06 Dec 2013

Run Santa, run!

Running SantaIt’s that time of year again as we hear about our fundraisers up and down the country donning their Santa gear and hitting the tarmac to join the annual rite of passage that is the Santa Dash. One particular story caught our eye: fundraiser Jessica Jones is joining the swarm of Santas this Sunday to raise money for a charity set up in memory of her sister, Lara Jones.

Lara's Foundation was set up in April 2012 in memory of Lara who was killed while travelling in Cuba. The foundation’s principal aim is to assist in increasing English language capacity in communities overseas where such knowledge is essential to access higher education, enhance employment opportunities, and thus improve quality of life.

Lara’s Foundation is run entirely by Lara's friends and family so one hundred per cent of the money raised goes towards the foundation’s charitable aims.

A life cut too short

Lara had a vibrant personality, and a large group of friends. She lived and worked in London as teacher of English language at a British Council accredited language college. A dedicated and passionate teacher, she had a TEFL qualification as well as a degree in Linguistics from UCL. Lara also had a DELTA certificate. This is regarded as the highest practical English Language Teaching qualification you can obtain, and Lara had just been awarded a Distinction for her DELTA when she went travelling.

Supporting education in Tanzania

Jessica is raising money to support the foundation's very first project in Ndala, Tanzania. The project encompasses two aspects: the building of an early development centre and the provision of English language tuition to the local teachers.

Jessica declares: “Lara was a passionate teacher, so the aim of her foundation is to help low-income communities overseas to access education which, in many countries around the world, is taught in English. We are currently working in Tanzania.”

In Tanzania primary education up to the age of 14 is in the local dialect, in the case of the community the foundation is helping this is Swahili.

Jessica explains: “All schooling and college and university tuition after 14 is in English. Only the children whose parents can fund private schooling have any chance of further education. This is why the goal of Lara’s Foundation is to bring English to rural communities.”

The driving force behind Lara’s Foundation

Jessica believes the success of Lara's Foundation is entirely down to Lara - her enthusiasm for life, her energy and love for her friends and family is the fuel driving her foundation.

She said: “We decided to use MyDonate because it has the lowest admin fee of all the online charitable donation providers. It is important to us that everything we fundraise goes towards our charitable aims, and is not absorbed by overheads, salaries and administrative costs.”

You can support Jessica as she does the Santa Dash

Find out more about Lara’s Foundation on the charity’s website

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