New York, September 2nd 2017
Many congratulations on the 20th Anniversary of Cecily’s Fund! All of us at American Friends of Cecily’s Fund have felt privileged to be a part of this amazing “family” for the past 10 or more years, and look forward to many more years of supporting our wonderful “Cecily’s Fund children” at school in Zambia.
We are extremely proud to be part of an organization which was one of the pioneers in our field: raising awareness for the plight of orphans and vulnerable children left destitute by the blight of HIV/AIDS and to have contributed to giving thousands of children a brighter future through education.
My own connection with Cecily’s Fund is unique. After graduating from college in 1980, I spent 6 months as Au Pair to the Eastwood family while Basil was at the UK embassy in Bonn. At that time, Cecily was just 2 years old and – oh boy! - quite a handful! Many years later – in 2005 – after I had moved to NY, married and had my own children, I punched Basil’s name into Google, in an endeavour to get back in touch. What should pop up but “Cecily’s Fund”. Imagine my shock and sadness to learn of Cecily’s death, having remembered Cecily – as well as her three sisters and her parents - so fondly, for so many years. However, sadness soon turned into happy and productive busy-ness, as I met Basil again in NY and help launch American Friends of Cecily’s Fund. Not only did I finally find a children’s charity I felt deeply inspired to volunteer for, but I also rekindled a loving friendship with the Eastwood family, which my own family is now a part of.
I would have loved to be present at this special 20th Anniversary celebration, but our American Friends’ President Mahadev Raman, and all of my fellow Directors on the Board, join me in sending love and congratulations on this special day.
American Friends of Cecily’s Fund
Help us celebrate two decades' of work in Zambia by adding to our impact in 2017
This year marks 20 years since the establishment of Cecily's Fund, and our celebrations have already begun! In the two decades we have been working in Zambia, we've made an huge impact. With your support, we've helped thousands of children attend school, receive vital health information, and enjoy broader opportunities to succeed.
In 2017, there's no better way to mark how far we've come than by continuing to move forward. The need for our work is still very real and children in the communities we work with face continue to tremendous challenges on the road to education and independence. That's why our aim this year is to raise an additional £20,000 to help us make our biggest impact yet.
However much you can donate or raise towards our £20,000 target, you'll be supporting a whole range of Cecily's Fund activities which are changing lives right now. From providing a nutritious lunch to vulnerable children in community school to helping businesses get started, your support really counts where it's needed.
Some supporters have already made an inspiring start to our fundraising. Verity and Tim took on the first-ever Swim Serpentine last September and raised over £2,000; while Kate competed at the World Triathlon Championships, raising £750. We'll be sharing some similar exciting opportunities during the year - but you can raise a great amount by doing something as simple as a coffee and cake event, exactly as Mary did. For a host of tips, download our fundraising pack today.
An annual celebration of our work, Cecily's Day is always a special event. Last year (pictured) was the final instalment to take place in Stonesfield, and in 2017 Cecily's Day will be the culmination of our 20th anniversary year. At St. Mary's Church in Witney - very close to the Cecily's Fund office - supporters will have the chance to hear from our staff and patrons at a unique gathering to mark two decades' of our impact together.
Our supporters Tim and Verity took part in the first-ever Swim Serpentine on Saturday 24 September - and so far, they've raised over £1,600 for Cecily's Fund.
Created by the minds behind the London Marathon, Swim Serpentine is a one-mile swim in the Serpentine, the lake within London's iconic Hyde Park. Cecily's sister Verity Eastwood-Dewing and Tim Cooke-Hurle agreed to take on this challenge and to raise sponsorship for our work in Zambia, taking to the water with thousands of other swimmers for this historic first event.
Tim and Verity both thoroughly enjoyed their challenging day out, and with the help of their generous donors have together reached a total of over £1,600 to help Cecily's Fund provide education in Zambia. Both of their fundraising pages are still open and accepting donations:
Thank you once again to Tim and Verity for their superb efforts, which form a part of our build-up to the 20th anniversary year of Cecily's Fund in 2017.