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British Council

The British Council is the United Kingdom's international organisation for cultural relations and educational opportunities. A registered charity: 209131 (England and Wales) SC037733 (Scotland).

The British Council is the UK's international cultural relations body. It has 7,000 staff around the world and set of long-term relationships, the British Council has a world of research, knowledge, expertise, experience and ideas to share. They help over 300 organisations annually to meet their aims through cultural relations

The British Councill is the UK’s international organisation for educational opportunities and cultural relations. They work in over 100 countries worldwide to build opportunity and trust for the UK through the exchange of knowledge and ideas between people. They work in the Arts, English, Education and Society, including science and sport - and in the process contribute to the security and prosperity of the UK and the countries where they work.

In 2010 they engaged face to face with 18.4 million people and reached 652 million. They are a non-political organisation which operates at arm’s length from government. Their total turnover in 2009/10 was £705 million, of which their grant-in-aid from the British government was £211 million. For every £1 of government grant they receive, they earn £2.50 from other sources..

What the British Council does:

  • Creating international opportunities and building trust
  • Cultural, diplomatic and economic benefit for the Uk

Find out more about the British Council by clicking on a link below:


Gender on the agenda as Wales welcomes women from Jordan and Egypt

Cardiff, 3rd March 2011

Eleven aspiring female community leaders from Egypt and Jordan will visit Wales between 6 and 11 March as part of the British Council’s Active Citizens programme, that networks and strengthens community activists from twenty countries across the world.

On International Women’s Day on March 8 the visitors will be able to share their perspectives of the turbulent events across North Africa and the Middle East with Welsh politicians and women representing all walks of public life in Wales. Rosemary Butler AM, Deputy Presiding Officer of the National Assembly, will welcome guests to Senedd and there will be a unique opportunity to see Welsh politicians at work and pick up the highlights of the educational programmes for children and young people facilitated by the Assembly parliamentary services.

Later in the day they will participate in the discussion ‘Women’s Achievements in Wales and the World’, hosted by the Welsh Centre for International Affairs, British Council and United Nations Women. Christine Chapman AM will chair the discussion. The event will reflect the theme of this year’s International Women’s Day which is ‘Women’s Achievements over the last 100 years’ by showcasing women from across Wales and around the world from all backgrounds, whose achievements have made a positive contribution internationally.

Grace Ferguson-Thorne, a Welsh Active Citizen who will be joining the guests from Egypt and Jordan, said ‘’For me one of the key aims of the Active Citizens programme is creating a network of people who can learn from each other, share skills, ideas, successes and challenges in community engagement. Having the opportunity to host a group of Egyptian and Jordanians keeps this network growing. It is also especially exciting, given the recent unrest in Egypt and other Middle Eastern nations. This visit will give us the opportunity to get first-hand accounts of the recent protests and from a view not always available, that of a woman.’’

Over the week the visitors will join the ‘Women Making a Difference’ network, a group of women from over twenty countries across the globe that are now involved within their communities and in all areas of Welsh public life. The week’s programme aims to build up their confidence, enhance cross-cultural awareness, encourage a proactive approach to engagement with different audiences in society and broaden their local and international connections.

For example, Jan Stephens, Head of Lifelong Learning at Cardiff University will provide a training session entitled ‘Women in Leadership’ for the delegates from Jordan and Egypt, to help them to recognise their own capabilities and the value of becoming leaders in their home communities.

The Egyptian and Jordanian women will also meet hundreds of inspirational women from all across Wales such as Professor Laura McAllister, a UK leading expert in governance and the Chair of Sport Wales; Julie Williams, Professor at the MRC Centre on Neuropsychiatric Genetics and Genomics and Professor Terry Threadgold, Vice-Chancellor Cardiff University

They will get the chance to see some of Wales’ famous countryside whilst travelling to Carmarthen, where they will meet local politicians and discuss the political challenges facing rural communities.

Their programme will also include a voice workshop which will give all of the participants the chance to express themselves through music and song, encouraging communication across the boundaries of language. There will also be a drama activity and cultural evening on March 9 at the Mansion House, the official residence of the Lord Mayor of Cardiff. The event will embrace the wealth of cultures brought together by the enthusiasm and passion of the Active Citizens from Wales, Jordan and Egypt.

Olga Kelly, Governance Consultant at British Council Wales, said: “The ‘Active Citizens programme harnesses motivation, hones skills of aspiring community leaders and encourages them to take the lead in their community’s sustainable development. Through the platform of intercultural dialogue and joint positive social actions that benefit local communities, ‘Active Citizens’ in Wales, the UK and more than twenty countries across the globe learn and work together and involve others in doing good for their communities. International links that the British Council brings in to the programme enable Active Citizens to gain a global perspective, share experiences and ideas and build long-lasting beneficial links between people, communities and countries.”

Source: British Council

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