AN ORGANISER of an Llanfyllin and Oswestry-based charity which helps orphans in Africa is asking for presidents to dig deep once more as it prepares to change.

Val Talbot is secretary of Dolen Ffermio, which supports the The Ngora Orphan and Vulnerable Children (NOVC) in Uganda through the purchasing and delivery of Christmas gifts to help them learn and live.

The group of students currently supported will continue with their skills training, but post-2021, there will be changes to deal with the pandemic and future times.

Val said: "The Christmas catalogue is in the process of changing emphasis – but it will definitely not be the last one, far from it.

"The current catalogue will fund the last group of 30 children with skills training and the other gifts in the catalogue will be for them and also for children in the wider community.

"We know that these are very challenging times but we fervently hope that we can count on the continued generosity of our local area here so that we can support the hardworking families who are battling against the adverse effects of the pandemic.

"In case you wonder why mosquito nets are not included, the good news is that the Ugandan government has pledged to supply one to every household.

“Since 2006 the incredible generosity of our local supporters has helped many hundreds of children, firstly in Kumi and for the past eight years, in Ngora.

"In Ngora 260 children have benefited from three years each on the project, which has kept them in primary school, protected them from malaria, given them the means to build a sustainable future and provided them with first class skills training.

"For a few years now, the project leader, Moses Ekoi, and his team have been concerned that when the children leave primary school, they could not help them to transfer to good secondary schools.

"Primary education is free in Uganda but not so secondary education and a lot of children are forced to drop out when their families can’t afford to pay the fees."

Val said their solution is to open the project up to all young people as a Resource and Training Centre using donations from Dolen Ffermio.

She added: "A plot of land has been purchased with money donated by Dolen Ffermio trustees and Moses himself.

"The government has approved the scheme and it is expected that they will fund the final stages and the running costs as it will become part of the Education Service.

"We are delighted that Dolen Llanbrynmair is going to be our partner in this new venture and together we will help to fund resources and subsidise the fees of families who can’t afford to pay.

"This will be done through the gift catalogue which itself has been such a success over many years.

"The timeline for the Centre has inevitably had to be extended because of the very strict lockdown in Uganda but, in the meantime, we will continue to support as many children as possible."

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