General news from the CGEF
CCLEF Newsletter March 2016
Dear Friends and Supporters,
As our financial year draws to a close I am delighted to report that in 2015/6 we will have sponsored 382 girls across 30 Commonwealth countries. Since the start of 2016, we have renewed a total of 69 applications for a further year in Uganda, Nigeria, Tanzania, Swaziland, Kenya, Lesotho, St Vincent and Grenadines, Rwanda, Grenada, Ghana, Sierra Leone, St Kitts, and St Lucia.
Many of these girls have done extremely well in their previous academic year and wrote to us of their success and appreciation.
The most recent CCLEF graduate was 17 year old Angela from Uganda, an outstanding pupil completing her final year of secondary education. In her recent letter of appreciation, Angela writes;
"Thanks to your kind support during the years, I was able to sit for my Uganda Certificate of Education. I achieved a first grade (and) am just two years to achieving my dream of becoming a lawyer…may God bless you for helping me reach this level in my education.”
When Angela wrote to us previously in 2014 she asked, “I hope your fundraising event went well, did they like my bracelets?" We were able report that indeed our events have gone well and we are always thrilled to have examples of the girls’ skills to show and sell. So much of this close contact could not be achieved without the valuable support of the High Commissions in the UK, who work with us and continue to support important fund raising events such as the CCL Fair.
On a similar note, in January we were delighted to hear from Mr William M Osafo from the Ghana High Commission, who on a recent trip to Ghana had taken time to visit CCLEF girls there. He writes, “They were ecstatic to see me, and the envy of all their friends. I believe the visit will motivate them even further…the support provided by the CCLEF is contributing significantly to the realisation of their dreams.”
Here at the CCLEF we are very proud of the personal approach that allows us to really get to know the girls we sponsor and follow their progress. Many thanks to all our High Commissions, supporters and friends who help make that possible.
We have a new Patron
I am delighted to announce that the CCLEF has a new Patron. Baroness Lorely Burt of Solihull has kindly agreed to join our charity, in addition to Baroness Boothroyd, Baroness Flather and Baroness Howells.
Baroness Lorely Burt Photo Credit: Claire O'Kane
Baroness Burt has extensive parliamentary experience in women’s issues and business enterprise. We look forward to welcoming her to forthcoming events.
Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (CGEF)
The CCLEF Trustees have unanimously voted to change our name to Commonwealth Girls Education Fund (CGEF), a name which more clearly reflects the work that we do. The change will formally take place on 25th April 2016 and we have several events planned to promote our new identity, which will be circulated to all of our supporters. Our goals and values will remain the same and we do hope you will like our new look and name.
The London 10k Run - Sunday 10th July 2016
Our team of runners is gradually growing for this important and exciting fundraising event. However, we still need some more runners to achieve our goals. Like me, you may not be a super-athlete fit enough to participate in such a challenge, but if you know anyone who might support us by running, please circulate our 10k run poster to colleagues and friends. We always have a fun day and the CCLEF team spirit is second to none! For further information please contact Jagravi Upadhyay who will be delighted to give you any information you need. To view and circulate our 10k run poster, please click on the link HERE.
Your continued support is vital to our work
We are so grateful for all the practical and financial contributions we receive from our supporters. Most recently we received some wonderful donations from two sources, the Hope Project, run by the Canadian Federation of University Women; and from Clarity English in Hong Kong.
In addition we have had many individual, collective and corporate donations from far and wide, including from pupils at schools across the UK. On behalf of the girls whose education you made possible – a big “Thank you!”.
As we all approach the end of the financial year, could I ask you to check if there is any “use it or lose it” funding left in CSR and similar budgets within your circle, however large or small. We appreciate every penny and with our super low overheads, put each one to optimum use to benefit our girls.
On behalf of the Trustees and of course the Girls, my sincere thanks for your continued support & encouragement. Our work would not be possible without it.
Chair of the Trustees
Commonwealth Countries League Education Fund
CCLEF meets Ghana High Commission
Penny O'Regan, 2015 CCLEF Chairperson and Judith Fisher, CCLEF Hon Treasurer met with the Ghanaian High Commission to discuss the CCLEF's sponsorships for girls' education in Ghana. During their meeting, the Ghana High Commission (HC) informed CCLEF that their government has committed to funding secondary education fees, excluding boarding fees, for every child in Ghana from September 2015.
In recent reports, the UN has stated that Ghana is making "strong progress" in education. This approach was confirmed as CCLEF heard that tertiary education is more accessible to bright students in Ghana with the availability of loans and other sources. Ghana is also appearing to be making good progress in getting women into government roles.
