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The Spectrum IFA Group: A corporate partner, a generous friend

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: Belgium, corporate responsibility, France, Italy, spain, Spectrum-IFA Group, Switzerland
This article is published on: 16th May 2019

16.05.19

As a small NGO, Street Child EU is always on the lookout to build relationships with corporate partners as a means of strengthening our long-term fundraising ambitions. We are always grateful when, after approaching an organisation, they take the time to contemplate our vision and give consideration for the potential benefits of our projects. Yet, even with our proven track-record, this is a competitive industry, and securing regular funding is a painstaking and uncertain process. Thankfully, every so often, we encounter a corporate organisation that immediately identifies with our philosophy and subsequently demonstrates an admirable commitment to transforming our ambitions into reality – The Spectrum IFA Group is one such case.

Over the years, this Financial Services Organisation, has shown an unwavering dedication to providing hope to some of the world’s most marginalised groups and disadvantaged children, their donations to Street Child thus far reached 14,000 € . Street Child’s relationship with The Spectrum IFA Group stretches back to 2016, when they provided us with a generous donation for our Girls Speak Out programme. This project was set in the difficult context of post-ebola Sierra Leone and Liberia. Our mission aimed to support at least 20,000 girls to access and sustainably remain in quality education. When The Spectrum IFA Group provided us with 3,750 € we could immediately family business grants for the Street Child team in the capital of Sierra Leone, central Freetown. This meant that 65 individual caregivers were given the means to protect and nurture the vulnerable children in their care. The grant also enabled an extra 65 girls and 65 of their siblings to attend school – totalling 130 children for whom education had previously been out of reach. Moreover, the donation has had a wider impact of providing an additional 195 family members with access to an increased income. Overall, this has been a great source of optimism in the community, wedging open a door of opportunity for future generations of children in Freetown.

In 2017, The Spectrum IFA Group once again willingly answered Street Child’s call to action by providing support for our Breaking the Bonds Project in Nepal. Street Child was implementing an ambitious plan to reverse the effects that decades of discrimination have inflicted upon the Musahar community. With a donation of 5,000 € we made great strides in our efforts to free Musahars from bonded labour and disrupt this cycle of poverty. The donation has enabled 27 Musahar girls to complete our livelihoods support program which, through a careful combination of business skills training and life skills workshops, has given these Musuhars the resources and skills needed to propel them towards economic independence. In 2018, The Spectrum IFA Group reiterated their support for the Musahar community by donating an extra 3,000 € to the cause.

This organisation has always been interested in receiving project updates from the field, and we have always happy to oblige with photographs and case studies. They have kindly used these materials to show off during presentations at company events, encouraging even more donations by The Spectrum IFA Group’s staff. It is important for us that our corporate partners show off the projects they have funded with this kind of pride. It is important that corporate organisations engage with NGOs out of a genuine interest in social progress and The Spectrum IFA Group clearly does so.

All to often corporate partnerships cannot stand the test of time, but the relationship between The Spectrum IFA Group and Street Child is strong and looks set to stay. We have already shared positive initial conversations in relation to our new project in Afghanistan and furthermore, an extra 2000 € donation already indicated for a new Musahar project. We are tremendously grateful for the trust and support The Spectrum IFA Group has continuously offered us. Our experience with The Spectrum IFA Group is a testament to the fact that the NGOs and Corporate organisations can positively bridge the gap between these differing industries in order to pursue a common goal.

1

Soti, a Musahar in Nepal has benefitted from business skills training to establish a steady income for herself and her children.

2

In Central Freetown, Sierra Leone, Aminata been supported through the Girls Speak Out programme. She can now attend School regularly and has aspirations to one day become a teacher

*Note: The names of individuals have been changed to protect their privacy and identity

Corporate Responsibility

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: corporate responsibility, Spectrum-IFA Group
This article is published on: 20th March 2018

20.03.18

Every year, like many organizations, The Spectrum IFA Group is approached for support from many charities. As a company, we budget to support international charities and causes close to our staff and our clients’ hearts. Please find below links to causes that Spectrum thought both worthy and interesting.

Street Child

In 2018 one of the charities we are continuing to support is Street Child. Street Child is a UK charity, established in 2008, that aims to create sustainable educational access for some of the world’s most vulnerable children. Street Child initially started with one location, 100 children and four social workers.

Since then, Street Child has continued to grow into a dynamic charity, assisting some of the world’s most vulnerable children in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Nigeria and Nepal. Through creating educational opportunities, Street Child has helped thousands of children lead a more positive life and opened up future opportunities for them.

