ICEF Education Fund

Helping disadvantaged young people around the world to access education, assist their path to education, personal growth, and social involvement.

We provide support to promising educational projects around the world in areas where funding is either difficult to obtain or non-existent.

All Projects
Hands Across the Water: because we believe all children deserve a future full of possibilities

In 2024, ICEF’s Rod and Cathy Hearps are taking on another huge cycling challenge, journeying 500 km across Thailand, in aid of the very worthy charity; Hands Across the Water.

Hands Across the Water [Hands] started as a charity in response to the 2024 Boxing Day Tsunami and now supports 350+ children living and learning in 7 homes and projects across Thailand.

Hands not only provides the life-saving necessities for the kids in their homes, they also support many families in outreach programmes.

To support Rod and Cathy in this experience you can make a donation today to support these children and provide them with a better future.

Heart Children’s Home - Kenya

The work we have done in Kenya is focused on providing food, shelter, medical care, support, and education to local children.

In 2016, long-time clients of ICEF – French in Normandy (FIN) – participated in the Mongol Rally to raise funds for Heart Children’s Home in Kenya. The ICEF Education Fund supported their initiative by donating €2,000, which covered transportation costs for the entire journey.

The Heart Children’s Home organization, created and run by ICEF partner agent Julia Steiner, provides shelter, food, medical care, support, and education to 24 children in Malindi, Kenya.

ICEF’s CEO, Markus Badde said: “It is fantastic to see the ICEF community working together and supporting each other in charitable ventures. Education is the key to building stronger communities and breaking the cycle of poverty.”

Hands Across the Water (HATW) - Thailand

The goal of our work in Thailand was to help house and educate children who would otherwise struggle.

In 2019, ICEF’s Rod and Cathy Hearps cycled for six days, covering a total of 500km, ending at the Hands Across the Water sponsored New Life Home near Kanchanaburi, Thailand.

To aid this noble cause, the ICEF Education Fund contributed AU$ 4,200 on behalf of each organisation which booked a table or booth at ICEF ANZA 2019 in Darwin. Through joining the trip, Rod and Cathy raised another AU$ 10,934, taking the total contribution of the ICEF Education Fund to AU$ 15,134. In total, the participating group of riders were able to raise over AU$ 380,000.

Rod and Cathy personally funded every part of the ride along with the journeys to and within Thailand meaning all monies raised went directly to HATW homes and projects, without having to cover administrative or overhead costs.

ICEF Scholar Programme - Myanmar

Our work in Myanmar focuses on providing higher education students from disadvantaged backgrounds funding for one full year at university.

Every year, the ICEF Education Fund Scholar Program selects one promising Higher Education student from a disadvantaged background to receive funding at university for a full term. Bu, a Myanmar student, was the first beneficiary and received US$ 7,000 to finish a year of her Master’s Degree programme in Education, in Hong Kong.

The core values of the ICEF Education Fund have always been to support disadvantaged young people world-wide in accessing quality education. This goal is already influencing the youth around the world: in Jamaica, donations from the Education Fund, have helped the purchase of computers to aid impoverished children become literate; in Turkey, the support from the Education fund is keeping underrepresented girls at school; and in Uganda, our funding is helping young people become critically needed nurses.

If you would like to nominate a project or a student for the ICEF Education Fund Scholarship, please contact us at

La Esperanza Granada - Nicaragua

Our project in Nicaragua aims to provide disadvantaged children with the opportunity to pull themselves out of poverty through education.

76% of Nicaraguans struggle to get by while earning less than $2 per day. Children are often unable to attend school because their families cannot afford to send them. After finishing school, children frequently have to go to work to support their families.

Based in Granada, Nicaragua, La Esperanza Granada is a volunteer-led initiative which focuses on improving the possibilities of Higher Education for local children. Since 2002, this non-profit organization has been running donations, sponsorships and voluntary activities to provide secondary and higher education to the island’s most impoverished regions.

Thanks to the efforts of La Esperanza Granada, students who have finished primary school are able to advance to high school and in some cases even college, bringing realchange to their lives. Three students are sponsored by the ICEF Education Fund through five years of their high school education.

Caribbean Education Foundation (CEF) - Jamaica

This project strives to help children achieve computer literacy.

The success of children in today’s world is based largely on technology and the ability to use it effectively. Imagine how little possibilities there are for children without computer skills or being able to read or write. However, this is the harsh reality for many Jamaican children living in poverty.

