Separated child Gulwali Passarlay, who fled Afghanistan aged 12, was chosen to carry Olympic Torch in Bolton, now aged 17.

Our News: October to December 2008Our News: October to December 2008

28 December 2008

This was the title of a successful session that Flora Hoori, one of our volunteers, gave during the Limmud conference, held in Warwick University and attended by about 2000 people. To introduce her presentation, Flora said: "Amongst all refugees, separated children and young people are the most vulnerable, experiencing the added traumas of being away from their parents and having to grow up unnaturally fast. The Separated Child Foundation offers a range of support and educates the public about their needs." Flora showed a sample Arrival Pack as an example of our more tangible projects.

'Ester Adjuah'
24 December 2008

American singer-songwriter Arnie Davidson never met Ester Gluck but he heard about her and The Separated Child Foundation towards the end of 2008. Attending and performing at Limmud, he offered to donate to The Separated Child Foundation a portion of the proceeds from the sale of his CDs. Arnie also composed the song 'Ester Adjuah', which captures much of her spirit and links her to The Separated Child Foundation. He first performed it at Limmud and it can be heard here.  

The Separated Child Foundation celebrates Christmas!
16 December 2008

We were pleased to support the Christmas party held at the Refugee Council in Brixton, south London, for about 80 separated young people. We donated money for the Christmas dinner and everyone who attended received a new, warm sweatshirt as a festive gift. A great time was had by all!

Merci beaucoup and Happy Hanukah!
December 2008

Odile Ellison, artist and French supporter of The Separated Child Foundation, created greetings cards for the festival of Hanukah and generously donated a range of these beautiful and original designs to generate funds. Merveilleux!

Fourth Hendon Brownies lend a hand...
December 2008

Invited by their leader, Ruth Posner, volunteer Rima Salahié spoke to this Brownie Pack about the experiences of separated children and young people, and the projects we're engaged in. Moved and impressed by this, and true to their 'lend a hand' motto, the Brownies collected items for Arrival Packs. They brought them to a follow-up session, when they also wrote and illustrated personal messages to include in Arrival Packs.

Support for a youth worker at the Refugee Council
November 2008

We're delighted to be able to share with the Refugee Council the funding for the post of a youth worker in its busy day centre. The role of the youth worker enhances separated children's lives enormously, by providing a range of social and educational activities and outings.

Mitzvah Day supports The Separated Child Foundation!
16 November 2008

Mitzvah Day UK is an initiative of the Jewish community in Britain that stimulates and supports a range of social action projects through a network of organisations. The Separated Child Foundation benefited from the items that these organisations collected and sorted for Arrival Packs on this intensive day:

Judy Trotter encouraged people, young and old, arriving for classes and activities at the London Jewish Cultural Centre to contribute basic toiletries. 

The previous Sunday Angela Gluck, one of our Trustees, addressed the children's assembly in Belsize Square Synagogue, at the invitation of the headteacher, Jeanie Horowitz. Angela told them a little about the experiences of newly arrived separated children and young people, and showed them an Arrival Pack. On Mitzvah Day, the children brought in and sorted toiletries and clothing. Some also created greetings cards to include in Arrival Packs.

In nearby Hampstead Town Hall, Hannah Weisfeld, the Social Action and Campaigns Coordinator of the Jewish Community Centre for London, had organised a packathon with volunteers of all ages, coordinated by Rima Salahié and Angela Gluck from the Foundation.

Meanwhile at Wimbledon and District Synagogue, Judith-Ish-Horowicz and Rachel Ouseley, stalwart members of the congregation and valuable supporters of The Separated Child Foundation, along with teachers and parents, marshalled many children and young people in making beautiful soap, knitting face-cloths (with special yarn) and creating greetings cards to pop into Arrival Packs. They also sorted and labelled very helpfully the vast amounts of toiletries, new underwear and other items that their families had so generously donated.  

As well as hosting an exhibition of photos related to asylum, The Oxford Jewish Congregation encouraged families to donate toiletries and other items. The children sorted and labelled them carefully, and created thoughtful greetings cards to include in Arrival Packs. Penny Toff was kind enough to deliver all these items to our storage base. Heartfelt thanks go to these Jewish organisations and the individuals who are too numerous to mention or even unknown to us by name. Through their active concern, they are supporting our Arrival Packs project very valuably. We hope they're also inspired on 15 November 2009, the next Mitzvah Day!

The Separated Child Foundation is on the run!
31 October 2008

Flushed with success.

Running 5 km in purple Separated Child Foundation T-shirts, supporters Ria Collett, Stephen Cotsen and Suzanne Korn raised almost £8000 in sponsorship from relatives, friends and colleagues-not bad for a half-hour run!-and gift-aid earned another £1200. The Serpentine Running Club in Hyde Park (central London) organises a 5 km run every month.


The Cantering Cantor. Stephen took part for the first time last year and gave it another go—this time in memory of Ester Gluck, “a beautiful woman with a beautiful soul, and a good friend”. He added, “As a Jew, I feel it important that in our privileged position as former refugees in this country, we do what we can to help new refugees fleeing persecution, famine, torture and more.” Dubbed ‘the cantering cantor’ and ‘chazan on the run’, Stephen beat his personal best and said afterwards, “I am so grateful for all the support I have received and the generous donations from so many wonderful friends. I am truly blessed.”

 “I am lucky and grateful to have had a very privileged childhood,” Ria told her sponsors. “We make the assumption that every child deserves to be raised in a safe and loving environment but this simply isn't the case for too many children. In our day and age, no child should be suffering—let alone suffering alone. Fortunately, so many of us have enjoyed privileged lives with an abundance of love, security and happiness but we never know when we will be at the mercy of another's kindness. It is our responsibility to do whatever we can to help those less fortunate. Every little extra will help make BIG differences. Your support means so much to me but even more to them.” Ria’s more used to running 10 km and, before this run, was worried about getting the pace right. She wasted a worry!

“I can't imagine what it could possibly be like to be separated from your children or parents, especially if you are thousands of miles apart with nobody to care for you,” Suzanne reflected as she committed herself to the run. “But I can imagine what it might be like to receive some care and support when you find yourself alone in a strange country. It might be the very ray of sunshine that puts you back on track. Why am I running? Why not just give some money and have done with it? Because these children need our help. Because Ester's name will live on. Because it's a challenge I can't complete without your help. Because I can't resist doing something I've never done before. And if I actually complete this, I'm planning bigger things… so watch this space!” Well, you did complete it, Suzanne, and with a lingering back problem too, so we’re definitely watching!

The Separated Child Foundation gets on Facebook
27 October 2008

Debbie Young, with Ryan Dolan as manager and top chef (?!), created a Facebook group for The Separated Child Foundation. They'll post news of our events and invite comments or perhaps even recipes for Ryan...

The Separated Child Foundation celebrates Eid!
2 October 2008

The very first batch of Arrival Packs was given personallly to separated children and young people at the party celebrating the Islamic festival of Eid-ul-Fitr that was held at the Refugee Council in Brixton, south London. Arrival Packs are specially designed black duffle bags, bearing the purple ribbon logo and containing basic necessities for personal care.

About 80 young people, mostly 15—17 year old boys, came to the party. All of them, including those who are not Muslim, received a gift of an Arrival Pack or a substantial item of clothing (such as a warm jacket) and other small gifts. The gifts were exceptionally well received, and the young people spontaneously modelled their Arrival Packs and clothes for each other!