An important and current project is called Breaking The Bonds. Members of the Musahar caste are traditionally involved in bonded labour and face extreme economic hardships and discrimination as a result. The experience of bonded labour, other socio-economic factors, and discrimination within the community and at school combine to make the Musahar community one of the least educated groups in Nepal. Bonded labour has been a traditional caste-based practice in Nepal. It is found mostly in agriculture, but also in domestic work and brick kilns. Labourers are paid little or no money for work and find themselves constantly indebted to their masters, rendering them unable to break out of the poverty cycle. Despite most forms of bonded labour being abolished by the Government of Nepal, over 66,000 households were still found to be affected by it in the seven Terai districts.

  • 23% – Of girls never enrolled in school
  • 29% – Of girls had dropped out
  • 46% – Of 15-19 year olds could not read Nepali
  • 62% – Of 15-19 year olds had no math competency
  • 45% – of parents claimed that teachers were bad or absent
  • 56% – of children would want to go to school if only their parents would encourage them
  • 47% – of children weren’t enrolled in school due to their compulsion to earn and contribute to the family income

We hope you find the information of interest and agree with our support. If you would like to learn more about Breaking The Bonds please click here www.street-child.org.np/breaking-the-bonds

The Spectrum IFA Group supporting Village by Village

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: corporate responsibility, Spectrum-IFA Group, Sponsoring
This article is published on: 21st July 2017

21.07.17

As one of it’s chosen charities, The Spectrum IFA Group is supporting ‘Village by Village‘ in 2017. We were delighted to receive the following letter and photos from it’s CEO Neil Kerfoot. Their mission is to reduce the needless suffering and deaths of children living in poverty in remote rural African villages.

Morning Spectrum,

Hope you are happy & healthy.

Thanks again for the donation to the solar homework lights project, we asked one of out staff to pop around to a pupil’s houses at night just to see how the children were getting on with their solar lights. We sometimes find we offer solutions to issues in the community the community then finds interesting added value additional uses for the items we provide.

We asked one of the pupils on the solar homework project to write in his own words how he found the solar lights.(See Below with photo’s, his Mum looks like she is not to be messed with!) In this case the little boy mentions he uses the light at night to go to the loo. This is really important not to see where you are going but to let the snakes know you are coming so no one gets any surprises (including the snakes, giving then time to slither off). Snake bites at night are a problem in Ghana especially in children who because of their smaller bodies can not disperse the poison as well as fully grown adults.

“It helps me to learn. I also use it when I have to visit the toilet in the night. Thank you village by village for this light that helps me to study at night. It helps in some of the domestic things we do too. Richard aged 13 Pupil from Abenta Village School, Nr Adowso, Eastern Region, Ghana. (The photos are all a bit staged but what was nice and you can not tell from the images is the visit was a surprise but before we were allowed to take any photos both Mother and son wanted to put on their best clothes for the photos/you to show they were worthy of your support)

Me da se (“Thank you” in Ghanaian)
Neil Kerfoot MSc
Chief Executive of Village by Village
www.villagebyvillage.org.uk

Supporting Village by Village

By Spectrum IFA - Topics: corporate responsibility, Spectrum-IFA Group, village by village
This article is published on: 16th June 2017

16.06.17
village by village

Every year as part of our Corporate Responsibility The Spectrum IFA Group supports three very worthy charities. This year we have decided to support Village by Village.

Supporting Village by Village changes the lives of so many children and families living in poverty in Africa and one project supported is to help those living without lighting. The organisation works in local primary schools and with the help of the teachers identify those children who do not have access to electric lighting in their homes at night and then lend that child (During school term) a solar light so they can do their homework.

Supporting Village by Village

In October 2016 they started testing which is the best light to use, they received a selection of solar lights from a friendly UK solar light supplier (At a great discount) and got the kids who are going to be using the lights to write a report on the best one. The one below was the winner. The organisation noticed the kids using it with an old beer bottle so it gave more light and a softer green effect and stood a bit higher, giving more light. It replaced the old, homemade kerosene lights that are expensive, bad for health, bad for the environment and dangerous.. photos of the before and after testing can be seen in the link below.
www.solar-aid.org/assets/Uploads/Publications/Factsheet-KH-13.02.13.pdf

So the money is being well used to buy solar lights, pay local teachers to allocate and collect the lights to ensure accountability and for the staff to monitor and evaluate the project, find new village schools and ensure the effective running of the projects.

More information on Village by Village can be seen here www.villagebyvillage.org.uk

Should anyone wish to donate you can do so here uk.virginmoneygiving.com/charities/villagebyvillage