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16th October, 2017

ROHINGYA CRISIS: Response Update

Penny Appeal’s response well underway as substantial aid is now being delivered


With an estimated 570,000 new refugees arriving in the border regions of Bangladesh since the 25th August, NGOs and humanitarian agencies have been scrambling to deliver sufficient aid.


In-line with current estimates, the amount of aid currently delivered is considered a drop in the ocean, with substantially more aid needed to quell the flames of the latest crisis involving the Rohingya people in Myanmar and Bangladesh.


Penny Appeal’s initial response was to provide support to the newly arrived refugees, who had recently fled the violence of the Myanmar military, on their flight from Myanmar across the border to Bangladesh.



As Penny Appeal have been working in Bangladesh since 2013, the aid delivery process was streamlined, with existing infrastructure already in place to facilitate the distribution of food, clothing, and medical supplies with the help of our partners on the ground.


To understand the sheer scale of the problem posed by this crisis, estimated figures for certain elements of the relief effort are as follows:


  • 58 million litres of safe water is needed everyday
  • In excess of 100,000 emergency shelters are required
  • Around 250,000 child refugees currently considered to be at risk, with provision needed for their protection
  • An intensified effort for the delivery of Primary Health Care (PHC) needed across all new refugee settlements.

Penny Appeal and partners have currently delivered food assistance to 15,200 families, with food bags estimated to last around a month, in the makeshift camp of Hakim Para near Thangkhali.


The food packs include:


  • 10kg rice
  • 8kg lentils
  • 2kg soya beans
  • 4 litres olive oil
  • 5kg onions
  • 2kg sugar
  • 2kg salt.

Other aid packs include hygiene kits distributed to 1,500 families, shelter packs given to 500 families, water solutions, in which we have installed 20 water hand pumps – providing safe water for 800 families and Primary Health Care services for 1000 families up to this point.


Moving into the next phase of our relief effort we have identified the need for the provision of a further 15,000 shelter homes, 1000 water points - including water wells and solar tube wells, 200 public toilets, 20 shower blocks, and the installation of a further 3 community health centres and community schools.

13th October, 2017

WAKEFIELD: When a dragon comes to your den

Legendary TV dragon, James Caan says, ‘I’m in’ during visit to Penny Appeal HQ

The multi-millionaire entrepreneur imparts famous words after invitation taken up from Adeem Younis, Chairman

A household name and famous TV dragon, well known from his time on the BBC’s Dragons’ Den, has forged an alliance with Penny Appeal during a productive visit to the charity’s head office in Wakefield.


The famous investor is well versed in charitable operations after founding the James Caan Foundation in 2006, which supports charities in the UK, with an interest in issues affecting countries in the developing world.


James took time to tour Penny Appeal’s offices and meet staff following an invitation extended by Penny Appeal’s Chairman, Adeem Younis, when they previously met at an arranged dinner.


As part of the tour, Adeem introduced James to the inner machinations of the charity and how it takes small change, and makes a big difference with it - with aid distributed in 30 crisis-hit countries around the world and here at home in the UK.


As part of the partnership – and in an entrepreneurial capacity - the former dragon looks to help ‘scale’ Penny Appeal’s operations to ensure that its programmes can reach further, and help even more people around the world in their hour of need.



It was in the boardroom that the dragon’s famous words passed his lips, James said, “If this was a pitch on Dragons’ Den, I would say, Penny Appeal: I’m in!”


The event was covered in the local press and on ITV. During an interview, James admitted he was ‘blown away’ by the organisation, and added, “It is projected to raise £20 million this year and we’ve been brainstorming and coming up with ideas and a strategy about how we could double that.”


Adeem was equally thrilled with the outcome of James’ visit to Wakefield, stating, “He was amazed at the dedication shown by all the staff at Penny Appeal and I can say with confidence, watch this space.” The Chairman went on to say, "I'd like to thank James for taking the time out of his busy schedule to visit us here at Penny Appeal HQ, in what was a very productive and rewarding day."


12th October, 2017

Succot lunch enjoyed at Kensington mosque during inter-faith gathering

Initiative formed through partnership of Penny Appeal, Al Manaar and London Faith Forum

Team Orange volunteers at the succot


Members of three separate London synagogues and the Al Manaar mosque came together to break bread at the time of the Jewish Succot holiday in London this Sunday (8th October).


The event, which was first proposed by Penny Appeal’s London Regional Director, Saleha Islam, was organised with the aim to “promote mutual understanding, cohesion, and interfaith work” in the area. As well as this, the event focussed on tackling poverty and homelessness in London. All attendees brought with them cans of food to donate to the mosque’s homeless night shelter.


Saleha said, “I’ve done a lot of work with Jewish communities with Mitzvah Day and the London Faith forum. When I heard about this initiative, I spoke to the leader here and said ‘this would be wonderful if we could do this here.’ Through things like this we get to know our brothers and sisters from other faiths as well.”


The Succot festival itself is important in Judaism, it represents the way in which god led the Jews out of the wilderness following 40 years of being in the desert. During that time, the Jewish community would live and eat in the open; nowadays they construct a succah, which is a temporary hut for use during the period of Succot, within which they will enjoy their meals together. Indeed this is what happened at the event in Kensington, which saw the inter-faith gathering enjoy a traditional kosher and halal lunch together under the succah.


