The aims of Choko are:
- Build cohesion between communities
- Become an easily recognisable brand and be known as providers of good events and products
- Raise money
- Make a sustainable change to the lives of people in Ntwetwe, Uganda
- Continue to improve the educational needs of under achieving children in Kodumela, South Africa
What Is Choko All About?
In 2005 a group of interested people got together and they wanted to forge an ongoing link with a community in another part of the world. James and Bev Butler had been sponsoring a child in Kodumela through World Vision for several years and had been fundraising for the area following a visit there. After discussions within the Cholsey group, it was decided to make a link between the communities of Cholsey and Kodumela. World Vision agreed to set up a pilot project where the two communities could link together under World Vision’s management.
Choko is all about linking communities and one community helping another. Even though they are far apart culturally and geographically, it is people in Cholsey, South Oxfordshire helping people in Kodumela, South Africa to help themselves.
Although money is important, it is only a part of the support Choko offers. Choko members soon set about linking schools and churches, writing to individual people, sponsoring children and planning a visit. Although World Vision’s work in Kodumela has now come to an end, it is intended that Choko will continue to support the schools in this area.
Our new venture in conjunction with World Vision is to make a difference to another community – Ntwetwe in Uganda.
Does It Really Work………..?
Yes, it really does! Linking Cholsey and Kodumela allowed everyone, from the youngsters at pre-school to the more mature, to get involved. This included writing letters, exchanging school work and educational good practice, and fund-raising.
The links between Cholsey and Mamokaile School and Crowmarsh Gifford and Masekane School have been very successful indeed. Children on both sides will continue to enjoy learning about each other; work, ideas and information are exchanged regularly.
Individual donations always found good homes. Packets of pens and crayons, reading books, clothes and shoes have all been taken or sent to Kodumela where they were given to either the person or group specified by the donor, or the most needy as decided by the World Vision project manager in Kodumela.
Large fundraising events, such as the Cholsey Beer Festival, have meant that thousands of pounds have been sent to Kodumela to support projects there. These projects were mainly focused on helping people to start up or keep their own businesses going, helping to provide sustainable employment, and helping with health and nutrition challenges.