The Foundation believes that education is the key to a successful future for both societies and individuals and supports educational projects in the developing and developed world.

Educational projects in the developing world

Stromme Foundation

Stromme Foundation (“Stromme”) is a rights-based development organisation with the vision of a world free from poverty. Stromme is widely recognised for its educational work in developing countries. Its approach is a holistic one; working with children, adolescents and their mothers within the same communities. This strengthens sustainability and maximises impact. The Foundation has supported Stromme since 2014 and supports the following programmes.

Stromme Foundation


Educational work in West Africa

The Foundation is working with Stromme in Burkina Faso and Niger, two of the world’s poorest and least developed nations. School attendance and literacy rates in these countries are low and female literacy rates are less than 20%. Without even a primary education, children lack the skills and knowledge required to improve their situation and are likely to remain impoverished for the rest of their lives.

The programmes implemented by Stromme with funding from the Foundation provide out of school children, half of whom are girls, with accelerated learning courses designed to get them to the educational level necessary to enrol in formal school. It also includes the “A Saving for Change” programme which targets the mothers of these children and gives them the opportunity to save and obtain loans that may be used for educational expenses, to generate income, for health care and to enhance food security.

SAMVAD programme

SAMVAD means a ‘dialogue’ and is a nonformal, community-based, participatory education system designed especially for adolescent girls, with a particular focus on girls aged 13-19 who are at risk of dropping out of school and being trafficked. At SAMVAD centres, the girls follow a course that includes life skills, functional literacy, building self-confidence and vocational skills. The Foundation is supporting Stromme’s existing SAMVAD programme in Nepal and Bangladesh. It is also supporting the development of this programme in West Africa, where there are countries with some of the highest rates of child marriage in the world.

Dream Myanmar

Stromme’s Dream Myanmar project works with 3,000 of the poorest families in the Ayeyarwaddy district in Myanmar including the tribal Karen community. Its aim is to:

  • Provide children with increased access to pre-primary and primary education and to develop the skill sets of adolescents
  • Provide families with access to financial and non-financial services to improve their livelihood and entrepreneurship skills
  • Increase the families’ participation in the wider society by establishing appropriate self-help groups
  • Ensure that families have access to health education, nutrition, water and sanitation

Corporate Social Responsibility Conference

The Foundation supports Stromme’s annual Corporate Social Responsibility Conferences, which consider how companies and business owners can contribute to a more just society in a commercially justifiable way. Recently, the Foundation has made its major donations to Stromme as part of an annual match funding campaign, which has resulted in some of the most successful fund raising in Stromme’s history.

The Mosvold-Martinus Trust

The Mosvold-Martinus Trust (“MM Trust”) is a charitable establishment created by the Mosvold Group with the objective of improving the lives of underprivileged young people in Sri Lanka. They promote self-reliance by providing initiatives and support to allow such young people to become the agents of their own development and progress. The Foundation has funded the MM Trust’s “AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka”, which provides scholarships to allow disadvantaged students to pursue higher education at university or through vocational or skills training. Please click here for the most recent update on the MM Trust’s AKO Scholarship Program in Sri Lanka.

Partnership for Change

Partnership for Change (“PfC”) is a Norwegian non-profit organisation that works for the economic independence of women in Myanmar and Ethiopia. Although, in theory, Ethiopia’s educational policy gives boys and girls equal access to education, in practice – and particularly in rural communities – boys are given priority. To address this inequality and the unmet educational needs of such girls, the Foundation is funding a programme of financial support and academic and life skills training in rural Ethiopia to prevent girls from deprived backgrounds from dropping out of high school.

Partnership for Change


Lively Minds

Lively Minds, a UK charity, works in remote rural villages in Africa and trains “Volunteer Mothers” to run free and informal play schemes for all pre-school children in their villages. The Volunteer Mothers are also given monthly parenting workshops to help them provide better care at home. The programme is delivered through local government using a “training of trainers” approach and is very cost effective, with an approximate unit cost of just £6.70 per beneficiary per year. The Foundation is supporting the expansion of this “Early Childhood Care and Education” programme in Uganda.

Lively Minds
Lively Minds


Little Sun Foundation

The Little Sun Foundation (“Little Sun”), a German non-profit organisation, was founded by artist Olafur Eliasson to deliver solar light and energy to vulnerable communities worldwide. The Foundation has made a grant to Little Sun to provide 1,200 students in Northern Tanzania with solar lamps. These clean and renewable lamps allow after dark homework and revision, and thus increase students’ study hours and academic attainment. There are also significant health and economic benefits, as the lamps replace harmful kerosene lamps and expensive torches. The grant also provides 90 solar phone chargers for teachers to help them stay connected and better prepare the children’s school lessons.

