Absolute Return for Kids
Absolute Return for Kids (ARK) is an international children's charity based in the United Kingdom.
ARK’s programmes and goals focus on Health (sub-Saharan Africa), Education (UK, US, India) and Child Protection (Eastern Europe). In 2012, ARK began taking part in public-private partnerships in education in Africa.
The charity claims to apply robust development principles and sound business disciplines to all its programmes, including setting targets and emphasising close monitoring and evaluation to ensure high impact. ARK’s trustees and patrons cover central and administrative costs, ensuring that 100% of donations go directly to deliver ARK’s programmes for children.
ARK works in the areas of Education, Health and Child Protection.
ARK Schools runs ARK's UK education programme.
It runs a network of 18 academies. ARK Schools was created in 2004 to work with the Department for Education and local authorities to create new schools for inner cities through the academies programme.
ARK Schools’ aim is to help close the achievement gap between children from disadvantaged and more affluent backgrounds. Its academies focus on raising attainment with the aim of every pupil going into higher education when they complete school.
- Ark Academy, Brent
- ARK All Saints Academy, Southwark
- ARK Atwood Primary Academy, Westminster
- ARK Bentworth Primary Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
- Bolingbroke Academy, Wandsworth
- Burlington Danes Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
- Charter Academy, Portsmouth
- ARK Conway Primary Academy, Hammersmith & Fulham
- Evelyn Grace Academy, Lambeth
- Globe Academy, Southwark
- Helenswood Academy, St Leonards-on-Sea
- Isaac Newton Academy, Redbridge
- King Solomon Academy, Westminster
- ARK Kings Academy, Birmingham
- ARK Oval Primary Academy, Croydon
- ARK Putney Academy, Wandsworth
- ARK Rose Primary Academy, Birmingham
- St Alban's Academy, Birmingham
- ARK Tindal Primary Academy, Birmingham
- Walworth Academy, Southwark
- ARK William Parker Academy, Hastings
ARK has also developed two teacher leadership programmes in the UK and one in the United States, 'Future Leaders' and 'Teaching Leaders'.
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ARK focuses on initiatives that are catalytic, sustainable and measurable, and that demonstrate tangible outcomes for children. ARK’s contribution to the development of high quality and sustainable AIDS treatment programmes in South Africa and Mozambique has transformed the life chances of more than 130,000 children by keeping their mothers and caregivers alive. Aligned to ARK’s desire for sustainability, it has handed over its South Africa programme to a local NGO, Kheth'Impilo, accessing over $17m in funding from the US President's Emergency Fund for AIDS (PEPFAR). ARK is now working in partnership with the Clinton Foundation in Mozambique to test innovative new point of care technologies that will speed up diagnosis and treatment for HIV cases.
Connections with other organisations
In order to deliver its programmes, ARK works closely with governments, funding agencies, foundations, as well as local and international NGOs.
ARK has worked with organisations such as The Clinton Foundation; PEPFAR; UNICEF; The Foundation of Rania al Abdullah, Queen of Jordan; Hope and Homes for Children; The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation; the Global Fund, the Centre for Infectious Disease Research in Zambia (CIDRZ) and Kheth’Impilo in South Africa.
ARK Board of Trustees
In addition to its Chairman, Ian Wace, and Founding Chairman, Arpad Busson, ARK’s Global Board of Trustees comprises: Paul Dunning, Lord Fink, Kevin Gundle, Paul Marshall, Jennifer Moses, Michael Platt, Blaine Tomlinson and Anthony Williams.
Ian Wace was appointed Chairman of ARK in October 2010, succeeding Lord Fink who remains a Trustee and a member of the Global Board.
ARK’s Founding Chairman, Arpad Busson, is a member of the Global Board and is Chairman of Absolute Return for Kids, US, Inc.