Our BBC Radio 4 Appeal was aired on 6th and 10th February 2022. The wonderful Amar Latif told the story of one of our scholars, Praise. Don’t worry if you missed it – you can still listen to it on the BBC Radio 4 appeal website.
So far, our appeal has raised over £33,000 which is an incredible achievement! We are using these funds to increase the number of scholars on our scholarship programme in 2022: the amount raised could enable us to fund the entire secondary education of 15 vulnerable children in Kenya, Lesotho or Uganda making a massive difference to their future life opportunities and enabling them and their families to escape the cycle of poverty they were trapped in.
Please note that if you would still like to make a donation in response to our appeal you will need to do that via our website rather than via the BBC Radio 4 appeal website as that defaults to the current week’s appeal.
Having a Radio 4 appeal was a huge step up in raising awareness and funds for our work and we really appreciate everyone’s generous support to the appeal so far.
It is quite incredible to think that during our appeal week, a staggering 1.84 million BBC Radio 4 listeners could have hear about Rafiki Thabo and the work we do enabling access to education for disadvantaged children in Uganda, Kenya, and Lesotho. This is mind-blowing and an opportunity second to none! Raising awareness of the importance of education to fulfil potential and realise dreams for those who would otherwise remain without is in itself a big part of our vision. However, we also hope that this exposure, that week and beyond, will help us raise significant amounts of money for our programmes. After the challenges to fundraising opportunities during the pandemic, the importance of this potential income cannot be underestimated.
Amar Latif was the perfect voice for our appeal. He lost his eyesight when he was young which had the potential to shatter his dreams. Amar refused to let his perceived limitation stop him however, and he went on to study abroad, become an accountant and eventually Head of Commercial Finance for British Telecom – proving to everyone who said a blind person could not work in finance that he most definitely could. He didn’t stop there though: deciding he wanted to pursue his dream to travel, he was again faced with people doubting his ability to do so. No travel company would allow him to explore the world as a solo traveller and so he set up his own: TravelEyes International, which teams up blind and visually impaired people and enables them to explore the world. Amar Latif is now a household name, having hosted several TV travel documentaries from around the world, appearing on TV shows such as Celebrity Masterchef, and is a much-favoured public speaker.
Amar is such an inspiration to our scholars and graduates, several of whom have already been in touch to share how his support has impacted them. Having seen our BBC Radio 4 Appeal social media campaign, Kenya graduate Ayiesa said he is feeling super inspired by Amar’s story. Ayiesa decided to read more about Amar, watched his TED talk and reports to us how inspiring it is for a blind child in Kenya to know that it’s possible to become an accountant even if they are blind! Ayiesa works at Kenya Institute of Special Education (KISE) and he has extended a warm invitation for Amar to visit them next time he is in Kenya. Wouldn’t that be amazing?
This will be the second time Amar Latif champions Rafiki Thabo, having first got behind our Rafiki Relay for Education challenge during spring 2021. We are so very grateful for his continued support!
In our appeal Amar Latif tells the story of Rafiki Thabo scholar Praise from Uganda who, like Amar, lost her eyesight young. Amar talks passionately about why he identifies so closely with her and her challenges and that his dream is that she too will be enabled to have a limitless future! It is incredibly powerful, we are so proud, and we cannot wait for you to hear the broadcasts this week!
Amar also recorded a very special personal message for us that we are delighted to share alongside our BBC Radio 4 Appeal. Have a listen to his emotional message, where he talks about how Praise touched his heart and why our work resonates so deeply with him.
To learn more about Amar Latif’s inspirational story and explore Travel Eyes International, please visit:
In 2020, like so many other charities, we found ourselves feeling that much of the fundraising activity and supporter engagement we had planned for the year would not be appropriate during the height of the pandemic, and as such we embraced the opportunity to spend time on opportunities that under normal circumstances we could not warrant taking the time needed to do them full justice.
One desirable high-hanging fruit was to apply for the BBC Radio 4 Appeal. As a small international charity, we were not overly optimistic but went to work ‘all in’ and early last year we found out to our absolute delight that we had been successful in our application!
During 2021 we worked closely with the fabulous BBC production team to mobilise, complete our script and very importantly, secure our ideal presenter. The BBC production team have been incredibly supportive throughout this long journey, and we couldn’t be prouder of the final result!