A substantial percentage of 14-year-olds in Jamaica can hardly read or write and, for families who cannot afford electricity, having a computer is not a possibility. Under these conditions, it is hardly shocking that an average of 30% of urban youth have little or no secondary education.

Although these issues are disconcerting, they can be resolved. The Caribbean Education Foundation (CEF), whose Learning Centres in Kingston aim to support young Jamaicans with the tools and support that they need, is taking the lead. At these centres, local children can take part in free computer courses in a safe environment to complete their homework, and receive additional tutoring, especially in fundamental literacy and numeracy.

In support of this ambitious project, ICEF funded two new computers worth US$ 500. These computers will reshape the study and research of CEF students and provide them with useful computer experience.

Meet Kate Foundation - Ghana

The aim of this project is to provide important primary education to village children in Ghana.

The Meet Kate Foundation helps local youth initiatives in Ghana. They focus on providing children with quality basic education as well as opening doors to further studies and eventually to better job opportunities. The foundation’s academy is in Ekwamkrom and is made up of children of primary school, kindergarten and nursery ages. This academy not only provides education to 270 village children, but is also responsible for creating many job posts and reducing unemployment in the area.

Meet Kate continues to have a positive effect on the lives of girls in Ghana, and Abena an 11-year-old from Ekwamkromsaid of the project: ‘One year ago, I could not write my name. Thanks to the tutoring of the teachers and a scholarship I am now in class three. I am so happy and I love school’.

ICEF made a donation of US$ 1,500 to this project which funded five students with a one-year scholarship. This included the cost for their lunches, uniforms, books, and transport to school.

Bosana Foundation - Bosnia and Herzegovina

The goal of this project is to provide after-school tuition and activities for orphans and at-risk youth.

The ICEF Education Fund has proudly supported an afterschool education programme in Bosnia and Herzegovina, offering help to up to 50 children, mostly orphans, by improving their grades and quality of education. This programme, which is ran by the American NGO Bosana Foundation, offers additional tuition and activities for at-risk youth and orphans, helping them to improve their learning achievements, build healthy habits and empower them to make positive life choices.

The Bosana Foundation has a clear mission: ‘We believe in cultivating better educated and equipped young people to become active and self-reliant citizens in a country where they would otherwise be a burden to society,’ as said by its founder, Senita Slipac.

ICEF donated US$ 1,500 to the Bosana Foundation.

Plan International - Nepal

This project is focused on fighting the Kamalari slave system through education for Nepalese girls.

An astounding 40% of children in Nepal are impoverished and approximately 2.6 million children between the ages 5-14 have to work. Families living in poor neighbourhoods often have no alternative but to sell their daughters into labour, which ensures they get an ongoing payment for every year the child is working – often as little as US$ 20. The families are made to think that their daughters will receive education, but that is not the case in most situations. The only chance for a different life is for the Kamalari girl to be rescued, mostly by an organization. This results in the organization paying the family what the daughter would otherwise earn.

Even so, rescuing the girls just isn’t enough. To end this cycle, the Kamalari girls need to be educated. So far, Plan International has rescued over 3,000 girls, not just by paying their families, but also teaching the girls life skills, providing legal advice and enabling their return to school. In 2013, 523 girls rescued by Plan International have successfully returned to regular education, 86 girls graduated high school and 9 more have been enrolled in bachelor programmes.

ICEF supported this project by donating €1,035, which covered the expenses for higher education for 15 former Kamalari girls for 2 years.

DESGUA - Guatemala

The goals of this project are educating and empowering Mayan-Guatemalan youth.

While over half of Guatemala’s population is ethnically Mayan, a large percentage of Mayan-Guatemalans don’t know how to read and write. Mayan-Guatemalans face more challenges in the pursuit of their livelihoods and approximately 80% of Mayan-Guatemalans live below the poverty line, as opposed to 54% of the general population.

DESGUA, an organization started by returning Mayan emigrants, support the integral and sustainable development in rural Mayan communities. Some of their initiatives include offering free courses for youth and adults in order to raise their level of education, creating jobs, reducing emigration and revive the community.

With their effort and their own example, returned migrants have shown the positive effect that global experience can have on local communities and this is what attracted us most to this project. ICEF supported four Mayan-Guatemalan youths with one all-expenses-paid semester at the School of Community Organisers by contributing US$ 500.

Step Up - Russia

The focus of this project is providing tutoring and extra-curricular activities to Russian orphans.

In Russia there are over 700,000 orphaned children, approximately a third of which are suspected to live in orphanages. Such institutions are not capable of offering the same amount of support as a family would, and orphans areconsequently often poorly prepared to function outside the orphanage.

