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Thanks to all, firstly for being interested in our Trust and for either seeking us out via the web or contacting us in order to be kept up to date with what we are doing.

It’s been just over one year since our registration as a UK charity, so we feel now is a good time to let you all know what we’ve achieved in this relatively short time.

As many of you will know, the work we do is contained within two separate places; Kibera; one of the largest slums in the world, situated right on the outskirts of the city of Nairobi, and also Loiyangalani; a large, but remote rural village, on the shores of Lake Turkana, in the North of Kenya.

Each area has its own specific problems and we have sought to address urgent needs whilst working closely with the communities – relationships we forged whilst making the film, which have been cemented during our regular visits over the last year.
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MP Raila Odinga and Simon Channing Williams opening the new toilet and shower facility.

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A woman from the Ayany Women’s group at work on a traditional loom.

In Kibera

Following on from our sanitation projects in Kibera, we have just recently completed two toilet and shower facilities at the Raila Education Centre. This school until recently had no toilet and sanitation facilities and now has clean and safe toilets and showers, including the first accessible toilet for disabled students.

Although so far our efforts have been concentrated on sanitation projects in Kibera, this coming year we will be looking at the possibility of helping to organize a regular health clinic, and will be approaching other charities and hospitals in the area to make our venture as effective as possible.

We are also aware that there are many small craft businesses already operating in Kibera, all local initiatives (mainly women’s groups), which are in need of marketing advice or a clear pathway to a suitable market in order to be able to run more effectively.

One such organization with whom we have begun to work – The Ayany Women’s Group – is reclaiming the used plastic bags that litter Kibera and after cleaning and shredding to form strands, weaving them into highly durable and very attractive mats to be used in homes and offices. Currently, the shop run for the Trust; ‘Sweet Charity’ (see below) is stocking some of the mats made by the organization and we hope to bring over more in the coming months.

Finally, we have been invited to join forces with the Kibera MP, who is keen to initiate a charity football tournament for the children which we hope will bring the schools in Kibera together. This would be in conjunction with a similar tournament which we will have been planning for a long time in Loiyangalani. The intention is to present The Constant Gardener Cup to the winning team of each tournament!

Do get in touch if you would like more information.

loiyangalani secondary school

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The new Secondary School buildings.

In Loiyangalani

The secondary school in Loiyangalani now consists of 2 Classrooms, 2 dormitories, an administration block, a dining area with kitchen, and of course, our specialty, toilets and shower blocks!

From January, two classes of children will be taught at the school. We have a government provided Head teacher, the local community has rallied to provide teachers from the area for the main subjects, as well as the Heads of the local Primary School also doing their bit in making sure the core courses are covered.

So that a new year’s intake of pupils can be received at the school, we need to raise funds to build another classroom as well as further dormitories by the spring of next year.

We continue to lobby the Government, at local and national level, in order that they take full responsibility for the day to day running of the school – more teachers, and more equipment, are urgently needed. Our representations have been successful to date and the school has had assistance through the local MPs Constituency Development Fund. We continue to press for further Governmental support.
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Annie Channing Williams (wife of Simon) and members of the Loiyangalani Women’s Groups.

Trust Shop – ‘Sweet Charity’

Sweet Charity, based in Marazion, Cornwall, is run by Annie Channing Williams (wife of Simon, Producer) and sells crafts and artifacts, which are brought over from Kenya.  Much of the beaded jewellery sold in the shop is made by the Women’s Groups in Loiyangalani. Profits from the shop come directly to the Trust, and the women in Loiyangalani are always delighted to see us after we’ve sold their beautiful jewellery for UK prices – every penny goes directly back to the groups!

Sweet Charity, Rosario Tea Gardens, Marazion, Cornwall (opposite St Michael’s Mount)
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Neto Agostinho and Simon Channing Williams on site in Kibera.

Staff in Kenya

We are delighted to announce the appointment of our Kenyan Co-ordinator, Neto Agostinho. Neto oversees all the projects, and keeps us in constant touch with what is going on. As the Trust has grown, it has been increasingly difficult to manage everything from the UK, and although our many friends and colleagues in Kenya and the UK are an incredible support, our decision to employ a full time Co-ordinator has undoubtedly been a success.

oscar statue


2006 has also been a busy year for us on the fundraising front. At the beginning of the year we hosted an Oscar Night Party in central London, which was such a success that we intend to make this an annual event.

A Grand Auction, following a screening of the film was our best ever fundraiser yet, and raised well over £46,000.

Friends of the Trust have held their own auctions, one even in a local pub in Cornwall, supported by St Austell Brewery. We experienced a night of fun and dancing when the fabulous Fat Chance Band played a Charity Gig for us, and held a mini auction on the same night.

We continue to be immensely grateful to the organizations and individuals who bear us in mind when planning their own fundraising events. Please get in touch if you need information or promotional leaflets for your own event, or have any great ideas for fundraising which you’d like to let us know about.

Events for 2007 are being planned now, and we would of course be grateful for ideas or offers of help for the future.
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Responsible Filmmaking

‘The Last King of Scotland’, was released in October. The film makers have also decided to help the region that they filmed in and are specifically supporting two charitable organizations that they met while in Uganda. More information about these can be found on our links page, so do have a look.

At The Constant Gardener Trust, as members of the film community, we believe that filmmakers have a special privilege, and therefore a responsibility to give something back to the communities that welcome them during the filmmaking process. We are working towards encouraging filmmakers to try and channel these great opportunities in ways that benefit the communities in which they work. The examples and working practices of crews should strive to enhance the lives and well being of people in the locations that are used.

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Simon Channing Williams being made an Elder of Loiyangalani.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas from everyone at the Trust.

We are all looking forward to a fantastic New Year full of new challenges.


Watch the website for more news on this, and all our other projects.

Until our next newsletter, have a very happy holiday season and we look forward to being in touch with progress of the School as well as all our other projects, in the New Year.

Thank you for your support.