News

17 January 2018 - Important changes to the Tassimo recycling programme

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Due to changes that TerraCycle UK are making to the Tassimo recycling scheme, we are incredibly disappointed to confirm that our Witney shop is no longer going to be a registered drop-off point for the recycling of Tassimo T-Discs and packaging after 31st January 2018. Unfortunately, there are no other collectors in Oxfordshire.


** The last day we will be able to accept your Tassimo discs is Tuesday 23rd January, to give us enough time to return your waste to TerraCycle by their 31st January deadline. **

While we are naturally disappointed by TerraCycle's decision, we would like to extend our thanks to them for supporting our participation in this scheme during the past two years. In that time - thanks entirely to all our wonderful collectors - we have (so far) returned over 77,000 discs for recycling which has saved over 1,100kg (over 1 tonne) of otherwise non-recyclable waste from landfill. Furthermore, it has generated £770 for African Children's Fund which equates to over 11,000 mugs of porridge.

We will be sure to give you an update of the total amounts raised from the remaining collections in early February. We can also confirm that there are no changes to the biscuit wrapper or cleaning product packaging recycling schemes.

28 November 2017 - #GivingTuesday - what will you give?


It's #GivingTuesday so please consider giving to African Children's Fund so that we can in turn continue giving to the projects we support in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda and Zimbabwe.

So, what can you give?
* You could give money by making a donation to our Christmas Appeal or by visiting one of our shops and decorating our Christmas trees with coins!
* You could give good quality second hand items to our charity shops in Faringdon, Grove or Witney.
* You could give old Tassimo discs, biscuit wrappers and cleaning 'triggers' to us in Witney that we can turn into cash through recycling.
* You could give us your time by volunteering in one of our shops or by collecting shop donations in your area.
* You could give us a free donation that won't cost you a penny when you shop online via Give as you Live.
* You could give us your commitment to fundraise by running, cycling, trekking or skydiving in 2018.

Of course, don't hesitate to get in touch if you have your own ideas about what you would like to give, as we would love to hear from you!

20 November 2017 - Give a Child a Chance this Christmas

This Christmas, African Children's Fund is aiming to raise £1,000 to give the 2,500 children supported by our projects even more hope and opportunity for a prosperous future without poverty.



By helping children regularly attend school, upholding children's rights and providing social care, we are giving vulnerable children the chance to improve their lives and move out of poverty.  

There are lots of ways you can get involved in giving a child a chance this Christmas:
  • * Instead of dressing down (or up!) at work or school, consider donating £3 to provide 40 mugs of Porridge through one of our Kenyan Porridge Clubs.
  • * Instead of holding a Secret Santa event, you could donate £5 to provide a girl with sanitary towels and a social education programme.
  • * Instead of sending Christmas cards, why not donate £10 to provide stationery to a class of Zimbabwean school children?

  • African Children's Fund supports a range of projects which include:
  • * Porridge Clubs and the provision of sanitary towels to Kenyan primary school children, increasing school attendance & academic attainment;
  • * A nursery school and vocational training scheme for teenage girls in Tanzania;
  • * The provision of educational resources and counselling for children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe; and
  • * Slum dweller education forums in Uganda to promote children's rights.

Will you help us raise £1,000 this Christmas to ensure the continuation of these valuable projects? You can donate online by clicking here to find our Christmas appeal page or you can text ACFX86 to 70070 followed by the amount of your donation (ie. ACFX86 £10).

Our shops in Faringdon, Grove and Witney are also getting into the Christmas spirit with lots of decorations, outfits and unusual Christmas presents already on sale. 

This year, our shops also need your help to decorate our giant Christmas trees with gold & silver coins! 
Remember, it costs just 7p to provide a child with a vital meal through our Kenyan Porridge Clubs - which is why we are encouraging people here in Oxfordshire to help children in Africa by bringing in their pennies and pounds for porridge.

If your children's school, Brownie Pack or Scout Troop would also like a giant poster to decorate, please share this page with them and don't hesitate to get in touch with us. 

We would love to hear from you so please get in touch by email, Facebook or Twitter if you would like to join in or indeed ask any questions. Remember to use the hashtag#ACFXmas2017 on social media! 

Thank you in advance for your support.

13 November 2017 - Choose African Children's Fund! - Waitrose Faringdon Community Matters

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We are very pleased to confirm that we have been selected as one of Waitrose Faringdon's 'Community Matters' charities for the month of November, and we will receive a share of £1,000 depending on how many green tokens we receive.


