Our Small Grants Programme makes a big difference in the lives of children

STEMXX Nigeria is run by The Sapphires Development Initiative and supported by Theirworld

A look at this year’s recipients of Theirworld’s grants to charities and non-profits that help disadvantaged and overlooked young people in the UK and globally.

Favour Omoyeni has a long journey to her school in rural Nigeria – but her hunger for knowledge means she doesn’t mind. The 13-year-old from Oyo State said: “I love school because the teachers teach so well. I want to become a doctor.” 

Favour has been chosen to take part in a project called STEMXX Nigeria, which will educate and mentor schoolgirls to become advocates for science, technology, engineering and mathematics in their communities. She said: “I want to understand more about what I want to become in future.” 

Run by The Sapphires Development Initiative (TSDI), STEMXX is supported by Theirworld’s Small Grants Programme, which awards up to £10,000 to registered charities and non-profits helping disadvantaged and overlooked young people in the UK and around the world. TSDI is one of 13 grant recipients for 2022-23. 

TSDI’s founder and Executive Director is Olutomiwa Binuyo, who is also a Global Youth Ambassador (GYA) for Theirworld. There are another 25 GYAs among the organisation’s 163 team members. Olutomiwa said: “We want to get marginalised communities to turn out more female scientists and engineers – these girls can be drivers of change.” 

In Nigeria, only one in five STEM university graduates each year are women. With Theirworld’s support, TSDI plans to launch STEM Girls’ Forums in 10 rural schools in the southwest of the country. In each school, 10 girls will take a special curriculum and then carry out projects with social impact in their communities. 

I live in a one-room apartment - my father is a bricklayer and mum is a hairstylist. I want to gain more global knowledge from the STEMXX Nigeria programme.

Misturah, 12, from Oyo State, Nigeria

As well as TSDI, here are the other organisations chosen to benefit from the Small Grants Programme this year. 


Awaii Community Foundation 

Nairobi, Kenya 

A one-year project will teach vocational skills to 300 children and youth in vulnerable situations. This economic empowerment programme will include tailoring and dress-making, small business management and training on sustainable use of the environment. 


Blessed Life Foundation Uganda Limited 

Wakiso District, Uganda 

Empowering teenage mothers with vocational skills, with training in areas like hairdressing, tailoring, craft and IT. The project also supports financial literacy to allow them to apply for business grants, assists them in accessing health and legal/justice services, and provides academic resources for mothers and children who have missed out on education. 

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Chelma Advisory Institute 

Kisii, Kenya 

A project to improve the quality and availability of primary and early childhood education. It will include preschool classes in mathematics and English, Grade 4-6 English and computer classes, catch-up classes for children falling behind and nutrition education for parents. Extra-curricular sessions will include arts and crafts, dance, sports, reading, drawing, painting, collage and origami. 


Chinansungwi Relief Hand Organization (CHIREHO) 

Lunzu, Malawi 

A programme aimed at ending child and forced marriages by targeting youth, particularly girls. It will benefit 10,000 young people aged 10 to 18 and involves village and school awareness campaigns through talk shows, drama performances, songs, pamphlets and posters. The project will work with a wide range of school management committees, parent and teacher associations, village development committees, teachers and traditional leaders. 

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Edinburgh Direct Aid 

Edinburgh, Scotland 

The Scottish Education and Training Centre (SETC) provides vital access to education for Syrian refugee children who otherwise would have no support. SETC has 96 Syrian girls and 94 boys aged from four to 12  and 18 Lebanese children. Edinburgh Direct Aid pays for previously unpaid teachers, meaning they don’t need to seek work elsewhere and ensuring the sustainability of the school for students. 

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Khula Development Group 

Paarl, South Africa 

Khula’s mission is to help children in poor and disadvantaged communities who are at risk of dropping out of the school system. Activities include group and individual sessions, which ensure students are supported to remain engaged in school. It also conducts home visits to build trust with families and caregivers and to properly understand the context of learners at risk of leaving education. 

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MamaCare – Ghana Organization 

Volta Region, Ghana 

Aiming to improve the quality of maternal and child care at local level in rural communities. The project will train 10 community health nurses in basic maternal care, identifying complications, referrals and preventing mother-to-child HIV transmission, as well as nutrition, family planning, diarrhoea and malaria. The nurses will get kits of supplies and medicines to provide a year of healthcare for 500 mothers and 800 babies and young children. 

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NPO Think About Education in Rwanda (NPO TER) 

Kimironko/Gasabo, Rwanda 

The pre-primary enrolment rate in Rwanda is just 13.2% for girls and 12.3% for boys. To improve this, NPO TER will work with local government to support disadvantaged and marginalised children aged from three to six in areas where poverty is high. The project’s objectives are based on caring, counselling, educating and empowering children for a better future. 

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ReachOut Youth  

Greater Manchester, England 

ReachOut Club supports young people aged nine to 11 from disadvantaged communities through weekly sessions. Project Leaders run the sessions and adapt the curriculum to suit the needs of the group, monitor the progress of mentees and facilitate amazing relationships between mentors and mentees. During 2022/23, the aim is to deliver 14 projects across three boroughs, supporting 168 young people with almost 7,000 hours of mentoring. 

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Teapot Trust  

Musselburgh, Scotland 

This project supports children and young people experiencing trauma because of their physical health conditions. A professionally qualified and registered art therapist helps young people to explore their feelings, build resilience and develop coping mechanisms in one-hour sessions. Art psychotherapy has proven to be transformative in young lives, giving children a brighter future. 

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Unique Foundation (The Gambia) 

Serekunda, The Gambia 

Young people in The Gambia are finishing high school without knowing how to use a computer. Unique Foundation will expand on its success in building young people’s digital skills. The grant will be used for new computers, up-to-date software and to hire qualified tutors to grow the digital skills programme and impact more young people. 

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Worship Centre International Ministries Trust (WCT) 

Binga, Zimbabwe 

Back-to-School is an initiative by WCT as a response to children dropping out of school due to various reasons such as poverty, early marriage and sexual abuse. The programme aims to create a protective learning environment for the target group.  

Almost £1m in grants

Since 2004, Theirworld has made grant awards totalling nearly £1 million. Grants of between £1,000 and £10,000 are made to charities or non-profits at the discretion of Theirworld’s trustees.