Last October, during The Global Fund for Children’s visit to BSB, the BSB Secondary Magazine Society interviewed Danielle Bidos, GFC Development Officer, and Margaret Kubicek, Cognita Group Communications Manager, to get first-hand information about this successful “Partnership for Education” between GFC and Cognita.
This interview has just been published and is included in the latest issue of the Secondary Magazine, which is now available to purchase at the Reception of the school.
You can read the full interview below. Outstanding job by our students, isn’t it?
GFC – TheGlobal Fund for Children and Cognita
Interview by Alexandra, Valeria, Liza and Gabriela
Cognita´s schools and offices around the world have a strong tradition of charitable fundraising. On its tenth birthday, Cognita chose to team up with The Global Fund for Children (GFC) and use this as an opportunity for all the 66 Cognita schools to share a common charitable goal.
The GFC works to transform the lives of children on the edges of society, helping them regain their rights and reach their potential. It has helped over 9 million children in 78 countries around the world. Their projects maintain a keen focus on education, from mobile classrooms in markets in Quito, Ecuador to outreach schools for children on the streets and living in the slums and rubbish dumps of Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
We spoke to Danielle Bidos from GFC and Margaret Kubicek from Cognita to find out more about the charity and its collaboration with Cognita.
How did the Global Fund for Children start?
The Global Fund for Children was founded by an American lady called Maya Ajmera in 1990. She was in India and while she was at a train station she saw children sitting on the platform learning basic Maths with a teacher. These were street children, who normally work at the train station. Maya said to the teacher “It’s amazing that you are teaching these children, how much money do you need to run this the programme?” The teacher answered “About a few hundred dollars year”. And Maya thought “That’s such an amazing idea!” So, from that basic idea she started to run the Global Fund for Children.
Which were the first projects for GFC?
That project, in India, was technically our first and it has developed into an investment of more than £20 million in over 600 organisations, from India to projects in 78 different countries.
Why did Cognita choose GFC for charity?
Cognita has 66 schools all over the world. Last year, when Cognita was celebrating their 10th birthday, we wanted to mark that in some way and they wanted to find a partner organisation, to help even more children. GFC have similar aims as Cognita, so we felt there was a really good match.
What kind of fundraising events take place in schools who raise money for the GFC?
There’s been a real mix of different kinds of activities that have taken place so far. Looking back over the past year we´ve had bake sales, non-uniform days, charity breakfasts – lots of different fun events. One of the most creative ideas took its inspiration from the book and movie The Hunger Games; pupils designed a whole range of different stations around the school for games that the children themselves had designed and created. They called it “The Younger Games” and raised 4,000 euros!
What future projects are being planned by the GFC?
This year we will be supporting about 20 new organizations all over the world, for example there’s one in the Dominican Republic, and one in Chile which specifically targets children who have migrated to the country from different areas of South America.
Which has been the most successful project so far?
I think it was in Bangladesh, where they have rainy seasons and a third of the country gets flooded. During that time lots of children miss school because they can’t get there. One teacher got really fed up of the situation and so he decided to convert a boat-house (which is a very common place for people to live in) into a school. He ripped out the inside of the boat and replaced it with desks and a board, he even added solar panels! So now when the rainy season comes children don’t have to go to school because school comes to them and they can continue their education.
What other projects does Cognita have with the GFC?
We are actually planning to arrange trips for our teachers to visit one of the GFC projects in Thailand. A good thing about this is that afterwards they can share their experiences with staff and students. Our Partnership for Education presents real opportunities to enrich the education of Cognita pupils as through it they can follow the work of six GFC-funded projects.
Watch this space for more information about fundraising with The Global Fund for Children.
In the meantime, you can make direct donations online via www.justgiving.com/globalfundforchildren