The HC also discussed the ongoing CCLEF contribution to girls' education in Ghana and showed that in fact, schools that have a connection with CCLEF are spread throughout Ghana and can be found from Ankara to the Eastern areas. The news of the Ghanaian government's committment to funding secondary education fees was welcomed and CCLEF reaffirmed its committment to helping girls in Ghana. CCLEF understands that the girls' personal needs extend beyond just paying the fees and the Trustees are committed to helping them with whatever their needs are.
CCL Education Fund April Newsletter 2015
Dear CCLEF Supporters,
We’ve been busy! Busy reading school reports and letters from girls seeking renewal of sponsorship for another year in Granada, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, St Vincent and the Grenadines, Lesotho, Nigeria, Swaziland, St Kitts, Ghana, Cameroon, Kenya, St Lucia, Rwanda and Zambia.
We are continually uplifted by the girls and what they write to us– do read on if you’d like to share a glimpse of the ambition and determination of young women across the globe girls who are enthused and grateful for your support.
Belinda in Zimbabwe says she can now “do everything to my level best because there is someone out there who believes in me.”
Charity from St Vincent and the Grenadines came top of her class and her classmate Angela assures us that being able to “buy my exercise books, other stationery, my literature books, school shoes, bags and uniforms will make things better and I will be able to attend school regularly and so perform better at school”.
Lehlomo from Swaziland wrote “I am often expelled from school because [my parents] do not have the money to pay my school fees but this year….I am sure I am going to pass”.
From Kenya, Maryann wisely advised us “I have had to adapt to the new environment of secondary school”, Hannah aspires to be a journalist and Glory tells us that her school marks very hard in an effort to make the girls work harder and remain competitive.
In Grenada, Nicola aims to be an archaeologist as she likes learning historical facts and writes that she “appreciates her parents’ love and sacrifice [to pay school fees] but sponsorship gives me added impetus”.
Lindy in Swaziland wants to be a pilot and writes “if it wasn’t for you, maybe I would have dropped out of school, who knows?”
From Nigeria, Dolly admits “I used to miss class as a result of my mother’s inability to pay my school fees, but now I walk freely with my friends without being ashamed”.
From Ghana, Grace, full of determination, tells us “I wish to become a teacher, It is my intention to help reduce the illiteracy rate in my country”. Equally determined Elspeth wrote “My aim is to be a journalist. I am a girl who wants to be heard and I do not hide this skill.”
We’re looking for supporters who are willing to run 10km in order to raise funds to keep girls like these in school. The CCLEF enters a team of 24 runners in the British 10kLondon Run Sunday 12th July. Please do be in contact with Jagravi, our wonderful volunteer at if you would like to join us. General information about the event can be found at http://www.thebritish10klondon.co.uk
We have recently heard about CCLEF Alumnae who have become or are studying to become a nurse, builder, lawyer, secondary teacher, policewoman, doctor, environmental scientist, HIV/Aids Health Coordinator, and an economist – clearly the girls make best use of their opportunities!
Finally, I return to Belinda from Zimbabwe who says her current inspiring saying is “Be like a postage stamp, stick to the envelope until you get there” – that, I think, is exactly what our sponsored girls do if they possibly, possibly can.
My very best wishes to you all and thank you as ever for your support,
PS: If you would like to make a donation and help to keep these girls in school, please do so via our website at www.cgefund.org I have also attached the regular donation form – thank you.
The Queen’s Commonwealth Essay Competition 2015
You are Invited !
Run by the Royal Commonwealth Society since 1883, the Commonwealth Essay Competition is the world’s largest schools’ international writing competition and is open to all young people aged 18 and under. This year’s theme, 'A Young Commonwealth', recognises that young people account for the majority of the Commonwealth’s population and play a vital role in shaping the world that we live in, now and in years to come.
The Royal Commonwealth Society is inviting young people to share their hopes and concerns for the future, thereby generating an important youth perspective and Commonwealth wide dialogue as the international community gathers to set development goals for the next 15 years.
The 2015 competition invites young people to submit essays relating to this year’s theme, 'A Young Commonwealth’. The Queen’s Essay Competition 2015 is run by the Royal Commonwealth Society in partnership with Cambridge University Press.
The closing date for entries is May 1st 2015. Further information can be found at www.thercs.org/youth.
Twitter: @The RCSLondon
A Young Commonwealth
In 2015, the Commonwealth has chosen The Young Commonwealth as its theme and has published materials for children, young people, communities and schools to mark this theme.
CCLEF Newsletter 2015
Hello Everyone - warmest wishes for a happy and healthy 2015 from all at the CCLEF.