Little Sun occupies a special space in the art of Olafur Eliasson, uniting on-ground energy impact work with a global element of artistic communication. As an artist Olafur uses a broad range of media to amplify his artistic voice, creating works that engage the audience, that are tools for seeing and for feeling. Little Sun was born out of the studio as a project that takes thinking to doing in a special way. Little Sun’s solar lamps are real off-grid energy tools with a clear impact. Additionally, they are an emotional symbol of global interconnectedness, of sustainable energy, and of empowerment. As well as our grant to Little Sun, the Foundation is also the main sponsor of the 2019 “Olafur Eliasson: In Real Life” exhibition at the Tate Modern and we are delighted to be supporting both the art and environmental work of Olafur.

Right to Sight Norway

Right to Sight Norway was founded in 2011 as an independent Norwegian charity and is led by Norwegian ophthalmologists and other specialist doctors. The Foundation has made a grant to support their work at the Kwale Eye Centre in Kenya. The project teaches midwives and nurses in vaccination clinics to screen babies and small children to identify signs of cataract and refractive error for early referral for treatment and correction. It also supports the identified children pre- and post- surgery to give them the best visual outcome, while simultaneously training local ophthalmic medical personnel. Thus the project has both a direct and an indirect educational focus; directly by providing training for local health care professionals and indirectly as in less developed countries early correction of visual disability is vital for a child’s educational prospects.

Right to Sight
Right to Sight


Oslo Center for Peace and Democracy

The Oslo Center for Peace and Democracy (“the Oslo Center”) was established in 2006 and has been a successful contributor to peace and democracy projects in countries across Asia, Africa, and Europe. The Foundation has made a grant to the Oslo Center to support its work with Peace Clubs in primary and secondary schools in the coastal regions of Kenya. This area of Kenya is facing complex and serious challenges, including, for example, the risk of disengaged youth being recruited by the Al-Shabaab militant group. The Peace Clubs are a Kenyan government educational initiative designed to counter such risks by strengthening the commitment of young people to peace and social cohesion.

Aurora Live Aid

Aurora Live Aid is a Norwegian voluntary non-profit humanitarian organisation that provides medical and social assistance work in underprivileged areas of the world. The Foundation has made a grant to support Aurora Live Aid’s project to create a women’s shelter at the El-Beddawi refugee camp in Lebanon. This “Home of Tenderness” is intended to provide a venue for education and social interaction for the adult women living in the camp and for play and awareness sessions (female health, self-protection, domestic violence, “my rights”) for young girls and teenagers. It will also provide a location to screen for diabetes, which is currently under-diagnosed within the Palestinian community; a project undertaken in collaboration with the University of Århus, Denmark. In addition, it provides facilities for young Norwegian volunteers visiting and working in the camp. The aim of this volunteering is both the personal development of the volunteers and the provision of low threshold educational opportunities, such as English courses and cultural interaction, for the camp residents.

Akersborg Rotary Club Oslo

In conjunction with the Akersborg Rotary Club Oslo, the Foundation funded the redevelopment of the primary school in Shikht Mustafa, Syria. Located near Aleppo, the school was left with all windows blown out and many classrooms ruined after suffering the effects of bombing in 2012. The school was fully renovated, including 17 new classrooms with new windows, furniture, whiteboards, heating and electrical lights powered by solar panels installed on the roof. The school reopened in September 2017 providing places for 850 children.

Educational projects in the UK and other developed countries

Teach First

Teach First is a UK charity whose mission is to end educational inequality. Teach First believe that changing the life of a child often starts with the dedication and leadership of a great teacher who inspires a child to work towards the future they want. Accordingly, a fundamental part of their work is the recruitment, training and support of new teachers to work in schools serving low-income communities across England and Wales. Their success in inspiring the country’s best graduates to choose to work in these schools has been remarkable; Teach First is now one of the largest graduate recruiters in the United Kingdom.

Teach First
Teach First


The Foundation has worked with Teach First since 2014 and currently the Foundation supports the following programmes:

Careers Leaders

Teach First’s Careers and Employability Programme is unique in the education sector. It is the only comprehensive programme of training for teachers that combines careers expertise and leadership development, and which participants can immediately apply within a school setting. The programme is focused on schools where a high proportion of pupils live in poverty and aims to advance the quality of careers education, enabling schools to design and implement a high-quality whole school programme that ultimately increases their pupils’ employability.

Click here to read more about the Careers and Employability Programme.

Work experience

Teach First’s work experience programme, an idea instigated by the Foundation, provides a programme of week-long paid work experience placements for pupils at a range of organisations, including AKO Capital. For more information on this programme, please click here.

Leading Together

It is generally acknowledged that the quality of school leadership has a very significant impact on the future performance of a school. Leading Together is a two-year programme of support for schools in areas of greatest need to build and sustain strong and effective senior leadership teams. It is unique in its bespoke support for a school’s entire senior leadership team over a sustained period. The ultimate objective is to improve pupil attainment by improving teacher retention, often a significant problem, and the quality of teaching throughout the school.

