ACACIA’s history

The charity was established in 1995 and was registered with the Charity Commission under the name Action for People in Conflict (AfPiC) with charity number 1060894. The charity was incorporated as a company limited by guarantee on 18 February 1997 with company number 03320057. 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 charity’s 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 being supported by the charity did not necessarily live in a context of traditional conflict the trustees felt it was time to change the charity’s name and refresh its mission. As a result of this, AfPiC became Action for Children and Communities in Africa (ACACIA UK) in 2015. ACACIA UK continued to focus on education in Sub-Saharan Africa and supported, through targeted small scale grant making, grass roots projects that reached 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.

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 ACACIA’s work overseas. After a thorough due diligence process, the trustees selected Rafiki Thabo Foundation. By combining ACACIA UK’s income streams from shops and donors and expertise in disability with Rafiki Thabo’s broader geographical reach and well-established local committees of volunteer workers, we are able to help more children in need. In addition, by sharing administration and office costs, we have reduced overheads, leaving more money to be spent where it is needed.

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