Last month, a small group of Cecily’s Fund supporters, staff and trustees visited Zambia where they had the chance to see our programmes first-hand. By meeting children and young people, teachers, community members and our partner staff, they learned more about the situation facing Zambian society and the difference our work is making. What follows is just a few highlights of this intense and varied trip.
On July 9th, Craig Covil - a director of American Friends of Cecily’s Fund - wrote about meeting a Cecily’s Fund alumnus who now works for one of our partner organisations.
“As we were leaving the Afya Mzuri offices we met Jane Salimata, a Cecily’s Fund sponsored student how has graduated Grade 12 and University. She is now working full time at Afya Mzuri’s office. It was pleasing to see full circle a child, go through the whole programme and now be gainfully employed.” One of Jane’s roles for Afya Mzuri is to help collect inspiring case studies to be shared with our supporters in the UK.
On July 10th, Marion Gilpin visited a training centre which is a key stepping stone for some Sunshine Club members.
We visited the Kitwe Vocational Training Centre run by the Ministry of Education. This provides 2.5 years of training in practical subjects: heavy duty machinery repair, metal fabrication, electrical engineering and automotive repair. 11 Sunshine Club members were now studying at the Centre. Applicants must first apply to the centre, be assessed and then, if accepted, apply for a government bursary. With a letter of recommendation from CHEP, 90% of Sunshine club members are accepted onto courses and get bursaries. A certificate is given at the end of the course. Our 11 students get full tuition scholarships but must still find their own accommodation and food and safety boots, helmets and overalls.
The Principal told us that the college capacity was 600 students, but only 300 places had been taken up, due to funding issues. Tuition fees for 1 term are 2,200 kwacha.
Our students joined us after finishing an exam. They looked very cheerful, and all anticipated a pass! They told us that they would not have had this great opportunity without the help of Cecily’s Fund.
Hal Moggridge writes about being introduced to our DREAMS Innovation Challenge programme on July 11th.
The programme in Chingola District is in its second year of a two year scheme. It is financed by the US government through Cecily’s Fund and is an experiment in spreading the ideas developed by the Fund into a new area. 900 girls who had dropped out of education after free primary provision are being supported in 20 government schools, and are now studying at grade 9. They are vulnerable children and often orphans and are at the critical early teen age - 13 – 14 year olds or older. The schools receive 50 or 100% of the $50 annual fee and the girls get uniforms, shoes and textbooks. The project is supported by three Afya Mzuri staff assisted by volunteers, 24 grade 11 trained peer group leaders who encourage the girls to persist, 10 fresh start advisers and 38 Join In Circuit (JIC) advisors on sex education outside the school.
The programme is proving a great success - the girls have come to love school and only five of the 900 have dropped out of the programme. Most of the girls are expected to be capable of proceeding to the next grade in secondary school. Parent groups are being set up, though resources are small. In the more remote schools, the children are wearing shoes and smart uniforms for the first time.
Look out for more coverage of the 2018 supporters' trip to Zambia in our forthcoming Autumn newsletter, due in mid-September. If you'd be interested in visiting Zambia yourself on a future supporters' trip, please let us know via our contact page.
Cecily's Fund is hugely grateful to the 20 people who ran the Virgin Sport British 10K on Sunday July 15th. The team, drawn from Southborough High School, Doughty Street Chambers, and independent runners, have together raised a fantastic total of over £4,260!
While many of us were relaxing and preparing to watch the World Cup final, these inspiring runners were preparing to make their way into central London to compete alongside 10,000 others. The British 10K is one of the biggest events of its kind in the UK, a staple of Cecily's Fund support for over a decade, and takes in iconic sights such as Big Ben, St James' Palace and Trafalgar Square.
We're particularly grateful to the 14 members of staff from Southborough High School who took part on the day and have together raised a tremendous sum of £2,131 including Gift Aid. In addition to raising money online via JustGiving, the school also undertook other fundraising activities including an auction for a pair of football boots from former Ivorian international Kolo Touré.
The fundraising pages for all of our runners are still open and we would very much appreciate further donations if you are inspired by what our runners have achieved. The total raised so far is enough for us to help over 80 orphaned and vulnerable children remain in school for a year - a fantastic impact.
Support Our Runners - JustGiving Pages
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."
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
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.
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!
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.
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.
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Thank you for your interest in and support of Cecily's Fund!
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.
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.