This means we need your help! If you live in or near Faringdon and shop at Waitrose, please remember to pick up your green token and put it into our box when you leave the store. You can collect tokens every time you shop so hopefully there will be plenty of opportunities for you to visit in the next couple of weeks! Thank you in advance for your support.



29 August 2017 - Old pound coins for Porridge

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Help us fill a porridge pot with 14 old £1 coins and provide a mug of porridge to 40 primary school children for a whole week in one of our Porridge Clubs!

If you would like us to post or email one of these collection posters to you, please contact us with your postal or email address and we'll do the rest. Alternatively, you can pick them up from our shops in Faringdon, Grove, Lechlade or Witney.

Maybe you would also like to share posters in your workplace, church, club or school? In this case, just let us know how many you would like when you visit or contact us and we'll be very happy to provide them to you.

#oldpoundsforporridge

05 July 2017 - Oxford Half Marathon Returns!

Following the success of the 2016 & 2017 events, the Virgin Sport Oxford Half Marathon returns to the city on Sunday 8th October 2017 and African Children's Fund is delighted to have once again secured six charity places for the event.



We are looking for existing or would-be runners to represent #TeamACF on the streets of Oxford.

Why join #TeamACF?

  • * Free charity technical t-shirt for all participants to wear during their training and during the race.
  • * One free coaching session with a British Athletics-qualified running coach in Witney, Oxfordshire (Date TBC) plus pre-race coaching support.
  • * Pre- and post-race meeting point in central Oxford with food and drink provided.
  • * Full fundraising support to help you quickly set-up your online fundraising page, with advice from sign up to race day and beyond!

There is no deposit or registration fee to be paid, and we simply ask that our runners raise at least £100 each in sponsorship.

To take up one of  #TeamACF's charity places, please get in touch and we will send further instructions to you. If you have already signed up directly with Oxford Half Marathon but would still like to represent #TeamACF, we'd also love to have you on board so drop us a line with your address and we'll pop your t-shirt in the post.

African Children's Fund's six places will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis so get in touch to reserve your place today!


10 May 2017 - Faringdon Race Night - thanks to our super sponsors

With Friday's Faringdon Race Night fast approaching, we'd like to introduce you to our fabulous Race Sponsors, without whom we wouldn't be able to bring you this event.


We're therefore incredibly proud to announce them as:
The Viceroy

      
      

Our thanks are also extended to Faringdon Town Council, Newbury Racecourse and Waitrose Faringdon for their support.

We still have some tickets available so if you would like to come along, please either visit one of our shops to buy them or get in touch and we'll put them by on the door for you.

03 May 2017 - Faringdon Race Night

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On Friday 12th May, we will be bringing furlongs, form guides & front runners to the Faringdon Corn Exchange with our fun-filled Charity Race Night.


During the evening, you will have the opportunity to bet on the outcome of six horse races - each of which will be screened so you can cheer on your favourites to be first past the post. There is also a special bonus prize that has been donated by Newbury Racecourse in Race 6!

Tickets for the event are just £10 including entry and supper. They are on sale now in our Faringdon, Grove, Lechlade and Witney shops. Over 18s only. Doors open at 7pm with the first race scheduled for 7:30pm.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us by visiting any of our shops or by getting in touch by phone or email.

We look forward to seeing you at the Faringdon Corn Exchange on Friday 12th May!

12 April 2017 - Grove Record Fair

Celebrate the vinyl revival by coming along to our Record Fair at our Grove shop on Saturday 22nd April from 9:00-4:30.


We have gathered hundreds of records from the 60s, 70s and 80s with a mix of 7" singles, 12" singles and LPs. We have everything from pop to soul and jazz to classical music with some rare records, demo releases and even a couple of signed copies in the mix!

If you would like to clear out some of your pre-loved vinyl beforehand, please consider bringing it to our shops in Faringdon, Grove, Lechlade or Witney ahead of the day.

The more, the merrier! So please invite your record collecting friends to come along to see what treasures they can find! We look forward to seeing you there.


27 March 2017 - Witney Wedding Fayre

We are pleased to invite you to African Children's Fund's first ever Wedding Fayre, to be held in our Witney shop on Sunday 2nd April, from 10am until 2pm.

We have a large selection of beautiful sample and second-hand wedding gowns, together with a range of bridesmaid dresses, mother-of-the-bride/groom outfits and an array of wedding accessories.

