- International Communities
- Release date:
- 14 12 2012
An education charity has today received just over £265,000 from the Big Lottery Fund (BIG) to provide poor and disadvantaged children in Eastern Uganda with access to improved primary education.
Africa Educational Trust (AET)is one of four projects sharing over £1.6 million in funding from BIG’s International Communities programme, which supports projects tackling the causes of poverty and deprivation and the impact they have on people’s lives.
Based in Mbale in eastern Uganda, the project will benefit up to 300 vulnerable street children, who have fled conflict, poverty and family breakdown, and approximately 12,000 poor school children who attend heavily overcrowded and under resourced primary schools. Since the Ugandan government introduced free primary education in 1997, pupil numbers have surged but not seen matching increases to their budgets, leaving them heavily overcrowded and under-resourced. Funding will enable the project to run ‘school preparation' courses and fun recreational activities for children, while also providing psychosocial support and ‘school starter kits’ for street children.
The project will also provide training for teachers, school management committees and parent teacher associations at eight primary schools to help teachers deal with challenging street children and large class sizes and use resources effectively. It will establish school libraries and provide other vital school resources depending on each school’s different needs. Awareness raising activities will also be run, getting community child protection committees, local radio stations and the police involved and promoting improved support for street and vulnerable children.
Lesley Waller, Programme Coordinator of AET said: “There are large and growing numbers of street children in Mbale, Uganda, as a result of poverty, environmental disasters - such as massive mudslides - and conflict that destroy ordinary families’ ability to protect their children.
“On the street, children face multiple dangers, from physical and sexual abuse to economic exploitation and police harassment. Getting back into school is an effective way of returning them to a secure and normal life. With the support of the Big Lottery Fund, AET and its partners in Uganda will be able to give them this chance, as well as working on the forces that drive them to the streets and the problems they experience when there.”
Also receiving funding this month is APT Action on Poverty, who will use their grant of just under £500,000 to work in four districts of Western Province, Kenya to improve the lives and access to food for people living with HIV and Aids. It will also work to raise awareness of HIV issues, combat discrimination and help people to increase their confidence and feel more involved in their community. The project will enable at least 7,000 adults and 13,000 orphans and vulnerable children to have year-round food security. Having a balanced diet will help to improve their health and reduce their chances of contracting infections and needing antiretroviral drugs.
Just under £352,000 also goes to the Scottish Catholic International Aid Fund to work with communities in 13 villages in the Stung Treng Province in Cambodia. The project will help the communities to protect and recognise their legal rights to land and natural resources. This will help to increase their food security and household income, improve their health, and reduce their vulnerability to climate change.
Finally, Practical Action has been awarded just under £500,000 to work with farming communities in Manicaland, Zimbabwe and help them to strengthen their livelihoods and increase their incomes. It will do this by improving agricultural production and enabling farmers to engage with markets on better terms. It will work directly with smallholder farmers to form and strengthen farmers' marketing groups, improve supply chains and restore market links.
Peter Ainsworth, Big Lottery Fund UK Chair, said: “I am delighted to announce the final round of International Communities funding of the year. The four projects being funded today will literally save lives and hopefully help some of the world’s most vulnerable people to face a far happier and healthier new year. The inspirational work of these organisations will provide disadvantaged communities with vital access to education and health services and the opportunity to improve their incomes, livelihoods and futures. We are very proud to be able to support them.”
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Notes to Editors
• The Big Lottery Fund (BIG), the largest distributor of National Lottery good cause funding, is responsible for giving out 40% of the money raised for good causes by the National Lottery.
• BIG is committed to bringing real improvements to communities and the lives of people most in need and has been rolling out grants to health, education, environment and charitable causes across the UK. Since its inception in 2004 BIG has awarded close to £6 billion.
• The Fund was formally established by Parliament on 1 December 2006.
• Since the National Lottery began in 1994, 28p from every pound spent by the public has gone to good causes. As a result, over £29 billion has now been raised and more than 383,000 grants awarded across arts, sport, heritage, charities, health, education and the environment.