The ‘not for profit’ BCA seeks to partner with companies, organisations and individuals in the wider African business community planning to engage or already involved in projects to improve the educational and subsequent career prospects, and more generally the lives and health, of disadvantaged young Africans.
The Africa Centre
The Africa Centre was formed in 1960 to provide a home-away-from-home for Africans in London, and to give ‘a taste of Africa’ for those visiting.
As a bright, welcoming space, the centre promotes social interaction, networking and dynamic experiences via its café, exhibition spaces, pop-up shops and meeting spaces.
The Africa Centre’s mission is the promotion of African Culture, Entrepreneurship & Innovation, Social, Education and Intellectual leadership.
Rianyoka Vocational Training Centre, Kenya
With a current enrolment of 79 students (49 boys and 30 girls), Rianyoka Vocational Training Centre is a community-level school started in 1990. It operates on land donated by the Seventh Day Adventist (SDA) Church in the community. Most of the students could not access post-primary education for various reasons, such as lack of school fees, failing exams, etc. Such vocational training centres, therefore, help provide the bridge that is seriously needed for young people unable to gain a place at university; instead, the various skills they acquire helps them find their place in the community. The centre offers training in tailoring, hairdressing, plumbing, masonry, basic computer literacy skills, motor car mechanics and welding.
This centre is located in a poor rural village in western Kenya which lacks facilities, hence BCA intervened, approving a donation towards the purchase of much-needed computers to be used by the students.
The Royal Overseas League’s Golden Jubilee Trust
For many years, the ROSL Trust has been supporting education projects in Commonwealth countries and, therefore, has a natural synergy with BCA’s focus. Interestingly, both institutions have a 60-year history.
In 2019, BCA and ROSL agreed to support the Mokolodi Wildlife Foundation in Botswana to offer disadvantaged youths a programme that combines conservation, environmental awareness, leadership and an understanding of world citizen responsibilities.
Zambia Society Trust
The Zambia Society Trust is a UK-based charity devoted to the relief of poverty, disability and sickness, the promotion of good health and the advancement of education in Zambia. Run entirely by volunteers, the Trust has been working for over 50 years to improve the lives and prospects of as many people in Zambia as possible, with a particular focus on children and young people.
BCA first supported the Zambia Society Trust in 2018.
In 2019, BCA received a further application to fund the university education of six students. It was agreed to disburse half of the grant in 2019 and to await progress reports from each student before disbursing the remaining 50 per cent.
On receipt of excellent progress reports on each of these students, BCA disbursed the remaining funds in 2020.
Zimbabwe Health Training Support
In December 2020, the BCA approved a grant to the Zimbabwe Health Training Support (ZHTS) to aid a mental health initiative in Zimbabwe. The ZHTS, which comprises UK-based Zimbabwean health professionals, has been carrying out volunteer health support work in Zimbabwe for a number of years and their innovative ‘Friendship Bench’ mental health counselling initiative has earned international renown. The 2021 project, which BCA is supporting, allows the ZHTS to scale up their work in mental health across the country. The project will include workshops, research and community interactions, and will conclude with the presentation of a mental health training documentary as a national educational resource. Zimbabwe’s health sector, and mental health in particular, has been severely under-resourced during the country’s long-standing economic challenges. The growing number of people facing mental health issues has also impacted national economic development and resilience. It is anticipated that the ZHTS project will have a real effect and will help to make a positive difference.