Naomi Campbell of Fields of Life addresses BFSS Annual Conference 2023

Conference hears of inspiring projects to break barriers to learning

The projects included an app on learning through play; male action groups to lead behaviour change; and a project to support school-leavers with disabilities.

Charities showcased their inspiring projects to overcome barriers to learning at BFSS Annual Conference last month. In an energising afternoon session we heard from five organisations in our Solutions Showcase:

  • Seenaryo – The Seenaryo Playkit: Transforming Early Childhood Education showcased their app to help teachers with activities to engage refugee children in learning through play.
  • Fields of Life – Tackling gender-based violence in Uganda talked about the creation of male action groups to lead behaviour change leading to a 65-85% rise in school enrolment particularly for girls.
  • Advantage Africa – Focused on school transitions to help learning disabled young people as they leave school, in Overcoming the Disability Barrier in Kenya
  • Asylum Welcome – The Schools Advocacy Project helping refugees and asylum seekers to access support in Oxfordshire.
  • Money for Madagascar – Overcoming barriers to education in rural Madagascar with new schools, teacher training, resources and more.

Delegates and observers then discussed and shared further ideas and potential solutions in workshops.

It followed a morning which framed the day with powerful testimony on the barriers faced by young people. Ahmad Masood Amer, Afghanistan Project Manager for HealthProm talked about the growing barriers faced there by young women. Agnes Mirembe, CEO of Action for Rural Women’s Empowerment spoke of challenges including the Ugandan school with 1,000 pupils and only eight teachers. BFSS Trustee John Kanyaru spoke about the poverty that kept him from school when his family could not pay the fees. And care experienced young person Kerry shared her shocking story of being moved between different care homes in England, many miles apart, making it hard to even get to her school. The work of charities, allied with the impressive spirit of young people, can make a huge a difference: Kerry now works for Opportunity Sports Foundation, who said having care leavers on staff had transformed their ability to relate to young people who often have the greatest need.

It was great to see so many of you at the Conference and we really appreciated your understanding when we had to rearrange the date due to late notice of a rail strike in May. We hope those who could not join us for the new date are able to access the presentations and notes of discussions in our BFSS Forum online.

Published: 13 July 2023