The village of Kennington is NOT wealthy but it has changed the lives of 100,000s of people for the better. Through KOA it has been unique as a village –possibly in the world – by holding out a hand of friendship helping people in 25 countries in 4 continents to help themselves. On Saturday Sept 29, 2018  KOA was sung out by Claire Barratt Nia Williams and their friends .
There was a revolving photo collage from KOA’s 50 years of events – Fun Runs, Fetes, Concerts, Pop up Shops, Gardens Open, Sponsored knits, children’s events, auctions, quizzes and markets etc during the main course. This was followed by archive film and a bit of nostalgia and the cheque for 2018 fundraising was presented to the director of Tools 4 Self Reliance by Hugh Fleming our treasurer. To mark  over £1,000,000  updated by inflation.  Our remaining memorabilia will be on show at the  plaque unveiling event in Kennington Village Centre on Sat 13 from 10.30 a.m -12.30  

See the summary of what KOA has achieved during its 50 years below the pictures.

The late Rebecca Allison used to organise the annual KOA gala events with me. With Nia Williams she was Mezzopiano. Archive pics include me at the Fifties Fandango with Peggy Seeger who sang songs she had composed in the 50s. Most of the singers who will perform on 29th are on the ‘Life is a Cabaret’ table from the 2015 Gala Night. below the pics is a summary of KOA’s achievements

  Music Mayhem @ Bandwaves     


The unique achievement of a village in Oxfordshire. After 50 years a brilliant 2018 , The Golden Gala Night on 29th September will be KOA’s FINAL event !!!!

KOA @ 50 What We Have Achieved

We have mostly chosen to fundraise for small charities with strong grass roots links. They ensure that our money is well spent and give good feedback.

We’ve supported projects in 25 countries in 4 continents. To date we’ve raised well over £500,000 (in today’s money, almost £1M).

1 )

We’ve helped make buildings – a children’s ward in South Sudan, a library in Benin, a pre-school in South Africa, and a Spirulina alga farm in Kenya and (2005)all have Kennington’s name on them.


We’ve helped build community infrastructure – water tanks in Uganda, piped water, sanitation and renewable energy in Peru, irrigation in Ghana, and water pumps in Sudan.


We’ve helped to provide medical aid in India, Honduras, Uganda, Bangladesh, Ethiopia, Malawi and Lesotho. We’ve supported people and communities damaged by war.


We’ve helped give education to deprived and ostracised people to become leaders of the future through charities like Children’s Radio Foundation and Standing Voice.

5 )

We’ve helped empower people, particularly young people and women, with knowledge, skills and tools – to learn trades and set up small businesses, or learn radio journalism to give a voice to their communities or educate their peers to prevent AIDS in Zambia or give young women better life choices in Ghana.


We’ve helped get new ideas adopted, like overcoming problems involved in the use of Prosopis trees planted to hold back the desert. Through HDRA (2005) we showed that coppiced the trees are penetrable and do not poison goats.  Trained teams of village women demonstrated ways in which its seeds can be used as human and animal food and be a source of income from using this hard wood.  The project was copied by some African governments.  The Lunch 4 Learning project helping schools to grow crops to feed their pupils in Uganda is now self- sufficient and needs no help from the UK.

7 )

We’ve kick-started small projects that have become self-sustaining through peer learning and apprenticeships, or themselves will generate income for charity work, like the Spirulina alga farming in Kenya.  The Nasio Trust’s day centres for 440 Aids orphans should become self -sufficient by 2020 using income from the Spirulina production. It is also used to supplement the children’s diet. The results are good.

8) Some projects have been so successful, they’ve been adopted by governments – for example, the Standing Voice (2015) skin care clinics for people with albinism we funded in Tanzania have been adopted by the Government of Malawi.

 For our final project for Tools for Self-Reliance, we have not only raised money but also collected a van full of sewing machines and other tools to send to Ghana. Young girls in Northern Ghana are often given in child marriage . When  they are economically active this doesn’t happen.