Our Witney shop will be transformed into a wedding showroom with a glass of bubbly available for all guests (over the age of 18). Free entry and all are welcome.

Please spread the word with any of your friends and family who may be planning their nuptials. You can also share our event on Facebook by clicking here.

We look forward to seeing you then!


01 March 2017 - Give Up, Give Back

Today, we are launching our #LentGiveBack campaign. Are you giving something up for Lent? If so, why not consider giving something back at the same time?


Give just 30p per day during Lent to provide a Kenyan child with a daily Porridge meal and a vegetable lunch at school. 

Our Kenyan Porridge Clubs run in 10 schools in and around the town of Thika, and enable 2,000 children to go to school each day, rather than scavenging for food on the street. What's more, full children learn more than their hungry counterparts so as well as hugely reduced absenteeism, a simple mug of porridge fortified with nutrients also results in improvements to both Academic and sporting attainment.

Pledge your social media support to giving back to African Children's Fund while giving up, by using the #LentGiveBack hashtag.

www.justgiving.com/LentGiveBack



09 January 2017 - RideLondon for African Children's Fund

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We are pleased to confirm that we have received one charity place in the 2017 Prudential RideLondon-Surrey 100 which will take place on Sunday 30th July, and we are looking for fundraiser to fill it! Could it be you?

Celebrating the legacy created during the London 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games, the Prudential RideLondon-Surrey starts at the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford, before heading through closed roads in the capital and following the rest of the 100-mile route through the Surrey hills, and back into London where the event finishes on The Mall. You'll join 26,000 other cyclists on the course, finishing shortly before 150 professional cyclists following a similar route.

If you would like to cycle for African Children's Fund, you will receive:

* A special African Children's Fund cycling jersey
* A dedicated fundraising contact including social media support
* Traditional sponsor forms as well as assistance in setting up your online fundraising page

The successful applicant will need to pay a £50 non-refundable deposit to secure their place, and we would ask that you aim to raise a minimum of £450 in sponsorship.

If you are interested in representing #TeamACF in this event, please click here to complete our form to register your interest and we will be in touch again in February after the main ballot results have been released. We would also recommend that you complete this form to register your interest even if you have already entered the main ballot, after all, it gives you an extra opportunity to participate!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to get in touch.
 

06 December 2016 - ACF Christmas 2016

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For our 2016 Christmas Appeal, we need your support to help our programmes in Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda & Zimbabwe celebrate Christmas and get 2017 off to a super start!


Traditionally, African Children's Fund has provided additional funds to our projects at Christmas time, which might be used to hold small parties, put on Christmas plays or provide gifts to school cooks & care workers.


Since the result of the UK's EU referendum in June, the fall in the value of the pound means our funds don't stretch as far as they did before the summer and the extra funds we normally provide will need to be used for the daily running of our programmes.


Please donate whatever you can afford this Christmas so that we can be sure the children we support can celebrate with their friends, and that they can start the new year and new school term on the best possible footing!


#ACFXmas

21 November 2016 - Charity Race Night - thank you to our sponsors

We are incredibly grateful to our six generous Race Night sponsors, whose support has enabled us to bring our event to you at St Mary's Church Witney on Friday 25th November.

     
        

Thanks firstly go to The Hollybush, Witney, our "local" in Corn Street run by staff who share a passion for beer, wine, good food and excellent service.
Next, we thank fellow Corn Street residents Premier Choice Mortgages. Since being established in 2004, they have helped thousands of clients find the right Mortgage & Insurance needs.
Our third kind sponsor is Lansdowne Chemicals. Headquartered in Carterton, they are a global chemical distribution and manufacturing company.
Generous sponsor four is The Oxford Wine company.
Located just outside Witney with two satellite branches, this independent family-run wine specialist has been selling wine to public and trade customers since 1992.

Our fifth local Race Night sponsor is Chapman Worth Chartered Accountants. With offices in Witney & Wantage and specialists in all fields of accountancy, they're here to make your life easier.
Last but not least, our sixth and final sponsor is A-Plan Insurance. Through their central Witney branch, they provide car, home and van insurance and promise to give you a warm welcome when you visit!

18 October 2016 - Join in the fun at our Charity Race Night

African Children's Fund's inaugural Race Night comes to St Mary's Church in Witney on Friday 25th November, giving you the opportunity to win cash prizes during what promises to be a fun-filled evening.

