Friday, March 23, 2012
Raising awareness & funds for Asia Center Foundation at the Phuket Heineken International Rugby 10's
During 2005, when ACF started to investigate family circumstances after the tsunami, team members were shocked to hear the following from a child: “ I have been poor all my life and no one helped me. I wish my parents died in the tsunami. Maybe then I also could get some help”.
Education to the poor – it is the way out of poverty. How do you send a child to school if you don’t have enough to eat? After the initial help to tsunami victims, Asia Center Foundation (ACF) has extended help to disadvantaged families through the ACF Scholarship Program. More than 300 students received help so far, most of them for longer than two consecutive years.
The program expands slowly due to financial constraints and the current economic climate doesn’t help much. Despite this, the rugby community has been tremendous in supporting the program. The Phuket International Rugby Ten’s competition is currently the only event supporting the scholarship program.
Participating teams sponsor one or more children by donating during the rugby event each year. It only cost B10 000 (330$US) per child per year to help a child stay in school. This provides, sport and school uniforms, shoes, books and stationary as well as a school bag. Additionally children receive a small gift on their birthdays as well as at the yearly Christmas or New years’ party. Students also attend the rugby weekend in May and have the opportunity to meet their sponsors in person. Should they need assistance with transportation to school or funds to attend camps they can also make use of their funds if still available. No cash exchanges hands. ACF keep track of all expenses and sponsors receive a yearly report, thank you letter from the child as well as a financial report.ACF has recently decided to start a University Fund with the hope that some of the current students will make it to University as well. Any support towards the Scholarship or University Fund will be much appreciated. For more information on the work ACF does please visit the ACF website at www.asiacenterfoundation.org