London based International Development Charity, Lively Minds, has won the British High Commission Charity of the Year Award at this year’s 4th annual Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA) Awards. Lively Minds were presented with their Award at the ceremony held in London on Saturday 16 November.
The award, sponsored and presented by The British High Commissioner to Ghana, His Excellence Peter Jones, recognised the important contribution Lively Minds has made to early childhood education in rural Northern Ghana, where the charity currently runs Play Centres in 38 deprived villages and Reading Schemes in eight primary schools.
Lively Minds founder and CEO Alison Naftalin said:
“We are so delighted to receive this award and have our work recognised by GUBA. We were nominated alongside three other great charities, so we were very excited when it was announced at the ceremony that we’d won!
“When I set up Lively Minds first Play Centre 5 years ago in Ghana – teaching and empowering mothers in one village how to make educational games and to run the Centre themselves – I never imagined that 5 years later we would grow so much. We’ve since trained over 1,100 mothers in 38 villages and have reached over 8,600 children in Ghana alone.
“Play activities are essential to a child’s future development but many children living in poverty in rural Ghana do not have the opportunities to play that are readily available for children in the UK. It’s this basic learning and development opportunity that can help children to build the crucial skills they need if they are to lift themselves out of poverty.
“This year marks our fifth birthday too – so winning this GUBA award is a fantastic end to our anniversary year!”
Over the next three years, Lively Minds aims to set up 39 Play Centres and Reading Schemes in Northern Ghana benefitting 15,000 children and 1,100 mothers, partly using funding from Comic Relief. It will also support existing communities by providing regular parenting workshops.
Lively Minds also runs their Play Centre project in Uganda and have set up 28 Play Centres in communities there.
For more information about Lively Minds and how to get involved, visit www.livelyminds.org.
Notes to Editors
1. All media enquiries to:
Julia Scodie – Fundraising and Marketing Manager
2. Lively Minds works to improve the lives and the life chances of children in deprived rural communities in Northern Ghana. Its flagship projects are community-run Play Centres that reach children at an early age and give them the chance to learn and develop key skills – such as numeracy, literacy and creative thinking skills – through play. The projects achieve sustainability by empowering communities to use their own skills to run the Centres themselves. All field work is carried out by specialist local staff teams in country. Their work is facilitated and supported by a small team in the UK. The charity also works in Uganda.
3. GUBA is a non-profit awards event which celebrates exceptional achievement, talent and ability in the British Ghanaian community and valuable services provided to Ghanaians in the UK or Ghana. www.gubaawards.co.uk