Changing Futures is a UK based charity that aims to provide financial support to schools and community projects in Swaziland in order to improve the futures of children disadvantaged by poverty and/or disease.
The charity was founded by Steve and Caroline Smith in 2008 after a visit to Swaziland, a small country in Southern Africa. Swaziland has the highest rate of HIV in the world and consequently has many orphans and vulnerable children. It is not uncommon for a child to be the head of a household, taking care of younger siblings when their parents have died.
Changing Futures is a non-religious organisation which works with various organisations and individuals in Swaziland, including Vusumnotfo, (www.vusumnotfo.org), Claypotts Trust (www.claypotts.org) and the Mbabane Rotary Club. The charity also collaborates with Swazilands Schools Projects, another UK based charity. Steve and Caroline and some of the trustees visit Swaziland regularly to ensure that projects are progressing well and to identify new needs. There are no administration costs as the charity is run by its trustees on a voluntary basis.
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Most children in Swaziland really value their education and often walk a long way to get to school. There is now some government funding for school fees for younger children but many schools still struggle to pay all the bills with the funding provided. Changing Futures has been paying fees and supporting the school budget in one rurual school since the charity was founded.
Some Headteachers insist that their pupils wear uniforms which are unaffordable for many children so this is another cost that we cover in some schools.
Changing Futures has also paid for new pre-school buildings, school equipment and furniture and school agriculture projects. It has also funded sewing projects for women in very poor communities to enable them to earn an income and support their children.
For a full list of our current projects see the Projects page.
Links to our partners:
How You Can Help
1. Participate in our bursary scheme - £5/month will pay for a 6-year old to go to school for a year with one school meal a day. £10/month will pay for an 11-year old.
2. If you are taking part in a sporting event or challenge in 2013 why not see if your friends and family will sponsor you for Changing Futures? We can help you set up a dedicated sponsorship page so that people can donate.
3. Collect your small change – stop those 1ps, 2ps and 5ps cluttering up your purse or filling your pockets and put them in a jar. When it is full give it to us or take the money to the bank and donate it to us.
4. Register with Easyfundraising ( www.easyfundraising.org.uk ) and whenever you shop on line go through this website. All the major stores are there and every time you purchase something we get a small percentage.
5. Promote what we are doing – tell your friends and family about Changing Futures and send them a copy of our newsletter. The more people that know the more people may be able to help.
6. Adopt us your Charity of the Year - if you are working, could your department or Company adopt us as their Charity of the Year for 2013 and raise money through some social events?