Monday, November 28, 2011

Celebrating in Pre-School Flor Infancia

The end of the year is always a celebratory time, especially for the children. The pre-school of Flor da Infância was no different, and on November 25, they celebrated their own Christmas. A little early, truth be said, but given the summer holidays are threatening to keep the little ones away from the school, better early than never. 

It was a small celebration, with a special note on the food that even included potatoes! The children were entitled to cake and one soft drink, a major treat! They all got small gifts - cookies, a lolly pop, small candies and balloons to play. Benefiting from the "Volunteers with Wings" initiative in partnership with the air crew of TAP Air Portugal, there were enough toys donated from Portugal to give each single one of them a little something! 

Merry Christmas to all the children! 

See all the pictures in Um Pequeno Gesto Picasa Album

Saturday, November 19, 2011

A hut in a time of need

10 days ago, when I was in Mozambique, I had the pleasure of tell the Nuns running Santa Luisa de Marilac School that A Little Gesture UK would be able to finance the 3 huts they had requested, before the end of the year. That day was full of joy, as we met the children and took the opportunity to give Sandra and Teresa their new hut, financed by UPG Portugal ( 

As part of our visit to the neighborhood, we also visited the 3 huts we were meant to rebuild - one of them for brothers Elidio and Nelson. I had already had the chance of meeting Elidio, whom I told facing his huge smile that he would get a new house. Nelson was in a fever and I think he was not as aware, but we still went to the house and told them and the grandmother that we would build a house soon. 

I am glad we did that, as the rain season is already starting and a good part of their house vanished this week. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

The Story of A Little Gesture, by Mana Sara

In February 2004, before I moved to work in the City in London, I went in what was to become the most important trip of my life: a 4 month volunteering experience in Mozambique.  Many around me thought I might not come back, others just judged me insane. In their own way, all of them were right.  A piece of me never came back and will always be connected to Mozambique, the nuns, the children, all the little ones!  The piece of me that came back did so changed, unable to resist to the attraction of how much could be done with so little.

Before coming back I “bumped” into 30 children in an Orphanage and wondered what they lived from – “luck and a helping hand here and there” was the answer.  I thought that could be changed, with just A Little Gesture.  And so it started that year in Portugal, the adventure that would change my life then and every day.

Starting only with 50 children and €7’500 in donations from mostly family and friends, we then embarked on an ambitious expansion in 2008 while I was doing my MBA in Harvard Business School.  Making Little Gestures grew addictive and we enlarged the number of sponsored children and invested in projects to support community infra-structure and sustainable development.  A Little Gesture Portugal grew to c. 800 children in 2011 and we now proudly set up A Little Gesture UK as a trust and registered charity.

Every day, I make my Little Gesture in my scarce free time.  Some days are  harder than others.  Working in Investment Banking, this commitment can make life truly challenging.  But each time I think of slowing down, I know I can take one more step, try one more thing, help one more child to smile.  I am surrounded by people who love me and are understanding of my passion for this little change that I can make in the world.

Every Little Gesture helps!