Action for Children and Communities in Africa (ACACIA UK) works to support children living with disabilities and mental health issues in Sub-Saharan Africa. We believe that these children have the capacity and desire to transform their lives, and ACACIA UK exists to give them the opportunities that they deserve to gain an education, grow and thrive.
Our Vision, Mission and Objectives
ACACIA UK’s vision is that every child in Africa enjoys a high quality education that embraces their differing abilities.
ACACIA UK is lifting barriers to education for girls and boys in East Africa to enable them to reach their full potential.
- We believe in a world where children of all abilities and circumstance enjoy an education and embrace their own potential.
- We believe that it is unacceptable that less than 5% of children with a disability in Africa go to school.
- We believe that children with disabilities should have the right to be educated alongside their peers.
- We believe that children in Africa, no matter their circumstance or ability, should have access to a decent primary and secondary education.
- We believe that a child’s mental health is not a barrier to a full education.
- We help vulnerable children gain the education that is their basic human right.
Stand up for children
We stand up for the rights and voices of girls and boys with developmental disabilities and mental health issues, breaking down the barriers many face in gaining access to a quality, integrated education.
We celebrate diversity. We recognise that gender equality and disability awareness are fundamentals on the path to universal human dignity. We believe in increasing knowledge and understanding of developmental disability and mental health issues, and promoting acceptance, equity and social inclusion.
We believe in working creatively, embracing change and supporting innovation, while reflecting on past experiences to enrich and improve our programmes.
We respect and value each other; we thrive on diversity; we collaborate and work with partners, leveraging our respective strengths, to make a positive difference to the lives of girls and boys in sub-Saharan Africa living with disability and mental health issues.
We are accountable to our beneficiaries, donors, volunteers and partners. Every action we take is in the best interest of our beneficiaries.
Our Board of Trustees
Dennis qualified as a Chartered Accountant in 1976 and has since had wide experience working in a number of senior finance roles in international companies in the UK and overseas before retiring in 2013. He has been a Trustee for over twenty years for local charities providing services for children and young people.
Naveed is a monitoring, evaluation and learning specialist, with several years’ experience working in the international development sector. His work has taken him around the world, and has recently had a particular focus on microfinance projects. Most recently he was the MEL lead for the largest youth savings programme globally, and currently manages the MEL output for the Mastercard Foundation funded “Savings at the Frontier Project”. He holds a BA in Law from the University of Oxford, and an MA in International Economics, Politics and Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies.
Sagar joined ACACIA UK as a trustee in August 2016. He is a GP by profession. Alongside his medical work he has developed a keen interest in Global Health and Development, working in a number of countries including India, Uganda, Belize and more recently Cambodia where he helped run and further develop a Rural Health Program. He intends to continue combining medical practice with his interest in Public Health and community initiatives.
Lydia joined the board of ACACIA UK in October 2017 after becoming passionate about the organisation’s work in education and supporting children with disabilities. She has worked for charities in the UK and internationally, including VSO, The Children’s Society and now Unicef UK, and brings over 10 years’ experience of fundraising. She is delighted to be supporting decision making that means funds generated through our charity shops and other sources of income go to those that need it most.
The charity was established in 1995 and was registered with the Charity Commission under the name Action for People in Conflict (AfPiC) by founders Peter and Dee Tyrer. The charity was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 18 February 1997. The registered name with the Charity Commission was later changed to Action for Children in Conflict (AfPiC) in 2000 and this became the official name of the company.
For the first five years of the Charities existence it primarily promoted small scale short term projects both in the UK and overseas. These included:
- A program to provide school based mental health services to young refugee and asylum seekers who had experienced trauma in their home countries, helping them to settle in their new lives in the UK.
- Funding for ‘Pirates for Peace’ a project based in Northern Ireland which aimed to encourage and facilitate cross denominational relations by setting up a former naval vessel as a radio station for children.
- A number of small one-off aid grants were made to projects in Bosnia, South Africa, Croatia, Kosovo, Kenya, Sierra Leone and Fiji.
In 2003 AfPiC began working exclusively in Thika, Kenya forming a school feeding programme at a local primary school and establishing a legal aid programme. In 2004 the project expanded further to establish a drop-in and residential care centre for the town’s street children. In 2014 AfPiC and AfCiC Kenya, now a fully independent organisation and a registered Kenyan NGO with its own Board of Trustees and its own locally developed strategy, decided to bring the relationship to an end after establishing together some ground breaking projects and touching the lives of many thousands of children.
As the children we support do not necessarily live in a context of traditional conflict and it was time to change our name and refresh our mission. AfPiC began an in house re branding and re launched on April 1st 2015 as Action for Children and Communities in Africa (ACACIA UK). We continue to focus on education in Sub-Saharan Africa and support, through targeted small scale grant making, grass roots projects that reach out to children who have been left without an education as a result of disability or mental health issues to include and enable them to go to school and learn. We work for and with children and young people and do so in collaboration with their families and local communities to achieve a positive and lasting impact.
In 2017, the ACACIA trustees decided to seek another like-minded small charity with which to partner in order to combine forces to cut costs and increase the reach of our work overseas. Rafiki Thabo Foundation support various education projects in Kenya, Lesotho and Uganda. They provide scholarships to bright children living in poverty and have plans to expand their work to include children with disabilities. By combining ACACIA UK’s income streams from shops and donors and our expertise in disability with Rafiki Thabo’s broader geographical reach and well-established local committees of volunteer workers, we will be able to help more children in need. And by sharing administration and office costs, we will reduce overheads, leaving more money to be spent where it is needed.
ACACIA UK is committed to lifting barriers to education experienced by vulnerable children in Kenya and Sub-Saharan Africa and we hope that you will join us in our mission to enable all children, no matter their ability or circumstance, to achieve their full potential.