We feel strongly about helping to fund worthwhile causes. The Company supports three charities which, in their own different ways, seek to bring hope of a better future to people in diverse communities around the world.
James Caldwell, Director
The Bethany Children's Trust is a Christian charity that exists to mobilise communities into action on behalf of children at risk around the world. Founded by Susie Howe in 1993 during her time as a nurse in Zimbabwe, the charity's stated aim is to see every child in the world 'loved, safe, nurtured and free to reach their God-given potential.'
The Trust operates on the belief that everyone can play a part in restoring lives that have been broken by conflict, disability, disease, poverty, or exploitation. The charity focuses on helping entire local communities - including individuals, projects, churches and businesses - contribute towards restoring the lives of vulnerable children in their midst, giving them hope and a future.
The Trust campaigns, alongside other national and international organizations, to transform situations in which children are not getting the care, support and security they deserve. As part of their work, the Trust supports PACT, a charity that aims to challenge the abuse and exploitation of children in Nigeria.
By investing time and training in local communities, projects that are initially set up by the Trust can then multiply across a region or country, thereby increasing many times over the number of children being reached. This approach has proved very successful in the past, and the Trust is getting involved in new projects all the time - visit the website to find out more.
Bulgarian Partners is a UK charity that is involved in building a social, educational and medical centre in Sofia, the capital of Bulgaria. This facility is being built to provide practical support and care to people who are at risk of social exclusion, including orphans, members of the Roma community, and elderly people.
The 2007 BBC documentary, Bulgaria's Abandoned Children, was a stark reminder that extreme child poverty is not confined to some far-flung place, but is right here in Europe, on our doorstep. Director Kate Blewett's shocking film exposed the harsh reality of life for thousands of children in Bulgaria.
The plight of these children is, unfortunately, nothing new to the people of the Sofia Baptist Church. The fall of communism in Bulgaria in the early 1990s may have brought new political freedoms, but for many people it also meant the start of a significant drop in living standards. This had seen many families unable to provide for their children, with many ending up living orphanages in conditions of extreme poverty.
As a response to this, the Sofia Baptist Church set up The Good Samaritan Foundation in 1995. Bringing food, clothes, and presents at Christmas - anything their limited finances would allow - the members of the Foundation began visiting local orphanages in order to try and improve the lives of the children living there.
They soon realised that this grassroots effort wasn't enough to make a sustainable difference. So, in 2003, with the help of the Bulgarian Partners Trust, the Good Samaritan Foundation started work on a brand new social, medical and training centre in Sofia. When finished, the centre will be a force for social change in inner-city Sofia, providing:
The centre's top floor will be let out to local businesses so that it can eventually become sustainable and self-sufficient, but until this is finalised, the successful completion of the project is reliant on the generous donations made by supporters.
For latest news and information on the progress of the project, please visit the Bulgarian Partners Trust Website
Five Talents is a microfinance initiative that seeks to fight poverty, create jobs, and transform lives. Through the provision of loans and training to entrepreneurs in developing countries, Five Talents offers disenfranchised people the opportunity to break free from the cycle of poverty. Microfinance is a unique method of wealth redistribution because it places emphasis on both personal agency and financial sustainability. Shockingly, 1.5 billion people worldwide have no access to even the most basic of financial services. By establishing access to savings schemes, small loans, and business skills training in areas where there is otherwise no access to these resources, Five Talents helps to tackle poverty from the ground up.
Approximately two-thirds of Five Talents' clients are women. Because women and girls are often seen as less valuable to their communities than men and boys, they make up a large proportion of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. Women frequently lack access to education, political representation, legal aid, healthcare, family planning advice, and other fundamental rights. Five Talents aims to help women escape these situations by giving them the opportunity to hold their own savings, borrow their own startup capital, and access business training. Offering business advice is integral to the aims of Five Talents' work as it maximises the potential for clients to use their loans successfully, creating a sustainable route out of poverty for themselves and their families.
In developing nations, a small loan can go a long way, especially when it's pooled between a group of clients who are working together to build a business. The average loan per person across Five Talents' programmes is around £90. On average, for every £100 loaned to an entrepreneur, this will create a job for one person and allow them to support five further dependents. Over five years, £100 has the potential to generate 10 jobs and benefit 50 people.
To find out more about how microfinance helps people in communities across the world, visit the Five Talents website