Alison spreading the word in a Scottish primary school

The children at the primary school where one of the trustees, Alison Grove, works are learning about charities, so she was asked to talk to the classes about NICHE International.

The children are aged between 4 and 12 – one composite class is spread across this whole age range – so there were different levels of understanding about the work we do.

We used coloured blocks to represent babies. With the help of volunteers – wearing our NICHE tee shirts – we counted out how many babies might be cared for if NICHE volunteers spent their visit working in hospitals.

And then how many if they trained local health care workers in the skills they were using so that the work could go on all year round. And finally, how many more babies might survive in good health if the local doctors and nurses learned how to train their co-workers … and so on. That made a lot of blocks.


We looked at ways to look after newborn babies:

 Helping them to breathe with a bag valve mask. There were lots of ideas of how to use the one I showed the children, but we soon realised that we would all need training – even the teachers – if we were to save the life of a newborn baby who wasn’t breathing.
 Keeping them warm. The children learned that babies must be kept warm even in hot countries. There were lots of suggestions about how to do this, but no-one could guess the amazing piece of equipment I held behind my back….. a knitted hat!
 Skin to skin contact. We borrowed baby dolls and pieces of fabric from the nursery and the children helped each other to tie the ‘babies’ on securely.

We talked about the different ways people are supporting NICHE – the course tutors, the donors and fund raisers, the work behind the scenes in the UK as well as in the countries we visit.

And there were lots of questions, such as:
How do you set up a charity?
How long does it take to get to Africa?
Why are the babies sick?
Do lions go to hospital?

The children were shocked to learn that newborn babies die so often in poorly resourced areas of the world. Many have baby brothers and sisters of their own and began to understand now how lucky they are to live in Scotland where there are enough well trained health care workers to look after sick babies.

More trustee exertions!

Alison Grove and her friend, Helen, have just completed the Killin 10K in Scotland (in only just over an hour which is pretty impressive), raising just shy of £1000 towards NICHE’s next Liberia trip in November 2019.  You can still sponsor them at


Relief at the finish line
Exhaustion at the finish line















Fantastic work both of you!

Friends of NICHE

We are fortunate that NICHE has friends who support us in various ways.

This is Gloria, approaching her 10th decade, and an inveterate knitter!

One of WHO’s main recommendations for newborn care is prevention of hypothermia.  Newborn babies quickly lose heat through their heads; drying and covering the head with a hat immediately after birth is a simple but vital step.  This is equally important in hot and cold countries.

When NICHE instructors train midwives and other birth attendants in a low resource country, we leave equipment for them to use.  This includes a supply of hats for babies, as mothers do not always have their own baby clothes.

Gloria has bought wool, and knitted hundreds of baby hats for us, including tiny ones for premature infants.  She says that this is her contribution to our work: it is a valuable one, for which we – and about 200 babies in west Africa so far – are very grateful.