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£1,600raised of £1,500 target by 48 supporters

Weʼre raising £1,500 to run Tough Mudder to support our community project for Holy's Home, providing safe, caring shelter and schooling to children in Ghana

London, UK / Kwahu South, Ghana

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Story

THE SHORT VERSION

Amelie and Susana met through a commercial film project. We are both freelance and share a strong passion for community based projects with positive change. We made an agreement with each other to donate our recreational holiday time to volunteer on community projects, both in England and abroad.

James, the founder of Holy's Home and Amelie's ex-colleague, contacted Amelie telling her about the situation he had witnessed first hand of child slavery on Lake Volta in Ghana. There, the most vulnerable children are forced to work down in the lake to unhook the nets. Those who don’t die are working 17 hour days, and this isn’t just a collective of a few kids - this is an estimated 10,000 children. James had been crafting away, building an orphanage for vulnerable children and making changes in the local community, however the projected needed more visibility. His passionate vision stuck with her for several days and she knew she needed to get involved and offer her skillset to this problem. With Susana's varied background in set design, psychology and support projects, she will be working directly with the children through drawing and creative sessions which will lead to their final piece, a mural painted on Holy's Home by the children themselves.

This project gripped our hearts because it is a very small scale team on the ground in Ghana, supported here in the UK. Things get complex when working with larger charities and this project is a chance to have a direct impact. It is a realistic and achievable goal: the challenge of Holy’s Home isn’t to solve the huge issue of slavery on the lake, but to prevent up to 30 of the most vulnerable orphaned children in the local community from being forced to miss out on any developmental opportunities.

On July the 7th we are running a Tough Mudder to fund our two-week trip to Ghana where we will be working closely with the community around the theme of ‘home’. We will be hosting creative sessions in the local community in Southern Ghana, both in photography and film, where the children will be able to create their own pieces. We will bring the stories back through film, photography and design by ourselves as creatives. We will be exhibiting back in London to give visibility to Holy's Home work in Ghana as well as celebrating the art the children have created. The tone of the exhibition will be a mixture of raising awareness, encouraging understanding and highlighting the positive impact of creativity/skill-encouraging fieldwork. Behind, we will leave children with an experience of photography and film as media for self-expression and story-telling, a mural they will paint themselves, and no doubt a little bit of our hearts. This will create a body of work which we will then use to share the story across media and host a fund raising exhibition back in London to raise further funds to feed directly into Holy's home.

Here's a rough breakdown of how this money will be used. It will not cover all our costs, but it will help mitigate the expenses:

Materials — £500 (For creative community projects in schools, including paints (and delivery to site) for the mural, papers, colouring equipment, disposable cameras for the children to shoot on, etc)

Equipment Hire — approx. £600 (We will be hiring photography/filming equipment for the two weeks and will have a fairly stripped back set up. We want to blend in with the community, not set up a film set).

Fundraising Exhibition in London — £400 (This would be a contribution towards printing materials for the exhibition).

Total = £1500

Many thanks in advance for your donation. Amelie, Susana, James and everyone at Holy's Home is dearly grateful.

https://www.holyshome.org

Amelie & Susana

THE DETAILED STORY

WHO WE ARE

Amelie Exton - filmmaker and community project enthusiast! Amelie has travelled extensively, namely through East and Southern Africa where she worked closely with a variety of charities. Whilst working for a communications agency based in London for four years, Amelie created film in many challenging situations - from working with Syrian families taking refuge in Turkey, to people subject to slavery right here on our doorstep. These are the projects which touched the heart and drove Amelie to the realisation that she'd like to use film for good: to change perceptions, to challenge situations, to raise awareness and to give others hope.

Susana Mota - makeup artist, post-graduate psychologist, set designer, and restless social welfare cause finder! A makeup artist for nearly two decades, Susana has more recently embarked on a psychology degree followed by a post-graduate in therapeutic counselling. Although an old passion, the deeper interest in psychology came as a result of the hundreds of people that sat on her makeup chair over the years, their sharing, and her ultimate realisation that we are all a lot more in this together than we'd like to believe. Being a hands-on type, the counselling room felt limiting in comparison to the work she wanted to do in her daily life, where the power of being listened to or addressed with kindness largely exceeds the one found in a contracted, paid for relationship. Susana has volunteered for projects with charities such as the Samaritans, Combat Stress, Crisis and Changing Faces in varied roles, and now plans to use her curiosity about the world and other cultures to continue her charity work worldwide.

WHAT MOVED US

There is a lake in Ghana called Lake Volta. There, the most vulnerable children are forced to work down in the lake to unhook the nets. Those who don’t die are working 17 hour days, and this isn’t just a collective of a few kids - this is an estimated 10,000 children. If you picture your childhood classroom, that classroom could be filled 333 times by the number of children this affects.

