We are proud of Ark’s international work.
Our school networks and education ventures are improving the life chances of hundreds of thousands of children. Our health programmes have saved thousands of lives and, just as importantly, strengthened local health systems. Our child protection programme in Romania has closed 38 poorly run institutions, changing the lives of nearly 5,000 children.
Throughout our work, we have drawn upon experiences and lessons from earlier programmes to inform our future projects. Through programmes like ASPIRE, we have gained valuable insight into effective techniques for teaching teaching phonics as part of a rigorous English language curriculum. Our ENABLE school vouchers programme highlighted the need for a step-change in education delivery across both public and private sectors to raise standards and expectations across the system. Our child protection work in Bulgaria was invaluable in providing evidence for our work towards ending the institutionalisation of children in Romania.
We’ve partnered with the social enterprise PEAS - Promoting Equality in African Schools - to develop a network of secondary schools in Uganda. These are designed to serve the disadvantaged, often isolated, communities who need them most. There are now 24 Ark-PEAS schools in Uganda, educating over 11,000 children. Crucially, these schools are inspiring governments, showing policymakers how they could change the lives of pupils elsewhere in the country.
The HIV/AIDS programme in South Africa is our first health initiative to be handed over to a local partner and demonstrates how our work continues to have a significant impact on the lives of vulnerable children long after we have exited.
Over the last 13 years Ark has been working with Hope and Homes for Children (HHC) to remove children from large scale institutions, reuniting them with their families or placing them in other kinds of family environment – so far reaching over 20,000 children. Sometimes hundreds of children are housed without sufficient care and affection in large scale institution – seriously damaging their life chances. With our support HHC and the Romanian Government are on track to reforming the whole childcare system by 2020.
Leading Educators works with experienced teachers who can offer crucial teacher leadership, but who may be in danger of stagnating or leaving the profession. By preparing teachers to lead as department heads, instructional coaches, and other leadership positions, the programme helps keep great people in the classroom. It also consults with districts, charter management organizations (CMOs), schools, and non-profit organizations, helping to raise achievement by improving teacher development.
Mozambique has the second highest rate of new adult HIV infections in the world. More than 1.4 million people live with the virus and an estimated 670,000 children have lost one or both of their parents to the disease. Our programme, in partnership with the Elizabeth Glazer Paediatric AIDS Foundation, is testing an innovative SMS reminder service to ensure HIV-positive parents, carers and children continue their treatment and stay alive. So far the programme has reached over 30,000 patients and is working the Ministry of Health to scale up the innovations nationally.
We are a founding partner of STIR Education, an organisation that reignites the spark in teachers and empowers them to become committed, skilful and influential changemakers. STIR works closely with partner governments and NGOs to bring teachers together in networks so they can contribute to a teacher-led movement to improve children’s learning. In doing so STIR seeks to help reclaim the moral purpose of teaching and its status as the most noble of professions.
Diarrhoea kills more children under five worldwide than HIV, malaria and measles combined. In Zambia, it causes 40 young children's deaths every day and accounts for 840,000 clinic visits and 63,000 hospital referrals a year. Parents lack knowledge of how to prevent and treat diarrhoea at home and a severe shortage of trained health workers compounds the problem; Zambia has only seven nurses for every 10,000 people, one-ninth the UK rate.
In Zimbabwe, many hospitals are ill-equipped and there is a shortage of doctors and healthcare workers. Because of this, thousands of pregnant women and new babies die every year. Since 2011, we've been providing hospitals with better equipment, as well as training health workers to deliver the urgent care that so many mothers and babies urgently need.