During the event, you will have the opportunity to bet on the outcome of six horse races which will each be screened so you can cheer on your favourites to be first past the post.

Tickets are £10 and include entry and a hot supper. They will be available to purchase from our Witney, Faringdon, Grove or Lechlade shops from Saturday 22nd October. Over 18s only. Doores open at 7pm with the first race scheduled for 7:30pm.

For more information - or details of sponsorship opportunities - please call our Witney shop on 01993 705272.


05 September 2016 - Returning to Faringdon: our Fashion Show is back!

African Children's Fund's eagerly awaited Fashion Show returns to the Corn Exchange in Faringdon on Friday 7th October.

 

Our models will be displaying outfits ranging from leisure wear to office attire, and outdoor clothes to party fashion before our ‘black tie’ finale! All outfits have been donated to our shops and will be available to purchase during the interval and after the show. You will be surprised at some of the quality items we have!


 

We will also be selling an extensive range of shoes, handbags and jewellery throughout the evening to complete your new outifts.

 

Wire & Gemstone will have a stall at the event where local jewellery designer, Sarah Owen, will sell her beautiful handmade pieces. Mustard Seed will also be selling a range of Traidcraft Fairtrade products during the evening.

 

Tickets are £5 in advance and can be purchased from our Faringdon, Grove, Lechlade or Witney shops, or £6 on the night where they will be available to purchase on the door. Doors open at 7pm.

17 August 2016 - One in (more than) a Million!

We are delighted to confirm that African Children's Fund has been allocated a single charity place in the 2017 Virgin Money London Marathon through their charity ballot scheme.

We would like to invite our supporters to apply for the place by completing a simple questionnaire that you can find by clicking here. We are aware that many interested parties will be among the 253,930 people waiting on the results of the main ballot so even if you have already expressed an interested in participating through that route, we would still love to hear from you as we won't be allocated the place until the main ballot results ar released in October.

As the millionth London Marathon finisher crossed the line in the 2016 event, participation would make you one in more than a million!

Dan Wymer - a UK Athletics qualified endurance running coach - will be on hand to provide our successful applicant with bespoke marathon training tips and hints, and to answer any questions you might have throughout your training.

Of course, if you have friends or family who might also be interested in taking part and raising money for African Children's Fund, we would be grateful if you could share this link with them too.

Don't forget, just 7 pence keeps a child in school for a day by providing them with a nutritious mug of porridge that stops them having to beg, work or scavenge for food elsewhere. For every £17.50 our London Marathon runner raises, we could keep a child in school for a whole year.

If you have any questions about this opportunity, please don't hesitate to contact us.


16 June 2016 - Day of the African Child 2016

Day of the African Child has been celebrated on 16th June every year since 1991.

It acknowledges those involved in the Soweto Uprising of 1976 when around 10,000 black students protested about the poor quality of their education and also demanded the right to be taught in their own language. Over 100 young people died in the two-week period that followed, with a further 1,000 injured.

Today, it continues to raise awareness about the continued need for improvements to the education of African children. As such, we wanted to take the opportunity to share some stories from Kenya with you.

 

Porridge Clubs

 

Our Porridge Clubs are successfully continuing to support around 2,000 children in 9 primary schools in and around Thika. The daily mug of nutritious porridge (known locally as ‘uji’) that the children receive means they don’t have to work, scavenge or beg to ensure they are fed. This ensures that attendance at school increases while also resulting in an improvement in Academic attainment.

 

At Mwtingiri Primary School, one of the poorest we support, Lydia Mwangi – the school’s headteacher – calls the Porridge Clubs a “success story” and they are now supporting 128 pupils each day compared to the 60 pupils who were receiving porridge when their club was launched. In 2016, they are anticipating average scores in their KCPE (Kenyan Certificate of Primary Education) examinations of 215 compared to last year’s score of 185. Significant progress!



Children receiving porridge at Mwtingiri Primary School

 

The story is similar at Ng’ate Primary School which is now running a Porridge Club for 178 children each school day, compared to 113 at the programme’s inception in their school in 2010. At that point, their KCPE average was 239 and it has now risen to 281 due to tremendous improvements in the children’s health and consequently their attendance.


  
Happy children at the Porridge Club at Ng'ate Primary School

 

At Kimuchu Primary School they report that “the health of our children has improved and the rate of absenteeism has reduced drastically” with the 199 children fed through their Porridge Club no longer feeling the need to play truant. Their average KCPE score has risen in the past three years from 184 to 211 and they are hoping to see a rise again in 2016.

