Last Saturday, 5 September, HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd. and the British Council celebrated the success of the ‘Kids Read’ programme at the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation, Aswan Heart Centre. ‘Kids Read’ has been encouraging children in 24 schools to take up reading as a pleasurable activity inside and outside the classroom over the past four years. Over 6,000 children and 700 teachers participated in this exciting programme in Egypt alone. The programme is supported exclusively by HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd and developed by the British Council, and has been delivered in nine countries in the MENA region.
Jonathan Gayther, Director English, British Council, Egypt, expressed his delight at the success of the work and the commitment of HSBC volunteers. As a result, he said, hundreds of children and parents across the country have acquired a broad set of life skills that will serve them and their communities.
The success of ‘Kids Read’ has led to further cooperation between HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd and the British Council. They are now launching a new partnership called the ‘Taqaddam’, literally Progress, programme which aims at increasing the aspirations of young people between 15 and 16 in nine MENA countries, and raising their self confidence and self-esteem. It will combine online learning with practical interactive face-to-face workshops for teachers and participants, with an exciting inter-school competition that completes the programme. It should help the participants to be better prepared for the transition from school into adult life and the choices they will be faced with. ‘
Jacques-Emmanuel Blanchet, Deputy Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, HSBC Bank Egypt said: “Our partnership with the British Council delivering Kids Read continues to be a great success. The programme supports our primary corporate sustainability objectives, around education and the environment, as we believe strongly that education is crucial to the development and prosperity of a country.”
As well as supporting the programme financially, HSBC Bank Middle East Ltd encouraged its staff to support community events through its volunteer programme. Staff from different departments across HSBC Bank Egypt, and from the Aswan Heart Centre, were involved in delivering storytelling sessions, arts and crafts activities and took an active role throughout, engaging both with children, their parents and the teachers of participating schools.
“Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation would like to thank British Council in Egypt and HSBC for this outstanding initiative, ‘Kids Read’ that will help us touch more hearts than ever imagined’”, said Anissa Hassouna, Executive Director of the Magdi Yacoub Heart Foundation.
8 September 2015