Business Charity Awards 2016: Project of the Year - CBRE EMEA with Plan International UK for Girls' Education Challenge, Sierra Leone

For a scheme or initiative, either in the UK or overseas, that has successfully worked with a UK charity to help its beneficiaries

Lessons were delivered to girls by means of radios in a partnership with Plan International
Lessons were delivered to girls by means of radios in a partnership with Plan International

What was the project?

The real estate services and investment firm CBRE joined forces with the children's charity Plan International to become the lead corporate partner in the Girls' Education Challenge. The initiative was established to help provide education to more than 135,000 children, particularly girls in Sierra Leone.

How was it done?

CBRE pledged to raise at least £650,000 to fund educational improvements, including bursaries, better school facilities and vocational training for female teachers and assistants. The Girls' Education Challenge project is match-funded by the UK government, so every £1 raised by CBRE will unlock a further £9 of funding. CBRE staff also volunteer for Plan's awareness-raising work in the UK and sponsor children in Sierra Leone, and the company provides free property services to the charity.

Why did it win?

When the Ebola virus struck Sierra Leone and schools were closed in 2014, CBRE adapted its approach to help ensure the pupils continued to get an education. This included helping to raise money for and distribute 22,500 solar-powered radios so pupils could listen to lesssons. The partnership also helped to distribute 12,521 bursary packs to assist pupils with home learning and delivered 1,203 hand-washing units to help contain the spread of the disease.

Highly commended

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- Standard Life with the Prince's Trust for Get Hired!

- EMCOR UK with Ethical Property Foundation for Fairplace Award

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