We begin by taking a trip to a Children's Village in Zambia. Last year, SThree chief executive Gary saw first hand how his company's gift is sending children to school and providing community-wide healthcare.
High five to celebrate partnership
Since 2009, global recruitment company SThree has raised more than £400,000 for disadvantaged children. To kick off the fifth year of our partnership, SThree launched its High Five campaign with the aim of raising a grand total of £500,000 by the end of 2014. Initiatives so far have included an eCard with images created by colleagues themed around the number five, which raised £26,000 when it was sent out at Christmas.
The company is funding a range of projects, including a family house, nursery school teachers and skills training at SOS Children’s Village Chipata in Zambia. SThree CEO, Gary Elden, visited Chipata for the first time in October 2013 to celebrate the first anniversary of the Village. He said: “I had the most amazing time. Around 200 people were there for the celebrations – it was fantastic. It was also great to meet the children we sponsor.”
“The next day we followed the SOS medical bus into remote rural communities. It was traumatic to see their terrible living conditions. But I was also struck by how important education is to the local kids. Some leave home at 3am for a 12-mile walk each way – they are so desperate to learn.”
Gary has since personally donated 50 bikes to help children get to school faster. Click here to find out more about his trip to Chipata.
Fashion brand steps forwards
One of our long-standing supporters, the Monsoon Accessorize Trust, has kindly donated £10,000 to the SOS school at Piliyandala in Sri Lanka. Peter Simon, who founded the Trust, was born in Sri Lanka and is deeply committed to supporting disadvantaged children in Asia – including children who lost their parents in the 2004 Boxing Day tsunami.
Peter visited the school in 2013 with London-based brothers Rob and Paul Forkan, who were orphaned by the tsunami while on a trip to Sri Lanka with their parents. Determined to turn their tragedy into a force for good, in 2012 the Forkan brothers founded ethical footwear enterprise Gandys. Specialising in fashion flip flops, Gandys has developed an exclusive range for sale at Accessorize outlets this summer. The visit to Piliyandala gave the brothers a chance to see first hand our work with vulnerable young people, including youngsters who, like them, are forging a new life after being affected directly by the tsunami.
Get set for a sporty summer
Whether you’re an armchair fan or fitness fiend, you can help change the lives of vulnerable children this summer with one of our sports-themed challenges.
Join the British 10K London Run: 13 July
If you fancy your chances in one of the UK’s most sought-after road races, we’ve got a hundred places up for grabs.
For more details, visit our dedicated British 10K page.
Go World Cup crazy: 12 June–13 July
With all eyes on the World Cup in Brazil, how about some footie-focused fun with our Top 10 ways to make a difference?
Kick off the action on our World Cup page.
Try a triathlon at Dorney Lake, 14 Sept
We’re thrilled to be HSBC’s official charity partner for this event. With something for champions and novices alike, it’s your chance to swim, run and cycle around the 2012 Olympic Games rowing venue.
Visit our Triathlon page and go for gold!
We’re pleased to report that BT Global Services has nearly completed its installation of broadband internet for 20 of our Villages in nine African countries. Connecting Africa is set to reach 700,000 people, giving children the chance to tap into a whole new world of interactive online learning. At the same time, community staff are benefi ting from the improved connectivity they need to keep communication flowing.
Ahmed Mihaimeed, director of ICT, Africa & Middle East, SOS Children’s Villages International said: “Connectivity has had a great impact on effi ciency and the quality of services to our beneficiaries and donors. Our great thanks and appreciation to the BT team!”
And feedback from the teams in our Villages speaks for itself:
Guinea-Bissau: “We no longer feel isolated and can interact directly with co-workers and donors.”
The Gambia: “We have saved a lot of money, improved the quality of work and are helping our students to achieve more at school.”
Our day with David
Louise and Rick Holmes had been sponsoring David, 7, for over a year when they had the chance to visit him at his home in Entebbe, Uganda, as Louise explains:
“It was great to meet David in person. He proudly showed us his schoolwork and gave us a tour of the house. We had a good look round the Village, seeing the SOS medical centre and school, which was bright, welcoming and decorated with the children’s work. I love sponsoring David: visiting him was the highlight of an amazing trip. It felt like visiting relatives, which is what makes sponsoring a child feel more special than other charitable donations. It’s so much more than just giving money, it’s like getting a new family member.”
If, like Louise and Rick, you would like to transform the life of a child like David, you can find out more at: www.soschildren.org/sponsor-a-child
Want to get involved?
If you’d like to get involved and help more vulnerable children, you’ll find plenty more information, ideas and inspiration in our Get Involved section...