 

Thamuru Primary School has seen an increase from 118 pupils to 202 pupils participating in their Porridge Club in the past year, and absenteeism is now minimal. The school scored just short of 230 points in their 2015 KCPE examinations and they are hoping for an average of 245 this coming year. Four of their pupils received exceptional grades which has enabled them to enrol at some of the best secondary schools in their area.


  
Porridge distribution at Thamuru Primary School

 

If anything, our fantastic Porridge Clubs are a victim of their own success with many of the existing schools in the programme seeing enrolment increase because of the Porridge Clubs, while four other schools are on a waiting list to join the scheme.

 

If you are able to spare even just a small amount each month, we would be incredibly grateful for your contributions so that we can not only secure the existing programme but expand it further. Please visit our fundraising page on JustGiving to set-up a Direct Debit, or contact us to request a standing order form.

 

St Patrick’s Special School

 

Thanks to funding awarded by the Zurich Community Trust in the last quarter of 2015, St Patrick’s Special School was able to purchase equipment to enable them to commence teaching Domestic Science lessons to their pupils.

 

St Patrick’s Special School teaches children with physical or mental conditions that can impair their learning, while helping them learn skills that encourage them to live as independently as possible into adulthood.

 

The funding from Zurich Community Trust allowed the school to install new jiko ovens as well as covering the costs of utensils and equipment for use in the kitchen. Peter Ngugi – the headteacher of the school – tells us how the lessons have become some of the most eagerly awaited of the week. Children are learning basic cooking skills and are already mastering the art of baking mandazis (a type of bun popular in East Africa), chapatis & samosas as you can see in these photographs. 


        
The children at St Patrick's Special School learning to make samosas.

 

The new jiko ovens are used by the school cooks when preparing meals for the school’s 95 children too. They are much more energy efficient than traditional open-fire cooking and as such, the school has reduced its fuel bill. The jiko cooking process also means a huge reduction in smoke pollution on the school site too.

 

In the long-term, the school plans to sell baked goods to passing commuters with all profits being reinvested into the school in the first step towards sustainability.

 

Our thanks and gratitude go to Zurich Community Trust for their investment in St Patrick’s Special School.

18 May 2016 - I Love Small Charities Day - get involved!

This year's Small Charity Week runs from 13th-18th June and as is tradition, it kicks off with I Love Small Charities Day on Monday 18th June.

This year, there are three £150 prizes to be won in social media competitions (one prize each for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram) and we need you to help us be in with a chance of winning one (or more!) of the prizes as well as helping raise awareness of our work. Getting involved is easy & fun so here's how you can join in:

1) Print off this poster and fill in the reason why you love African Children's Fund.


2) Take a photo of yourself holding the poster containing your reason.
3) Simply post the photo between 13th-18th June to Twitter, Instagram &/or the Small Charity Week Facebook page including the #ILoveSmallCharities hashtag on each post. You can only enter each competition once but you may enter all 3 competitions if you wish!

(NB. If you don't have access to a printer, you can download the poster in Word format by clicking here and add your reason. Just take a photo of yourself beside the digital poster and enter as above!)

  • * If you wish to enter via Twitter, make sure you include our Twitter handle @afchildfund as well as tagging @SCWeek2016.
  • * If you wish to enter via Facebook, make sure you include African Children's Fund in your post with the photo.
  • * If you wish to enter via Instagram, make sure you include African Children's Fund in your post as well as tagging @SCWeek2016 (we don't have an Instagram handle for you to include).

The charity with the most posts will win the prize! Simple!

Remember, entries made before 13th June or after 18th June won't count but you can prepare now so you're ready to spread the word on the day!

10 May 2016 - Run Oxford for #TeamACF

Following the success of the 2015 event, the Vitality Oxford Half Marathon is returning to the city on Sunday 9th October 2016.


African Children's Fund is delighted to be one of the event's charity partners and as such, we are looking for existing or would-be runners to join #TeamACF and fill our charity places.


Why join #TeamACF?


* Free charity technical t-shirt for all participants to wear during their training and during the race.

* Two free coaching sessions with a British Athletics-qualified running coach in Witney (9th July and 3rd September).

* Pre- and post-race meeting point in central Oxford with food and drink provided.

* Full fundraising support to help you quickly set-up your fundraising page, with advice from sign up to race day & beyond!


