also come from safe and clean resources.

5. Improved Sanitation Facilities

Clean water is not just needed for drinking but for sanitation purposes as well. If clothes are washed, or the body is washed with contaminated water, this too will result in the rise of diseases. Same is the case for cooking, cleaning and other similar tasks that are an integral part of our lives. Clean water is necessary for good health.

Source: http://www.aidforum.org/topics/health-and-wash/5-reasons-why-everyone-needs-clean-drinking-water/

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Why so many people struggle to access clean water?

It seems incredible that it’s 2021 and there’s still 773 million people around the world who don’t have access to clean water — a basic human right that no one can live without.

Four reasons why people don’t have access to clean water:
1.) Lack of infrastructure and poor management of services.

Efforts have been made to reach more people with more water. However governments need to do more in ensuring water supplies are sustainable and commit to improving infrastructure.

2.) Poverty and inequality

Access to water, sanitation, and hygiene are a basic human right and yet some people are still unable to access these services due to their ethnicity, gender, social status, disability or inability to afford the high costs.

3.) Climate change

Climate change and an increase in unpredictable and extreme weather is a growing challenge. Long periods of drought affect clean water supplies while flooding can pollute clean water sources and cause outbreaks of disease.

4.) Population increase

The world’s population is predicted to grow to 8.5 billion by 2030 and 9.7 billion by 2050. This is going to create a high demand and put a strain on already scarce and fragile water sources.

Can you imagine living without water? No, because that would be impossible. Here’s what happens when your water source is insecure and unsafe.

Three ways a lack of access to clean water impacts on the poor:
1.) Women and Girls

In many communities girls are tasked with collecting the households water. If supplies are scarce or the community is isolated it means girls are spending hours of their day to walk great distances to collect water from streams, rivers and unprotected wells. This means less time for paid work and going to school.

2.) Livelihood

Rural communities who rely on farming for their livelihoods are the most vulnerable to climate change and water shortages. Increased temperatures, changes in season, and prolonged dry spells affect crops and livestock and therefore a person’s ability to earn a living.

3.) Health

As the effects of climate change and rising temperatures increase, so does the prevalence of waterborne diseases such as cholera and trachoma. The World Health Organisation also warns that incidences of mosquito-borne diseases such as malaria and dengue will also rise. Another impact of unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene is malnutrition. In fact up to 50% of malnutrition cases are said to be a result of this.

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Homeless Breakfast

You may think breakfast is not a luxury as you have the chance to have it every day with your family and friends but for many people, having a hot breakfast is the most luxurious event of the day since they do not have the chance.

We open our doors every Monday to serve a hot breakfast to the needy people. We are determined to continue this project as long as we have all the resources.

So far, we were able to provide hot breakfast to more than thirty people (overall) every week but the number is increasing, and we need more donations and more volunteers. We will ensure that there is always a designated staff to supervise/assist. If you are over 16 and would like to make a difference within the community, please join our team. Your help will give homeless men & women a hope along with a full plate of hot breakfast.

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Free OET classes for Refugee Doctors

At Time to Help, we believe refugee doctors make a valuable contribution to the delivery of healthcare services in the UK. That’s why we have decided to launch a new service to help refugee doctor to achieve their best.

We will provide a structured programme of support to enable refugee and asylum seekers healthcare professionals and their families to be settled into local communities, enter clinical practice and maintain and develop their skills. The programme will include OET and IELTS classes delivered by qualified tutors and TTH UK will also provide reasonable financial assistance towards English and PLAB exams and other registration associated costs.

We will support:

doctors and dentists
pharmacists and biomedical scientists
allied health professionals eg physiotherapists and radiologists
For a start, we will deliver 2 hours per day and 2 days per week course for fifteen weeks. You will receive more information after being granted for the course.

This course is for refugees and asylum seekers, but if you believe you are coming from a disadvantaged background and need help, please fill the form below.

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