Where the money goes

7th May 2004 at 01:00
Sport Relief was created by Comic Relief and BBC Sport, and the inaugural fundraiser in the summer of 2002 raised pound;14.4 million for charitable causes. The money was split 5050 between overseas projects that combat poverty and UK schemes set up to alleviate poverty and disadvantage and bring young people together from different backgrounds.

"I know from first-hand experience the positive influence sport can have and it is vital that youngsters have access to it," says England scrum-half Matt Dawson, who has visited a Sport Relief funded project in Cardiff.

"On estates across the UK sport has a big role to play in getting people together and easing tensions."

Around 37 projects overseas and 50 organisations in the UK have received donations from Sport Relief. Here are some initiatives that have been supported by its fundraisers.

Within the UK

Breaking down barriers

FARE (Family Action in Rogerfield and Easterhouse) is a charity in Glasgow set up to resolve community problems and provide services for local people. The estate is in one of the poorest districts in the UK and is beset by territorial gangs. FARE runs a number of projects for children and young people, and several initiatives use sport to break down the barriers that exist between young people from different districts. The organisation provides facilities and coaching for a range of sports, including tennis, football and basketball, and offers coaching and mentoring opportunities for older teenagers.

A grant from Sport Relief enabled FARE to recruit an integration officer who has been developing stronger links between schools in Easterhouse and organising a mini-Olympics for primary schools.

Rosemary Dickson, the project leader at FARE, explains the impact that the Sport Relief funding has had: "There are 21 primary schools in Easterhouse and 17 of them are going to be involved in the mini-Olympics. This is the first time that anything on this scale has happened in this area.

"Without an integration officer this event wouldn't be happening and without the money we wouldn't have an integration officer. The money really has made a significant difference."


Overcoming differences

Racial tension between white and Bangladeshi gangs in Camden, north London, is being tackled by Fitzrovia Youth in Action (FYA). It was initially set up in 1997 to encourage young people to take an active role in solving their own problems. One of the ways in which FYA promotes racial harmony is by providing support for anti-racist five-a-side football tournaments, which local groups stage and organise themselves.


Bringing children together

Other UK projects include the funding of the Future Youth Games in Belfast and the Restart project in Cardiff. The Future Youth Games will bring together children from across the religious and political divide for arts and sports events throughout the year.

Restart Cardiff runs a mobile youth club on a double-decker bus in the deprived areas of Ely and Caerau in Cardiff and provides a sports programme that incorporates rugby, squash, swimming, weights and football.


Providing shelter

India's street children are among the most vulnerable members of the population. There are an estimated 200,000 living in each of the country's main cities. Some leave home because of poverty, and others because of family breakdown or the death of a parent. Many sleep around railway stations and by lines, and the Railway Children Federation (RCF) of India works to provide the children with shelter, food and health care, and a basic education. If possible, they also try to re-unite them with extended family.

Some of the money raised from the previous Sport Relief is being used to extend a shelter for young girls in Calcutta. Without it the girls are forced to sleep near the red light district, close to the station.


Giving families hope

There are about 200,000 child labourers in Peru, and in the brick-making quarries of Huachipa, on the outskirts of the capital Lima, children as young as three work alongside their parents. They start in the early hours of the morning making bricks by hand and as many as 20 per cent of the children working in the quarries miss school.

These families are stuck in a cycle of deprivation and poverty. They cannot afford to pay for an education for their children and they need the children to earn an income to help sustain the family. With no hope of an education, generations can find no way out of poverty.

Childhope UK and Proceso Social in Peru work in tandem to provide support for these families. Childhope UK offers financial support, training, technical advice and project management, and Processo Social works on the ground by offering free education for young people, and advice and support on work-related affairs and other social issues for adults.


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