To mark Children in Need Week Dr Helen Nejad from the NGO Iran Children’s Charity visits the studio to discuss their drive to raise money for kids in Iran. Focusing mainly on orphans, those without national status or on the streets, the charity aims to supply two university hospitals in Iran that treat children specifically.
‘In Search of Simorgh‘ is Iran Children’s Charity’s first fund-raising event, a Persian Heritage music and contemporary and traditional dance theatrical performance. The performance is based on 12th Century Sufi classic Conference of the Birds by Farid Uddi Attar, and also loosely on the stage adaptation by Peter Brook and Jean-Claude Carriere. Musicians from Europe play cello, kamanche, tar, santoor, daf and percussion and 7 dancers interpret the text so that there is no language barrier to enjoying the performance.
If you would like to help children in need by simply being entertained, then please complete and return the attached form, or book your ticket online through their event website www.insearchofsimorgh.com The event is hosted by Kids Company founder Camila Batmanghelidjh.
Logan Hall, 20 Bedford Way , London WC1H 0AL
Sunday 21st November
18:00 to 22:00 (programme starts at 19:00)
All funds raised from donations, ticket and raffle sales will be used to purchase Keyhole surgical and other operating theatre equipment for Mofid and Ali Asghar Children Hospitals. Their target over the years is a minimum of £30,000 per hospital for the equipment. Your contribution can really help to save lives of children who undergo operations, facilitate quicker recovery for many more, as well as bringing relief and a smile to their siblings and families.
Feel free to contact them by visiting www.iran-children-charity.org
Camila Batmanghelidjh (daughter of the renowned Iranian doctor Dr Batman: cure by water) is a psychotherapist and founder/director of Kids’ Company.
Born in Tehran to prosperous Iranian and Belgian parents, Batmanghelidjh went to public school and is severely dyslexic. She did her studies using a tape recorder instead of pen and paper, received a first class Honours degree in theatre and dramatic arts, then a Masters on the philosophy of counseling and psychotherapy, two years of child observation and a course in art therapy at Goldsmiths. After four years of psychotherapy training she worked with children as a nanny, and discovered her talent.
Batmanghelidjh used her mortgage repayments to set up The Place2Be, a psychotherapy and counseling service to children in schools. It is now a national project and serves in excess of 20,000 children a year.
For ten years Kids Company has survived due to the support of charitable trusts and businesses, twice Camila re-mortgaged her flat for Kids Company’s lack of funding. Camila won the Social Entrepreneur of the Year Award 2005. She has written Shattered Lives: Children Who Live with Courage and Dignity, ISBN 1-84310-434-2 and other papers. In 2006 alone she was nominated in ‘The Good List ’06’, of exceptional people and appeared at the Conservative Party Conference and was made Woman of the year.
She curated two major art exhibitions, Shrinking Childhoods at the Tate Modern in ’05 and Demons and Angels: Does it have to be this way? at Shoreditch Town Hall. Lastly as testimony to the widespread interest in her work, Camila appeared on Desert Island Discs in October, 2006 and talks here to Fari Bradley about the company, the children and the things that make the work necessary, accompanied by one of the many that Kids Company has helped.