Manchester Action for Children (MAC) is a UK registered charity (1131368) and a Company Limited by Guarantee, working in the Copperbelt region of northern Zambia.
Zambia is one of the poorest countries in the world: sixty-four per cent of the population live on less than £1 per day, some 15 per cent of the adult population are living with AIDS and an estimated 1.1 million children are orphans (source Camfed.org).
In a world of inequality where poverty, disease and homelessness are the norm for so many, MAC aims to help orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) and their communities to create sustainable conditions in which they can flourish and where communities can learn to support themselves. Working with project partners on the ground in Zambia, our activities focus on the areas of water, health, education and microfinance.
Established in Manchester in 2009, MAC is managed entirely by volunteers. This means that all the donations we receive can be channelled directly into supporting the children who need them.
We subscribe to the World Bank’s 12 Principles for Guiding OVC Interventions, endorsed by the UNAIDS Committee in November 2001.
1. Strengthen the protection and care of orphans and other vulnerable children within their extended families and communities;
2. Strengthen the economic coping capacities of families and communities;
3. Enhance the capacity of families and communities to respond to the psychosocial needs of orphans, vulnerable children, and their caregivers;
4. Link HIV/AIDS prevention activities, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, and efforts to support orphans and other vulnerable children;
5. Focus on the most vulnerable children and communities, not only those orphaned by AIDS;
6. Give particular attention to the roles of boys and girls, and men and women, and address gender discrimination;
7. Ensure the full involvement of young people as part of the solution;
8. Strengthen schools and ensure access to education;
9. Reduce stigma and discrimination;
10. Accelerate learning and information exchange;
11. Strengthen patterns and partnerships at all levels and build coalitions among stakeholders;
12. Ensure that external support strengthens and does not undermine community initiative and motivation.
MAC is run on a day-to-day basis by the Development Team. Guided overall by our vision for the development of the organisation and its work, the team reviews objectives and monitors progress, implementing the strategies that have been agreed.
Smaller working groups focus on specific areas such as communications, fundraising and development of the projects we are working on with our partners in Zambia.
MAC Trustees are responsible for the sound governance of the organisation: meeting the requirements of the Charity Commission, Companies House and HMRC.
In consultation with the wider membership, they are responsible for the development and implementation of our vision and ongoing development strategies. The performance, standing and financial strength of the organisation are monitored regularly and objectives set for future implementation.
Our Patrons support MAC's Vision and Objectives. They act as ambassadors and when possible, help to open doors in a practical way.
Rev’d Kate Gray is one of the two founding members of MAC. She helped set up the charity when Joyce Chibungo from Zambia visited Wythenshawe and shared the stories and challenges of children’s lives there. Kate is a Church Minister in Wythenshawe and works for HomeStart, for families with under 5s. She is also a Director of Manchester Steiner School. Kate has two children under age 7. She is interested in grassroots community work, education and human rights.
David, a retired architect, is the second founding member of MAC. He has visited MAC's partners in the Copperbelt on three occasions. David joined the group to help establish its legal and charitable status and is currently the Chair of Trustees, Director of MAC (a Company Limited by Guarantee) and a member of the Development Team. His current focus is on assisting Trust Community School.
Richard has supported MAC from the very beginning but his work as an engineer overseas meant he was unable to contribute fully until his return to the UK in 2011. At that point he joined up with the team and is now Chair of the Development Team. Richard has raised thousands of pounds through promoting MAC to participants in charity events worldwide.
Barbara is a retired relocation consultant and translator. She started working with MAC in January 2010, helping to organise the charity's Launch event. She is now a member of the Development Team, focusing on admin. and HR issues.
Jenny is a permanent way engineer with a leading Manchester based consultancy. Since joining MAC’s Development Team she has worked on the development of a Communications Strategy and on preparation of the Newsletter. Jenny now advises on our social media profile.
Mike was born and brought up in Wythenshawe, Manchester. A qualified teacher and seasoned local politician, he was elected Member of Parliament for Wythenshawe and Sale East in February 2014. At the same time Mike became a patron of MAC, offering tangible support in a range of differing ways. In September 2015 he was appointed Shadow Minister for International Development. In 2016 he was appointed Shadow Minister for Schools and more recently, in 2020, he was appointed Shadow Minister for Aviation and Maritime.