Educate a girl, empower a woman, inspire a community, change lives!

A rise in income during 2013-14 makes it possible for CCLEF to sponsor 446 girls.  

The CCLEF has just published the Annual Report 2014. Highlights from the report of the outgoing 2013-2014 Chairman, Ms Jenny Groves LVO, include the following:      

CCLEF Partners Clarity English in Hong Kong generously donated £20,000 and is supporting 25 girls in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda and St James’s Place continues to sponsor girls in India.  

It was a proud moment when a letter was received from the Commonwealth Secretary-General, Mr Kamalash Sharma, allocating a further £19,793 from ARK (Absolute Return for Kids). The continued personal support given by the CSG and his wife Mrs Babli Sharma, CCL Fair Patron, has been greatly appreciated.

Throughout the year Rajeev Shah has also been a pillar of support . The charity’s profile has increased thanks to our new interactive website: Set up costs were kindly donated by Mike Dowd, Software Migrations Ltd, which enabled Craig Fisher of Prolateral to design and host the site, whilst Noreen Cesareo of Market Accents, completed it and manages it on CCLEF’s behalf. There is also a ‘CCLEF Community’ Facebook page and a Twitter Account plus additional arrangements to receive donations on line.

Thanks to the generosity of the owners of the prestigious The May Fair Hotel, a CCLEF team, led by trustee Judith Fisher, hosted an evening of glitz and glamour at the start of London Fashion week. “Splendours of the Commonwealth”, showcased talented young Commonwealth fashion designers and models displaying their creations on the catwalk. Sponsored by HSBC and Deloitte, the event was covered by Marie Claire. It was a pleasure to welcome The Right Honourable Baroness Boothroyd, and Baroness Flather, both Patrons of the Fund, to the evening, which raised over £8000.

The 2013 CCL Commonwealth Fair, held at Kensington Town Hall, opened in spectacular fashion with the rhythms of Ghanaian drummers and dancers, followed by other Commonwealth musicians including the Fijian Military Choir and Band. Colourful stalls displayed handicrafts, flowers and produce, whilst the Commonwealth Kitchen and Cafe offered food and drink. Some 43 countries were represented at over 100 stalls.

We are enormously grateful to the High Commissions, CCL Executive Committee, members and friends and particularly to the Fair Committee, chaired by Mrs Dorothy Danso-Boafo, wife of the High Commissioner for Ghana. Special thanks also go to Majorie Rennie, and to Parveen Yusuf and her teams.

The London 10K run continues to attract great support and trustee Penny O’Regan took on the administration last year. Thanks to all our team of 24 runners and their sponsors, which included companies offering matched funding; the magnificent sum of £18,000 was raised.

There were also three major donations made during the year: the first from CCL President Louisa Service OBE, which is to be used for core funding enabling the further development of the charity, from Karen Loose in memory of her husband Bastien t’Hart, for many years the Commonwealth Fair photographer, and also David Chivers and the Chivers’ family.  We are indebted to them for their support and generosity. We are also extremely grateful to The Canadian Federation of University Women in Salt Spring Island which has been sponsoring some 30-40 girls for many years. Several of the girls have even received a visit from Federation members – thank you Lyndsay Munday for instigating this wonderful partnership.

We are very grateful to Madrinha Trust for its continued support and mentoring of selected girls and for its sponsorship of fundraiser Ladi Dariya over the past 4 years. This has enabled her to develop the Thousand Schools for a Thousand Girls (TSTG) Initiative in UK schools. We are enormously grateful to those schools for raising funds to help Commonwealth girls. Another TSTG initiative saw CCLEF taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge raising nearly £3,000.

CCLEF was represented by Ladi and trustee Anne Munt Davies at the Commonwealth Business Forum held in Sri Lanka as part of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting. Anne was also able to meet several of the Fund’s sponsored girls when visiting the country earlier in the year. Casmir Chandra was selected as one of 200 participants in Common Purpose’s 2013 Leaders Conference which brought together young world leaders.  She also represents CCLEF at the Commonwealth Consortium for Education. The above visits, which were all privately funded, indicate the standing in which the CCLEF is held.  

Over 11,100 young people entered the Royal Commonwealth Society International Essay Competition this year. Congratulations to Koleosho, one of our students in Nigeria, who achieved Bronze in the Junior Category – it was a wonderful achievement.