Charities

Nyaka Grandmother & Orphan Foundation 
I chose this charity as it is close to my heart having such strong female role models in my family, from the UK and Africa. My Lala (nana in my toddler tongue) has done so much philanthropic work across the world, as well as help raise me as a second mother. She is a huge inspiration. I only had the pleasure of meeting my grandmother from Mozambique a few times but we had a bond that distance never wavered. She also beleived I was her own mother re-incarnated due to many coincidences (I'm sure I'll explain this at some point). She was an extremely talented and busy seamstress before Apartheid did its ugly work.
They have given me so much and this is my way of supporting other grandmothers- 7,000 in fact who are the true unsung heroes of The Nyaka AIDS Orphans Project.
 Having tragically lost their own children to HIV/AIDS, they are now raising their orphaned grandchildren (up to 14 of them!!) without social security, health care, retirement, child welfare, or basic housing. They parent without stable roofs, running water, bathrooms, or sanitary kitchens. In a poor country where women bear the brunt of inequality, providing for these orphans is often near impossible. 
The Nyaka project not only supports the orphans and helps to bring education to girls in the community but offers support and opportunity to the grandmothers too. 
It's a wonderful project to be supporting and my thanks to all of you in helping towards this cause too. Each donation makes such a difference. 

Pilgrims Hospice
Having recently lost my Dada (Grand father in my toddler tongue) and experiencing the harrowing hospital scenes with the family, this charity deserves every penny it receives.
The 10 days following his cardiac arrest were traumatic for everyone. Being the close family that we are, leaving him unattended at any point was not an option as we had no idea how long we had left with him, and the hospital was a very long way from home. After coming off life support he stayed with us for much longer than anticipated, considering no food or water wasn't available any more. ITU were, to their credit, understanding and caring, but needed the space as more patients came in. After a terribly stressful few days stuck on a different ward, completely vulnerable as we tried to make sure Dada was pain free, comfortable etc without any palliative care knowledge, all the while attempting to sleep by his side on hard chairs,
we realised this couldn't go on much longer. 
Thankfully we secured a place at the Hospice in Canterbury and everything changed from there. He relaxed, we relaxed. The nurses were sweet and helpful, patient and so attentive. The environment was clean, fresh, loving and calm despite the sadness that I had imagined would consume it. 
They understood that it was not only the patient that needed looking after in his final days, but the devastated family also. 
Even after his death they had his and our best interest at heart. It felt so personal, peaceful and dignified. 
So, I will always sing their praises, while raising as much money as I can to ensure other patients and families receive their wonderful care during a traumatic time.