Home / News / News archive / 2010 / March 2010 / Sports Relief: Malaria, African children and better life

Sports Relief: Malaria, African children and better life

Sports Relief: Malaria, African children and better life

An editorial on the 2010 Sports Relief charity campaign, welcoming its help for Africa's children

This is a commentary by Andrew Cates

We welcome to BBC Sports Relief. Unlike BBC Children in Need, Sports Relief raises money for children in the developing world (where SOS Children work and children's need is greatest). We did not apply to Sports Relief for funding this year (as ever, the downside is quite a lot of administration applying for funds; we have a very low cost office and try to pick where admin is least) but we do recognise both that the funds they raise directly for the developing world help and that they do important work raising the awareness of people. Children's lives could be changed with a little money and effort from donors, and through Sports Relief some of them are.

In terms of the work they finance it is broadly similar to ours. We have 54 (doctor led) medical centres in the developing world where we distribute nets for malaria and of course provide medical care to help babies and young mothers (we run the only obstetrics hospital in Somalia and mother and baby clinics in many locations). We also identify families right on the edge of break up and provide the means to get the children to school and whatever parent(s) there are into a little enterprise. In fact, of the million children we hope to ensure get a proper family childhood over the next six years, 90% will be children on the edge of family breakdown whom we will help to get some education and whose families we will help to develop a living. We call these programmes "family strengthening programs" and in each location we start off looking at the root causes of family break-up, of children ending up on the streets instead of in school. We think these programs are among the best run by any NGO in terms of effectiveness. thoughtfulness and the impact on children's lives. Have you consider sponsoring a child?