Interim Grant Report to Meetings Industry Meeting Needs

August 2017
Thank you to the Trustees of Meetings Industry Meeting Needs for the £5,000 grant awarded to Cecily’s Fund in February 2017 to support our Access to Education programme this year. Cecily’s Fund is very grateful for your generous support which is enabling 96 orphans and vulnerable children in Kitwe, Zambia to go to school. This Interim Grant Report summarises the impact of the grant so far this year.

Cecily’s Fund: supporting orphaned children in Zambia

Since 1998 Cecily’s Fund has supported orphaned children in Zambia through education to give them a brighter future in adult life. Today, with strategically designed programmes providing a holistic circle of support, we work with 3 local partners on sustainable interventions that:

  1. Enable the poorest and most vulnerable children to go to school and gain an education (payment of school fees, provision of books and uniforms);
  2. Help children to succeed at school (peer education, after-school clubs, positive health messaging);
  3. Help older orphans to prepare for life beyond school (vocational and entrepreneurship training, employment opportunities); and
  4. Strengthen community support for children’s education (community savings clubs, income generating activities, parental guidance).

Access to Education Programme: Implementation and Impact

Cecily’s Fund’s Access to Education programme is delivered in Kitwe by long-standing Cecily’s Fund partner Afya Mzuri. Kitwe, and the surrounding Copperbelt district, has the highest prevalence rate of HIV and orphans in Zambia (ZDHS 2014). We view this as a key area to make a substantial impact on the lives of young orphans, and the grant from Meetings Industry Meeting Needs has been vital in meeting this challenge.
The 96 orphans supported by Meetings Industry Meeting Needs have had 50% of their school fees paid to enable them to attend secondary school this school year.

  • A hardship fund has been established, which provides vulnerable students with compulsory educational materials such as uniform and books on an as needed basis.
  • The grant has enabled contact teachers to provide psycho-social support where needed to the children supported through our Access to Education programme.
  • In 2017 in Kitwe, Cecily’s Fund continues to work with 58 schools and has paid the school fees of 1,554 school students to enable them to attend school in Grades 8 – 12.

Yatima and Adam’s* Story
Yatima was born in Lusaka but her father passed away and she now lives with her grandmother in Kitwe. Yatima is currently in Grade 9 and  supported by Cecily’s Fund to attend school though payment of 100% of her school fees.

The family makes an income through renting part of their house and also selling charcoal. She has one meal a day, sometimes two.

She enjoys “learning new things” at school and her favourite subject is English. When asked what going to school means to her she says “it means learning and having good results” and after school wants to pursue a career in nursing.

Adam is 16 years old attending Grade 11. He doesn’t have a father and lives with his mother. Adam is supported by Cecily’s Fund through the payment of his school fees to enable him to go to Kamfinsa Secondary School. Adam lives 8km away from school. He regularly does the walk each way, arriving at school exhausted and back at home even more tired. “Where I come from is very far. I don’t manage in terms of walking. If I’m lucky some of my friends will give me a lift on a bicycle.” Adam cannot afford the bus to travel to school. ‘My mum sells fritters, she can’t afford to pay for school fees.’
Cecily’s Fund’s new video
We are very pleased to share with you our new video, which gives a good overview of our work in Zambia and the lives we are impacting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fGpTCrYq4vc

Monitoring and Evaluation

Cecily’s Fund’s staff continues to receive monthly financial and quarterly programme updates from all partners, outlining progress, challenges and issues to be addressed. So far in 2017 two monitoring trips have been made to our partners in Zambia. We were extremely encouraged by the activity and impact of each of our programmes. In June 2017 we delivered our annual Monitoring, Evaluation and Learning workshop over three days to bring together all of our partners and build capacity. This year’s focus areas were innovation and sustainability.

The impact and the work of Cecily’s Fund supporting orphaned children in Zambia are only made possible by our generous supporters. Thank you again for the grant support we have received from Meetings Industry Meeting Needs that is enabling 96 orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia to go to school. We look forward to updating you further later in the year.