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One World Charity Challenge gathers pace 26 October 2009

The 2009-2010 One World Charity Challenge is gathering pace with all five secondary schools, King William’s College and the Isle of Man College committed to the programme.

The One World Charity Challenge, now in its fourth year, is a One World Centre inter-school initiative funded by the H&S Davidson Trust that enables Year 12 students to gain a greater understanding of development issues as part of the Freedom to Flourish programme.

The challenge requires student teams to select from one Manx-registered charity working overseas and two supported by the Isle of Man Overseas Aid budget, from which they develop a research project. Charity Challence Oct09 1

A total of 115 students met representatives from 13 charities at an open day at the Isle of Man College. The event was the first time students had had the opportunity to learn more about the work of individual charities and was organised by the One World Centre to assist students make informed decisions about which charity to research.

The research projects will be developed into short, multi-media presentations to be judged in-school early next year.

The finalists will make their presentations at an awards ceremony on March 23 2010 before a large invited audience when a judging panel will allocate funds from a grant pool, sponsored by the H&S Davidson Trust, the size of which will be determined by the number of teams participating.

Last year’s grant pool was £10,500, matched pound for pound by the Isle of Man Overseas Aid committee, bringing the total to £21,000, boosted at the last moment to £24,500 by an anonymous donation.

Charities represented at the open day were: ASK (Action Saves Kids) Outreach Trust; Azafady; Childcare Kitgum Servants; Drop Inn Ministries; Hands of Hope; Leonard Cheshire Disability; Malawi Mission Projects; ManASVI (Mann Aid and Support to Village India); Pahar Trust; Friends of Pestalozzi; Ro Man Aid; School for Uganda and The Queens and Kings School, Port Harcourt, Nigeria.

Isle of Man College student Laura Kelly, 18, said:

‘When going around the stands, what attracts me most are those charities working with children and young people on projects they can carry on themselves.’

Another student from the college, 17-year-old Liam Wiltshire said:

‘The charities I’m keen to learn more about are those offering practical long-term help.’

Action Saves Kids was represented by one of its trustees, acclaimed Manx-born photographer Victoria Harrop who said:

‘When I went to India for the first time four years ago it was a real culture shock. There I saw some of the work ASK was doing, since when I’ve been back several times and next February I’ll be returning to film some of the projects.’

16-year-old Ballakermeen High School student Charles Groom said:

‘Looking at some of Vicky’s photographs of conditions in Bangalore really tugs at the heart strings and her images show how the money raised is being used.’

Among visitors to the Hands of Hope stand was 17-year-old Ballakermeen High School student Jenna Heidstrom, who said:

‘I’m finding myself drawn to the smaller, “quieter” child-focused charities who clearly need our help.’

Trevor Leach of The Queens and Kings School, Nigeria, (motto: ‘Education - the bedrock of development’) said:

‘A good number of the students were really thinking and committed to “do something”. Some came back two or three times and were doing their best to obtain the correct information and make informed decisions. They listened attentively and came up with some thought-provoking questions. I’m pleased to say one team has already decided to support us and we look forward to working with them in the months ahead and trust they find their work on our behalf interesting, stimulating, satisfying and productive.’

Volunteer co-ordinator Michelle Ferrer, from Leonard Cheshire Disability added:

‘The students were a really good bunch, many showing keen interest. For all of them it was an eye opener when we explained what can happen to disabled children who can’t access education. We were asked some very good questions and I hope we’ll be one of the charities to be supported.’

One World Charity Challenge co-ordinator Jenni Quillin said:

‘The open day was a great success and the level of support for One World Charity Challenge was very encouraging. We had some excellent feedback from the students who, I think it’s fair to say, really had their eyes opened to third world development issues. Only four days after the open day we had 15 entries. Meeting so many students face to face was a great way to launch this year’s programme.’

One World Centre co-ordinator Cheryl Cousins said:

‘Last year’s evaluation of the challenge highlighted how this project develops good team work. Other aspects included gaining a deeper understanding of development issues, and that helping others was more rewarding than helping oneself. But perhaps what summed up the challenge best for me was a comment made to me by a student who said: “You were right. One World Charity Challenge has changed who I am and how I think about the world”. That, surely, is what education is about.’


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