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10K 2018 News

Whether or not England reach the World Cup final, this Sunday is guaranteed to be a momentous day - especially for 21 runners who are taking on the British 10K for Cecily's Fund!

Now run by Virgin Sport, the British 10K has been a key fundraiser for Cecily's Fund for over a decade. In recent years, our friends at Southborough High School have been regular, and successful, entrants. This year their team extends to 14 runners, and they've already raised over £1,200 - in total, all of our runners this year have raised a fantastic £2,500 so far.

"I'm so pleased to be running again for Cecily's Fund", says Camilla Darling, who ran previously in 2015 and 2016. She is one of a number of runners who are friends and colleagues of Philippa Tolmay, Cecily's sister who has taken part in the run herself. They also include Kate O'Raghallaigh, Abigail Bright and Henrietta Hill who have raised almost £650 already.

"I'm delighted to be running the 10K for Cecily's Fund - it is a physical challenge for me but the atmosphere on the day is always electric."

Henrietta Hill

On Sunday, the runners will pass numerous major landmarks including Big Ben, St James' Palace and Trafalgar Square. Each year over 10,000 people take part - supporters of Cecily's Fund have been among them since the very first event in 2004.

The difference that our runners can make through their fundraising, and that you can make by sponsoring them, is dramatic. The £2,500 already raised as of July 11 could fund the training of over 30 of our life-changing Peer Educators, who are vital role models to orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia. The same amount could also helps us keep 50 children in school for a year.

While the World Cup dominates the headlines, we would love for you to support our runners who have a huge sporting challenge of their own - and one which will help Cecily's Fund make a real difference.

Support Our Runners - JustGiving Pages

Wednesday, 04 July 2018 15:59

New Alumni Victorious in 2018 Zam Challenge

ZC 2018 Postmatch

Our annual 5-a-side football tournament, the Zam Challenge, made a return on June 29 - on the one-day break from matches in the World Cup. Once again, Burford School kindly hosted the event which is still open to donations.

In the end, it was simple enough. In a Zam Challenge final contested purely by former students of Burford School, the New Alumni cruised to a comfortable 3–0 victory over their predecessors, the Original Alumni. While Haydn Parker’s team will have their team name engraved on the Zam Challenge shield, Adam Nobbs’ Originals must make do with second place — for the second year running.

On June 29, six teams competed for the shield, a field expanded from the four sides which played in 2017. The Burford School sports hall played host to a total of nine matches — six in a group stage, and three playoffs to determine final placings — which were even more intense than the games played last year. In all, 46 goals were scored in just 72 minutes of play.

The Cecily’s Fund team, recruited and captained again by Simon Isherwood, finished in third place overall thanks to a very tense 4–3 win over Burford’s Year 12 in the second playoff. Scott Latham, a constant threat for Cecily’s Fund, was declared Man of the Tournament and the team found the back of the net 12 times, putting them joint top scorers with the tournament winners.

For their part, Burford Staff will be disappointed with their attempt to retain the shield. A 4–1 loss to Cecily’s Fund severely dented their chances, but they eventually secured fifth place with a 3–0 triumph over Wenn Townsend F.C. The chartered accountants, who have sponsored the 2017 and 2018 tournaments, were a welcome presence with their own squad this year.

Match Results



Cecily's Fund is very grateful to everyone at Burford School for helping make the Zam Challenge happen; to our referee Roger; to Bill Williams for arranging the matches; and to everyone who played, spectacted, or donated at the event. So far £345 has been donated via our JustGiving page. For every £50 raised Cecily's Fund can help a child remain in school for a year, so your donations make a huge difference. If you have not yet donated, we would love for you to do so.

Be sure to have a look at the #ZamChallenge18 tag on social media for more photos, videos and updates on the Zam Challenge!

Thursday, 14 June 2018 10:28

Zam Challenge 2018

ZC18 Web 1

On June 29, the Zam Challenge returns for its second annual instalment! Burford School will host our six-team, 5-a-side football tournament which promises to be even more intense than last year. Visit our JustGiving page now to make a donation, post a message of support for your team, and help us change lives in Zambia!

ZC18 Web 2

In the 2017 competition, Burford School staff narrowly triumphed over three rival teams to take away the first-ever trophy. This year, the total number of teams has increased to six - with a second alumni squad and a team representing Wenn Townsend Chartered Accountants added into the mix.

As before, the official Cecily's Fund team is captained by Simon Isherwood who has formed a new squad with "a mix of youth and experience". The other returning teams are reigning champions Burford staff, the original alumni, and an all-new Burford School Year 12 team. There are four special awards for top goalscorer, top goalkeeper, best teamwork, and of course Man of the Match - which is generously sponsored by Wenn Townsend.

