Former State President of South Africa, FW de Klerk Honours EACDT
On Thursday, 15th January 2015, the East Africa Character Development Trustwas greatly honoured by the presence of the Former State President of South Africa and Nobel Laureate, FW de Klerk, who addressed an invited audience in the Pavilion at Lord’s Cricket Ground.
President de Klerk spoke of the needs of sub-Saharan Africa and its people and of the opportunities that lie within the continent. Africa is rich, he said, in natural resources and the untapped potential of its people. He sought to encourage investment in both, citing EACDT’s Pilot Programme – combining character education with sports development among school-age children – as an example of the type of initiative that can do much to help people lift themselves out of poverty by increasing their employability.
Before the President spoke, guests heard a passionate plea from the charity’s founder and Trustee, Derek Breed, about the need to do everything possible to lift some of the world’s poorest children, many of them orphaned by HIV/AIDS, out of a life that held little promise for them so that they can achieve their full potential.
In a witty address, recalling some of his early experiences as a teacher, Nick Gandon, Development Director of EACDT, described and explained the character development educational programme that lies at the heart of the charity’s work. “While EACDT aims to develop young people as cricketers, much more importantly, it aims to develop them as young people. It is developing them as cricketers by delivering a cricket development programme where none previously existed; it is developing them as people by overtly seeking to instill essential values and attitudes that combine to form good characters – enabling young people to reach their potential at school, at home, in their communities and in the workplace. EACDT aims to achieve these objectives by integrating character education into every cricket activity.” Mr Gandon added that “EACDT believes that sport is highly relevant to schools, including for academic attainment. Sport is an ideal medium through which to build character. If you build good character among young people, success in life will follow, both academically and in all other ways.”