In June 2013, just before the start of his graduate scheme, James Deacon - a former colleague of Amelie - volunteered in a small fishing village set against Lake Volta, in the Eastern Region of Ghana. Whilst teaching a young boy named Holy, he noticed his impressively high level of dedication and determination to his studies, with dreams of becoming a bank manager in the city. After a few twists and turns (read it all here ), three plots of land were purchased in 2014 with the approval of the local Chief and a range of witnesses from the area. With the help of many passionate friends in London and in Ghana, Holy's Home for Children was officially registered in April 2016.

James contacted Amelie telling her about the situation he had witnessed first hand of child slavery on Lake Volta. It stuck with her for several days and she knew she needed to get stuck in and offer her skill set to this problem. They had a power brainstorm around ways they could use Amelie's skillset and his involvement in the local community to raise awareness around the project and produce creative work to help benefit Holy’s Home.

OUR PLAN

Holy’s Home is building its first financially self-sustainable home for children who have become orphaned by way of parents deceased or abandonment through an innovative sustainability model. Once set up it will allow the home to fund its own existing through bottling and selling water collected on the land. This won’t be a relationship where the home is dependant on funding, but rather the charity is adding facilities that will sell safe drinking water, locally known as 'pure water' to villages and towns for miles around will fund the running of the home, and some friendly chickens laying eggs for the locals.

Our plan is to shoot some experimental short film, working closely with the community around the theme of ‘home’ and what is means to them. We will be hosting creative sessions in the local community in Southern Ghana. We will then be creating an exhibition back in London to give visibility to Holy's Home work in Ghana. We will bring the stories back through film, photography, design by ourselves as creatives, as well as celebrating the pieces the children have created. The tone of the exhibition will be a mixture of raising awareness, encouraging understanding and the positive impact we can bring to the situation. The exhibition will raise money to support the work of Holy’s home.

We are currently applying for several grants, hoping to be able to do more and better given the resources. Our personal expenses in terms of travel, equipment hire, materials and exhibition resources is estimated at around £2000, so any help is precious.

It’s exciting stages with Holy’s home. The building itself is still being built. James has been back and forth to Ghana over 10 times working on the project and being involved in the local communities and schools. It is planned that the home will be set up and have taken on its first 8 children by the time we take part in the project. We would like time to settle in and familiarise ourselves with the local community before starting creative work.

Amelie and Susana are running a Tough Mudder event on the 7th of July (eek!!) where we will be raising funds for the project through friends and family. James has several 10K runs lined up too. We hope we can count with your generosity to provide these children with an experience of childhood beyond loneliness and slavery, under a loving safe roof.

The dates we have planned to commit to the project are November 1st - 14th 2018, and dates of the exhibition in London are TBC. This page shall be open until the exhibition is concluded, which we aim to be the first quarter of 2019.

Many thanks in advance for your donation. Amelie, Susana, James and everyone at Holy's Home is dearly grateful.

Amelie & Susana

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Updates

1

  • Susana Mota1 month ago
    Susana Mota

    Susana Mota

    1 month ago

    Hello you wonderful, generous friends! How's everyone been? Amelie and I have been opening each JustGiving email in Christmas morning-like anticipation and you have not disappointed: we're 96% funded! Apologies for the delayed update, life's been busy. So busy, the videographer is at work slaving away and the makeup artist was left to do this video's edit... Please don't judge me! ;) We're getting our jabs this week and we couldn't be any more excited. Thank you for making this project possible. Much love, Susana & Amelie x

    Share this update to help us raise more

4 months ago

Susana Mota started crowdfunding

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Page last updated on: 10/4/2018 2:51 PM

Supporters

48

  • Alex Donnelly

    Alex Donnelly

    Oct 4, 2018

    A wonderful thing you are doing

    £30.00

  • Joana Barroso

    Joana Barroso

    Sep 26, 2018

  • Ana Exton

    Ana Exton

    Sep 20, 2018

    Sorry it’s late! Well done ladies xxx

    £30.00

  • Nick Cannon

    Nick Cannon

    Sep 19, 2018

    Blimey, outstanding ladies !!

    £20.00

  • janet stevenson

    janet stevenson

    Sep 19, 2018

    The temptation to make sure you hit your target was too great to resist !

    £30.00

  • Ken Bell

    Ken Bell

    Sep 19, 2018

    Matching my own donation...because you're all awesome.

    £30.00

  • Dheep Matharu

    Dheep Matharu

    Sep 19, 2018

    Great project, Susana and Amelia!! I wish you all the best with it! Love Dheep x

    £50.00

Susana Mota

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About the fundraiser
Susana Mota

Susana Mota

London, UK / Kwahu South, Ghana

Amelie (filmmaker) and Susana (makeup artist) are both freelance and share a strong passion for social welfare community based projects, so we donate our recreational holiday time to volunteer on community projects. July the 7th we are running a Tough Mudder for Holy's Home!

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