People who make a difference – Craft Aid UK

Here in the UK, we’re all used to reading about the great work charities do, and many of us also donate money every month to various organisations so that they can continue to help people all over the world. Recently I’ve read reports and heard conversations about charity fatigue. We’ve probably all felt it – I for one try and avoid those people on the streets who just want a moment of your time so they can convince you to support the charity they’re working for. There’s nothing wrong with what they’re doing, but I already give money to as many charities as I feel able to, and I feel guilty when I talk to these people and I can’t do anything more. Sometimes you just need to meet someone who can make it all seem real again.

A few years ago I met an inspirational woman who is doing something really positive to help street children in Uganda, among other projects. Lara has so much energy it’s unbelievable. She has a more-than-full time job and, with her husband David, runs Craft Aid UK in her ‘spare’ time ( I first met Lara at Ruislip Duck Pond market (, where she sells lovely necklaces, baskets, animals and various other craft items made in Uganda to help finance the charity. Needless to say, quite a few of these items now grace my flat 🙂

Lara (on the left) with me at my wedding reception

Lara (left) with me at my wedding reception

Craft Aid works in tandem with a project that runs a home for street children in Kampala, supplying vital materials (mosquito nets, mattresses and clothing), and also providing grants. Paying the children’s school fees is also a hugely important part of the work they do, and others can get involved by sponsoring a child. Some sponsors have actually travelled over and met the child they sponsor – making it all real and personal. Surely an amazingly worthwhile trip.

Handcrafted animals

In addition to their work in Kampala, Craft Aid also work in a village with the amazing name of Kammengo-Ffunvu (THAT confused the spellcheck!), about 90 minutes’ drive from Kampala. In 2011 the charity installed a water supply in the village and, following their fundraising climb of Kilimanjaro in 2013, a multipurpose building has now been erected.

Please go to the website and read all about the charity and projects, and come and visit Lara and her products at one of the events that they attend!

Beautiful birds

Beautiful birds