New Small Charities Challenge Fund grants announced for education projects in Africa

Categories: Funding announcements, Small Charities
05 November 2020


We are pleased to be able to announce the names of more grassroots charities to benefit from UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) Small Charities Challenge Fund (SCCF) grants.

These UK-registered organisations, Exeter Ethiopia Link and School Club Zambia UK will receive SCCF grants of up to £50,000, to help them to address the UN Global Goal 4 (Quality Education) in particular.  

Exeter Ethiopia Link: Improving reading in 20 schools in western Ethiopia

This is the second SCCF grant awarded to this grassroots charity, and this project will be supporting 20 schools serving the most marginalised children in rural Ethiopia.

It aims to improve basic literacy for children in grades 1-4 and provide vital access to books and study space for children in grades 5-8.

Sets of mini books will also be made for each school, to support children in early years to practice reading. These are made by students who are deaf; supporting them to generate their own incomes and enabling them to continue with their studies.

Teachers will also be trained in the teaching of reading, and librarians trained in the management of their libraries, ensuring that libraries can remain open throughout the day for children to use.

 Children practicing their reading with their mini books. Exeter Ethiopia Link photo credit
Children practicing their reading with their mini books

School Club Zambia: The girls of Sinazongwe: a child-led approach to reducing girl absenteeism in rural Zambian schools

In Sinazongwe, where School Club Zambia’s office is based, early marriages, unplanned pregnancies, and a lack of information on general reproductive health have played a large part in keeping rural girls away from school.

This SCCF funded project is working with schools in the rural district of Sinazongwe in Zambia, to implement peer-led programmes and establish girls council groups, to help reduce the number of girls dropping out of school before completing their primary education.

The girls council members are trained in sexual health education, family planning services and menstrual hygiene management. And these members are then supported to educate their peers in these areas. For example, in making their own reusable sanitary towels by using affordable and locally available materials.

In addition to this, workshops are held with boys, educating them on women’s rights including gender-based violence, family planning methods and sexual health.

Young girls in schools making reusable sanitary towels

Small Charities Challenge Fund grants are awarded to small UK-registered charities and not-for-profit organisations working to address the UN Global Goals and working in the lowest 50 countries in the UN Human Development Index (HDI) and countries the UK government considers to be of high or moderate fragility.

The Small Charities Challenge Fund is an open funding round with applications reviewed every six months. The next review date is Thursday 25 March 2021 at 17:00pm (BST).

You can download the latest guidance information from the SCCF application page and see what other organisations have received SCCF funding to date.