CALM AFRICA PARTNERSHIP WITH LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY
Children’s Rights Advocacy and Lobby Mission (CALM Africa) has enjoyed a mutual relationship with Loughborough University for about 10 years. In 2005, CA entered into an understanding with Real Gap Experience, a UK based Travel Agency. The purpose of the agreement was for the Agency to mobilise and direct volunteers to Uganda to work with CA. Between 2005 and 2014, over 200 volunteers visited and supported CA. Among these early volunteers, one student came from Loughborough University who, on return to the UK, decided to connect her University with CALM Africa. This was the beginning of an enduring relationship that has stood the test of time. This new partnership resulted in Students coming to CA on placement under the umbrella of the LUFBRA ACTION. 4 students arrived in April, 2013 for 15 days and took on various tasks in support of CA and the local schools. Since 2013 the university has been sending students to CA every year apart from the two-year COVID pandemic period. The students are always in a small manageable group. In June last year, three students arrived on placement and one student on return to the UK connected CA to the Openwork Foundation which offered a small grant to CA to facilitate various projects. A further volunteer secured merchandise through the firm he subsequently worked for – school bags for all the children.
In June 2023 the Administrator of Lubra Action Team, Anne Cato, joined CA with other students who supported CA schools in many different ways including painting, teaching, sports, organizing and delivering welfare packages to vulnerable families and children.
Typically, students on placement get involved in the following activities;
▪ Teaching, giving motivational speeches and participating in school extracurricular activities (sports, music, drama and indoor games)
▪ Field visits, family assessment, updating care plans for CA cared children
▪ Construction works
▪ Sponsorship, donating books to the school library and sports materials to develop talents.
▪ Career Guidance
What has CA achieved from the Lafbra Students over the years?
• Enabled the CA school, Jolly Mercy Learning Centre (JMLC) to establish an Early Childhood Development Centre especially the construction of a perimeter wall to enhance child protection.
• Over 270 families have been supported with relief items from students over the years.
▪ Decorating work at the Jolly Mercy Learning Centre
▪ Teaching students in a variety of subjects
▪ Fundraising on behalf of CA for skilling in Agricultural best practices and Computer Technology
▪ Purchase of Water tanks at the ECDC
▪ Sponsoring more than 30 students
▪ Enabled CA to provide a borehole in order to improve water security for the children under care and the local community.
Students on placement also benefit in the following ways:
• Lifetime practical experience of working in Africa
• Friendship…they are able to make connections in Africa
• Satisfaction that, in no small way, they have changed the lives of vulnerable people for the better.
• They leave a living legacy in Africa and a permanent signature of LOVE on children’s hearts.
• They return home with a sense of personal fulfilment.
• The experience is an additional plus to their CVs
CALM Africa continues to cherish the partnership with Loughborough University and looks forward to welcoming new teams each year and making positive changes as they strive to put a smile on the faces of vulnerable children and other family units
Through this partnership, CA continues to grow stronger to the benefit of vulnerable families living in very difficult circumstances.