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
Congratulations to supporter Gary Burns, who has participated in the British 10K London Run as a CCLEF runner four times in the last eight years, and was placed in the 2015 Just Giving’s top 1% of national fundraisers!
28 runners - £24,000 raised
News from the Emusoi Centre,Tanzania, where the CGEF (formerly CCLEF) has sponsored a number of girls.
The following picture shows six new graduates, along with their letters of thanks. They are all waiting for their exam results which will be announced mid-February 2016.
One of the girls, Nasiyanda, has asked to stay at Emusoi to await the results because she fears being hassled at home to marry. These girls receive a lot of pressure to get married because their families think they have finished school. Hopefully, all these girls will be able to go on to advanced level studies.
A wonderful success story so far, and a testament to the hard work of everyone at the Emusoi Centre. Congratulations to our girls!