How Children United! started

Rev. Phillip Jepps, from St. Andrew's Church, Kettering, went to India to visit a 'Boys' Town' project back in the late 1980's. Whilst there, he was taken ill and admitted to a hospital run by a congregation of Sisters, who looked after him until he was well enough to return to the U.K.  As a thank-you, St. Andrews' congregation raised some money to assist the Sisters in their work. Rev. Jepps' daughter Helen and her friend Stephanie Fretter, visited in 1990.  Julie Foster helped with fundraising and on Stephanie's return, they planned many more money-raising events. Stephanie and Julie both visited India in 1992, and Julie has visited many times since.  

No-one who helps the charity receives any kind of expenses. There are no 'overheads' or 'administration charges' so every single penny given, goes to the children. Money is raised in various ways. We give talks to Church / women's groups etc. We work with many schools in Northamptonshire, who have helped to build and run schools, orphanages and children's hostels out in India. A lot of money is raised by car-boot sales ~ people give us things they no longer want, which we then sell.  More valuable items are sold on eBay.

What makes all this feasible is the difference in monetary values. A pound here is now almost 'small change' ~ in India it would be perhaps a quarter of a poor family's weekly wage. Thus we are able to do amazing things with relatively small amounts of money. We have raised over £145,000.00 and this has gone towards building two schools, as well as kitchens, toilet blocks and additional classrooms / equipment / books etc. for existing schools. We have built a reservoir, a children's hostel, repaired a hospital children's ward, etc. We contribute annually towards the running costs of five orphanages and children's hostels, lots of schools, (including one for children with physical and mental difficulties,) crèches, sewing centres for teenage girls and three women's refuges. 

What has made this charity particularly successful is that, when Julie visits, she takes photographs and films of the projects. These are shown to the participating schools / groups and they can see exactly how their money has been spent.

The Sisters work in the poorest areas where help is most needed. They build schools and usually have a medically trained Sister at each Convent. Many relatively 'wealthy' parents want their children to go to a school run by Sisters as it offers the best education available. These people pay a fee, which subsidises the poorer children. Likewise at the hospitals they run, those who can afford it, have to pay something towards their treatment. Those unable to pay are never turned away. Otherwise impoverished women are employed as cooks / cleaners etc.






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