Posted on August 24, 2018
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…Celebrating 20 years of ACT
“Making a real difference to lives”
“The gift of hope and a future”
“Helping women to break the glass ceiling and encouraging equality in developing countries”
“Real action, real lives, real chance…Awesome”
“Bringing hope and a future to the less privileged”
These are a few quotes from attendees at the ACT biennial event two years ago in the UK.
Clearly, ACT means different things to different people, but the mention of ACT always brings out a positive reaction and response from those who know the work of this growing Croydon based charity.
ACT turned 20 this year and will be marking the anniversary at a celebration event in Croydon, UK on Saturday 6th October. Two years on from the last biennial event, we wanted to find out people’s view of ACT from the communities in Africa where it carries out its work.
Yetunde Joseph from Lagos, Nigeria shares her experience of ACT and explains how and why she got involved with ACT, and interestingly why she thinks you should too!
“Working with ACT has had a huge impact on me personally. It is enabling me to live my dream of helping the less privileged and contributing to my countries’ development by helping to give vulnerable children an education.”
“ACT is about bringing hope to the hopeless”.
I work with Ipaja Community Link (ICL) in Lagos, Nigeria. We facilitate access to secondary school education for vulnerable children and also do youth work and livelihood programmes for women. After completing a degree in Child Development and Family Studies, I got a job with ICL as an orphan and vulnerable children (OVC) Programmes Officer. In this role I assisted with developing and operating programmes such as after school club and summer school classes for vulnerable children in the Ipaja community. Our partnership with ACT in 2013 came about following contact established by ICL director with ACT on a visit to the UK and was possible as a result of our shared goals. Both ACT and ICL believe education for all, irrespective of means, is the only way to a prosperous Nigeria. Orphans and widows are amongst some of the most vulnerable and marginalised groups in our society and do not have the same opportunities as children who are better off. Five years on, our work has grown. We are supporting five times more children than we did before partnering with ACT. Our programmes have expanded and we now have projects specifically aimed at widows as part of our women’s programme. This year we registered the ACT Widows Cooperative, which in the context of Nigeria, is no small fit.
Micah Kambe is an ACT alumna from Zambia supported from 2000 to 2012. Micah and her older brother Abel were beneficiaries of ACT support after their father died. Their young widowed mother, Febby, could barely cope with bringing up her three young children all by herself. At the time, her oldest child was very ill and hospitalised. Micah now has a diploma in Public Health but hopes to return to University to study Nursing. Her older brother is an officer in the Zambian army, and her younger brother is currently studying medicine. Micah is full of gratitude to ACT for the support and opportunities it opened up for her family. She herself is determined to give back, hence her interest in nursing where she can help needy children. She recognises that ‘there are a lot of widows and orphans out there who dream of receiving similar opportunities as her but they don’t have it.
“My hope someday is to be a part of the ACT team because I also want to put a beautiful smile on the faces of other orphans and vulnerable children out there’.
‘ACT means a lot to me in that it wasn’t just an answered prayer in my time of need, but it was and is still an answered prayer for the entire family…ACT is in my heart’.
ACT has helped to restore joy in so many sorrowful families that have been victims to the loss of loved ones. It has fed and is still feeding so many people who don’t have hope of a proper meal each day. It has educated many children who would have dropped out of school and it has empowered many widows with skills for improved economic standard and all in all helped reduced poverty in our community.
Micah’s appeal to those out there thinking of supporting ACT is this: “On behalf of all the orphans and vulnerable children in Africa, please go for it”. You can read more about Micah’s story here.
Support a child today! Visit www.africanchildtrust.org.uk
If you would like to find out more about the ACT 20th anniversary celebration in Croydon on 6th October and to register please click here.