At Coast and Country holidays we support a variety of charities. However, our long term charity is Save the Children, which we have supported for 20 years.
Save the Children is close to our hearts for several reasons - firstly, it originated in Wales over 90 year's ago and secondly, it believes strongly in supporting and protecting children in the UK and across the world. The money we have helped raise has gone to projects throughout Wales and overseas.
Its all too easy to forget that so many children and young people live in poverty, not only abroad, but also in the UK.
Children have the right to be heard and receive an education regardless of where they live. In order for children and young people to have the opportunity to improve their lives, they do need a proper education, for they are our future!
This October, one of our team was lucky enough to be invited to Bangladesh to visit several projects run by Save the Children.
The first one visited was an educational project in the Chittagong hills. Children in this remote and until recently, turbulent, area face great difficulties in getting to school and receiving even a basic education.
The hill area is occupied by approximately thirteen different tribes, all speaking their own dialect. These tribes live in remote areas, often several miles from roads and access to larger villages. There is also the added complication of extreme amounts of rainfall during the monsoon season. Faced with these difficulties, the drop out rate for children attending school has been over 80%.
Save the Children has been working in the hill district to establish smaller, local schools where the children are taught, initially, in their native tongue, with the national language of Banlga being introduced over a 3 year period, allowing the children to gradually become bi-lingual.
The second project was relief work in the cyclone area of Bangladesh, where in May this year, cyclone Aisla hit and displacing thousands of families, who six months later are still living in temporary shelters - wherever they can find a dry space.
Save the Children helped initially with emergency shelters, clean water and sanitation. Now, they are concentrating on reopening the schools (where possible), building temporary schools and helping with new equipment.
The third project visited, was in the slums of Dhaka city, where Save the Children are working with the poorest 10% of the population. They are trying to identify skills which the families living in the slums already have and, where appropriate, work with them and encourage the establishment of micro businesses which give slum dwellers an opportunity to feed their families. These tiny businesses often generate enough income to enable their children to go to school instead of being forced into child labour or begging to supplement the family income.
As you can see the common theme through the Bangladesh projects is improving the lives of the children through education - not so different to the needs of children in the UK and across the world.
At Coast and Country holidays we realise that many of our guests are taking holidays with family and friends, something beyond the comprehension of these children!
We are asking our guests to make a small donation with their booking, so that these children can enjoy a happier, safer and a healthier life.
For more information on Save the Children, please visit their website. SavetheChildren.org