This year, the Mwezi Foundation is taking part in the Big Give Christmas Challenge!
The challenge lasts for one week, beginning on 30th November (or ‘Giving Tuesday’) and concluding on the 6th December. During this time, donations made to Mwezi through the Big Give’s website will be doubled using matched funding. Every £1 donation becomes £2, every £10 donation becomes £20, and so on and so on!
The Big Give Christmas Challenge is the UK’s largest online match funding campaign. Since the nationwide initiative began in 2008, it has helped thousands of charities across the country raise millions of pounds by doubling their donations at Christmastime.
Mwezi has had a fantastic year: we have expanded into 22 new schools, donated 742 new solar lights, and seen the average KCPE score in our schools rise to 242.93 (all of this – and more – is detailed in our annual report, which you can find here). By participating in the Christmas Challenge and doubling the donations that we receive in the first week of December, we’ll ensure that 2023 gets off to a great start too, and that we’re able to help more schoolchildren than ever!
We applied to participate in the Christmas Challenge in the summer, and we immediately set out on the task of securing match funding. Every participating charity’s match fund pot has two sources: champions and pledges. Champions are partners of the Big Give, who choose a particular charity to support during the campaign. Pledgers, meanwhile, are Mwezi’s supporters, such as our trustees, corporate partners, major donors and other friends of the charity.
Thanks to our generous pledgers, we raised £1,000 for our Christmas Challenge match fund pot over the summer. We have also secured the Coles-Medlock Foundation as our Big Give Champion. Coles-Medlock are a grant-making organisation focussed on relieving poverty and funding sustainable development, in fields such as education, across the developing world – making them a perfect partner for Mwezi!
The Coles-Medlock Foundation is especially interested in creating opportunities for women and girls across the world, which is another reason why they are a great fit for the Mwezi Foundation. With a Mwezi solar light, the girls at the schools that we support are able to complete their homework in the evenings, which boosts their grades and creates opportunities for them in further education and beyond.
We also go the extra mile to send talented female students to secondary school, such as Happy, who was one of Kasidi Primary School’s highest-scoring students in 2020. Happy’s impressive exam results earned her place at the prestigious Nyabururu Girls’ High School, but her family were unable to pay the school fees that were required in order for her to take it up. Happy faced the bleak prospect of arranged marriage, but Mwezi launched a campaign to raise the funds that were needed to send Happy to school, and now – two years on – she is thriving at Nyabururu.
More recently, we established the Mwezi Foundation Scholarship, which was designed to support talented students who cannot afford to take up their place at secondary school. After receiving many outstanding applications, we chose to award the scholarship to four gifted students – three of whom were girls. Schemes like this help to teach young women that hard work really does pay off and it is possible to build a career for yourself and achieve your dreams.
With match funding, the Big Give Christmas Challenge will help us light up more children’s lives than ever this winter. Watch this space and follow us on social media for updates throughout November as we approach the week of the campaign!