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Project HappyChild - linking children all across the world

Project HappyChild NEWS

1st August 2000

[for ongoing updates, see Latest Site News]

Appeals and Projects helping children across the world

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

If you've been following the Latest News area of the site you'll know that intrepid solo skipper Vinny Lauwers has almost completed his world voyage ..... there were some amazing photos of the boat in winter storms a couple of days ago, and you wonder how anyone could take on such a challenge, let alone take it on as a paraplegic. Vinny's due back on Saturday 12th August, if you're somewhere around Australia and can make it to his homecoming ... full details of location etc. on the Latest News page.

The Project HappyChild website has been as busy as usual this month, more so if that's possible. We've had banners all over the site for the London Première of Flintstones: Viva Rock Vegas, on 25th July, the proceeds of which were in aid of Great Ormond Street Children's Hospital, in London.

Incidentally the next major event on the General Events calendar is the celebrity football match, "Battle of the Soaps" [Coronation Street, EastEnders etc.] taking place at Villa Park on 10th September, if you're anywhere near there.

There have been several new entries in the Guestbook recently including an appeal for hearing apparatus for a deaf Russian child, support requested by an orphanage in India, and financial help requested by a Ugandan girl to enable her to continue her studies. We've now cross-linked all Guestbook entries across the site, to the relevant schools and appeals areas, to enable visitors to become aware of the significant levels of requests for help which come into the site.

Incidentally we've just had an e-mail from David Baker, some of whose school's teachers and pupils are going out to Kenya today, 1st August, to help improve the learning environment in a Kenyan school for the deaf [their trip is mentioned in the Guestbook, 23rd March 2000]. All good wishes to this group from Framwellgate School, Durham, on their extraordinary initiative.


In the Project HappyChild Directory, we've added a new website link for Addaction, providing education and rehabilitation to individuals and their families affected by drug and alcohol misuse - a growing number of charities in the Directory have direct site and e-mail links now, and we'll be adding links to the others whenever these are advised. Things have changed radically in the last two years or so - when the Directory originally went on line there were only about 25% of organizations with direct access, now it's around the 75% level, for e-mails at least.

Meanwhile this month, there's been a lot of to-ing and fro-ing on whether the World Memory Championships were taking place in August, or not - Tony Buzan has now confirmed they are indeed going ahead and Michael Tipper (who writes the Accelerated Learning area of the website) will be organising them, as usual.

Regular visitors will be delighted to learn that Michael's August articles are already on line - we've had numerous enquiries as to where his June/July articles were, or when they'd materialise, but Michael habitually has a two-month break from writing just before the World Memory Championships each August. However in the light of correspondence received, he's thinking seriously about writing articles continuously throughout the year ..... watch this space.

... the longest journey starts with a single step ...

The main "big news" about the site itself has been the extraordinary success of the new area "Andy's Guide to Pokémon". Building this area has been a major undertaking, with a total of 162 pages now on line, mostly built during July (there'll probably be around 200 in all, which we hope to have completed by the end of August).

The objective was to provide simple, free to print guides to all the different factors kids need to know to complete this game - we're delighted by the response which is also increasing traffic flow across the site as a whole. The traffic since 25th July has been quite extraordinary and the Project HappyChild site should clear around 80,000 visits this month, which we didn't expect at all during the holiday months. Dealing with the associated e-mail correspondence of such a high traffic level has been somewhat challenging, to put it mildly, but most of the main site correspondence is up to date now and we'll upload items sent in for the "Cheats" page (and the remaining scheduled pages for the whole Pokémon area) whenever time allows over the next few weeks.

Pagebuilding for the "Gold" and "Silver" versions of the game isn't likely to commence until after these are released in the UK, so some time later this year.


Meanwhile - with some degree of regret - we have had to re-schedule pagebuilding for the new French area (free-to-print worksheets for learning and practising the French language) until September 2000, simply because of the time factor. Judging by the visit levels even to the Index page already in place, there will be a huge demand for this resource, but it isn't realistic for us to resume building this till things settle down a little elsewhere on the site.

We've reinstated the webstats page (after a break of three months) because our ISP Force 9 had at last started providing these again - however three days later the figures stopped being posted and haven't re-materialised. Apparently the delay was due initially to admin. overload but the situation worsened when their systems had to be shut down because the main board overheated (the fire brigade was called ...) and although everything's up and running again the webstats is something they've not yet updated. Apologies to anyone who's had trouble reaching the site at any time over the last few days, these circumstances have been outside our direct control.


With respect to the rest of the site, we've recently updated the "Publicity page" - our thanks to everyone who has already forwarded this to friends or put a copy up in local schools and/or libraries. Additionally we've modified the "404 page" (.htaccess, for those of you who are technically-minded!) to re-direct to the former "shadow" index page, as this gives a far better idea of the range of areas of the site than was available previously. Judging by those logs available, most visitors who come in via expired page addresses end up looking around the site as a whole, so the new re-direct is working well.

This has been a curious month, looking back - there's been a lot of "tidying up" on the site, with a great deal of miscellaneous pending admin. matters finally having been cleared, and vast inroads made on the pagebuilding for the Pokémon area - but the expected scaling down for the summer didn't happen (traffic is usually much quieter in July/August) and this huge upsurge of visitors has come as a massive surprise. A wonderful one, nonetheless - but it will take a few weeks to re-acclimatise if traffic stays at this level so please send a reminder if there's anything you're waiting to see go up on the site!

Archive of Year 2000 Newsletters at Project HappyChildBest regards,

Penny.

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Project HappyChild - linking children all across the world
http://www.happychild.org.uk + + + + Latest News + + + + About Us
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p.s. This month we were delighted to receive the Golden Web Award 2000 / 2001, from the International Association of Web Masters and Designers, "in recognition of creativity, integrity and excellence on the Web". We've put the award near the foot of the main welcome page.


your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of more than 80 organizations

NEWSLETTERS - update 7th July 2014 - we are delighted to say that we now have our own in-house mailing system for Project HappyChild News.

your support is always welcomed for the Children's Charities in the Project HappyChild Directory - just click here for details of more than 80 organizations
To join our Newsletter mailing list, just add your e-mail address here, or to unsubscribe or change your e-mail address, just click here.

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Project HappyChild News - 1st August 2000 - http://www.happychild.org.uk/nvs/news/2000/08.htm
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