There is no deposit or registration fee to be paid, and we simply ask that our runners raise at least £100 each in sponsorship.



2015: on the way to the start line! (Photo credit: R MacKenzie)


Still need convincing? Why not click here to take a look at the video from last year's event and see what you could be joining in with this October...


Register now!


To take up one of #TeamACF's charity places, please email us and we will send a registration form through to you. Simply complete it, sign it and email it back to us and we'll do the rest! If you have already registered directly with Oxford Half Marathon but would still like to represent #TeamACF, we'd also love to have you on board so please just drop us a line with your address and we'll pop your t-shirt in the post.

26 April 2016 - Drought hits Zimbabwe - help keep children in school

Some of you may have read this article on the BBC News website reporting drought and failed harvest conditions in Zimbabwe.

Our colleagues at Mwana Trust have confirmed that althrough the Manicaland province - where our supported projects are based - is not highlighted as an affected area on the BBC map, they are certainly seeing the effects of drought first hand. Thousands of livestock have perished while vegetable crops have wilted due to the lack of rain.

The majority of rural schools Mwana Trust works with in and around the town of Mutare have been heavily affected by the drought which has in turn increased the rate of absenteeism. In the worst cases, children are already falling into malnutrition.

Some children travel long distances to get to school and due to the shortage of staple food crops, they find themselves attending on selective days only. Some families are surviving with only one meal a day while in more remote areas, they are harvesting small quantities of wild fruit and vegetables to get by.

To ensure our team in Zimbabwe can continue supporting as many children as possible during this awful time, please consider making a donation so that Mwana Trust can continue its efforts to keep as many children as possible in school.

You can visit our JustGiving page to donate and quote Zimbabwe in the message so that we can attribute your donations accordingly. Thank you in advance for your kindness.


Children at Gombakomba Primary School in Zimbabwe - photo credit: Gyan Gurung

30 March 2016 - Seeking Justice: Promoting Children's Rights

Regular readers of the Africa pages of the BBC News website may have read about Henry Tumusiime earlier this month, a 15-year-old Ugandan schoolboy wrongly accused of two murders. You can click here to read the article in full.

In the countries we work, legal representation is simply not available. Children are routinely treated as adults within the legal system and a lack of money means justice is out of reach. This is exactly why we support children's legal aid programmes - such as those run by HAKI in Kenya and Mfuko Wa Watoto in Tanzania. It is also why schemes such as those run by SAFE Uganda to lobby local police to develop child-appropriate solutions are crucial.

We have recently received reports from Kenya and Tanzania highlighting some of the legal issues they have recently been working on.

Paternity cases arise all too frequently and in many cases, HAKI is able to resolve these through mediation rather than a lengthy court process. Without continuous child support payments, children are often withdrawn from school leading to disadvantages that can last for some years if not resolved quickly.

Sadly, domestic violence is also often reported against spouses or their children. Our experienced legal team in Kenya were horrified to meet Joscelyn* in 2015. After two years of marriage, she was forced to flee a life-threatening situation with her daughter. With nowhere to go - and living in fear of her husband discovering her whereabouts - she lived hand to mouth to get through each day. The local police were unwilling to offer her protection and reluctantly, she asked our colleagues to arrange temporary accommodation for her daughter in a safe children's home. The case against her husband is continuing.

* Name changed to provide anonymity.


There is a high demand for these services and all our legal projects are having huge success in promoting children's rights within their communities. Training has been provided to teachers, police officers and community groups.  In Thika, a special children's court has been established to take away the fear of a traditional courtroom setting. Our partners are also frequently invited to represent children's rights on local Government sub-committees.

To ensure the vital work offered by our legal aid programmes continues, please click here to make a donation to African Children's Fund so that we can confine stories like Henry's to the history books.


The children's court room in Thika, Kenya.
 

08 March 2016 - Happy International Women's Day

8th March sees International Women's Day, an annual event to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women, while also turning the spotlight on to campaigns to encourage gender equality and stopping issues that prevent this from happening around the world.

In our field of work, we do see that girls are often disadvantaged when it comes to education for a whole host of reasons.

In Zimbabwe, the work of our local partner encourages education in families ravaged by HIV/AIDS. Many of these families will be child-headed, meaning that the eldest sibling - or often the eldest female sibling - is expected to take on the role of 'mother' to bring up her siblings and maintain the house. Mwana Trust's team of support workers will ensure that these families are supported at home and that their school fees are paid so they can continue their education.


