Newsletter November 2014

NEWSLETTER November 2014

The final newsletter of 2014

Welcome to our 6th Newsletter!  It hardly seems a moment since we were talking about plans for Christmas 2013 and now Christmas 2014 is rapidly approaching and the year is accelerating towards a hectic conclusion.

 
This will be a shorter Newsletter than the last as we provided a detailed update then on all the projects and there are no significant new developments to report. Suffice to say that the day to day operational management of the projects is continuing, with targets being met despite challenges such as prolonged power outages due to the national energy crisis.  This has resulted in an unwelcome reliance on a fuel guzzling generator. We also continue to experience staff turnover in both the health and education projects due, in part, to the geographical isolation resulting in an arduous commute for workers. Detail concerning individual project developments is always available via our website www.abaseenfoundation.co.uk

Research

Research developments since the last Newsletter highlight both the levels of co-operation between UCLAN and researchers and project staff in Pakistan and the mutual benefit being derived from the research outcomes in South Asian communities in both countries.
 
A University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) post graduate student Suruchi Pradhan, in collaboration with the Nutritionist at Baghbanan Health Centre, undertook a comparative study of the micronutrients in the South Asian diets in North West UK and NW Pakistan for an MSc project.  This study provided much needed information about the diet of the brick kiln community we serve and their likely dietry deficiencies and is helping to inform work we are doing as part of the DFID project. You will be pleased to hear that Suruchi submitted her Thesis for examination and presented her research at the Nutrition Society post graduate conference in August and was awarded first prize, Congratulations Suruchi! We are pleased to report that she will be staying on at UCLan to do her PhD also in micronutrient research.

Suruchi at the Award Ceremony
Suruchi at the Award Ceremony
 
We successfully applied to the British Council Research Links Programme for a £40,000 grant to hold a training workshop in Lahore in 2015 for young researchers. This demonstrates the importance we place on enhancing the research capability in Pakistan, a country which has traditionally lacked a robust and systematic approach to health research.

Fundraising

We reported last time that Jabien Kauser had joined us as our first employee and what a difference her arrival has made to our fundraising capacity!  Since the last Newsletter she has led an energetic Ramadan campaign which has played a significant part in an increased number of standing orders and one off donations. Standing orders have now increased from £6,273 per annum to £8,015 per annum.  Donations have provided funding for 2 wells to provide clean drinking water with a third well £200 short of being fully funded; a commodity we take for granted in the UK, but it is a facility which is highly prized in communities without access to it. They have also funded cataract and other operations, free medication for those patients who can't afford to pay and contributed to running costs, principally in the schools where the money is most needed at the moment.
 
We mentioned in the last Newsletter that we have previously raised funds on a limited basis via collecting boxes and were exploring doing this on a larger scale. Again this is an initiative Jabien has developed and, with other trustees, has been encouraging businesses and individuals to 'host' these. We undertook a successful pilot which raised £250 and we are now taking this further with the purchase of additional boxes and, reflecting our commitment to safeguarding all donations, have finalised a policy governing the issue and security of the boxes and contents.
 
We reported last time that a large group of AF supporters completed the Yorkshire 3 peaks sponsored walk in June. Their efforts raised £4,538.17 with gift aid to be claimed on much of this amount..
 
Julie Collins, another supporter planned to walk all the 3,000 foot peaks in Wales over a 24 hour period in the same month. Shortly before the event she suffered a foot injury during a 28 mile training walk and was unable to participate in the Welsh event. She had already raised some sponsorship and when they heard about Julie's plight, all donors asked for their donations to stand and additional donors still made contributions, keen to support the work of AF. The (non) event eventually raised £868. Mukhtiar Zaman, demonstrating the rich vein of compassion that is so familiar to us all, asked how much Julie could raise for AF if only she was willing to injure both ankles!!!!

 This year you have helped us to raise £140 via Pennies from Heaven and £150 via Easy Fundraising.

easyfundraising

And Finally!!!

We have all the money we need now, so we don't need you to make any contributions...........
 
Wouldn't it be fabulous if that statement was true, but of course it isn't!! Your continuing generosity is as important to us as ever. You are providing invaluable support to one of the poorest most marginalised communities it is possible to imagine. Without your involvement children, particularly girls, would have no access to education and families would have no access to even the most basic health facilities like immunisations simple diagnostic tests and drugs we all take for granted. Without you members of this community would have no hope of escaping from poverty.
 
You are reading this because you are interested in the work that we do and perhaps are a regular giver or make one off donations.  We know that many of you contributed as part of our Ramadan campaign, but frankly we are shameless in our willingness to highlight any opportunity to swell AF coffers so here goes!  Christmas is coming and we are hoping that we can infect you early with some festive spirit and encourage you to dig deep (again).
 
You can support our work in an increasing number of ways:
 
by setting up a regular standing order with your bank.  You can go to our website to access the necessary form www.abaseenfoundation.co.uk.  If you are a UK taxpayer you can make your donation work even harder by completing the gift aid form at the same time which increases the value of your gift by around 25% at no extra cost to you. This form can be found on the website too.  If you already have a standing order perhaps you could manage to increase it; every little helps! 
a one off donation via the ‘donate now’ button on our website.
purchase one or more of our gift cards via the website - ideal Christmas presents!
Over 2,700 well known retailers including Amazon, John Lewis, eBay and Tesco will donate a percentage of what you spend to Abaseen Foundation UK to say thank you for shopping with them.  So guilt free spending!!!!  All you have to do is register at www.easyfundraising.org.uk/causes/abaseenfoundation
you could text ABUK10 followed by £10, £5, £4, £3, £2 £1 to 70070. 
Finally you could approach your employer about the possibility of them joining the Pennies from Heaven scheme highlighted above.  There is further information about what this involves at http://www.penniesfromheaven.co.uk/

THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR SUPPORT!

Abaseen Foundation
Abaseen Foundation UK Registered Charity Number – 1095882
www.abaseenfoundation.org.uk
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