Step Up, an NGO based in Moscow, concentrates on educating orphans to help them overcome these disadvantages and develop valuable life skills and practical abilities. During lessons, teachers implement a programme developed specifically to meet the needs of this group. Step Up’s work doesn’t stop at educating, it also encourages the students interact with each other and the surrounding community through a range of extra-curricular activities.

In 2012, ICEF supported Step Up by donating US$ 3,000. This paid school expenses and provided students with access to the Internet. The following year ICEF visited the organization’s centre and met some of the teachers and students.

CYDD - Turkey

With this project, we are providing scholarships to disadvantaged Turkish girls.

A third of girls in Turkey are not able to go to high school. In many cases this is a result of poverty as many impoverished Turkish girls are forced to remain at home and help contribute to the household income, even without the cost of tuition being considered.

CYDD is addressing this issue at its core by offering scholarships to female students. These scholarships not only cover study costs, but also compensate the lack contributions made to the family by having their daughters out of work. This project offers scholarships to disadvantaged female students in their 7th grade for six years, allowing them to pursue their studies until graduating from high school.

ICEF supported this project by donating US$ 1,200, thereby providing full scholarships to three Turkish girls in need.

CEAC@DIGITAL - Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Our work in Brazil aims to provide IT skills and training to young people living in the Morro dos Macacos favela.

35,000 people live in the the Morro dos Macacos favela in Rio de Janeiro, and, like residents of many other areas of the city they have to deal with high levels of violence and crime. The CEAC@DIGITAL project, which is a part of the Recode NGO, provides IT training and infrastructure to the youth living in slums.

This initiative promotes the crucial social and economic growth of the Morro dos Macacos society, offering increased opportunities and internships to young people, in order to break the poverty cycle.

In 2011, ICEF contributed US$ 7,000 to support this project, which provided student scholarships, covered teachers’ salaries and helped in purchasing the hardware for the CEACA-Digital centre. The following year ICEF visited the centre and met with some of the students and teachers.

Seva Mandir - India

This project’s focus is providing children in remote areas of India with access to quality education.

The communities of Rajasthan have limited educational opportunities. This is caused mainly by three factors: economic pressure, domestic responsibilities and lack of facilities. As a result, one in three of the village children aged 6-14 do go to school and consequently do not acquire the basic literacy and numeric skills required to face the demands of modern life.

To resolve this issue, Seva Mandir, an Indian non-profit organisation, has founded educational centres in 583 villages in Rajasthan. The centres function in rooms rented out or donated by the villagers. Seva Mandir trains young women and men from the village to develop skills needed to educate young minds and then they teach the young children in their community.

Apart from learning basic numeracy and literacy, the children coming to these centres also learn good habits and get to participate in creative activities as well as excursions to the city, library and zoo.

ICEF contributed US$ 1,560 to this project which covers the functioning of two education centres for a whole year, with a benefit for up to 40 children.

Mayanja Memorial Scholarship Fund - Uganda

This project aims to help vulnerable youth in Uganda become qualified nurses.

The Mayanja Memorial Hospital Foundation (MMHF) has started a scholarship programme to battle two issues facing the local community in Mbarara, Uganda – the shortage of trained medical personnel and the large number of vulnerable young people, many of whom are war refugees or orphans.

In attempt to overcome these issues, MMHF partners with local communities to recognize at-risk youth with promise, who are then supported with up to 100% funding for a two-year nursing programme at the Majanja Memorial Medical Training Institute. Funding covers all of the education and living costs.

To support this innovative and functional use of education, ICEF contributed US$ 1,500, which enabled one student to complete a year of nursing school. We encourage our community to donate to this cause, as every contribution takes a student a step closer to a complete education and a better future.

Zimbabwe Rural Schools Development Programme - Zimbabwe

The goal of this project is to train teachers in rural Zimbabwe.

The Zimbabwe Rural Schools Development Program (ZRSDP) is a charity which seeks to improve access to education in rural Zimbabwe and to provide new infrastructure and resources by collaborating with schools and other institutions. ZRSDP’s goal is to get to isolated communities, which are not supported by the government or other charities.

James Herbertson of The Stay Club, UK, has been contributing to the ZRSDP project for several years, helping to raise funds and promote awareness. ICEF joined James to support this project and contributed US$ 2,000 to the ZRSDP. This donation has funded a training programme for 20 teachers from the Chidamoyo village. This covered accommodation, salaries, food, transportation and course materials.