July 28, 2021
Clifford Chance partners with The Sparkle Foundation
International law firm Clifford Chance has partnered with The Sparkle Foundation (Sparkle), an award-winning UK-registered charity, as one of its global pro bono charities.
Sparkle focuses on creating a future in which every community has equal opportunity to live a life of health and self-sufficiency in Malawi. Across the 17 villages that currently comprise Sparkle communities, the charity adopts an integrated approach that incorporates four main pillars: Community, Education, Nutrition and Healthcare.
Sparkle and Clifford Chance have been collaborating since the charity’s inception in 2015. The beginning of Sparkle's relationship with the firm started when teams of Clifford Chance staff in the Middle East proposed solutions to some of Sparkle’s biggest problems at that time, which included the need for additional dining and learning space for children in the Sparkle community, as well as offices for the growing team. This undertaking resulted in the most successful proposal being implemented in Malawi, (assessed by experts in the social impact field, in true "Dragons Den" style), resulting in the creation of an outdoor dining space that also doubled up for performances, two new classrooms built to welcome over 100 additional children to the primary school afterschool programme, and two offices constructed for the team on the ground.
Over a six-year period, Sparkle has worked to create a sustainable, replicable model and Clifford Chance employees from around the world have supported in providing over 1,500 hours of legal and non-legal support, as well as over 45 hours of training to Sparkle staff members, community members and children. Training areas have ranged from topics including governance, strategy, risk and GDPR, to sports and arts and crafts.
In addition to financial donations, Clifford Chance employees have provided office equipment, clothes, toys, electronic equipment, fans and a playground set, to help Sparkle build new classrooms, offices and dining rooms. Furthermore, Martin Waud (the Firm’s Regional Finance Manager, Middle East) and David Towers (Partner, UK) have joined Sparkle’s board of trustees as Finance Trustee and Legal and Governance Trustee respectively.
Sarah Brook, Sparkle CEO and Founder, commented: “We are thrilled and honoured that The Sparkle Foundation has been selected as a partner to The Clifford Chance Foundation, alongside charities such as Save The Children and the Autistic Society. It is a dream come true to see the small passion project trying to make a difference to a few lives now gaining support and recognition from one of the world’s leading law firms. We are excited to see how many more lives we can now positively change together.”
Gavin Goodwin, Clifford Chance’s Regional Chief Operating Officer, Continental Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “We are delighted to formally partner with The Sparke Foundation through the Clifford Chance Foundation. We have been impressed by the positive, sustainable impact the charity has made in Malawi and have enjoyed working with them over the past six years. We look forward to helping them grow and to seeing The Sparkle Foundation’s self-sustainable model replicated across new sites."