Grassroots Review

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Young girls participating in Asociación AMA's soccer program.

Global Fund for Children Newsletter

Global Fund for Children supporters stay connected to the cause of children’s rights through our monthly newsletter, Grassroots Review. Each issue highlights dynamic work empowering children and youth through local partnerships and capacity development.

Through Grassroots Review, you’ll get news fresh from the field and stories of extraordinary heroes who are making lasting change locally and globally.

 

Sign up today.

January 2023

Current Issue

Nurturing and celebrating leadership everywhere

Young Visionary Leaders Ghana is coaching kids to become leaders and activists through debate competitions and school club activities. As we commemorate one year of GFC’s Partnership to Educate All Kids (PEAK) initiative, supported by the LEGO Foundation, learn more about how this PEAK partner is fostering learning by employing innovative education techniques.

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Past Issues

2022

Happy holidays from all of us at GFC!

December

This was a year like no other for Global Fund for Children. We supported youth around the world to make decisions and create change, grew new global initiatives, and provided emergency support to our partners facing conflicts and crises. Your support has made all this possible. THANK YOU! Learn more by watching our 2022 recap video here.

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Healing through theater, an impactful summit & a prestigious award

November

Children and young people continue to face the impacts of the war in Ukraine. Harnessing the power of theater and the arts, GFC Spark Fund partner Theatre of Contemporary Dialogue (TCD) is helping children cope with trauma while providing them with safe spaces to learn and play. Read more about how this youth-led organization is using the arts to bring healing amidst the war.

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Working together to empower children and youth

October

The collapse of the Afghan government and the return of Taliban rule have left hundreds of thousands of girls in Afghanistan with little to no access to education. GFC partner Afghan Institute of Learning (AIL) – which has worked for nearly three decades to increase access to education – stepped in with an innovative solution. Read how AIL is ensuring Afghan youth can continue their studies.

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Sparking change across the globe

September

Sparking change across the globe

In Bangladesh, GFC partners Utsho Bangladesh and Shusamaj Foundation are working to address the root causes of child exploitation. They use different approaches but one common platform – local communities. Learn how both organizations are building a safer future for children by harnessing the power of strong and connected communities.

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Inspiration from Guinea to Ukraine

August

Inspiration from Guinea to Ukraine

In Uzhhorod, Ukraine, children who fled their homes due to the war are finding academic support and a sense of community at Inspiration Cafe. This in-person educational hub, created by GFC partner Lyceum Educator, offers kids classes, sports, and psychological support. Learn more about the project in this blog written by the Lyceum Educator team with help from the young people at Inspiration Cafe.

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Creating safe spaces for Ukrainian children

July

Supporting kids from Moldova to Sierra Leone

Shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine, Informal Education Center “Diversity” opened a youth center for Ukrainian children seeking refuge in neighboring Moldova. With the help of an emergency grant from GFC, the organization is providing art therapy and other types of psychological support to children and teens impacted by the war. Read more about how this GFC partner is supporting Ukrainian children and their parents.

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A new youth-led girls’ summit

June

“A new youth-led girls’ summit”

Last month, we told you about the first West Africa Adolescent Girls Summit, which more than 100 young people from Liberia and Sierra Leone attended in April. Now, we’re excited to share a video in which youth participants reflect on what they learned at the summit and their goals related to gender equity, comprehensive sexuality education, and ending gender-based violence. Check out the video and learn more about the summit.

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Building dreams & amplifying youth voices

May

“Building dreams & amplifying youth voices”

Avani, one of GFC’s 2020 Courage Award winners, is using a new approach to building community support for gender equality. The organization, which works with children and youth at risk of being trafficked, has started engaging local communities in dream-building activities to explore shared hopes for gender equality. Learn more about Avani and stay tuned for the announcement of the 2022 Courage Award winners on June 1!

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Ukraine response, partner feedback & a growing team

April

“Ukraine response, partner feedback & a growing team”

For families fleeing areas under attack by Russian forces, getting to the relative safety of western Ukraine is only the beginning of a long and difficult journey. That’s why Youth Organization STAN is providing food and information to internally displaced children and families, as well as inclusive shelters that welcome everyone. Read more about how this GFC partner is providing much-needed humanitarian aid and preparing to meet longer-term needs.