Saleha went on to say, “We agreed to put the succah up and invited members of the different communities for them to get to know each other, to celebrate with the Jewish community. I also think it’s important because although this is a joyous occasion for the Jewish community, I wanted to bring the whole subject around homelessness as well.”


Team Orange members were to thank for helping to arrange and set up the succah, with over 200 people attending. Thanks to the success of the event, a few people signed up to join Team Orange, to help with similar events held in London in the near future. 

10th October, 2017

TURKEY: Child Caravan project in Sultanbeyli, Istanbul provides education to Syrian refugees

Inauguration ceremony takes place in gardens of Turkey’s Refugee Association


Inside the caravan


Six years of unending conflict in Syria has created an unprecedented refugee crisis. As a result, half of Syria’s population have been forced to flee their homes, which equates to around 11 million people. This tide of refugees has emerged along the borders of countries who neighbour Syria, creating a unique and difficult challenge for NGOs and refugee agencies in the Middle East. As part of this challenge, a large proportion of the refugees are children, who have no access to education provision at a crucial time in their development.


Thousands have been re-housed and partially integrated into unfamiliar societies. To address this situation, Penny Appeal and its partners on the ground in the outer environs of Istanbul, have set up an initiative to provide education and integration services for children displaced by the Syrian Civil War.


This programme takes the form of a Child Caravan, which can be mobile to deliver education where the need arises. There are many different areas of the country that currently shelter child refugees from Syria, although this particular initiative is tasked with serving Sultanbeyli, a working class suburb of Istanbul.


Caravan infographic


The Child Caravan’s primary goals and objectives – as part of Penny Appeal’s wider Education First programme – seek to contribute to the enrolment process of Syrian children into Turkish schools, to enhance education levels in beneficiaries through technology, deliver Turkish language lessons and to help Syrian children adapt to their new circumstances.


The entire curriculum delivered within the caravan – which is actually a re-purposed shipping container transported by a freight lorry – is designed to help the children integrate and prepare them for the Turkish education system they will eventually join. Multimedia visuals will be used, along with documentaries and lessons delivered by teachers trained specifically for this initiative.


The inauguration ceremony itself was held in the garden grounds of the community centre of the Mülteciler Derne?i, the Turkish Association for Refugees. The ceremony brought together Penny Appeal and its partners who brought the programme to term. The theme of the inauguration, as well as being a celebration of the initiatives’ planning process coming to fruition was to underline the need to implement projects for the common benefit of society.


The caravan


The caravan is divided into two parts, and built from long-lasting materials that have been acquired for a bespoke design that utilises the space available inside the trailer. The largest area is designated for educational activities, which is essentially the activity area. It is fully equipped with tablets, a screen projector and appropriate furniture as befitting an interactive classroom environment. The second area is a living space complete with furniture and meeting equipment.


With over 1.7 million Syrian refugees officially registered in Turkey, a large percentage of which are children, it is more than likely similar initiatives will begin to emerge in the future, as the current need is now profoundly apparent.

2nd October, 2017

ETHIOPIA: Qurbani intervention

Meat delivered to pastoral villages in Ethiopia as part of Penny Appeal’s 2017 Qurbani programme


Qurbani delivery


In underprivileged villages and towns of Ethiopia many people live with profound food insecurity as part of their everyday lives, because of this, countless people cannot enjoy Eid al-Adha with their families and friends, this is something that Penny Appeal’s Qurbani programme looks to remedy.


As well as food insecurity many regions in Ethiopia suffer from general poor health status, malnutrition and prevalent disease. By providing Qurbani meat this programme ensured that people had nutritious, healthy and locally sourced food on Eid al-Adha.


Overall, 12,000 beneficiaries received Qurbani meat in several pastoral villages within the Bale Province of central Ethiopia. As part of this group, the most in need were identified to receive Qurbani meat as priority, such as; the poorest families, orphans, the elderly and widows.


To decide who needed the meat the most, a Qurbani committee was established, made up of local community and religious leaders, the committee helped to organise and advise on the logistics of the Qurbani distribution, before selecting the correct beneficiaries from registered local households.


Qurbani delivery


Beneficiaries, as part of the committee also helped to identify Qurbani sheep and goats from local traders, transported the animals to the appropriate sites, provided enclosures and care for the animals before arranging their slaughter and subsequent distribution of their meat.


In total, 1,700 sheep and goats were purchased - as they were acquired from local traders - this resulted in a knock-on effect for the local economy. From the animals, a total of 51,000 kgs of fresh meat was yielded. Before purchase, all the animals were thoroughly checked for health defects and general wellbeing, ensuring that the Qurbani meat would be of optimum quality.


Feedback from the meat distribution confirms the positive effects of the programme. With improved nutritional status, and overall health conditions of the families targeted. Children, orphans, the elderly, pregnant women and widows all benefitted from the high-protein meat.


One such beneficiary is Fate Ibro Abdo, a 35-year-old widow. She said, “We have lost all our animals due to recurring drought, we are very much poor. I don’t have enough food for my seven orphan children. Getting meat is a dream for me and for my orphans, so I am very pleased with this Qurbani goat you provided me today. I am definitely sure it will help me in satisfying my children’s year-long request of meat. May Almighty Allah bless you.”

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