Rotary Club of Belfast

Hope from a School Bag

Ray Dennison 2Guest speaker Ray Dennison, in a very well received address, spoke to the Club Monday 18 September about the work of the NI charity Ten Foundations in the Balayan region in the Philippines which, through a simple schoolbag, impacts the lives of dozens of women there.

The charity was set up by CEO Ian Campbell in 2012 to help the women living in abject poverty have a better life and provide for their children by giving them lifelong skills to help them earn money in ways they would otherwise be unable to. Ten Foundations buys sewing machines and teaches them how to sew and make high quality school bags which are then sold in NI and on their website. This then enables the women them to improve their homes and send their children to school, get an education and get out of the poverty cycle. The charity takes nothing from the sale of the bags as all income goes straight back to the livelihood programme in the Philippines.

Ray stressed that the schoolbags/backpack/rucksacks are very well made with high quality fabric and seaming and range in cost from £20-£40 and, because they are brightly coloured, the kids love them. They are mainly sold from their shops on the Lisburn Road and Castlecourt or online from their website, but they also visit primary schools and this year had a ‘pop-up’ shop in Banbridge.

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