A new initiative developed by the National Convention Centre Canberra (NCCC) is equipping children in orphanages and schools in India, Africa and South East Asia with much-needed materials, including satchels, backpacks and stationery.
Set up in February this year, the venue’s No child without a satchel program sees surplus materials from conferences and exhibitions collected and packaged by volunteers and then sent to disadvantaged children in a range of institutions.
To deliver the program, the NCCC has established a partnership with the Rotary Club of Canberra which organises the distribution of materials. Since the program’s inception, the Rotary Club of Canberra has made deliveries to an AIDS orphanage in Mumbai, India, and to schools in Kenya and Tanzania in Africa, and a school in China.
The initiative has also gained the support of a number of other conference and events venues in the ACT, which now contribute their own surplus materials to the cause, via the NCCC’s program.
Capital Football, the governing body of football in Canberra, has recently joined the charity drive, providing an instant soccer tournament kit to be included in each shipment abroad, comprising brand new soccer balls, sports bags and t-shirts for children to enjoy
Cindy Young, manager of the NCCC, said she was thrilled with the support the initiative has received to date.
“Surplus conference and events materials are generally unavoidable, so we came up with a way to recycle anything leftover in a resourceful and rewarding way, by donating them to children in developing countries. We have had a strong working relationship with Rotary Club of Canberra and it is safe to say that without their participation and support this whole initiative could not have happened,” Cindy said
“We are delighted to have the support of other organisations in Canberra, including Capital Football, who are keen to join the cause and add to the care packages.
“It’s great to share the rewarding feeling that these items, which would otherwise be sent to our recycling plant, are going to make a real difference to the lives of children in less fortunate countries.”
Gerard Brennan, President of the Rotary Club of Canberra, commented, “We are always looking for new partners to support us in our work and we are delighted to be working alongside the NCCC with their program. It is fantastic to see such a well-known venue take an active and practical interest in helping children abroad and hope it becomes the benchmark for Australian corporate social responsibility.”
The NCCC and the Rotary Club of Canberra are currently looking to extend the program’s reach to schools and orphanages beyond India, Nepal, South East Asia and Africa, as well as extend the scheme to venues throughout Australia over the next year.