Monthly Archives: March 2013

Olivia Barker is making a difference in Kampala

Olivia Barker in Kampala
Kids Club Kampala

Olivia Barker is 23 years old and has a day job as a project officer for an international development agency.

For the last four years she has devoted her spare time to running a charity called Kids Club Kampala  which works with vulnerable children and women in the slums of Uganda.

Now her efforts have been recognised by Vodafone who have given her a World of Difference Award which will let her work for the charity full time in Kampala for four months.

She first visited Uganda in 2007 and was shocked by the living conditions. The slums are hotbeds of crime and violence. Sanitation is poor. Children often have only one or two items of clothes and do not own shoes so it is impossible to keep clean and away from infection.

After she left Uganda, Olivia kept in touch with local translator Sam and knew that money was running out. She returned with a friend and together they founded Kids Club Kampala. These days they support over 4000 children in 16 different communities throughout Uganda

Now, thanks to the Vodafone award, Olivia can focus on the charity and put it on a more professional footing. She hopes to raise money and make more people aware of the plight of these communities.

‘People live in very overcrowded conditions where disease and illness are rife. Many walk the long way around it in order to avoid the dirt and the open sewers,’ said Olivia. ‘I want to raise money so that these children know they are loved. I want them to have the chance to play, have fun and just be kids for a while.’

If you can help or would like to donate to the charity, please contact

Deaf young people on the Buzz

Gok Wan
Gok Wan offers advice to deaf young people

Gok Wan, famous for his programme How to Look Good Naked, once advised a young deaf girl: ‘Don’t be self-conscious of your hearing aid! Embrace it and show it off!-Maybe you could customise it with some fabulous diamante, to really make a statement out of it.’

Now young people can put his advice into practice.

Covering and customising hearing aids
Customising hearing aids

On the Buzz, a forum run by the National Deaf Children’s Society (NDCS), has a section called Ear Art with ideas for designs and ways of using nail foil stickers to cover hearing aids or cochlear implants.

The forum is where deaf young can find out about events around the country and meet their contemporaries online. It can decrease social isolation and give them ready access to events and links to other online resources such as Your Local Cinema , a one stop site with information about showings of subtitled films.

The Buzz also provides guidance for young people who are trying to make plans for their future. Paul’s story is about going to college and becoming more independent while Sam’s story is about taking up an apprenticeship. Priya’s story will resonate with many young people at this time of year as it is about tactics and resources to counteract the stresses of preparing for examinations. See stories here.