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Protecting children in Ukraine

March

“Protecting children in Ukraine”

Before the war, many of GFC’s local partners in Ukraine supported orphans or children with disabilities. Now, they are also providing humanitarian aid: evacuating children; distributing basic necessities like food, medicine, and fuel; and doing everything they can to keep young people safe. Read more about one GFC partner’s harrowing evacuation from Kyiv to Riga, Latvia with a group of children with disabilities.

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Empowering youth through dance and storytelling

February

“Empowering youth through dance and storytelling”

When he was 14, Juan Enamorado – who goes by JC Rock – moved to one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in Honduras. There, he was introduced to break dancing and to other teenagers who wanted to create change. JC Rock’s experience inspired him to co-found Warriors Zulu Nation Honduras to provide young people with a safe place to express themselves. Learn more about JC Rock’s journey and how his organization is empowering youth through urban arts.

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Artivism, inspiration & new ideas

January

“Artivism, inspiration & new ideas”

In 2015, GFC partner Voces Mesoamericanas Acción con Pueblos Migrantes inaugurated the Migrant Museum – an interactive space that showcases the artwork of migrant Indigenous children and youth. Since then, the museum has encouraged hundreds of young people to express their dreams, hopes, and fears through art, and it has shared their stories with communities around the world. Find out more about the museum and explore some of the artwork.

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2021

Happy holidays from all of us at GFC!

December

“Happy holidays from all of us at GFC!”

Over the past year, Global Fund for Children stood up for children and youth around the world. We invested in life-changing local programs and championed change in new ways. Thank you for supporting our work.

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Supporting youth-led social change

November

“Supporting youth-led social change”

We’re thrilled to announce that GFC and the Avast Foundation have launched the Spark Fund, a new fund to support youth-led and youth-focused groups around the world! Through a participatory grantmaking process, regional youth panels will make funding decisions using a unique technology platform. Learn more about the Spark Fund and how you can get involved.

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Discovering the magic of education

October

“Discovering the magic of education ”

When Sheyla first encountered GFC partner the Nicaraguan Resource Center (CREA), her family was struggling due to the loss of Sheyla’s father. CREA – which provides educational programs for children and adolescents – transformed the trajectory of Sheyla’s life by fostering her love of learning. Read more about Sheyla’s journey with CREA and her plans for the future.

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Cross-border collaboration, leadership & power shifts

September

“Cross-border collaboration, leadership & power shifts ”

GFC partners Asociación Pop No’j in Guatemala and Arpan in India first met in 2017 through an initiative that brought together local leaders from around the world. Since then, they have collaborated to educate children, caregivers, and teachers on child sexual abuse prevention. Learn about their recent projects, including an online course for children, and why they believe more organizations should embrace cross-border collaboration.

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Migrant rights, partner feedback, and youth leadership

August

“Migrant rights, partner feedback, and youth leadership”

In order to defend the rights of refugees in Croatia, staff from the Centre for Peace Studies have defied threats. Their work helping refugees request asylum and denouncing human rights violations has made them the target of police intimidation. Learn more about how this GFC partner supports migrants and refugees, including unaccompanied minors, and the challenges the organization has faced.

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Developing community capacity to fight COVID-19

July

“Developing community capacity to fight COVID-19”

When the second wave of COVID-19 struck India, GFC’s Asia team sought innovative, community-based responses. They teamed up with local organizations to train nonprofit staff on caring for COVID-19 patients at home. Find out more about the trainings and other steps GFC has taken to support partners in India.

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Pandemic relief, capacity development & a new team member

June

“Pandemic relief, capacity development & a new team member”

In Bangladesh, which is experiencing a devastating wave of COVID-19 cases, the pandemic has led to rising numbers of children living or working on the streets of Dhaka. Two GFC partners, APON Foundation and LEEDO, have expanded their services to meet the growing needs of children. Learn more about their work and how it has changed over the past year.