Rumbidzai with a Mwana Trust caregiver

In Kenya, our Education All Month, Every Month campaign ensures the provision of sanitary towels and underwear to young adolescent girls as many miss one week in four of their schooling due to menstruation. If you haven't already, take a few minutes to watch the video on this page to see how girls cope without sanitary towels which demonstrates why projects such as this are crucial. In addition to the physical supply of materials, our Kenyan partner also runs a social education programme so that girls - and boys - know what to expect during puberty while reinforcing important messages about the prevention of HIV/AIDS and sexual abuse.


Veronica & Lydia at Kimuchu Primary School, two of the beneficiaries of our Education All Month, Every Month programme

In Tanzania, our Youth Network Programme provides a vocational scheme to allow teenage girls to continue learning when low exam results mean this is not possible in mainstream schooling. Our instructors teach the girls a range of sewing skills - as well as basic mathematics, English and more advice on social issues - so that they are able to earn an income of their own when they are ready to enter a working environment. Our colleagues who run this scheme have some exciting expansion plans for the next couple of years so we are looking forward to bringing you more news about those too.



Some of the Class of 2015 on their graduation day

In Uganda, our partner's project supporting abandoned street children often takes in girls who have been sent to Kampala to find work, and who find themselves lost with no way of getting back to their families. The work undertaken by SAFE helps reunite these children with other family members where possible and ensures they receive an education while the search is ongoing.


One of the girls homed by SAFE Uganda while they worked to find her family

So on International Women's Day, we thank all of you for continuing to support our activities. We celebrate the men and women who make these life changing programmes possible. We congratulate the boys who are changing attitudes to ensure the next generation of women have more chance of equality. And of course we reserve a huge amount of respect for the girls supported by all our programmes who are determined to continue to learn, excel and carve out opportunities for themselves through education, often in incomprehensibly difficult circumstances.

Happy International Women's Day!

25 January 2016 - Run the Uganda Marathon

An event. A race. An adventure like no other.

Sunday 5th June will see the second Uganda International Marathon which takes place in and around the small town of Masaka on the banks of Lake Victoria.



This is more than just a race! It's a week-long adventure.

Arriving in Uganda on Tuesday 31st May, the pre-race schedule will not only feature a range of training runs centred around the athletes' village, but will also encourage you to immerse yourself in the local, friendly community giving you the opportunity to volunteer and see some of the projects the event supports. What's more, we are thrilled to be able to offer you the opportunity of visiting African Children's Fund's Ugandan projects, run in and around Kampala by our local partner, SAFE while you are in the country.

You can choose to run 10km, a half marathon or a full marathon distance. There is a mix of camping, glamping or hotel accommodation in the athletes' village but hurry, as options are booking fast!

All African Children's Fund runners will receive a £50 discount on their registration fee by quoting code ACF when booking.

Visit the Uganda Marathon website or get in touch with any questions.



18 January 2016 - Do you want to be a record breaker?!

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Would you like to help break a Guinness World Record? How about experiencing the thrill of skydiving from 15,000ft at the same time? Are you free on 20th June?


Our friends at SkydiveBuzz - Dunkeswell are organising a World Record skydive, aiming to succeed in having the most tandem skydivers completing a jump from 15,000ft. This is the highest possible level that a skydive can be completed from without oxygen! The record will be verified by Guinness World Records and if successful, all participants will be featured by name in the Guinness World Record and will also receive a certificate to acknowledge their contribution to the record.


We're looking for a team of jumpers to take part and we would love to see you representing us. We'll even send you an African Children's Fund t-shirt to wear under your jumpsuit!


As with previous attempts, we expect the event to be incredibly popular so we would recommend signing up as quickly as possible. Want to find out more? Take a look at this link for more information.

22 December 2015 - #ZimChristmas Update

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Regular website readers will be aware that we launched our 2015 #ZimChristmas appeal in the middle of November.

This year, our appeal will support the work of our Zimbabwean partner Mwana Trust, who work with children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS to make sure they continue to go to school.

To celebrate these wonderful children, we have been sharing Christmas videos on our new YouTube channel. A total of five Christmas greetings have been shared so far, so do take a look if you haven't yet had the opportunity to do so, and feel free to share their Christmassy cheer with your friends and families.

