Wednesday, 04 February 2015 - 00:00
Cairo, Egypt

HSBC and the British Council promote volunteerism through ‘Kids Read’ 

Already in its fourth year, the renowned ‘Kids Read’ programme saw HSBC and the British Council in Egypt host a family event at Children’s Cancer Hospital Egypt (CCHE 57357) on Monday, 2 February 2015.  Over 150 children and their parents were entertained through vibrant storytelling sessions, arts and crafts workshops and other literary-driven sessions at the event.

‘Kids Read’, exclusively supported by HSBC Bank Middle East and developed by the British Council, is a holistic programme that delivers storytelling, teacher training, competitions, events and additional literary resources to children, their peers and their families. 

Currently delivered in eight countries across the Middle East and North Africa, ‘Kids Read’ sees volunteers offer their time, skills and expertise to encourage children to read for pleasure, both inside and outside the classroom. In addition, parents are invited to attend workshops designed to support them with nurturing an interest in reading with their children.

Ammar Shams, Regional Head of Corporate Sustainability, said 'We are very supportive of Kids Read. We’re pleased families at CCHE 57357 have an opportunity to take part in the sessions developed by the British Council and connect with each other through the stories told. We realise community programmes, such as Kids Read, depend on the spirit of volunteerism and we continue to encourage our employees at HSBC Egypt to get involved in this event and throughout 2015.

HSBC volunteers are trained by the British Council and get involved by reading to children and their families and support arts and crafts activities.

The Children's Cancer Hospital Foundation (CCHF) is a non-governmental non-profit organization established in 2004.  The hospital's main mandate is to offer quality care to children with cancer free of charge irrespective of their creed, race or ability to pay. HSBC Bank has been a loyal partner to support Hospital 57357 since opening.

We are delighted at the Children's Cancer Hospital 57357 to host for the second time Kids Read programme through our fruitful cooperation with the British Council and HSBC, which coincides with the World Cancer Day. For the second year in a row Kids Read programme help put a smile on the faces of the hospital’s children who listened to stories and participated in many other activities, and leave a significant impact on the children and their families.' 

Dr Hanaa Farid, Strategic Manager, Foundation CCHF 57357 

Children enjoyed participating in the various activities which highlighted the importance of volunteerism. The day included two popular children’s stories, ‘Say Please’ by Kate Tym and ‘Sharing a Shell’ by Julia Donaldson some fun hands-on activities. 

'The best way to help children grow academically and develop their abilities, self-confidence andawareness is to encourage them to read at an early age.'  said Jonathan Gayther, Director English,British Council Egypt.  “We are honoured to partner with HSBC, for the fourth year in a row, on the Kids Read programme which aim is to enrich the children’s knowledge through developing their reading skills which is important for both their own personal development and that of the Egyptian society.'

As the 2012 recipient of a silver Stevie Award for Corporate Social Responsibility Programme of the Year (Middle East and Africa), HSBC and the British Council are excited about this year’s programme. With over 5000 children in Egypt having benefitted from Kids Read thus far, yesterday’s event was a taste of more to come. 

The event was as well a chance to celebrate the World Cancer Day, which is marked every year on 4 February by the Union for International Cancer Control (UICC) to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection and treatment.  This year, taking place under the tagline ‘Not beyond us’, World Cancer Day 2015 will take a positive and proactive approach to the fight against cancer, highlighting that solutions do exist across the continuum of cancer, and that they are within our reach.