FAQs

WHAT DOES COCO DO?

COCO provides sustainable sources of quality education to children living in poor and marginalised communities through our Schools for Life programme.  We currently work in Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda. See more here.

WHAT ARE YOUR CONTACT DETAILS?

Our contact details can be found here.

For enquiries related to marketing, communications, Team COCO or UK Challenge events email [email protected]

For enquiries related to COCO's overseas projects and operations email [email protected]

For enquiries related to UK operations and fundraising events email [email protected]

For anything else email COCO’s CEO at [email protected]

WHAT ARE COCO’S VALUES?

Our values are accountability, ambition, common-sense, social responsibility, honesty and integrity and innovation. You can read more about COCO’s values here.

HOW DO I DONATE?

If you would like to make an online donation, click here and donate using one of the methods outlined on the page.

Transferring directly into our account is the most efficient way for COCO, as we receive 100% of the donation.

WHAT EVENTS DO YOU DO/TAKE PART IN?

We embark on Kilimanjaro treks, golf days, balls, cycle challenges across Kenyan Maasailand, Great North Runs, UK walking and cycle challenges, and much, much more! See our full events listing here.

DO YOU HAVE PHOTOS OF THE WORK FROM FUNDRAISING?

Please feel free to get in touch by emailing [email protected] or calling 0191 261 7427 if you'd like us to send you any photos to help with your fundraising. You are also welcome to share our posts on social media to share our stories.

WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO MAKE A DONATION OR PAYMENT?

From our point of view, the best way to make a donation or payment is through a direct transfer into our account. It's quick, cheap and transparent! You can find our bank details here, along with other ways that you can donate.

WHY AREN’T YOU REGISTERED WITH THE FUNDRAISING REGULATOR?

Registration with the fundraising regulator is only available for charities based in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. We are currently in the process of signing up to the fundraising guarantee.

I AM FUNDRAISING FOR COCO, ARE THERE ANY RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO HELP ME?

Thank you for fundraising for COCO! Please get in touch with us at any time to ask for advice and tell us your story, and we will share it with our supporters and followers to help boost your fundraising efforts.

You can find out how to set up an online fundraising page on Virgin Money Giving here, and download a sponsorship form to collect offline donations here.

Look in our fundraising hall of fame for some inspiration of the exciting ways other supporters have raised money for COCO.

WHY DO YOU RECOMMEND VIRGIN MONEY GIVING?

Online fundraising platforms are a great way of easily raising sponsorship from friends and family, however they cost COCO a small fee to use.

Virgin Money Giving is not-for-profit, so is significantly cheaper than Just Giving. We recommend you fundraise using Virgin Money Giving so that more of your fundraising efforts and your sponsors' kind donations come to COCO and make a difference overseas.

WHY DOES COCO FOCUS ON EDUCATION?

COCO began focusing on education as it was initially founded in response to the devastating conflict in Bosnia. One of COCO's co-founders, Jim Panton, was serving in the British military in Bosnia and witnessed local communities struggling to rebuild their lives first hand. It was decided that investment in education was essential to ensuring that such a situation would not arise again.

As COCO grew as an organisation, the focus increasingly became on poverty alleviation in stable countries. In such an environment it was also decided that education was particularly important. Nelson Mandela famously said 'education is the strongest weapon you can use to change the world'. By educating children in East Africa, we believe that children will be have the skills and knowledge they need to be able to lift themselves, their families and their communities out of poverty.

WHICH AREAS DO YOU COVER?

We provide help to organisations in Tanzania, Kenya, and Uganda.

CAN I SPONSOR A CHILD?

COCO doesn’t offer child sponsorship programmes for several reasons; they are unsustainable, expensive to administer and can often cause more harm than good.

Sponsoring a child for, say, three years achieves very little unless you sponsor the child for a fourth year. There is no end in sight and the process promotes dependence, which COCO tries to discourage. Sending correspondence between students is expensive and time consuming, and can sometimes alienate children from their families and communities.

Instead, COCO’s programmes seek to help communities to help themselves and place a great emphasis on sustainability. One of the ways in which we do this is through our Food for Fees programme, growing vegetables in a food forest which are sold to generate income for the school so fees can be kept low for poor families.  Another way is by providing parents with small loans and sustainable agriculture training so that they can increase their own income, empowering parents to be able to contribute towards fees themselves.

WHAT DO YOU TEACH IN SCHOOLS?

Many young people have insufficient skills relevant to helping them to find employment. This not only results in high unemployment for young people, but also means that the economy cannot grow as fast without the talent of young people.

Schools for Life promote group debate and participation, as well as training in vocational skills, nurturing curiosity, equality and an entrepreneurial spirit; helping children to reach their full potential; and giving them the best possible preparation for the future. As well as this, students are taught in accordance with the national curriculum so that they have relevant academic qualifications when leaving schools.

HOW DO I APPLY TO BE A VOLUNTEER?

Please fill in the application form which can be found here.

DO YOU OFFER VOLUNTEERING PLACEMENTS OVERSEAS?

Yes and no. If you’re thinking of volunteering by painting and helping to build classrooms then COCO doesn’t offer placements of this nature. We employ local contractors to do this work and voluntary placements would restrict the opportunity for these contractors to generate income.

We do offer limited placements for individuals with key skills; generally to experienced teachers or researchers. For example, we welcome qualified teachers who are keen to pass on innovative teaching methods to the teachers employed in our Schools for Life.

WHY DO YOU WORK OVERSEAS? DOESN’T CHARITY START AT HOME?

Many people in the UK are in great need, which COCO recognises. Many COCO staff members, supporters and trustees also choose to support causes in the UK as well as COCO’s work overseas.

COCO chooses to work overseas as we believe in global equality and that all children should have an equal opportunity to be educated so that they can make informed choices and develop skills for a bright future.

We’re living in an increasingly small world and it is becoming increasingly difficult to separate issues overseas from those experienced in the UK. The ongoing refugee crisis demonstrates that the impact of poverty and conflict in one area can spread across the globe.

DID YOU COLD CALL ME?

No. As an organisation we stand strongly against practices which pressure people into donating. We never cold call, buy from or sell data to third parties, and we compliant with data protection rules.

One of our wonderful volunteers summed up our attitude to fundraising better than we could ever hope to; "COCO has mastered the most incredible approach to work; it inspires people to give instead of forcing them."

WHY CAN’T I FIND YOU ON THE CHARITY COMMISSION WEBSITE?

COCO is a Scottish registered charity (SC030428), so we are registered with OSCR rather than the charity commission. You can find us here.

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