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 Here you will find our latest news articles, detailing the latest developments in both our fundraising activities in the UK and our programme work in Zambia. For older stories, see the archive. Have news of your own? Let us know via the contact page and it could appear here.

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!

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.

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!

Thursday, 08 March 2018 12:19

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.

Cecily’s Fund takes very seriously the issues of child protection and accountability. We work in Zambia, where many children and young people are vulnerable – for this reason, it is all the more important for us to have in place robust procedures to protect the individuals and communities with which we work.

We have an extensive child protection policy which sets out the duties of our staff, our partner staff, volunteers, trustees, and consultants. It also contains a code of conduct, communications guidelines, and a formal plan for reporting suspected abuse to the appropriate authorities.

Each of our Zambia-based partners has their own policies in place in accordance with their duty of care. Additionally, Cecily’s Fund is a member of Keeping Children Safe, a global network of 77 organisations committed to protecting the world’s most vulnerable children from exploitation and abuse.

Cecily’s Fund believes that it is essential that we are accountable and transparent both to the communities we serve and the donors who make these interventions possible.

We continue to review and apply our child protection and accountability procedures both in the UK and in Zambia, to ensure that we live up to our belief in respect and dignity for all.

Monday, 12 February 2018 14:49

New Year Newsletter News Feb 12

Cecily's Fund will publish four newsletters in 2018; and the first is now available. Download our New Year issue or read it on Issuu to keep up with all our latest news.

Our latest newsletter has no less than three exciting features fresh from Zambia. These include a piece on supporter Alastair Ramsay, who visited Zambia in December and shares his thoughts (and photos) on the inspiring work of our partners BISO. Also in the newsletter:

  • An interview with Cecily's Fund alumnus Melissa about her brighter future after education
  • An interview with Roy Mwilu, Executive Director of our partners CHEP
  • An update on our Christmas Challenge 2017, including the final total raised
  • A story on the impact of our exciting DREAMS programme in Chingola
  • "Spirit of Adventure: a look at some of the amazing sponsored events available in 2018

We hope you enjoy the newsletter! Look out for additional issues in May, September and October and be sure to contact us with any comments or queries.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017 14:42

 Bedales School News Nov 29 v2

Left: Cecily's Fund co-founder Basil presents Colin Baty, headteacher of Bedales Prep, Dunhurst with a certificate marking the £476 raised by the "Dunhurst Dash". Right: Basil presents a certificate marking the £3,970 raised by over 40 Bedales School participants in the Great South Run.

Three recent events involving Bedales Schools have raised fantastic totals for Cecily's Fund.

In October, over 40 runners associated with Bedales School took part in the Great South Run. Their efforts raised a fantastic £3,970 for Cecily's Fund. At the annual St. Cecilia's Day concert at the school, our co-founder Basil presented three of the youngest runners with a special certificate marking their efforts. The concert itself raised £806, another brilliant sum. In total, Bedales School's fundraising efforts have made £4,776 for Cecily's Fund in October and November.

While Basil was at the Cecilia concert, he was also able to present a certificate to Colin Baty, the headteacher of Bedales Prep, Dunhurst. Through their "Dunhurst Dash" event, the pupils of Dunhurst raised £476 for Cecily's Fund.

Cecily attended Bedales School before she went to Zambia on her gap year in 1997. Cecily's Fund is hugely grateful to all the fundraising done by all of the Bedales Schools in 2017, and across our 20-year history.

The Cecily's Fund Christmas Challenge 2017, with a theme of "Life After School", runs from December 1st to 14th. With your help we can raise £20,000 and continue to help young Zambians build better futures for themselves in 2018.

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