I have previously mentioned the social and business-networking group called WomenWorks. It is a group of like-minded women who meet the first Friday of each month to connect, support and inspire one another. See http://womenworks.ning.com. It was at the last meeting that I first heard Nicole Brouwers speak of a foundation called Love a Child. It is a non-profit organization that was established with the purpose of supporting disadvantaged children from poverty stricken areas.
Nicole has recently opened a charity shop in Nerja called Pocapecunia and all proceeds go to the Love a Child Foundation. Rather than discard old items, why not donate them for a good cause? She seeks paperback books, clothes, household items, paintings, linen, bedding, curtains, and so forth. She can arrange pick up of larger items. Pocapecunia is located on Calle Bella Vista 6 (between Flamenca and Parador Hotels). Open Mon.-Sat. 10:00-13:30.
I wanted to hear more about the Love a Child Foundation so Nicole introduced me to the founder, John Margetson. John told me that it all began with a visit to Burma in 1998, where he witnessed countless displaced and exploited children living under horrific conditions, with nowhere to turn.
The tragic situation left a deep and lasting impact on John and the seed to help abandoned, abused, exploited, disabled and orphaned children was planted. However, how to go about it, especially in Burma, was another matter altogether and didn’t materialise until a few years later. It was a trip to India in 2002 that eventually led to the start of the foundation. The trip included an invitation to visit a Tibetan monastery, where John and his friend Michele encountered a monastic home for lay refugee children run by monks (The Bon Children’s Home). John left with the profiles of five children, who he was committed to find sponsorship for. Thus, the Love a Child Foundation was born.
The number of sponsored children and projects to support in India and Nepal steadily grew. However, Burma was not forgotten and, with a little help from fate, John was able to return in 2005 to start the first project there. (You can read more about that particular story on their website).
In 2005, they also decided to look for projects in a Spanish-speaking country, due to many generous Spanish sponsors expressing interest in supporting these. Ecuador was the country chosen. It is estimated by Red Cross that one million children (out of a population of approx. 14 million) live under the poverty line – most living on the streets or in slums selling fruit, shining shoes or selling cheap plastic goods etc. to survive.
Please refer to the website www.loveachildfoundation.com, where you can read more about the particular projects in each country. You will also find profiles and photos of children that desperately need sponsorship now. There are many ways to help these children, whether through sponsorship, fundraising, volunteering or donations. Any donation, no matter the amount, is gratefully accepted. John was proud to tell me that approximately 85% of the funds go directly to support the projects and children. Only the bare minimum goes toward administration costs. In his opinion, it should be mandatory for all charities to stipulate what percentage of their funding goes directly to the charity. The foundation has its headquarters in Nerja and is registered both in Spain and England. Tel.: 696 463 882. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.