New funding will empower a young in-country team to change classroom culture and improve literacy.
Act On It has been awarded a grant from the Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF), the Department for International Development (DFID) fund supporting charities to achieve sustained poverty reduction.
Act On it has been boldly using creative learning strategies to improve literacy and raise achievement in the UK and overseas since 2004, guided by the directors’ belief that education is the first route out of poverty and that we all need to care, be confident and communicate.
This project is funded with UK aid from the UK Government. It will train inspiring young Sierra Leonians, who have been involved with Act On It educational projects since 2011, to become the company’s formal implementation partner. They will deliver an original two year programme of Continuing Professional Development to primary school teachers in the Western Rural District. The training will enable the teachers to use a resourceless toolkit of strategies to boost the spoken language and literacy skills of the most disavantaged children in their classroom.
Act On It Director Rachel Steele said: “We know from our work in the UK and overseas how soon children fall behind, disengage and ‘fail’ at school if they do not start off with good spoken language skills. You have to be able to say it to write it and literacy underpins the whole educational system. In many ways the challenges in the classroom are the same for the disadvantaged children we support in the UK and Sierra Leone. In the UK we’re improving the spoken language of children starting school with limited vocabulary due to increased ‘screen time’ and in Sierra Leone we’re boosting the skills of children trying to learn in their second or third language.”
Helen Turner (Act On It Director) added: “We are looking forward to working with the team from the Department for International Development and to the double benefit of the project. We will train up a young team in Sierra Leone to be the leaders of the future and raise the achievement of children in 20 schools. It’s also an opportunity for us to gather more hard evidence that the Act On It Toolkit really does work, so we can scale it up and effectively tackle one of the root causes of poverty.”
International Development Secretary Penny Mordaunt said: “Every child should be able to go to school, and ultimately, we cannot end poverty without helping children reach their full potential, to build a brighter future for themselves and their families.
“I’m proud UK aid is supporting Act On It to provide a quality education for children in Sierra Leone. Small British charities often punch above their weight and UK aid’s Small Charities Challenge Fund exists to make sure those organisations with big hearts get the early support they need to help end poverty.”
More information on Act On It’s work can be found at www.actonitsoicalenterprise.org
If you are interested in applying for a Small Charities Challenge Fund grant, please visit https://www.ukaiddirect.org/apply/sccf/ . Applications can be made at any time and are reviewed every six months. The next review point is Thursday 28 March 2019.