Other programmes supported

  • Between 2014 and 2018 the Foundation provided funding that allowed Teach First’s Primary and Early Years programme to recruit over 250 additional primary and early years’ teachers. Those teachers will continue to reach thousands of children during the course of their careers.
  • From 2015 to 2018 the Foundation supported Teach First’s Higher Education Access programme which helped young people from low-income backgrounds to access and complete university.

Please click here to read about the transformational impact of the Foundation’s support for Teach First.

The Girls’ Day School Trust

The Foundation has made grants to The Girls’ Day School Trust, the UK’s leading network of independent girls’ schools, to assist with the cost of building works at South Hampstead High School, one of the Girls’ Day School Trust’s schools, and to bring a variety of speakers to that school to inspire and motivate the students.

Girls’ Day School Trust
Girls’ Day School Trust


The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation

The mission of the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (“JOFF”) is to shape the health and wellbeing of current and future generations by providing better access to food education. We believe that Jamie’s professional standing and long-term commitment make him uniquely placed to influence children’s health and nutrition through his work with opinion leaders. For this reason, the Foundation has made grants to support several JOFF initiatives.

Most recently, the Foundation has been the founding supporter of the 2030 Childhood Obesity Alliance (working title) which is being set up with the objective of halving the rate of childhood obesity in the United Kingdom by 2030.

This initiative follows on from a comprehensive review of the state of food education and food culture in schools in England that the Foundation commissioned JOFF and expert partners (including the British Nutrition Foundation, Food Teachers Centre and the University of Sheffield) to undertake. “A Report on the Food Education Learning Landscape”, which was published in October 2017, identified stark variations in the quality of food education across schools alongside strong teacher, pupil and parent demand for a healthier school environment. A copy of this report is available here.

Other JOFF initiatives that have been supported by the Foundation include The Kitchen Garden Project, Food Revolution Day, the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation Global Ambassador Programme, Workplace and University Cooking Programmes, and The Food Education Learning Landscape.

Jamie Oliver Kitchen Garden Project
Jamie Oliver Kitchen Garden Project


The Florida International University Foundation: Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy

The significance and difficulties of countries making successful transitions to democracy from authoritarian or totalitarian governments is extremely relevant to the world today. The Václav Havel Program for Human Rights and Diplomacy (“VHP”) forms a part of the University of Florida. It is dedicated to using Václav Havel’s legacy from the “Velvet Revolution” in then Czechoslovakia, and other cases of successful transitions from authoritarian or totalitarian governments, to ensure that the ideals of freedom, respect for human rights and justice for all prevail in such transitions.

VHP provides students with the opportunity to learn from distinguished scholars and practitioners with expertise and experience not only in academia, but also in the realms of diplomacy and policy implementation. In addition to formally teaching students at undergraduate and graduate levels, VHP offers dedicated scholarships focused on the process of non-violent transitions from authoritarian regimes to democratic ones and on the governability of young democracies. In support of these aims, the Foundation is providing matched funding to endow a Chair of Transition Studies at VHP.


Frontline recruit, train and support outstanding individuals to become social workers through their two-year Frontline programme. This provides a unique opportunity for high potential graduates and career changers to make a difference to the lives of the most vulnerable children in England. The Foundation has made a grant to support Frontline’s coaching programme for their newly qualified social workers in their second year on the Frontline programme. The coaching sessions provide vital support at a highly challenging time, as these new social workers take on their own caseloads and move into new teams within overall children’s services.




Ark, a UK charity, also seeks to transform children’s lives by providing a great education. While Teach First and Now Teach focus on the teacher, Ark’s focus is on the school and they run 36 schools in the UK. Their schools are in areas of economic deprivation with a history of educational underachievement, which they seek to change by setting high academic and behavioural expectations, thus providing more time for learning and improving the quality of teaching.

The Foundation has worked with Ark since 2015 and is currently funding the Music and Drama studio to be located in the redeveloped Ark Swift Primary Academy in White City, London, which is due to open in September 2020. The studio will provide pupils and staff at the school with a dedicated performing arts space. The rebuilding of Ark Swift is part of a wider development, EdCity. This is a capital project led by Ark, which will create a new education focused campus, incorporating an expanded nursery school; the redeveloped Ark Swift Primary, an Onside Youth Zone (see next); an adult education learning centre; residential units of which the majority will be affordable; and an office building to house social enterprises and charities with shared missions.

The Foundation also provides funding for Ark’s Pathways & Enrichment project which supports and encourages students at Ark schools to aim for and reach the university or career of their choice. In addition, several AKO Capital partners now act as governors at Ark schools.



