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Fiona Looney

The Cófra Project

- with Fiona Looney

Our newly launched campaign initiated by our World Vision Ireland Ambassador Fiona Looney in a response to her recent trip to see her sponsored child in Uganda.

Our simple objective is to provide essential learning materials to World Vision-supported schools, ensuring that every child has access to the tools and classroom materials necessary for a brighter future.

Together, we can ensure that every Cófra is filled and every schoolchild empowered to achieve their full potential.  

Fiona Looney

The Cófra project began with a seed of an idea planted in Uganda and, with your help, can bear fruit to improve children’s schooldays in some of the most underprivileged parts of Africa. Welcome to the Cófra Project.

As a World Vision Ireland Ambassador, I've been fortunate to witness firsthand the remarkable and inspiring impact a monthly donation can have on communities in need. I travelled to Uganda last year and saw how Irish funding is changing lives there – but I also saw how more could be done.

I was particularly struck by my school visits. Here, beautiful children in brightly coloured uniforms performed songs and dances of welcome and proudly invited us into their classrooms. I won’t lie: stepping into those spaces was probably the greatest culture shock of my sheltered life. So many smiling children crowded together around old and broken desks and benches in bare concrete rooms that, in Ireland, would be more likely used to house livestock than children. At the top of each room, a small teacher’s desk and the kind of worn-out blackboard that, back in my own school days, would have been next on the caretaker’s to do list to be repainted. “How many children are in this class?” I asked the teacher in the first room. 200, she told me.

They were keen to show off what they’d learnt and we watched them work for a while. They had very few textbooks and what they had were shared between six or seven bowed heads. Regardless, I was deeply moved by how determined the teachers were and how eager the children were to learn in spite of the significant challenges they faced.

I came away from the first school thinking of all the big problems and in the second one, suddenly realised how much the small stuff could make a real difference. I thought of my own children’s primary school classrooms and all the learning supports and resources they contained: I thought of the alphabet pictures on every wall, the children’s artwork and, in the cófra in every Irish classroom, an abundance of shared textbooks, art materials, educational toys and other materials. I remembered my own cófra and the smell of the mala (plasticine) and how much we loved learning with our hands because it didn’t feel like learning at all.

I left Uganda wondering if it would be possible to fill African cófras through Irish fundraising. In conversation with my World Vision colleagues, the Cófra project was born.

Our simple objective with this campaign is to raise much needed funds to provide essential learning materials to World Vision-supported schools, ensuring that every child has access to the tools necessary for a brighter future. These resources, including atlases, dictionaries, science kits and more, will not only enrich classroom learning but also empower children to explore, learn, and hopefully create a future of possibilities.

A donation of €1,000 could equip three classroom walls with crucial learning aids. As children engage with their surroundings, they encounter language that enriches their vocabulary and gives meaning to classroom materials, inspiring them to read, learn, and explore further.

Similarly, a donation of €8,000 could furnish six classrooms with thematic curriculum textbooks and learning resources. These books, written in the children's native language, will encourage them to delve into more information independently, fostering continued engagement beyond the classroom.

I firmly believe in the power of collective action, and that together, we can make a real difference in the lives of these young children and their communities. Your support, regardless of its scale, will contribute to building a brighter future for countless young minds.

To contribute to the Cófra Project and make a difference in the lives of young people who need our support, please join me with my fundraising efforts.

For a list of fundraising ideas and fun activities that you or your local school can take part in get in touch with

Or to sign up to fundraise today by clicking here.

Together, we can ensure that every Cófra is filled and every schoolchild is empowered to achieve their full potential.

With heartfelt gratitude,

Fiona Looney

World Vision Ireland Ambassador

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