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Courageous work, migrant rights & new learning

May

“Courageous work, migrant rights & new learning”

Congratulations to our 2021 Juliette Gimon Courage Award winners! Youth Safety Awareness Initiative in Kenya and Free Minds Book Club & Writing Workshop in the United States help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated youth reach their full potential. For the first time, the Courage Award Selection Committee has also chosen a third winner, which has worked courageously to prevent violence against children and to promote their health and rights in its home country. Learn more about the winners and the award.

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Celebrating the courage of community-based organizations

April

“Celebrating the courage of community-based organizations”

We’ve kicked off our Celebration of Courage – a month of virtual events honoring community-based organizations – with a UK gala! If you’d like to attend our US gala on April 29, there’s still time to register by April 28. On May 6, we’ll host a global conversation on education during COVID-19, featuring young female leaders. Then, on May 20, we’ll announce the winners of the 2021 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards. Find out more about the events and register to attend.

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Courage, growth, and collaboration

March

“Courage, growth, and collaboration”

In April, GFC is launching a month of virtual events honoring the courage and resilience of community-based organizations changing children’s lives. Our 2021 Celebration of Courage Campaign will kick off with virtual galas in the United Kingdom and the United States, feature a global conversation on education during the COVID-19 pandemic, and culminate with the announcement of the 2021 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards. Learn more about the events and register to attend.

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Fostering hope from the UK to Liberia

February

“Fostering hope from the UK to Liberia”

Health and economic crises, restrictions on daily life, and deepening inequalities amid the pandemic are having an enormous impact on young people. In this message, GFC’s Hayley Roffey reflects on the effects of COVID-19 and shares GFC’s hope for the future. Read Hayley’s statement on GFC’s commitment to work with and for youth to build a more equitable post-pandemic world.

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“We all deserve a chance”

January

“We all deserve a chance”

We’re excited to welcome five new partners to our global network of change-makers. Based in Croatia, Kyrgyzstan, North Macedonia, Serbia, and Thailand, these organizations are promoting girls’ health and rights, supporting migrant and refugee children, and helping young people live free from violence and exploitation. Read more about their work in this blog.

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2020

Happy holidays from all of us at GFC!

December

“Happy holidays from all of us at GFC!”

Amid the pandemic, Global Fund for Children found new ways to assist local partners around the world. We reimagined the possible, and held onto our organization’s vision. Thank you for supporting our work.

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Navigating a changed world together

November

“Navigating a changed world together”

Amid the global crisis, GFC’s local partners have launched new initiatives that go beyond humanitarian aid, including a community radio station, community gardens, and virtual courses. In this blog, GFC’s Rodrigo Barraza García reflects on what he and our local partners have learned about staying safe while continuing to serve children and support each other. Read about these initiatives and what the crisis has taught us about collective care.

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Innovation from Thailand to Guatemala

October

“Innovation from Thailand to Guatemala”

In Thailand, Zy Movement Foundation hosts an annual Climb to Change a Life event, taking children with movement disabilities up mountain peaks and increasing their confidence and independence. During the COVID-19 pandemic, however, this GFC partner has traded its hiking boots for a set of pots and pans. Read about Zy Movement Foundation’s new youth entrepreneurship program in this blog from GFC’s Maria Creamer.

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New hope, challenges & leadership

September

“New hope, challenges & leadership”

In the last year, Lebanon has been devastated by economic crisis, corruption, and the coronavirus pandemic. Now, the country is mourning a devastating explosion that ripped through the nation’s capital, Beirut, in August. GFC partners INSAN Association and Tahaddi Lebanon share why their country needs to come together to put back the pieces – and to support its young people.

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Youth leadership, racial justice & gender equity

August

“Youth leadership, racial justice & gender equity”

Migration has been part of Chencho’s life ever since he was born in the Chiapas highlands of Mexico. Joining the Indigenous Migrants Coalition of Chiapas at age 13, however, helped him discover his roots and embrace his identity as an Indigenous young person. Now, he’s raising his voice to inspire other Indigenous youth to build community and ignite social change. Read Chencho’s story of courage and resistance in his own words.

