Community has always been so important to us at Artisans & Adventurers. Supporting the small communities of artisans that we work with is a vital part of our business and something that we are very proud of. That is why we partnered with African Promise and donate 2% of our retail sales from every Kenyan product to the charity, and have done so for almost a year now. African Promise are a fantastic charity that support primary schools in Kenya, a country that we work in extensively and is very dear to us. The charity works to "improve the lives of children in rural communities today and give them the chance of a brighter future tomorrow." We spoke with Charles, the charity's Founder and CEO to find out more about how things have changed for African Promise in the past year...
The kitchen and dining hall under construction at Mkamenyi Primary to facilitate the introduction of the school-wide lunch programme there from end of April 2022
Our customers have helped to raise almost £1,000 from purchases of our Kenyan products since June last year. Can you tell us how this has helped the charity and its partner schools?
Over the last few months, thanks to the support of all our donors including A&A and its customers, we have been able to continue with the following activities across our partner schools:
- supplying food for a daily lunchtime meal for around 2,300 children
- donating funds towards the salaries of around 75 extra teachers and critical support staff
- contributing towards the costs of essential repairs and maintenance
- donating equipment and resources including classroom, dining hall and office furniture, textbooks, and printers/copiers
- undertaking minor and major infrastructure projects including installation of additional rainwater harvesting/storage capacity and construction of toilets
Although we cannot exactly say what the funds from A&A have paid for, by way of an illustration, £1,000 would have paid for a 10,000 litre water tank, around 12,500 meals, or the salaries of 10 teachers for a month.
Pupils learning their vowels at one of African Promise's partner schools
We know that the climate for charities continues to be challenging but can you pick out a couple of recent highlights for the charity?
A personal highlight was being able to travel to Kenya for the first time in two years at the end of October once it was removed from the UK government’s red list. My two-year absence was the longest period I’ve been away since I founded the charity in 2008 and whilst technology allowed me to stay in constant contact with our team in Kenya and with our partner schools and to see how they were progressing, it was no substitute for being there in-person, as I would have been regularly in normal circumstances.
From the charity’s perspective, 2021 was a year to celebrate as we raised a record-breaking amount of nearly £250,000 for a calendar year, despite, as you say, the fundraising environment remaining challenging amidst Covid restrictions and the wider economic situation.
Charles with the project team and school management committee at Mkamenyi Primary during visit in October 2021
We’re looking forward to continuing our partnership with the charity. What goals does the charity have this year that our fundraising will help it to achieve?
Our main on-going project remains the redevelopment of our eighth partner school at Mkamenyi Primary, which is now well into its third year. We hope that this will be the year that we finally complete this ambitious undertaking, although there is still a significant amount of work still to do, not to mention funds still to raise.
As part of our long-term package of support for this school we will also be supporting the introduction of a school-wide lunch programme here from the end of April by supplying the food needed to provide a nutritious daily meal to all 600 pupils, as we already do for our seven other partner schools and their circa 2,400 pupils.
Pupils enjoying a meal as part of African Promise's school meals program
In addition to purchasing from our Kenyan range what other ways are there that our customers can support the charity or get involved?
As a charity that relies 100% on the generosity of individuals and organisations like Artisans & Adventurers to fund our vital work, making a donation is the simplest and most immediate way to support the charity, our partner schools, and their pupils, however those wishing to get more involved can also:
- Enter our latest (Spring 2022) Prize Draw for a chance to win a hamper full of goodies for yourself, your home and your garden, including crafts generously donated by A&A;
- Join TeamAP for a challenge at home or overseas including the Royal Parks Half Marathon or a once-in-a-lifetime cycling adventure in Africa;
- Attend one of our events including our popular Christmas Carol Service in London
- Speak to us about becoming an ambassador and helping to promote and raise funds for the charity.
If you have any questions or would like to know more about any of the above please drop me an email to email@example.com or call me on 02071932137.
A huge thank you to Charles for taking the time to speak with us. We hope that our customers are just as excited about our charity partnership as we are. You can shop our Kenyan Baskets, Kenyan Olive Wood Collection and Kenyan Soapstone online and in store now. 2% from every purchase will go straight to African Promise and help support their amazing work.