Country libraries and tertiary students are the winners from the National Backyard Cricket fundraising campaign

The LBW Trust recently distributed the funds raised during the inaugural National Backyard Cricket program, held last summer to country libraries across Australia and tertiary education projects in India and Sri Lanka.

54 country libraries across Australia have received funding grants which will enable these libraries to complete projects ranging from computer access for young people, to ESL classes, special needs programs and coding classes. Almost half the grant applications requested funding for technology equipment. Harvey Norman generously matched the funds raised for libraries during the National Backyard Cricket program enabling grants to meet the technology needs of 21 libraries. In total nearly $70,000 of grants will be distributed to country libraries working with our partner, Friends of Libraries Australia.

Here’s three examples of the work that is being supported across Australia.

  • At Wagga Wagga City Library in regional New South Wales was awarded $1,500 to expand its award-winning multicultural programs, particularly its Language Café. This program engages 60 community volunteers to assist new community members with conversational English classes three days per week.
  • At Kalbarri Public Library north of Geraldton on the coast in Western Australia was badly damaged by Cyclone Seroja on the 11th of April. National Backyard Cricket granted the library $1,500 to help rebuild and fitout the children’s and young adult section of the library with new shelving and display equipment.
  • At Australind Public Library in the Shire of Harvey in Western Australia, applied for $1,200 to purchase new computer equipment so more children can participate in their weekly coding club. Upon learning of the grant, branch manager Laine Brown wrote, “It is so wonderful to receive this grant as I know how much it will benefit our coding club kids.”
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Tertiary students in India and Sri Lanka have also been the recipients of the funds raised by the National Backyard Cricket program for overseas education. At a time when the pandemic has devastated the lives of so many in the Indian subcontinent, the support provided to the students, to support their education and relieve the pressure on their families has been invaluable.

There were 125 games of backyard cricket played during the National Backyard Cricket program, with over 320 donors helping to raise more than $125,000. The program was supported by cricketing royalty including; Justin Langer, Alex Blackwell, Ryan Carters, Russel Arnold, Alyssa Healy, Ed Cowan and Michael Holding.

We are proud to share another inspiring student story. Here’s some exciting news from Nepal.

Shreya, a long-term scholarship student, and recent tertiary graduate of Heartland College (December 2020) has been awarded a full scholarship to study Business and Accounting at the Centria University of Applied Sciences in Finland. She recently moved to Kokkola, Finland where she will soon begin her studies. Shreya has achieved so much. Here’s her story.

Shreya started at Heartland College in 2013 when she was 11 years old. She and her sister, Puju (8) were granted a scholarship to study there.

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She had a difficult childhood. In 2010 her father was killed on a building site. By 2013 she was living on the streets of Kathmandu with her sister and mother. They had no food or permanent shelter as their mother had no formal education, no job or income (and had not had any for over a year at this stage).

In mid 2012 she and her sister had been expelled from their village school because Puja had run away from a detention that she received for borrowing a pencil from another student without asking. Detentions were reportedly brutal in physical punishment and verbal abuse. The Heartland school psychologist found that the abuse they suffered at the hands of the government school principal and teachers was significant and very traumatising.

At the time that they joined Heartland College in 2013, a local hostel provided them and their mother with temporary accommodation and food, and a local hotel provided their mother with part time cleaning work.

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Shreya thrived at her new school. She became the first female in her family to progress past grade 7 and then to obtain a high school qualification (similar to Australia’s HSC) scoring an impressive 84%. She also regularly represented her school playing badminton and served on the student SRC council. Shreya was an inspiration to many young girls at Heartland.

After high school, with the support of The LBW Trust Shreya entered tertiary college where she studied Management of Business and Industry. She graduated in late 2020 with an overall mark of 87%. Shreya overcame the challenges of gender, low caste and significant poverty-based adversity to become the only female in her family to achieve a tertiary level qualification and now she is about to begin the next chapter of her life as a scholarship student in Finland.

We are delighted to share with you this wonderful story of achievement made possible by the high quality education at Heartland College and the sponsorship provided by The LBW Trust. Her amazing success is a reflection of her diligence and positive work ethic however it would not have been possible without the help of donors like you.