Our hopes and dreams for the New Year!

by ACT

  • Posted on January 5, 2019

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Happy 2019! We hope that you all had a lovely Christmas break and enjoyed your time seeing in the New Year. In line with the typical New Year’s Resolutions that characterise the early days of the year, for our first blog of the year we are thinking conscientiously about how we can best achieve all our goals that we set out in our Annual Report, which you can find here. However, unlike the average New Year’s Resolution that is broken by 10th January (according to a recent survey); we intend to stick to ours and work tirelessly to ensure that we meet our ambitious aims.

As always, our greatest goal is to increase the number of widows and children we support across the eight countries we operate in. Currently, we support 5,381 children either through providing welfare support or through our child sponsorship programme that enables children to receive an education. By 2023, we want to more than double this number by supporting 12,000 children. Similarly, one of our big aims outlined in the report is to increase the number of widows we support from what it is currently at 1,154 widows to 5,000 widows. We recognise that the targets we have set ourselves are by no means small. Therefore, we are ready to put the necessary plans in place to help as many widows and children as possible.

There is no one route to success. In order to ensure we achieve our aims, there are several different steps to be taken. In terms of reaching a greater proportion of the community in the countries we work in, community projects are fantastic. Past projects such as our 2016 Sitikho Water Project in Western Kenya, which was established to provide water to well over ten thousand people, continues to benefit the Sitikho community immeasurably. Clean water access means better sanitation and consequently, better health. Part of the 3km pipeline reaches a local primary school, providing sanitation facilities to 800 students and members of staff. Another example of the work we do to improve sanitation in schools comes from our 2016 NPS Toilet Project in Phalombe District, Malawi. This project was centred on providing adequate sanitation for the 3,387 students and staff members at NPS (Nyezerera Primary School). Prior to our intervention, NPS had just 16 pit latrines without running water. Upon completion of the project, NPS had 16 new toilet units. It is our hope that these improved facilities encourage more girls to stay in education, as poor sanitation had been a contributing factor to the high dropout rate of girls from school. Our vision for 2019 is to work on more community projects that ensure a better quality of life for the widows and children we support.

As well as working across Africa, we are extremely proud of the work we do in the UK. Our Youth IDEA, which aims to provide International Development Experience and Awareness (IDEA) for UK Youth by engaging their interest and support for the work ACT does, is ready to take off this year. To date, we have established a relationship with three schools close to our base in Croydon, and we are excited to see in what exciting directions these partnerships go. We are already thrilled by the overwhelmingly positive response. It has been humbling to see how invigorated and inspired the children have become by ACT’s work and their willingness to help us grow in any way possible. December saw various fundraising events held by John Ruskin College on behalf of ACT, and for that we are incredibly grateful. We look forward to seeing these children flourish and use their creativity for good.

We have already had an incredible start to the year thanks to your wonderful generosity. We were completely bowled over by the great volume of people pledging their support to an appeal we launched on behalf of Anicet Donard in Tanzania. ACT had been sponsoring Anicet through his education when he received an offer to study medicine. At £1, 350 each year over the course of five years, we could not afford to sponsor Anicet throughout his whole time at University. However, upon publicising the appeal, we were met with a great deal of generosity which will now enable Anicet and others who hold this same dream, to qualify as medical doctors.

All in all, this year looks set to be one of our best yet. We have a clear vision and a great determination to do justice to all the aims we set out. You can read about this and more in our recent Annual Report.

We look forward to all this year has to offer and we thank you, as always, for your great kindness and continued support. Visit our website to find out more about African Child Trust here or follow us on social media:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ACTafricanchild

Twitter: www.twitter.com/actafricanchild

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