Sometimes we all need to get a little perspective, to take a few moments away from the pressures of our own busy lives and remember how important it is to contribute to others, especially those less fortunate than ourselves.
// WHY START A FOUNDATION?
The Clarify Foundation gives our team at Clarify an opportunity to make a contribution beyond the world of business – it is our way of raising money for a good cause, having fun together, and giving something back that delivers a real and lasting impact on the lives of other people.
Since 2009 we have focussed our efforts on local voluntary projects here in the community in which we work and live, and to raising money to support an international development programme in Uganda. We are lucky enough to be able to send a small team of four employees each year to visit the building projects our fundraising is making possible.
// AT HOME
Over the past few years, at Christmas time, our team have been involved in a number of voluntary projects and community days giving time and resources to local community based charities.
In 2008 we got involved in the locally run ByteNite event, where the team raised money for Action for Children. We also ran a local community project to create a garden at our local primary school – Theale Primary.
In 2009 we donated a full business day from the entire company to support a local charity PACT at Christmas (parents and children together) wrapping gifts, collecting donations at Reading’s Gift Tree and setting up Santa’s grottos.
In 2010 we gave up buying Easter eggs and Christmas presents and instead the team donated gifts to Naomi’s house. We then donated a full business day from the entire company to paint call rooms in the local secondary school and to again support PACT in wrapping the gifts for under privileged children.
In 2011 we spent a day working in the community and in addition to the donations for Naomi’s house, gift wrapping for PACT we will also be running a project painting classrooms at Brookfields school, a school for children with disabilities in Tilehurst, Reading.
In 2012 we continued our relationship with PACT and the whole company spent an evening of their own time wrapping Christmas gifts donated to the charity. On the 21st December the whole company spent the day working in one of the warehouses run by ReadiFood (Reading Foodbank), sorting food ready for distribution to local centers.
In 2011 we entered into a 5 year commitment to fund a series of annual building projects to renovate dangerously uninhabitable teacher’s accommodation in 10 rural schools in the Mityana district of Uganda. These buildings are currently inhabited by teachers who are posted with their young children, often far from their families and homes. They live in very difficult conditions, sometimes unable to even get into the schools to teach young children many of whom may have walked for up to 2 hours, on an empty tummy, to reach the school.
By working with local communities our projects can help them improve teacher’s security and quality of life which directly impacts the education and nourishment they can offer to young Ugandan children. By housing teachers in the school grounds the security of the school improves, teachers have the energy to educate the children and to develop market gardens to teach the children how to grow food and raise animals. These gardens in turn produce maize to feed the children with what may be their only meal of the day.
It is a privilege to be able to work in close proximity with the local communities within these schools. Each year, four of Clarify’s employees get the chance to visit and get involved in the project and to witness first-hand the impact this work is having on people’s lives.
// CASE STUDY
Meet Grace. She is a teacher and has been posted to Bukanaga Primary School, a small rural outpost two-and-a-half hours away from the town of Mityana. Unable to refuse a post, Grace must leave her husband and two-year old, living at the school with her 6 month old baby.
Grace’s teacher accommodation consists of two rooms with crumbling bare concrete walls and floor. When it rains and the wind blows, water washes under the old wooden door and across her floor. There is no electricity. To shower, Grace waits until dark and then uses a couple of pans of water that she has collected from the pump and a nearby tree provides some sort of privacy.
Pay is poor and the school is very short of funding so improvement of the accommodation is a distant dream. As for child care whilst Grace is teaching, the pupils take turns in looking after her little one. Grace is just one of many Ugandan teachers in the same situation.
The Clarify Foundation will this year refurbish and upgrade accommodation for a total of nine teachers in Bukanaga and one other rural school. Building work is about to commence and a small team will visit in May to decorate the rooms. We are commissioning a local training organisation for disadvantaged young people to furnish each unit with bed, table, chairs and soft furnishings. The aim is to improve the security and morale of Grace and others like her, promoting quality teaching and childcare at a thriving school that is a focal point for the community.
The Clarify Foundation is a registered charity – registration number 1137976