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History of KOA
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David Butler


Every year since 1969 people suffering ill health, poor water supply, lack of education or devastation through war somewhere in the world have been helped to overcome their deprivation through the efforts of Kennington people and supporters of the village's overseas aid fundraising events. So far over 445,000 has been raised.

It all began a year earlier when members of the three village churches came together in small study groups to debate the question 'Who is my neighbour?' The purpose was to bring an understanding that, as well as those living near us, our neighbours were those of the world and that those in serious need deserved our help.

From the conclusions of the Kennington groups came the Good Neighbour scheme, the United Churches Choir, an inter-church liason group and Kennington Overseas Aid.

In considering how we should go about helping our overseas neighbours in need we decided to pack as many trendy and dynamic fund-raising activities as we could into one week and call it Kennington Overseas Aid Week. By this means we would, we thought, maximise our publicity and takings while causing least harm to other fundraising activities in the village. The first project was the improvement of irrigation and provision of seed and fertilisers for the village of Otterthotti in Mysore, India.

A target of 60 was set with a fundraising event on each day of the week, from a sponsored walk, through Scouts' Bingo and children's sports evening to the Otterthotti hunger lunch on the last day. Members from all the churches were encouraged to help and the response was tremendous: Otterthotti Week raised 350! In the following year the Otterthotti priest, Father Godest, who was in charge of the work there, came to Kennington to tell us of the practical results of our work.

From that beginning the annual fundraising efforts in Kennington have flourished. Many more people have joined and the purpose, though serious, gives many opportunities for people in the village getting together and enjoying a great deal of fun.

  After a few years of the week we felt that seven days were too constricting so we now have Kennington Overseas Aid activities running from Spring to Autumn every year.  

We welcome anyone who would like to help: yes, you will enjoy it as well as making a worthwhile effort in support of people in need! Just get in touch with any member - see the contacts page .

Past projects