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HSBC backs British Council’s kids initiative

Dubai, April 5, 2011

HSBC has signed on to sponsor a programme launched by the British Council, the organisation for educational opportunities, to support and develop children’s reading skills in and out of the classroom.

HSBC and the British Council’s presence across the Mena region will enable the “Kids Read!!” programme to reach over 55,000 children from over 75 schools in UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain, Oman, Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Palestine, Jordan, Egypt, Algeria and Pakistan, a statement said.

HSBC’s sponsorship of this regional programme is worth approximately $457,000, it added.

“I am delighted to see this new collaboration between the British Council and HSBC working for the first time together to support language learning for young children,” said Martin Davidson, chief executive of British Council.

“Giving young people access to English is a vital part of a child's education in a globalised world. I hope this is just the first of many such collaborations with HSBC,” he added.

The sponsorship funds will be used for several activities during the year-long programme including participating schools receiving specially selected books, workshops led by experienced British Council trainers, story-telling sessions in a community atmosphere and a Web-based competition highlighting the environment and financial education.

HSBC will also encourage its staff to participate in this cause by teaching reading skills to the children. Volunteerism is greatly encouraged at the bank, and in 2010 over 2,800 HSBC staff donated over 14,000 man hours to a range of worthy causes across the region, the statement said.

“We are committed to investing in the community with a specific focus on the environment and education,” said Steve Bottomley, regional head of Strategy & Planning and head of International - HSBC Mena.

“This programme will enable HSBC employees to make a difference where they live and work by donating their time and skills, and participating students will be exposed to great books as well as be motivated to learn to love reading.”

“We look forward to fostering an ongoing relationship with British Council to provide educational and cultural opportunities in our local markets,” he added. – TradeArabia News Service




Tags: Mena | Dubai | HSBC | Sponsor | British Council | reading | Kids Read |

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