As another year draws towards its close we wanted to share with you a few highlights and achievements from the last 12 months which you may have missed, especially if you are new to the charity.
2 millionth meal served
Back in September we served our 2 millionth meal almost at the same time as we marked 5 years since the launch of our feeding programme. Thankfully this year has been far less challenging than the drought-afflicted years of 2016 and 2017 and as food prices fell throughout the year we were able to provide a daily term-time lunch to all 2,500 pupils across our 7 partner schools for a little over £34,500 in total (less than £14 per pupil!).
Next year we lose £7,500 of funding that we have received annually for this programme since 2014. We will be more reliant than ever on donations from individuals in order to maintain this vital lifeline for the children. Could you help by setting up a regular gift from as little as £3 per month?SUPPORT OUR FEEDING PROGRAMME
BigGive Christmas Challenge raises £45,000 for ‘New Decade, New School’ appeal
Thanks to the generous support of nearly 50 existing supporters and new donors, we were successful in reaching our £20,000 donation target in the week-long BigGive Christmas Challenge last month, raising almost £45,000 (including matching funds and Gift Aid) for our new project at Mkamenyi Primary. We are very grateful to everyone who supported this campaign and to our pledgers, including the Coles-Medlock Foundation, for providing matched funding.
Other highlights in brief
This year we celebrated 10 years as a charity, with the anniversary of our registration in January and of the start of operations in September. Unfortunately our anniversary reception did not go ahead as planned but you can read some reflections on our first decade here.
Our seventh partner school at Ngambenyi Primary – built in partnership with Hazel’s Footprints Trust – was recognised this year by the local government as a model school which they wish to act as a benchmark for other developments in the region. Read more.
Our third annual Christmas Carol Service was attended by more than 220 friends, supporters and guests (including Sir Rod Stewart!), helping to raise more than £7,500. Thank you to everyone who joined us, to our readers and performers, and to our sponsors, Hampden Capital and Great Northern Hotel, for making the evening such a resounding success.
Looking ahead to 2019
The major focus for us next year will be on continued fundraising for our eighth partner school and ultimately the start of this ambitious project – hopefully within the first third of the year, should everything go to plan!
Elsewhere we are looking forward to the launch of a partnership with the Kenyan literacy NGO Start a Library, initially as a pilot with just a couple of schools but with a view to eventually introducing their reading development and training programme into all our partner schools.
We are also excited to have been chosen as a partner charity for the Ride the Rift cycle challenge which will see a team of 20 cyclists take on a 300km, 8-day bike ride in Kenya to raise funds for us and a number of other educational charities working in East Africa.
Thank you to everyone that has supported us this year and best wishes for a very peaceful, restful and fun-filled Christmas and New Year.