Stories: Children, Communities, Futures

Educators always need fun and engaging activities for preschool, childcare and day care centres.

Charity fundraising events create learning opportunities for children of all ages, their parents and the wider community. They’re also  great ways for educators to get the class involved with the community, while complying with the outcomes of the Early Years Learning Framework (EYLF).

For centres that haven’t yet hosted a charity fundraiser, or aren’t sure what’s required for a great event, we’ve listed our top five preschool fundraising events to help you get started. So, let’s get fundraising.

1. Read-a-thon

Kids love stories! Story-time is an exciting part of the day for many children, hearing about faraway places, animals and other fun-filled tales. While the little one’s might not yet be able to read, helping them learn is a cause family and friends will be excited to be a part of.

For a preschool read-a-thon you’ll need to take a different approach. Instead of the children reading themselves, have parents and teachers read to the preschoolers.

What you will need: Create a scorecard for students and parents to log their reading time and the number of books each child has read.

How to collect donations: Have the children ask for sponsorships from family members and friends for each book read to them within a given time frame. We recommend two weeks.

Fundraising Tip: Have the children tell the class about their favourite story at your next news day as part of the read-a-thon.

When families in the world’s poorest places run out of options, children are especially vulnerable. Exploitation, trafficking and child marriage are among the dangers they face.

That was true for Patricia (pictured above), a teen from Zambia who dreamed of a happier life. “My parents had no reliable source of income, and most of the time we would go to bed without eating anything,” she says.

So when the older man whom she was dating said he would marry her and they would have a good life together, she thought her dreams might finally have a chance of coming true. Below Patricia tells us about her experiences as a child bride and how she left her marriage.


Why do child marriages happen?

There’s rarely a single cause for child marriage. In Patricia’s case, her boyfriend promised her gifts. He promised her money so she could buy the foods she longed to eat, such as fritters and sweets. Hungry and with almost nothing to call her own, Patricia was desperate to believe him.

That was how, at the age of 15, Patricia became a child bride.

She was taken from the safety of home, isolated from her friends, and cut off from school.


How do child marriages affect the child?

The realities of marriage for a child are often different from what is promised by the suitor.

“He said I would be very happy as his wife,” Patricia says.

“Living with my husband at his grandmother’s place was my worst nightmare.

“He stopped giving me money for food and told me to help his grandmother till the land, draw water and grow maize for us to eat … I missed playing ball games with my friends.

“I was never allowed to go anywhere, including school, as I was now a married woman.”

While child marriage is against the law in Zambia, parents and children are often unaware they are protected, or they feel they don’t have other options.


Child marriage in Zambia

The country has one of the highest rates of child marriage in the world, with 31% of women aged 20 to 24 years married off by the age of 18, according to UNICEF.

Key contributing factors include poverty and girls’ lack of access to education. The United Nations Population Fund found that girls living in rural areas of the developing world are twice as likely to be married before the age of 18 as their urban counterparts, and girls with no education are over three times more likely to do so than those with secondary or higher education.

ChildFund Zambia is helping protect vulnerable girls by educating families and communities about the dangers of child marriage and financially supporting children to continue their education.