This week, from 17th to the 22nd June, it’s Small Charity Week.
Small Charity Week is a campaign which was first set up in 2010 by the Foundation for Social Improvement (FSI) to celebrate and raise the profile of the small charity sector.
The objectives of Small Charity Week are to:
- Celebrate the contribution that small charities make to communities throughout the UK and across the world
- Improve the knowledge, representation and sustainability of small charities
- Highlight the work of the small charity sector to the broadest possible audience
- Encourage public giving
- Work with the small charity sector to develop political engagement at a national and local level
These objectives are put into practice over the course of the week through a series of activities and initiatives in order to bring attention to all the small charities that are trying to make a difference in the world. For example, on day 4 (the 20th June) of Small Charities Week, the charities have the objective of showcasing their volunteering opportunities.
This week I’d like to put the spotlight on Act4Africa which is a small charity based in Altrincham, Cheshire.
It was set up in 2000 by husband and wife team Martin and Kathy Smedley with the aim of combating HIV and also promoting gender justice for women and girls by equipping them with life skills to be free from poverty.
They run a medical elective programme where they organise placements at hospitals based in Uganda for medical students or health professionals on a career break/who have retired. They also organise trips for teachers wishing to do their placements in Uganda.
In partnership with Girl Effect and the Uganda Girl Guides association, they provide life-training skills and health education to allow 65,00 girls to escape poverty, It is thought that in Uganda 85% of girls leave school early. Act4Africa’s three-year programme aims to combat this through training and education, enabling girls to aspire to higher paid jobs and leadership positions.
This small charity has made a huge impact since it started 13 years ago. They have rolled their training programme out to 1.25 million Africans with 75,000 children a year receiving teaching and learning on gender equality and HIV risks. Not only this, they have set up a mobile village for HIV testing and counselling which over 10,000 people a year have access to.
‘Making the world dramatically different’ is their tagline… I’d say they’re doing exactly that.
If you would like to find out more information on Small Charity Week and Act4Africa, please follow the below links:
Visit Small Charity Week here – http://smallcharityweek.com/
Visit Act4Africa here – http://www.act4africa.org.uk/
Follow Act4Africa on Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/Act4Africa
Follow Act4Africa on Twitter – https://twitter.com/ACT4AFRICA
Follow Small Charity Week on Twitter here – https://twitter.com/SCWeek2013