As well as paying children's school fees and providing livelihood programmes - such as poultry rearing and vegetable gardening - in schools, Mwana Trust also runs a programme to provide children with food hampers, counselling and healthcare, as required.

We are still some way short of our £1,000 target, however there is still time to donate. If you wish to do so, please visit our designated JustGiving page or text ZIMX99 followed by the amount of your donation (ie. ZIMX99 £5) to 70070.

15 December 2015 - Mary's Boy Child - #ZimChristmas

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With just 10 days to go until the big day, we present the choir from Gombakomba Primary School to you, with their #ZimChristmas rendition of Mary's Boy Child.

If you have enjoyed these Christmas greetings from Zimbabwe, please consider making a donation to our #ZimChristmas appeal so that we can help more children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS go to school. You can visit our special JustGiving page to find out more.

08 December 2015 - Nativity Play & Christmas Compilation - #ZimChristmas

In the third and fourth installments of our #ZimChristmas videos, we are delighted to present two new films from Zimbabwe featuring Zimunya Primary School and Beautiful Beginnings - two organisations supported by our Zimbabwean NGO partner, Mwana Trust.

Many of the children who attend these schools have been infected or affected by HIV/AIDS. We firmly believe they should be given the same opportunities to go to school as any other child and this Christmas, we are asking you to donate whatever you can afford to our #ZimChristmas appeal so that we can ensure more children in similar positions are able to attend school.

 We hope you enjoy the enthusiastic singing and acting, and that these short videos add a little Christmas spirit to your day!

24 November 2015 - Joy to the World - #ZimChristmas

In the second of our #ZimChristmas videos, we present the children of Mount Dangare Primary School singing "Joy to the World". The first half of the song is sung in Shona and called Mufaro Kupasi Rose, before they launch into the English version many of you will be familiar with.

If you like what you are watching, please share the film with your friends & family and consider making a donation to our special #ZimChristmas appeal page so we can help more children infected or affected by HIV/AIDS in Zimbabwe go to school. Thank you!


17 November 2015 - We Wish you a Merry #ZimChristmas

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Through our 2015 #ZimChristmas Appeal, we are aiming to raise £1,000 to help children in Zimbabwe infected or affected by HIV/AIDS go to school.

Our Zimbabwean partner - Mwana Trust - currently supports over 1,600 children in 13 schools in and around the area of Mutare where they undertake various support services including paying children's school fees, supporting them through livelihood programmes such as vegetable gardening or poultry rearing, and providing food hampers, counselling and healthcare as required.

The children they work with are often disadvantaged, orphaned and vulnerable. Many have lost their parents to HIV/AIDS and are being brought up by elderly grandparents or young siblings who are still children themselves. Yet their spirit is incredible.

Brenda is a Form 2 student at Zimunya High School.
"I started my primary education in 2009. When I was in Grade One, my mother became seriously ill to the extent of not being able to fend for me and my two siblings. She passed away the following year. My father then got sick and passed away. I was nowhere.

Mwana Trust came into my life and started to pay school fees for me when I was in Grade Two, and have continued until the present day. I am the happiest person in life for being a recipient of this educational assistance. My wish is to pass my studies and go to University. In the long turn, I also want to help other orphans who will be in the same situation I was in.
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Get Involved!
We're very excited to bring you a Christmas greeting from some of the children at Munyarari Primary School, one of those that Mwana Trust works with. In fact, we will be bringing you extra Christmas greetings from Zimbabwe each week between now and Christmas so keep an eye on these news pages and our social media channels to make sure you don't miss out!

Perhaps you would like to make a donation to African Children's Fund instead of sending Christmas cards? Or maybe you would simply like to make a Christmas donation to support those less fortunate than you? 

If you are not in a position to donate this year, please spread the #ZimChristmas word and share the Christmas wishes from Munyarari Primary School. If you are using Twitter or Facebook, feel free to include the #ZimChristmas hashtag.

How your donations will help
This Christmas, we are aiming to raise £1,000 to increase the number of children Mwana Trust is able to support. Furthermore, they wish to improve school vegetable gardens, purchase new classroom furniture and run a series of campaigns to end child marriage.

£20 - covers attendance at a Child Marriage forum
£30 - buys a desk and chair
£40 - pays Primary School fees for a year
£70 - allows improvements to school vegetable gardens
£110 - pays Secondary School fees for a year

We hope you will consider making a donation to our #ZimChristmas Appeal so that we can give more children like Brenda hope and opportunity for a bright future.