ZC18 Web 3

ZC18 Web 4

The Cecily's Fund team needs your support! Visit our JustGiving page today to make a donation, then post a message for our team. They were top goalscorers in 2017, and would love nothing more than to go all the way this year!

 Zam Challenge Webpage 2 V3

We'll be sharing all the action from all the matches online, so be sure to keep an eye on the #ZamChallenge18 hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We'll also be publishing a post-tournament report here on our website.

It takes just a few clicks to make your Zam Challenge donation, but your support will make a real difference in the lives of orphaned and vulnerable children in Zambia. Just £5 is enough to help support our feeding programme at BISO Community School, while £15 helps us support a community savings group. For every £50 we raise, we can support a child at school for a year. So please - donate today, help us make a difference, and cheer on the Cecily's Fund team!

The Zam Challenge
Friday June 29 at 5pm, Burford School sports hall
Donate today via JustGiving
Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates

Summer Newsletter 2018

The second of our four newsletters this year is now available to download from our website. To read all our latest news, get your download here or read on Issuu. Also, use the links below to go straight to key stories on our site.

The life-changing effects of our DREAMS programme; how we're using the power of sport and music in our work; and all the details of the second annual Zam Challenge. They're all featured in our summer newsletter this year. Here are some more details:

  • In a special feature "Growing the Future", we meet Felistus - a mother and businesswoman who has been given a new hope for the future by our DREAMS programme.
  • In the feature "Changing Tunes and Scoring Goals", we take a look at two examples of our work outside the classroom. First, we meet Zacharia who is an aspiring musician. Then, we look at a very unique football team.
  • The second annual Zam Challenge 5-a-side football tournament is coming up on June 29 - inside the newsletter you can read about what we have in store for the event. Visit our JustGiving page to donate today!
  • On page 7 of the newsletter you'll find out about two schools - Southborough High and Bedales - which are longstanding supporters of Cecily's Fund. They're taking on major runs this year for us and need your support.

Inside the newsletter there's also a reminder of what Cecily's Fund has done to become compliant with new privacy regulations. If you haven't done so already, please have a look at our new privacy page and take a moment to register for our mailings - or update your existing details.

We hope you enjoy the newsletter - please contact us with any comments or queries and look out for the next issue coming in September.



I will always be with the DREAMS project and Cecily’s fund in my heart even after the project ends. I will remember you for the rest of my life when I look at my successful daughter that you helped me educate and the flourishing businesses you helped me establish and grow.

In Zambia, for a child to educated beyond grade 8 requires the payment of costly school fees. That's why Cecily's Fund is committed to expanding the incomes of Zambian families - so that they can afford to secure for their children the better life that education can make possible.

Felistus lives near Chingola, with her husband and children. Like over half of Zambians, the family's income is based on agriculture. Her village has ideal conditions for growing maize, and Felistus believed that by working hard she could provide education and a better life for her daughter, Linda. However, it proved difficult to secure the finance needed to grow the farm business. It seemed that Linda might end up marrying early, like other girls in the village.

A new chance came when Linda was chosen to be supported by Cecily's Fund through our DREAMS Innovation Challenge project. She is one of 900 girls in the Chingola area being kept in school with our help. In addition to providing school fees, the project has also transformed the future of Felistus' business. By joining the GROW savings group set up by the project, she has borrowed the money she needs for improvements to her farm - finance she would not have been able to access before.

Felistus has also received financial literacy training, helping her to plan effectively for the future. She has even been elected Chair of a second savings group.

Now, Felistus and the other villagers have a clear vision for the future. By working in solidarity through the savings groups, they can grow their businesses and incomes so that their children can be educated and look forward to a brighter future. In this way, a targeted and sustainable investment of funds through the DREAMS project has begun to transform Felistus’ community.


The DREAMS Innovations Challenge is an $85 million HIV prevention initiative led by PEPFAR, Janssen Pharmaceutica NV (a Johnson & Johnson company), and ViiV Healthcare. The initiative aims to accelerate progress toward achieving a 40 percent reduction in new HIV infections among adolescent girls and young women in the highest-burden areas of 10 sub-Saharan African countries. 


DREAMS-IC composite logo

Zacharia's Story

Where Zacharia grew up, in the wards of Kitwe, lives can take a dangerous turn at a young age. Primary education in Zambia may be free, but the fees required from grade 8 onwards are a cost too far for many families — particularly those affected by affected by HIV and AIDS. For the children kept outside of school, the lure of gangs and crime can all too often fill the educational vacuum. Zacharia believes strongly that this could very easily have been his path. “I would have joined any of the many local gangs”, he says now. “My dreams would have been completely shattered.”

