ChallengeAid

Mission of the organization

ChallengeAid is a charity first registered in 2005 as Schoolchildren for Children which initially worked with over 250,000 pupils in 1,300 schools in the UK. Due to the growing number of 6th formers, university students, corporate clients and individual adult challengers who were getting involved with the Charity we decided to rebrand as ChallengeAid. The aim of ChallengeAid is to take children out of poverty through the means of education in some of the worst slums in Africa. This unique concept is both an alternative and complementary type of education which allows many children who are unable to attend school during the day to be able to continue their studies at night through our Schools of Hope programme. Of all regions, sub-Saharan Africa has the highest rates of education exclusion. Over one-fifth of children between the ages of about 6 and 11 are out of school, followed by one-third of youth between the ages of about 12 and 14. According to UIS data, almost 60% of youth between the ages of about 15 and 17 are not in school. The impact of poverty on education in East Africa remains one of the biggest challenges. UNICEF identifies at least 13 significant barriers to education, for our students many can not attend school during the day to family or work duties and for those that do they have no place or facilities to study at home after school. Students aged between 9 and 18, most of whom live in single roomed shacks without lighting come together in a School of Hope to study from 6-8pm, five days a week. A School of Hope (SoH) is an after-school study club facility, which are situated in the heart of an informal settlement. The local community provides the space which the SoH occupies, they must have a toilet facility and a water point or access to water. ChallengeAid funding supports the provision of primary and secondary text books, desks and chairs, secure library space and electric lighting. The Schools of Hope provide a safe and structured study environment with additional benefits for its students of regular life skills lectures on topics such as substance abuse and HIV/AIDS awareness. After the study time there are also music and drama sessions, and at weekends there are often sports matches against other Schools of Hope in a variety of sports. Many of our clubs have also started teaching chess to our students. Kosovo SoH recently featured on Kenyan TV with two of their pupils reaching the national final for young, aspiring chess champions living in informal settlements. We have also carried out several projects focusing on our female students as we recognised that in the past most of our students were male. The projects ranged from providing sanitary towels and workshops on girl's rights and empowerment. 52% of our students in all SoH are now female, which is not the national norm. SoH are staffed by volunteers, many of whom are trained teachers and graduates, who maintain close contact with a parents' committee formed from within the community. More recently many of our students who have completed their secondary studies and who are waiting to take up a University place have returned to us as volunteers. Our volunteers receive a small yearly stipend. Our work is to encourage people in the UK and especially young people to engage in healthy sponsored activities, which gives them the satisfaction of knowing that through our exercise and endeavour, fundraising can make a real difference to the lives of others less fortunate. Our pledge is that none of the money raised from sponsored activity is used for administrative purposes Our mission for 2019 is to set up 8 new Schools of Hope, one will focus specifically on the needs of learners with special educational needs. Each SoH costs £6000 to set up, an initial lump sum is given to the community, with money then allocated for a further three years.

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Contact

ChallengeAid

1 Kings Road
Llandovery, Carmarthenshire, SA20 OAW
United Kingdom
https://www.challengeaid.org/