CASE STUDY - Alive and Kicking
By Stuart Janicki • 28 May 2014
A ball game where everyone’s a winner
Alive and Kicking is an amazing African social enterprise that manufactures and provides sports balls for children in Africa. The enterprise, which is a registered charity, creates local jobs for adults and vigorously promotes health education through the introduction of sport.
Since 2004 Alive and Kicking has produced and distributed 300,000 branded balls; provided 150 sustainable jobs, and targeted over 40,000 children with a hard hitting HIV/AIDS and Malaria campaign. The actual balls are hand stitched using local leather. They are considerably tougher than imported synthetic balls, and will last far longer on what can often be very rough and rocky pitches.
Their main purpose is to deliver sustainable employment and the joy of team play and lasting fun to children, but with a critically important health message. Every ball carries clearly printed information about HIV/AIDS and Malaria, enabling the familiar object to be used by the local teachers and sports coaches to instigate and develop essential discussions with the players on the subject of these deadly diseases, and how best to remain healthy.
Protecting charity database
As with all charities, Alive and Kicking relies on regular donations and the generosity of a wide group of benefactors and sponsors. This list of names and companies is the life blood of the charity. Robbie Barkell is the Programme Manager at Alive and Kicking, “We maintain all our computer files in the UK as well as a huge database of contacts and contributors, which has been built up over the last seven years. This is the foundation of our continuation, and if we were to lose or corrupt this data, then we effectively cease to exist! This is why we have chosen to back up our computer systems with Cloud Direct Professional PC Backup.”
Online backup functionality and price
Robbie revealed, “When we first looked for a partner to help us with data protection and backup services we knew that we required an operation that was virtually foolproof, and which could be handled by a small number of non- technical staff. And take heed of the fact that as a charity we also needed to be mindful of price. “
“The Cloud Direct customer service team were excellent. They provided a series of presentations and demonstrations along with answers to a myriad of questions concerning the safety and accessibility of our data. It’s only when you look carefully at all the data you store that you realise just how critical it all is to your business and to the lives of those we help. We store irreplaceable photographs and videos as well as design files and databases; all of which are essential when talking to our partners and sponsors, who are critical to our ongoing success. We send regular bulletins to let them read about progress and the number of balls we have sold and distributed.”
Cloud Direct’s outstanding support
Robbie went on to say, “Cloud Direct has been outstanding in their support and will even contact us if they notice a backup has not been initiated. This all adds to the essential peace of mind, enabling us to concentrate on running the charity. The service has also proven to be of considerable benefit to our team in the field. They can access the Backup Direct MyRoam Service via the internet and download files that are needed for meetings or events.”
Robbie concluded, “Cloud Direct responds very rapidly to any queries or issues we may have. We don’t run a technical support team in-house so it’s great to have them at the end of the phone or email, as they often solve small technical issues and provide practical advice. I totally recommend CLoud Direct as a reliable and proactive service provider that certainly helps us ensure a bright future for many children in Africa.”
Complete peace of mind
And finally, Will Prochaska, Director at Alive and Kicking, said, “We rely on our computers and communications to keep in touch with our benefactors and spread the news of our work. It is critical that we have the optimum protection for our files and databases, without which we would be in serious trouble. Cloud Direct gives us real peace of mind knowing that our critical information is totally secure and protected from loss or damage.”
Eliza Rawlings, managing director at Cloud Direct, “We are absolutely delighted to provide the essential backup and recovery systems for Alive and Kicking and have all enjoyed watching the development and success of this brilliant, hands- on charity as it combines the creation of sustainable jobs with much needed play and essential health education.”
To find out more about the amazingly practical work done by Alive and Kicking in Zambia and Kenya take a look at their website at www.aliveandkicking.org.uk or if you wish to become involved in any way call them on 0207 630 7333
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