While his dreams are not yet fulfilled, Zacharia’s life has taken a different and better path.

Zacharia’s need for support was identified by Cecily’s Fund in 2008 and he was helped with the payment of fees charged at grade 8. Attending Mitanto Secondary School, he already believed that education was the key to his future. He avidly attended anti-AIDS clubs run by the Peer Educators trained by Cecily’s Fund and our partner CHEP; upon successfully completeing grade 12 Zacharia was invited to train as a Peer Educator himself.

“I was more motivated, had higher self-esteem and was also knowledgeable about sexual health”, Zacharia says of his time as a Peer Educator. His experience with the programmes of Cecily’s Fund continued, as he moved from delivering sessions on comprehensive sexual education to becoming a Fresh Start trainer. In this role, he helped young people in Wusakile and Chimwemwe learn vital financial management skills, so that they might better prepare themselves for a self-sufficient life after education.

Now, Zacharia is once more planning his own future. By attending a Sunshine Club, organised through our Connecting Communities programme, he was able to meet Zambian music producer Tonny Breezy. This inspirational meeting reignited Zacharia’s passion for music, to the extent that he is now registered as an artist with the Zambia’s National Arts Council and plans to release an album in the summer of 2018.

To Zacharia, one of the most important aspects of the support he has received from Cecily’s Fund is the impact it has had on his family. He is now in a position to support his siblings with their own goals, and is confident that the family are in a much stronger position thanks to the intervention of Cecily’s Fund and our donors.

Cecily’s Fund believes strongly that in Zambia, education is the best means to break the cycle of povety for individuals like Zacharia, their families, and their communities. For over two decades, we have been raising money in the UK in order to implement life-changing programmes in Zambia — from providing access to education to the training in sexual health and business skills that are vital to building a safe and self-sufficient life.

By donating to Cecily’s Fund you are helping to make this crucial interventions possible; together, we can provide Zambians with the opportunities they deserve, and transform lives like Zacharia’s for good.

Thursday, 26 April 2018 13:38

Our Mailing List: Update Your Preferences

Carousel April 2018 GDPR

You may have heard about the new General Data Protection Regulation ("GDPR"), that comes into effect May 25, 2018. Like all organisations that handle personal data, Cecily's Fund must comply with these regulations.

As part of this, we're asking our supporters who are subscribed to our mailing list to complete a new online form to confirm that they'd like to continue hearing from us. It also gives supporters the chance to let us know more about what kinds of mailings they would like to receive.

If you're already receiving our mailings and would like to continue to do so, please click the link below to complete our new online form. You can also use this form to subscribe, if you'd like to receive our communications for the first time.


Click Here to Update Your Preferences


 To learn more about how and why we use your data more generally, please visit our updated privacy page. To get in touch about any of these changes, please make use of our online contact form.

Thank you for your interest in and support of Cecily's Fund!

Wednesday, 18 April 2018 09:56


Cecily’s Fund Privacy Notice
Updated April 18th, 2018


Cecily’s Fund (UK registered charity 1071660) will be what is known as the ‘Controller’ of the personal data you provide to us. We only collect basic personal data about you which does not include any special types of information or location-based information. This does however include names, addresses, email addresses and phone numbers.


We need to know your basic personal data to provide you with regular newsletters, fundraising emails, and information about events we think you might be interested in. We will not collect any personal data from you we do not need to provide and oversee this service to you.


All the personal data we process is primarily stored and processed by our staff in the UK. For IT reasons, if you are subscribed to our email newsletter certain details will be stored on a server in the United States of America. This data is handled by an email marketing provider that complies with EU data protection law.

No third parties have access to your personal data unless the law allows them to do so. Cecily's Fund will never sell your data to any other party.

We have a Data Protection regime in place to oversee the effective and secure processing of your personal data.


Your information we use for marketing purposes will be kept with us until you notify us that you no longer wish to receive this information. If you are a donor to Cecily’s Fund, we are required under UK tax law to keep your basic personal data (name, address, contact details) for a minimum of 6 years after which time it will be destroyed.


The Cecily’s Fund website uses cookies to ensure that the website works smoothly and to monitor the reach of our website with Google Analytics. Below are some useful links:


You may unsubscribe from our mailing list at any time – this can be done by following the link in any of our emails to you, or by contacting us directly.

