Press Releases 2002 Special Commendations

Worldaware Business Awards special commendations and runnersup

The judges in the Worldaware Business Awards selected two projects to receive special commendations: the Aga Khan University, Pakistan and GVM from India.

The Aga Khan University Centre for English Language

Pakistani schools are short of trained teachers and often use obsolete teaching methods. The Aga Khan University, established in Karachi in 1980, found it necessary to offer teaching in English to its student nurses and employees. For this purpose, it set up the Centre for English Language.

For many girls from remote villages, the School of Nursing at the AKU offers a first step to a better future but they arrive with little English. The Centre for English Language gives them a 17-week intensive course and introduces them to its innovative Self-Access Centre where they can work at their own pace.

There is an intensive English language course specifically designed for teachers from Pakistan, Central Asia and Africa who, after obtaining their Masters in Education, train colleagues back in their schools. And there are courses for university employees who need English for their jobs.

Gujarati Vichar Manch (GVM)

Gujarati Vichar Manch is a Gujarati cultural organisation based in Mumbai (Bombay), a city where most people speak Marathi. It is not a wealthy organisation - it relies entirely on membership fees. But it soon decided that, to keep the Gujarati language thriving in Mumbai, it needed to encourage the teaching of English in Gujarati schools. Parents saw English as the key to wider opportunity.

Following a survey among parents in 1998, GVM discovered that children in Gujarati schools started to learn English later than pupils in other schools. GVM set up a four-day workshop for 63 teachers from 27 schools, encouraging them first to get pupils to listen to English, then speak it, then read it and write it. Other workshops followed and teachers formed a core group to continue meeting and learning. Further workshops covered English pronunciation problems, the planning of lessons and also looked at two wider problems: child abuse and the difficulties of slow learners.

Runnerup: Trade Partners UK Award for Small Business in Africa - The Day Chocolate Company

The Day Chocolate Company was set up in 1998 at the initiative of Kuapa Kokoo, a Ghanaian cocoa growers' co-operative to use its cocoa to produce chocolate which could compete in the mainstream chocolate market in Britain. It makes Divine chocolate and Dubble bars which are sold in 5000 shops, including all high street supermarkets.

For Kuapa Kokoo growers, the most dramatic benefit from their Fairtrade sales has been investment in community projects: a health scheme, 96 hand-dug wells, several corn mills with palm-oil extraction machines, and money for new enterprises run by women.

Runnerup: Worldaware Award for No-for-Profit Organisations - Africa Foundation

The Africa Foundation works with impoverished people living in and around conservation areas in Africa, helping form partnerships between them and conservation initiatives. It was set up by Conservation Corporation Africa as a central pillar of its mission and has built and equipped clinics, classrooms and pre-schools. It also now works outside South Africa, in Zanzibar and in villages around the Serengeti Park and the Masaai Mara, on the Kenya/Tanzania frontier. Communities are increasingly seeking the AF's help in securing a stake in conservation areas and the Africa Foundation offers loans for small enterprises.

For further information:
Worldaware: Helen Triggs 020 7603 8574 Sally Canty 02380 283255

Note to editors

Worldaware is a UK charity which aims to promote the widest understanding of global development issues, their importance and the interdependence of today's world.

The Worldaware Awards recognise both large and small businesses and institutions. They were established 14 years ago and have become a sought after source of recognition by companies, organisations and institutions involved in sustainable commercial and educational projects.