Posted on October 16, 2016
Comments Off on ACT celebrates 18 years of bringing hope to needy children in Africa
On Saturday 8th October, we celebrated our 18th year! The Past Mayor of Croydon, Patricia Hay-Justice (2015/16), alongside a representative of the Uganda High Commissioner and other dignitaries were in attendance at New Life, Croydon where the event took place.
The African Child Trust works with local African communities to relieve poverty and advance development through the education of disadvantaged children, and the financial empowerment of widows via skills training and microloan financing. The communities are also enriched by ACT providing technical and material support to local schools and sanitation and health services.
In his address to over 300 people at the anniversary event, founder of ACT, Dr Kunle Onabolu, asked the audience to imagine an Africa where disadvantaged children and orphans were guaranteed access to education. Where poor widows need not be anxious about how to provide food and shelter for their children but had the assurance of support and training to keep them from falling into poverty. And to imagine if this was made entirely possible by ACT “Alumni” who have had their lives transformed by ACT. He pointed out this is becoming a reality and that these Alumni groups are beginning to be formed by ACT graduates in Uganda, Tanzania and Burkina Faso.
Travelling from Africa especially for the event was Liness: an ACT-sponsored child from Mufulira, Zambia, currently studying clinical medicine at Cresoe University, Lusaka. She talked about how the lives of disadvantaged children in rural communities were shattered by losing one or both parents, how their education was affected and the changes that ACT support had brought, providing for a future in which they can achieve their full potential. Liness explained she is hoping to support other children after graduating from medical school in three years’ time.
In a rousing speech to close the event, the chairperson of ACT, Pauline Edwards reminded the audience of the words of Charles Wesley, “Earn all you can, save all you can, give all you can”. She asked everyone to give more to ACT so that it could help more people and encouraged them to tell more people to support ACT.
The event also included an exhibition and video of ACT projects in the eight African countries where it works. There were also musical performances by New Life Youth Choir and a poetry recital by Cambridge-educated writer and performance artist, Justina Kehinde.