Televised fundraiser

This Friday we will be making a fundraising appeal for PBUK and for the Dobrota charity as part of a broader appeal for many charities during Ramadan. If you have Sky, turn on Iqra TV (Sky channel 826) in the early evening to see the appeal and Chris Hunter, PBUK’s programmes co-ordinator, being interviewed, as well as interviews with PBUK Trustee Alaudin Chilaev, and Dobrota fundraisers Sofia Janjua and Adil Wainwright.

Dobrota PBUK Ramadan Appeal

Iqra TV are helping us and Dobrota to raise money to rebuild schools in Chechnya, provide psychological support to children and teenagers traumatised by war, assist poverty-stricken families to start their own small businesses, sponsor orphans and distribute food to the hungry.

£25 can provide for an orphan’s needs for one month, £20 buys food for a family for one month and £100 can help make a life-saving operation happen. Please head to our donations page to find out how to donate.

Assisting Dobrota

We are pleased to share the news that we have been working alongside Dobrota, an NGO looking at ways to support women and families in Chechnya, especially those on low incomes in isolated areas.  Over the coming months we should have more news appearing, but in the meantime we have added a page to our site where you can learn more about their work.

Dobrota logo

Daimohk in the press

Daimohk BoysTo whet your appetite for Daimohk’s forthcoming tour (see dates, venues, prices and booking information here) we thought we would put up some links to Daimohk elsewhere on the web.

First of all is Jos De Putter’s 2002 film ‘Dans Grozny Dans’.  In Chechen with French subtitles.

‘Jos De Putter’s powerful documentary “Dans Grozny Dans”, follows Daimohk on their 2001 tour of Europe and their preparations among the devastation of Grozny. The film won Best Documentary at Chicago’s 2003 International Documentary Film Festival, and Best Film at the 2003 St Petersburg Film Festival.’

There is also a wonderful selection of highlights from the 2005 Tour from Videoreel on YouTube.

These are reviews from their 2004 tour.

‘Dancing in the Dark’ by Vanora Bennett, Times Online, 19th August 2004

Daimohk at the Llangollen International Eisteddfod, BBC Wales, 4th-9th June 2004

 

Royal Opera House, Linbury Studio, London by Patricia Somerset, Ballet Dance Magazine, September 2004

 

Here is also a lovely selection of photographs taken in the Netherlands by Eddie Van Wessel on a previous tour

 

Enjoy!

 

Supporting Psychosocial work in Gaza

Peacebuilding UK has been invited by an NGO in Gaza to support their work through staff training in the fields of child psychological trauma counselling and rehabilitation. This co-operation will focus on psychosocial counselling of children in the field and the training of new staff/ mental health professionals in Gaza. An initial one-week seminar is planned in Gaza in August 2009. Two representatives from Peacebuilding UK and two Little Star psychologists will visit Gaza in August to conduct the training seminars. It is hoped that this will be the first of a series of such trainings and cooperation between Peacebuilding UK/ Little Star and the partner in Gaza.

Rebuilding Sharoi School

Classroom Sharoi SchoolIntroduction
The children of the village of Sharoi have been without a school from 1999 to 2008, after the original school building was largely destroyed during bombardments in the second Chechen war from 1999-2000. Sharoi is deep in the mountains in the South of Chechnya, and access to other villages from it is limited. The children’s education was therefore severely limited to ad hoc lessons in homes in the village, and when possible to making trips of several miles, sometimes on foot, to the nearest neighbouring village.

Work Conducted
The work at the school in Sharoi has been completed, and the Ministry of Education of Chechnya is currently running the school, providing the necessary funding and supervision for the school to operate, including paying teachers’ wages, maintaining the school. The Ministry of Education will continue to run the school over the long-term now that the building has been rebuilt and can provide adequate provision for classes. The school opened for the new term on 1st September 2008.

The population of the village of Sharoi is 520 people, and the number of children attending the school is 62. This includes 31 children attending classes 1-4; 25 children attending classes 5-9, and 9 children in classes 10-11. There are 35 boys, 25 girls and 12 teachers. One of the children is disabled and five are orphans. There are now six classrooms in the school, as previously before the devastating damage inflicted to the building before the war. The school, as many others in Chechnya today, works in two shifts.