If at any point you believe the information we process on you is incorrect you can request to see this information (your right to ACCESS) and have it corrected (your right to RECTIFICATION) or deleted (your right to be FORGOTTEN). If you wish to raise a complaint on how we have handled your personal data, you can contact us to have the matter investigated (

For more information these rights and how to exercise them, or on our data protection policies, please contact us (

If you are not satisfied with our response or believe we are processing your personal data not in accordance with the law, you can complain to the Information Commissioner’s Office (


In Zambia, 46% of the population is under 15 years old. There are sometimes few adult role models, and opportunities can be scarce — particularly for children who are out of school.

Cecily’s Fund is working to change this. Through our Connecting Communities programme, funded by Comic Relief, we’re giving young people in Kitwe the chance to gain skills, opportunities, and a better future. One of the ways we’re doing it is with the beautiful game itself — Zambia’s beloved national sport, football.

Kitwe, in Copperbelt Province, is a hotbed of football talent. Two of its elite clubs, Power Dynamos and Nkana, regularly feature in the top flight of Zambian football. Sunshine F.C. is a very different kind of team, however.

Founded in 2016, the club recruits all of its players from children in the area who are out of school. It is a project of Kwacha Sunshine Club, which founded the team: Sunshine Clubs themselves are special associations funded through Connecting Communities to boost opportunities for young people.

Sunshine Leader Michael explains that in addition to competing in local amateur leagues, Sunshine F.C. also “ use football as a tool to communicate many issues affecting youths in our community such as early pregnancies, drug and alcohol abuse, crime in the community, sexual and reproductive health.” They’ve reached well over 200 young people with this vital information.

With help from our partner organisation CHEP (the Copperbelt Health Education Project), Sunshine F.C. were able to get some special training from both Power Dynamos and Nkana. With their newfound skills, the team became runners-up in a major local competition.

So successful was this new team that no less than 13 of its players were picked up by more established sides. Upon signing contracts, the young and talented players were able to bring much-needed income into their households. For its part, Sunshine F.C. is working hard to recruit new players, become formally established and to sustain itself over the long term.

Securing success on the pitch; bringing income to its players; and spreading the word about vital health issues. With these three goals, Sunshine F.C. has helped Connecting Communities rack up a big win over poverty in Copperbelt Province.

IWD2018 Mar 8 2018

Today, March 8th, is International Women's Day - a special chance to celebrate the vital contributions women make to all societies, and to take a stand against the injustices that hold women back.

In Zambia, as in all societies, women have had an important historic role and continue to have an essential impact on all walks of life. However, women and girls in Zambia are harmed by significant inequalities in rights and opportunities. This is often particularly true for girls, in a society where 46% of the population is under 15 years old.

Graça Machel memorably said that "if you want to break the cycle of poverty, educate a girl." Our mission is to alleviate poverty in Zambia, and we know from our two decades' experience that a girl who is helped to enjoy her right to education can build a brighter future for herself, her family, and her community.

IWD2018 News2

For this reason, gender has always been a key consideration in the way we plan and implement our work. Together with our partners, we have run special entrepreneurship sessions for girls; used Peer Education to caution against early marriage; and supported 900 girls in Chingola to stay in school through our DREAMS programme.

There is so much to do in Zambia to achieve the goal of gender parity - the theme of this year's celebration. Girls still have lower literacy rates than boys, many girls are made to marry early, and 47% of women have experience violence in their lifetime. This International Women's Day, we re-affirm our commitment to do everything we can to help Zambia's women and girls secure a safer, more independent, and more prosperous future. We're very grateful to all of our supporters, and hope you will continue with his on this journey.

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Forthcoming AFCF Events

Coming soon

Recent AFCF Events


Presentation at St. John's University, New York (April 6th 2017)

On April 6th, our Development Officer Sue Skaf gave a presentation about Cecily's Fund to a freshman class at St.John's University in New York, upon the invitation of AFCF's new Board member Professor William Reisel.  Professor Reisel encourages all of his students to work and fundraise for the community, particularly for disadvantaged children.  The class presented Sue with $485.00 which they raised at a recent bake sale to benefit our students in Zambia!

AFCF Directors' Workshop, New York City (March 14th 2017)

AFCF Board Meeting, New York City (December 2nd 2015)

AFCF Directors' Workshop, New York City (November 15th 2015)

Pub Quiz, New York City (April 22nd 2015)

AFCF was a sponsor at the British American Business (BAB) Pub Quiz in NYC. This popular event combines the traditional atmosphere of a British pub night with a unique opportunity for networking! AFCF’s team Zambia 2015 took part, in the spirit of friendly competition! A great way to promote our work in Zambia to BAB membership!


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