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Empowering youth from Kyrgyzstan to West Africa

July

“Empowering youth from Kyrgyzstan to West Africa”

A stay-at-home order can protect children from contracting the coronavirus – but what if home isn’t a safe place to be? In Kyrgyzstan, COVID-19 has forced our partner Children of Tien-Shan to close its children’s shelter and has disrupted its support program for struggling families. Now the organization is doing all it can to help the young people in its community to survive. In the latest blog from GFC’s Maria Creamer, learn more about Children of Tien-Shan’s critical emergency response.

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We all have the right to live without fear

June

“We all have the right to live without fear”

Growing up in Honduras, Keyla lived in fear of the gangs – called maras – that ruled the streets with violence and harassment. But instead of giving up, she has dedicated her career to supporting her community and changing it for the better. Today, with the help of a GFC partner, 24-year-old Keyla is a human rights lawyer. “We all have the right to study, to dream, to live without fear. And I did not come into this world to conform or to please anyone.” Read her powerful story in her own words.

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Fighting injustice, seeking hope & building trust

May

“Fighting injustice, seeking hope & building trust”

Meet the winners of the 2020 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards. Operating on opposite sides of the world, both organizations are led by survivors of forced labor and modern slavery. Today, they dedicate their lives to protecting other young people from the same injustices. In these new stories, learn how Avani helps children leave dangerous brickyards in India, and how Challenging Heights rescues young people from fishing boats in Ghana.

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Community courage in the face of global crises

April

“Community courage in the face of global crises”

Every day at GFC, we draw motivation from our partners’ heroism as they strive to improve children’s lives under especially challenging circumstances. Today, we’re honored to share with you 14 of these extraordinary partners: the finalists for the 2020 Juliette Gimon Courage Awards. From Nigeria to Pakistan to Mexico, they tackle a range of injustices, from child trafficking to youth incarceration. Read on to witness true bravery in the fight for children’s rights.

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Global changes, community responses

March

“Global changes, community responses”

Like all of you, our daily lives have changed dramatically as we face the global pandemic caused by COVID-19. In this special message from CEO John Hecklinger, read more what this means for our partners, our supporters, and our team. As always, our partners are adept at providing community-level responses during rapidly evolving crises. GFC has already sent $47,000 to 16 organizations, but the needs and requests for support grow every day. Donate to our emergency relief fund today to meet the needs of children affected by COVID-19.

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Heartbreak, hope & partnership

February

“Heartbreak, hope & partnership”

Many of us regularly hear politicians, activists, and the media debate issues surrounding immigration. But what about the kids who are caught in the middle of these discussions? What do they have to say? In this powerful new blog from Rodrigo Barraza, find out what migration means in the words of 12 girls and young women who have fled their homes.

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Leadership, teamwork & big plans

January

“Leadership, teamwork & big plans”

We often hear that young people will be the leaders of tomorrow – but 20-year-old Bahati can’t wait that long. Since she was just 12 years old, she’s been helping to mentor other children who, like her, grew up in Nairobi’s Kibera slum. Bahati also loves community theater, soccer, and acrobatics, and she just graduated from a legal awareness training program. Oh, and did we mention she founded her own nonprofit? Meet this remarkable young woman in the latest blog from GFC’s Bundie Kabanze, Program Officer for Africa.

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2019

Best of 2019 & puppy love

December

“Best of 2019 & puppy love”

Global Fund for Children had a big year. Thank you for making it possible.
Our holiday gift to you: a round-up with some of this year’s best blogs!

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Driven by hope, generosity & connection

November

“Driven by hope, generosity & connection”

Two weeks ago, along with our partner Asylum Protection Center, GFC’s Joe Bednarek visited a makeshift refugee site on the Hungary-Serbia border. There, he spoke with a teenage boy who had just tried to cross the border while clinging to the bottom of a train. Read Joe’s harrowing account of the challenges facing young asylum seekers, and how APC works tirelessly to give them hope and protection.

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Small NGOs, big changes for children

October

“Small NGOs, big changes for children”

What would you do if you couldn’t find the right medical treatment for your child anywhere in the country, let alone in your own community? In Kyrgyzstan, a group of concerned parents founded Hand in Hand – the first center in the country that is devoted entirely to assisting children with autism. Having demonstrated remarkable innovation throughout its partnership with GFC, Hand in Hand received a 2019 Maya Ajmera Sustainability Award earlier this year. Read more about how this small organization became a national leader in advancing the rights of children with disabilities.

