Africa is a land of smiles and joy, of curiosity, enthusiasm, friendship and kindness.
The perception we most often see on the news is one of poverty and despair and undoubtedly
there are huge problems from disease, lack of education and medical facilities, conflict,
corruption and natural disaster as well as the endemic poverty. There is no magic
wand to make these problems go away, but with some time, effort and a little bit
of money we can make a big difference, especially in the lives of society's most
vulnerable - its children.
Life Beginsis the brainchild of LynneMendelsohn after her life-changing trip to
Africa in 2007. Lynne spent several months working as a teaching assistant in Livingstone
Zambia and working with orphans in Livingstone ,Temane and Vilanculos in Mozambique,
as well as spending time on conservation projects in Zimbabwe and South Africa and
travelling in Namibia and Botswana. Lynne has persuaded some friends to join her
in this venture to make a real difference to the lives of children in Africa. We’re
starting small but our aims are big- every child we reach has a life that is improved
and may then help improve their community.
The charity is called Life Begins for two reasons - Lynne spent her 40th birthday
in Zambia - a country where the average life expectancy is currently 37 years of
age and so she really took to heart the saying “Life begins at 40”. It is also intended
to reflect our goal to provide children with as good a start in life as possible,
to open up to them new opportunities, to improve their self esteem and to enable
them to become confident, independent adults with the means to look after themselves. Sometimes
this will involve directly helping children, sometimes their families and sometimes