Having taught English for NGO ‘Heart for Change’ and the Ministry of Education’s program ‘Colombia Bilingüe’, The Bright Kites Foundation was founded by a group of volunteers (Jess, Jamie, Jordan, Sonia, Hayley and Amélie) to inspire and encourage students from public schools in some of the toughest neighbourhoods in the country.
We want to give them the opportunity to practice their English skills in a real life context so that when they return to Colombia they are confident enough to apply to university or jobs which they think are out of their reach. Many of these students face daily struggles at home and in their communities but despite their situation they power through – we are in constant awe of their motivation and enthusiasm.
What we do
The Bright Kites Foundation offers Colombian students from disadvantaged backgrounds an opportunity for personal and academic growth. These students can only dream of travelling abroad and experiencing other countries and cultures - something many of us take for granted. Our aim is to send students from schools from the lowest strata neighbourhoods in the country to study English in a language school in the UK for a month.
Grant for each student includes:
- Flights from Colombia to London
- VISAS and specialist service from study abroad agency Extudia in Colombia
- Travel insurance
- 1 month English summer programme @ Bayswater College
- Food and accommodation with a British family
- Social programme organised by Bayswater (activities)
- Transport around London
- Spending money in London (souvenirs for family and friends)
- Resources (books, posters etc.) to take back to school in Colombia
We have put all our efforts in to fundraising for our 2019 programme and need a final push to make sure our students have the best possible experience in London. Unfortunately the wait for VISA appointments due to severe delays at the Embassy in Colombia meant that we were only given 3 weeks to buy flights for our students. This means that flights are almost double what we had anticipated - we have had to pay more and this has affected our budgeting elsewhere. We need your help to fund our two students' tube travel for a month around London, Sunday excursions and money for classroom materials and souvenirs to bring back to their schools and families.
Hamilton and Salomé
Hamilton and Salomé have dreamed about studying abroad since they were small. They have been brought up in neighbourhoods where parents struggle to make ends meet and the thought of leaving Colombia and seeing the world is something they couldn't comprehend before. Hamilton loves animals and wants to study Veterinary Science and Salomé has her heart set on being an international rights lawyer. These are two charming kids who want to make a difference in the world and we want to show them that their circumstances shouldn't limit them to aiming high!
Our pilot programme will be running in July 2019, bringing Hamilton from Medellin and Salomé from Pereira to the UK. During this month, these two teens will stay with British families and take part in the Junior Summer Camp at Bayswater College to improve their English language skills. In the evenings and weekends they will explore London and other cities in the UK. The students will record their experiences to take back to Colombia, enabling them to become language ambassadors in their school and positive role models for their classmates on return. They will give a presentation about their time away, bringing materials and ideas back with the goal of promoting language learning. We will then work with our partner study abroad agency Extudia in Colombia to help both students access higher education. Hamilton and Salome will also help us decide who will receive the grant from their schools the following year!
Both students are in grade 10 and this programme will facilitate their final year at secondary school, hopefully positively impacting their final English language grades and their opportunities for further education post-secondary school. Getting into public universities in Colombia is extremely competitive and many students don't have the resources to even travel to university or the guidance to apply for scholarships . They often end up in 'survival jobs' and the vicious cycle of poverty continues. With this project we aim to contribute UN Sustainable Development Goal no. 4 – “to ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all.”
We have teamed up with Colombian agency Extudia who are experts in study abroad travel and they will be able to advise our students and their parents about future opportunities for further education when they arrive home. This programme doesn't end with their trip to the UK - it is only the beginning...
With your help, we can show these students to strive for whatever their dream may be and show them that they have support even from strangers half way across the world. Please donate and help us make Hamilton and Maria's future's brighter!
Thank you for your support :)
Jess, Jamie, Jordan, Sonia, Hayley and Amélie