Every summer, Reach Cambridge students band together to raise money - and awareness - for Sabre Education, a charity that works to provide education in rural Ghana. Students involved in the Community Outreach add-on learn project management skills as they collaborate on fundraising events. Then the remaining students, plus supervisors, staff, and even the townspeople of Cambridge(!), get to participate and enjoy whilst raising money to build brighter futures.
We spoke to Katie Coles, the Fundraising Manager at Sabre Education, to get the inside scoop about her time at Sabre. Here's what she had to say!
Sabre’s work is helping to remove the barriers that Ghanaian children face to receiving a quality early years education.
Why did you choose to work for Sabre?
I first joined Sabre as an intern in Ghana over four years ago now and I have never looked back! I wanted to work for Sabre as, even though it is a small charity, the work that Sabre does is making a huge impact on the quality of early years education in Ghana. The great thing about working for a small charity like Sabre is the variety of roles you are exposed to. In the four years I have worked for Sabre, I have gone from intern to Education Project Manager, to my role now as Fundraising Manager.
How does your work contribute to social justice?
Sabre’s work is helping to remove the barriers that Ghanaian children face to receiving a quality early years education. The early years have been proven to be the most important of all, laying the foundation with which children can successfully continue their education journey. The current education system faces serious challenges of access and quality, setting up children to fail and remain stuck in the cycle of poverty.
What has been the most fulfilling moment of your time at Sabre Education?
My most fulfilling moment so far was following the first cohort of teachers that we trained on our Fast-track Transformational Teacher Training programme. Over the two years that we worked with them, I saw their classrooms completely transform. At the start their classrooms were bare, children sat in rows and the teachers taught by rote. By the end of the two years you would not believe these were the same classrooms. Now they are vibrant, colourful and stimulating environments where the children are excited to learn providing the teachers with hugely increased job satisfaction.
Which campaign are you most proud of?
Our small fundraising team of just three people creates all of our fundraising materials and campaigns in house. I am incredibly proud of our ‘Steps for Change Campaign’, which was shortlisted for a Charity Film Award in 2016. This campaign was designed to bring together all of the amazing individuals and communities who raise funds to support our work. All of the footage was filmed by our fundraising team and brought together to make the short film around a kitchen table in Brixton! It really shows off all of the fantastic work that Sabre is doing in Ghana and the simple steps that are helping the youngest Ghanaians to receive a quality early years education.