Friday, February 6, 2009

Businesswomen spread charity from Bournemouth to Bangladesh

A group of local businesswomen travelled to Bangladesh earlier this week as part of setting up a new charity to help underprivileged children.

The women, who are members of Soroptimists International Bournemouth, are meeting partners Dhaka-based NGO, Nijera Shikhi, to discuss plans to build a school.

Founder of the charity, Cementing Futures, Debbie Rogers said they decided to fundraise for a school to combat the high levels of illiteracy in Dhaka:

“You can’t compare it to our culture. If you look at the education system in the UK 120 years ago, that’s there they are. They have massive groups who are illiterate. We are very much guided by them”

The charity is hoping to partner with primary, secondary and third level students across the UK and the students will help to raise £300,000 for the educational project.

Ms Rogers is conscious that given the current economic climate people might be reluctant to donate to charity. However, she says they will “try and get one pound from as many people as possible. Most people can afford to miss a pound.”

Many charities have been hit hard by the credit crunch. The Charities Aid Foundation announced on February 3 it had setup a helpline to help groups consider how to weather a financial crisis.

Cementing Futures should be more protected financially than many charities. With the exception of a director hired for a promotional DVD about the Dhaka project, the businesswomen involved are all volunteers.

The charity is due to be formally launched next month.

Soroptimists Intl Bournemouth
Charities Aid Foundation
Charity Commission UK

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