The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania

The Foundation has an ongoing relationship with the internationally renowned Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The Foundation, and Nicolai Tangen privately, have to date endowed undergraduate scholarships to support 22 international students who would otherwise be unable to meet the cost of their education. The scholarships benefit the individual recipients and, due to the recipients’ global background and international perspective, enrich the student community. Their education will also benefit the communities and organisations they go on to lead after graduating.

The Foundation has made a major grant to spearhead construction of a transformative new campus building, Tangen Hall, which will provide the first ever space dedicated to cross-campus student entrepreneurship at the University of Pennsylvania. Tangen Hall will provide a facility where a diverse group of problem solvers are brought together to implement efficient, sustainable and actionable solutions to the challenges facing societies around the world. More information on Tangen Hall and the scholarship program can be found here.

The Foundation has also:

  • Supported a series of reports by the Wharton School examining business ethics, which advocate ethical best practice and tools to make ethical business practice possible. These reports are distributed by the Wharton School’s online business journal, Knowledge@Wharton, and are freely available to all interested parties.
  • Provided financial support for the Wharton People Analytics Initiative, which is designed to advance the practice of evidence-based management and decision making.
  • Made annual grants to the Wharton Fund to help the Wharton School provide opportunities to its faculty, students and alumni.

Now Teach

Now Teach shares Teach First’s objective of reducing educational inequality. One of the biggest problems facing secondary schools is a shortage of maths, science and language teachers. Whereas Teach First seeks to address this need by recruiting the country’s best graduates, Now Teach recruits and trains high calibre professionals, who have already had one successful career, as teachers in maths, science, languages and other shortage subjects. After training, those professionals then teach in challenging schools across the country where, as well as increasing teaching capacity, they bring vital links to employers, universities and other post school options. The Foundation has made a grant to help Now Teach expand its work and reach more disadvantaged areas across the United Kingdom.

Now Teach
Now Teach


OnSide Youth Zones

OnSide Youth Zones (“OnSide”) provide world class, custom built, modern youth centres for young people aged 8–19 (up to 25 for those with additional needs). These Youth Zones are located in disadvantaged neighbourhoods and offer a wide range of sport, art and enterprise activities giving young people somewhere to go, something to do and someone to talk to. An independent study found that antisocial behaviour drops by between 30% and 77% around a Youth Zone. Having started in North West England, OnSide are now bringing their Youth Zones to deprived areas of London and the Foundation has made a grant to help get these established.

Christ’s Hospital school

Over the past five centuries, Christ’s Hospital school has pioneered social mobility in the UK by providing outstanding educational opportunities for young people without the means to pay, enabling such children to thrive in the face of often highly challenging home circumstances. Today some 75% of the pupils at Christ’s Hospital benefit from scholarships; more than at any other school in the UK. The results the school achieves are extraordinary, with pupils forging successful careers and giving back to society throughout their lives; thereby transforming not only their own lives but those of their families and local communities.

The Foundation sponsors scholarships for two A-Level students at Christ’s Hospital. As part of the sponsorship these students have the opportunity to complete a work experience week at AKO Capital.

Christ’s Hospital school
Christ’s Hospital school


Real Action

Real Action was established in 1997 by a community in Westminster, London, which had one of the UK’s highest levels of child deprivation. Its aim was to address problems arising from the street gangs of boys who dominated their housing estates. These boys were found to be illiterate. In response, the community instigated a summer literacy programme for their children taught by The Butterfly Book author Irina Tyk, which had excellent results. The average reading age rise for the initial class of thirty pupils was fourteen months in just thirty hours of Butterfly teaching.

Since then Real Action has developed and delivered its Butterfly literacy programme to provide children with a solid base for education and thus disconnect personal disadvantage from educational disaster. The Foundation has made a grant to Real Action so it can sustain and replicate its Butterfly literacy programme.

National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children

The Foundation supports the National Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Children (“NSPCC”) Schools Service “Speak out Stay safe” programme, which uses specially trained staff and volunteers to talk to primary school children about abuse and neglect. They use an assembly followed by individual class workshops to help under 11s recognise these if they occur. The sessions are tailored to the age range of the children, with topics covered in an easily understandable way.

The objective is to visit every primary school in the United Kingdom at least every three years, so that each child hears the safeguarding messages at least twice during their time at primary school. In a follow up performed by the NSPCC to assess effectiveness, 99% of teachers said they would recommend the NSPCC’s Schools service to another school.

University College School, Hampstead

University College School, Hampstead (“UCS”) was founded to promote the Benthamite principles of liberal scholarship. The Foundation has made a grant for the redevelopment of UCS’s library so as to provide a flexible and multifunctional library space able to support both individual study and collaborative work. This redevelopment provides a vital resource for the whole school community, including UCS’s partner schools such as the London Academy of Excellence, UCL Academy and Westminster Academy.