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Advancing children’s rights from Mexico to Mumbai

September

“Advancing children’s rights from Mexico to Mumbai”

Anagha Khandagle is an audacious force. Through her work with the anti-trafficking NGO Purnata, Anagha has scoured red light districts, haggled with police, and confronted pimps … whatever she can do to help girls and young women to escape exploitation in India. Written by GFC’s Dhvani Doshi, this in depth-story about the search for one girl – and Anagha’s dedication to find her – will astonish you.

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Young readers, leaders & mountain climbers

August

“Young readers, leaders & mountain climbers”

When Zy was born in Bangkok 13 years ago, doctors told his parents he would never learn to stand or walk. Today, he climbs mountains. Zy Movement Foundation is changing the way we see children with disabilities, showing us that when kids have access to the right medical care and support, they can do amazing things – like summit Kilimanjaro. How does Zy feel when he reaches the mountaintop? Get the answer in this new story.

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Making change happen

July

“Making change happen”

At the US-Mexico border, children are being separated from family members and locked in cages, without safe places to sleep, bathe, or even go to the bathroom. Our CEO and President John Hecklinger stands in solidarity with our partners serving migrant families and children. Read his personal reflection on their critical role in upholding human rights.

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Young moms, martial artists & local leaders

June

“Young moms, martial artists & local leaders”

In Zambia and Tanzania, Tika and Adiah are getting a second chance at completing their education. They’re going back to school thanks to GFC partners that take care of the girls’ number-one priority: their young children. Learn how these innovative NGOs integrate girls’ education with early childhood programs, creating a dual-generational approach to child and youth development.

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Engaging teens from Cambridge to Chiang Khong

May

“Engaging teens from Cambridge to Chiang Khong”

Earlier this month, the first-ever Street Child Cricket World Cup brought together talented young athletes from around the world – who also have a shared history of growing up on the streets. Eight youth from our Dhaka-based partner LEEDO traveled to Cambridge for the tournament.

Learn more about our visit with these international athletes in a new story from Communications and Digital Media Manager Nina Ford.

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Courage, commitment, and community

April

“Courage, commitment, and community”

Imagine you’re headed into work when you get a phone call: your office has been attacked with makeshift bombs. It’s just one example of repeated threats to your life – but you refuse to give up. This is reality for staff at ASOGEN, a 2019 Juliette Gimon Courage Award winner. Read more about how ASOGEN pursues justice and wellbeing for survivors of gender-based violence in Guatemala.

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A leader’s legacy, a boxer’s resilience & youth determination

March

“A leader’s legacy, a boxer’s resilience & youth determination”

As we prepare to announce the inaugural Juliette Gimon Courage Awards next week, we’re remembering Juliette’s profound, decade-long impact on Global Fund for Children. Learn more about the remarkable woman – described by one GFC colleague as “elegantly tough” – whose compassionate leadership inspired the award.

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Gender-equity and youth-driven action

February

“Gender-equity and youth-driven action”

Everyone has a role to play in unleashing girl power – that means boys and men, too. As a Program Assistant at GOJoven Guatemala, Erasmo gets it: “I always try to support and create spaces that help women assume roles as the leader or protagonist,” he says. Read more about Erasmo’s journey to activism and see him in action at a youth workshop on gender and self-care.

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“I found my voice” [new video]

January

““I found my voice” [new video]”

When Belinda unexpectedly became pregnant at age 16, she nearly gave up on finishing her education. But with encouragement and support from our Kenya-based partner NIGEE, she channeled her struggles into a fierce commitment to girls’ rights. “Today, I don’t feel any shame. I found my voice,” she says. Read more about Belinda’s transformation and watch her powerful story.

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Stay in the know about what’s happening at Global Fund for Children, including news and stories, special events, and more!

Global Fund for Children (GFC) UK Trust, created in 2006, is a UK registered charity (UK charity number 1119544). We work to generate vital income, create new fundraising opportunities, and raise awareness of the invaluable work of GFC’s grassroots grantees. Our aim is to extend the reach of GFC in the United Kingdom, Europe, and beyond.

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