Please see further data regarding the school and the work conducted below:

District: Sharoi regionEntrance Sharoi School
City/town/village: Sharoi
Degree of damage (1-5): 5
School: No.1 secondary
Work being conducted: Full repairs, including laying floors, ceilings, building walls, roof, plastering, installing electrics, heating system (wood boiler)
Population of town/ village: 520
Total number of children 6-18 years: 62
Number of pupils classes 1-4: 31
Number of pupils classes 5-9: 25
Number of pupils classes 10-11: 9
Number of shifts: 2
Number of boys/ girls/ teachers: 36/26/12
Psychologists: no
Number of classrooms available before rebuilding: 0
Number of classrooms after rehabilitation: 6
Electricity/ gas/ heating/ water: no/no/no/no
Latrines/ lavatories: no/yes
Medical room: no
Canteen: no
Gymnasium/ playground: no/no
Number of disabled children: 1
Number of orphans/ semi-orphans: 8

The grant of £6000 from QPSW was used to fund the replacing the school roof, including the wooden framework, insulation, tin sheeting, guttering and drain pipes. The costs of both building materials and labour were covered by the grant. The actual costs of repairing the roof rose to £8120.

Sharoi Corridor, Before and AfterThe full cost of the repairs to the school was £31,600 – £7600 more than expected. This included the rebuilding of walls, roof, laying of floors, ceilings, plastering, installing electrics, heating system (wood boiler) and installation of doors and windows. The majority of the shortfall in funds was covered by additional funds from UNICEF (see more details below in ‘Problems in Implementing the Project’) as well as some additional funds from Peacebuilding UK.

All building materials for the project were purchased locally in Chechnya from local suppliers. This helped to reduce the environmental impact of transporting such supplies, although they did have to be transported up into the mountains from Grozny along narrow and at times perilous mountain roads. The timber purchased was from sustainable forests in the region. The building has been insulated, thereby reducing the loss of heat as much as possible.

Problems in Implementing the ProjectSharoi Ext, Before and After
A truck transporting building supplies to Sharoi skidded off the road and fell down into a small ravine in March 2008. The materials lost had been funded by UNICEF. As the materials were lost, UNICEF fortunately agreed to replace them, which is partly the reason for the project expenditure having increased above the budgeted amount. A recent earthquake in the Chechen mountains has caused landslides that have now completely closed this road. The further reason for this was the substantial increase in the costs of building materials in Chechnya and Russia as a whole.

There is currently a problem of insufficient number of school desks at the school. Peacebuilding UK’s partner, the ‘Centre for Peacebuilding and Community Development’ Russian charitable fund, is assisting the school authorities to find a solution to this problem with the Chechen Ministry of Education, which initially expressed that it would provide all such furniture.

Conclusion
The teachers, pupils and parents of Sharoi school have expressed their sincerest gratitude to all of those people and bodies that supported the rebuilding of their school, including QPSW. Eight years was a significant amount of time for the children and families of the village to be without a school, and its re-opening marks an important step for them in rebuilding their lives after the destruction of the war, and to restoring their educational system.

Season’s Greetings!

Peacebuilding UK would like to wish everyone a happy holiday – whatever festivals you’re celebrating! Thank you so much for all your support during 2007, we look forward to 2008 with hope and optimism for all our brothers and sisters in Chechnya and the surrounding region.

In peace and friendship,

Staff and Trustees of Peacebuilding UK

School re-building project

Thank you to everyone who has donated to this appeal. We have so far managed to raise 50% of the total £10,000 of the appeal, which is required to complete the rebuilding of four schools in Chechnya.

A further £5,000 needs to be raised by the end of June as Peacebuilding UK’s contribution. The schools serve about 1,800 pupils and were moderately or severely destroyed during the recent wars. UNICEF is paying for 86% of the rebuilding costs but expects PBUK’s partner in Russia, a Russian Charitable Fund with the same name, to contribute 14% by the end of April. Peacebuilding UK has raised £15,000 to date for this project.

Pupils and parents of these schools very much want them to reopen this Autumn, and this work is not included in the Chechen Government’s current rebuilding programme.

Please go to our Donations page for information on how to contribute. Thank you.