Kent-based charity marks 25th year of providing clean water and education in East Africa

News Posted 01/08/18
50,000 children educated, 673 wells drilled and 120 schools built – Kent-based charity marks its 25th year of providing clean water and education in East Africa.

Kent-based charity Fields of Life, which collaborates with local communities in East Africa to provide quality education, clean water, health promotion and other community-based projects, is launching new initiatives in celebration of its 25-year anniversary.

Since the inception of the organisation in Ireland in 1993, Fields of Life has raised approximately £30 million, which has allowed the team to build 120 schools, educate in excess of 50,000 children and drill 673 wells across East Africa.

Through the provision of clean water, education and health promotion, it is Fields of Life’s mission to see local communities throughout East Africa strengthened and empowered and for those communities to be the drivers of change, seeing that children are nurtured and developed to realise their full potential.

To mark the 25-year milestone, Fields of Life has launched a number of new fundraising initiatives including its African Tea Parties – an African-themed event where Fields of Life provides a tea party box which includes an African table cloth, bunting, recipes, music and more. Anyone can host, either in a workplace or with friends at home or in the park and at just £10 a box, Fields of Life is looking for as many people as possible to get into the spirit and take part.

Deborah Cameron, head of development and fundraising at Fields of Life GB, said: “Reaching the 25-year milestone is an incredible feat and it is testament to the organisation’s hard work and all of the amazing people who have supported us over the years.

“I feel honoured to be a part of it and it’s been remarkable to witness first-hand the work of Fields of Life and to see people’s lives being transformed thanks to our supporters and their belief in our vision.

“There are so many ways to get involved, from fundraising to volunteering and we are so excited about this year’s African tea parties. We already have ten parties planned and hope for many more.

“We are also searching for influential people to join our GB team as ambassadors. The endorsement and support a public figure can bring to the charity to help us to further raise our profile is key in enabling us to continue for the next 25 years.”

In 2014, Fields of Life launched the ‘Water for Life’ campaign, with the aim of providing clean, safe drinking water to one million people by 2020, plus, with only one in five girls progressing to secondary school in Sub-Saharan Africa, the organisation also launched its ‘I AM GIRL’ initiative with the goal to create and foster girl-friendly school environments and see 25,000 girls and young women supported, nurtured and developed within the Fields of Life school network by 2020.

Current Fields of Life GB ambassador and I AM GIRL advocate, Tracy Edwards MBE, will help the charity celebrate the 25-year milestone during the launch of the Maiden at St Katherine Dock in London in September before it embarks on its three-year voyage around the world with another all-female crew.

In addition, Fields of Life will also be marking its anniversary with the following events this year:

  • ‘Thames Path 50K in a day’ – charity hike on 8 September
  • Rwandan Cycle Challenge – a ride through Africa’s most beguiling landscapes on 22 October

These events follow the ‘Carry Jerry’ sponsored walk, which saw participants set off on 16 June for a three-mile family walk or a more arduous 13-mile trek through the Kent countryside before enjoying their own African Tea Party, and the ‘Maidstone to Monaco’ banger rally, which saw teams set off on 27 June to raise funds to build a nursery school.

CEO of Fields of Life, Richard Spratt, said: “With the launch of these new initiatives and the exciting schedule of events to celebrate Fields of Life’s 25th anniversary, it’s looking to be our most incredible year yet.

“We have an ambitious strategy which seeks to communicate the focus and priorities of Fields of Life, which includes investing in young people, promoting health and wellbeing, creating opportunities and growing the Fields of Life family. It is our ambition that by 2020, we would have positively impacted 500,000 of the most vulnerable and marginalised people in East Africa and to see their lives transformed.

“We are so grateful for the support we’ve received over the years and look forward to continuing our work for many more years to come.”

Fields of Life is a registered charity in the UK, Uganda, Ireland and Australia, with its GB office opening four years ago in Kent.

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