As we are sure you are aware this has been yet another challenging year so far and we truly appreciate your prayerful and practical support as always. It means so much to us and our beneficiaries as we know just how much of a difference it makes, especially during these uncertain times. To be able to keep people smiling through all of this uncertainty is why we’re so passionate about what we do and together we are making this happen.  

Over the last 6 months the countries where we work have still been going in and out of lockdowns according to their case rates. As you know India has been particularly badly affected and we have been monitoring our team there very closely throughout it all. We have been receiving daily updates from them and what they have faced has been very concerning. The numbers that we have heard here in the UK are not truly accurate as collating and recording data of this magnitude in a country like India is exceptionally difficult. We were estimating the figures to be a lot higher and sadly it affected the younger population considerably. We heard from our team in country that the only shops that were allowed to open during the lockdown were the big supermarkets and they were only open between 6 am – 9 am each day. For a lot of people in the rural areas it took at least an hour to get there, then there were huge queues and not a lot of food choice before they had to return home, which took another hour. Members of our team said it took a lot of time and effort in order to obtain even rice, which is usually easy to buy as it is a staple food in India. Many of the streets were empty and if anyone left their home, they were in serious trouble. It was like being under house arrest.

We have also had to manage the closure of schools, at different times and in different countries and commence our Radio Project again which has been hugely beneficial, not only for the pupils but for their families too. Together with our teams we have managed to make over 6,000 masks through our Face Mask Project which is a great achievement, and we thank those who supported this project. We are continuing with this project as it has proven to be very important. We ask you to please think about and pray for some of our teams on the ground in the countries where we work, who have also had to take some compassionate leave, as close family members and friends have sadly passed away during this year.

We want to thank you again for your continued support and if you would like to make a donation to our work, no matter the amount, it will be put to good use. There are still children who need to be sponsored, widows that need support through sponsorship and people who need food and basic provisions. We really need more regular support and we ask you to please consider signing up for a monthly Direct Debit for as much as you can, as this is such a lifeline to many people in need at this time. Our Hamper programme is a great way to show someone you care and is sure to put a smile on someone’s face. No amount is too small, we just need you to stand with us as we continue to turn tears into smiles.

For Smile Hampers click the link https://www.smileinternational.org/shop

If you would like to donate online to help with this ongoing situation, please visit https://www.smileinternational.org/donate or if you would like to donate through the post, then continue to use our postal address PO Box 1414, Peterborough, PE1 9WG.

Thank you to those of you who are already giving through sponsorship, regular giving, or one-off gifts.  We really value and appreciate every donation.

Thank you again for your support.

Tim Doubleday

CEO