Brighter Futures is the partnership TNS founded with UNICEF in 2004. The name reflects its ambition to help some of the world’s under privileged children to reach their true potentials.

The current, Kantar-wide programme is building on the foundations TNS have laid and is well on its way towards raising a further $1m by 2014, helping children facing very different challenges in Malawi, Bolivia and Bangladesh.

In 2010, a Kantar team climbed Mt Kilimanjaro, followed by a cycling challenge in the Andes in 2011, which raised $200K between them. This year, employees face challenges in the Himalayas, the Aztec mountains and the Sahara desert. Not all of the fundraising is this challenging but it is mainly the efforts of employees that has raised $600K towards the current $1m target.

One important aspect of the programme is seeing the projects in action, and UNICEF have arranged field trips for the most committed fundraisers, so they can see how the donations are being used. The field trips are often described as life changing, bringing home both the harsh realities and the huge differences that can be made.

The current programme marks 10 years of the relationship between TNS and UNICEF

The TNS partnership with UNICEF began in response to the Tsunami in South East Asia in 2004. This one-off donation triggered a desire for a more sustained programme that reflected the company’s broad geographic reach. Since then TNS have worked to build and supply pre-schools in Cambodia and children’s corners in Malawi. In 2008, the partnership was extended to become Kantar-wide under a new name, Brighter Futures, reflecting the underlying aim of helping some of the world’s under privileged children fulfil their true potentials.

Tackling Child Labour in Bangladesh

13% of children aged 5-14 are forced to work, often in hazardous conditions, to support their families. Brighter Futures aims to help bring about much needed social change, providing life skills and opportunities, as well as addressing legislative reform. The project will help to re-integrate 6,000 working children into education, and support 2,500 families.

Protecting Children from Violence in Bolivia

Currently 2.2 million children and adolescents in Bolivia are victims of violence and many more are involved in juvenile crime, gang warfare and drug abuse. The Brighter Futures programme aims to protect young people against exploitation by working with government to review protection laws. Additionally the project will create nine new special victim units to manage cases of children and adolescents as victims, or witnesses, of crime.

Creating Children’s Corners in Malawi

The Brighter Futures project will continue to help some of the 600,000 children in Malawi who have lost one or both parents to AIDS. Children’s Corners are community based, and provide support, education, nutrition and protection, as well as access to support services. The project will support vulnerable children through building and strengthening 150 of these centres.