Thanks to donations from every pack or our everyday brew sold (and a little bit of fundraising from us teapigs) we’ve now raised over £60,000 for the Noel Orphanage, Rwanda.

We chose this orphanage because it sits in the same community as the tea estate where we source some of the black tea for our everyday brew (we like to think it’s what makes it that little bit special!)

Last year there were some substantial changes. Sharon Gallagher, director of the Point Foundation (pictured on homepage) who act as project managers at the orphanage, has updated us on several new schemes which allow them to provide tailed care. These include;

-   The Disability Programme, which has now linked up with Ubumwe Community Centre to give disabled residents stimulation and care every single day. Most importantly, the disability programme is addressing the need for specially trained staff who are equipped to deal with long-term challenges.

-  Noel Nursery school, which provides education and basic hygiene. This year they have been able to install 10 new hand-washes thanks to donations.

-   The Turning Point House, which helps residents seeking to join the workforce and become independent by providing temporary accommodation; social skills and pastoral care, and vocational training. Ex-resident Claude used his time at TP house to set up a garage business where he now employs 12 other people.

2014 stands to be one of the toughest years yet, as new legislation on reunification across Rwanda sees a push to re-home children within communities. Unfortunately this announcement means that orphanages such as Noel have lost a significant amount of their funding, even though there’s still a lot to be done. The biggest challenge this year is to develop on-going services for children and adults with disabilities who will still need a home and full-time care. We have committed to support Noel and the Point Foundation throughout this process.