First Grants Announced

May 5th, 2008

Sports charity Schoolchildren for Children announces its first grants for developing countries in 2008

UK sports charity Schoolchildren for Children has announced its first 2008 grants for projects in developing countries. The total figure of UK£24,847 has been distributed between five of the charity’s existing projects in Africa and Asia. “Once again we are grateful to all participating schools and their pupils. It is through their efforts that we are able to offer these opportunities to help improve both sports and fitness in the UK and help better the lives of young people in developing countries”, said Iestyn Thomas, founder and administrator of Schoolchildren for Children.

Of the total, £10,845 is being given to two separate projects in Africa administered by IDS (International Development through Sport): an ‘Empowerment through Sports’, project for girls in Tanzania, and a ‘Regeneration through Sport’, community project in Cameroon. Young, disadvantaged people in both these countries grow up in poverty, and are vulnerable to HIV/AIDS, early unwanted pregnancies, crime and anti-social behaviour. These projects aim to empower and educate them through sports and training. IDS is the charitable trust of UK Sport.

Schoolchildren for Children is also helping the Pattaya Orphanage Trust with its lunch farm project in the tsunami-hit area of Thailand’s Krabi Province. This programme allows the children to plant and grow their own food around the school grounds, ensuring that they receive at least one nutritious meal a day and are encouraged to attend school. Following initial help at Jae Lee Village School on Ko Lanta Island, the new grant of £6,000 to the Trust will support training and development for other schools in the region which is being undertaken by local partner, the Population and Community Development Association.

Schoolchildren for Children has also given £5,000, in partnership with SPW (Student Partnerships Worldwide), to improve health,  hygiene facilities and practices in three schools in the Nawalparasi district of Nepal. So far this project has funded the installation of cooking stoves, rubbish bins and incinerators, as well as ‘Kitchen Gardens’, to create a healthier diet for the children. The money also goes towards local ‘Green Clubs’, or school youth clubs that aim to aid positive development in their schools and the wider community.

Schoolchildren for Children plans to release two more grants this year to Neema Nursery and Primary School and St Prisca’s, both situated in the heart of the Nairobi slums in Kenya. St Jerome’s Homework Club in Kibera will also be receiving a second grant this year to fund the installation of a power supply for the evening classes. The club provides a guided study programme and recreational games and activities for its members.

Schoolchildren for Children approaches schools across the country to register for sponsored synchronised sporting events throughout the year. Each child is encouraged to raise a minimum of a pound in sponsorship, half of which goes back into improving the school’s sports facilities and programmes, the other towards projects in developing countries.

Schoolchildren for Children is supported by double Olympic gold medallist Dame Kelly Holmes and endorsed by Sue Campbell, Chair of UK Sport and the Youth Sport Trust, who has described it as “a great initiative”. The charity has raised over £300,000, with approximately 225,000 children participating from 829 schools, since 2005. The aim is to have over one million children participating by the London Olympics in 2012.

Says Sue Campbell, “I have always believed that sport helps young people live healthy and active lives, which is why I support Schoolchildren for Children in their efforts to encourage our young people to take physical activity in their schools, as well as making a contribution to the lives of children overseas who come from deprived and different cultural backgrounds”.