International Childcare Trust

International Childcare Trust (ICT) believes that all children, regardless of socio-economic background, have the right to enjoy their childhood and reach their potential. We partner with local grassroots NGOs in Africa and Asia - managed and staffed by local people - that protect children's rights. We combine the delivery of practical assistance with capacity building and advocacy initiatives because we take responsibility for building sustainability into the projects/partners we support.
Dec 2, 2014

61 more children and 10 more families supported!

The issue

Economic empowerment aims to improve opportunities for marginalized and poverty stricken families. Often the children within these families are unable to attend school and their basic needs are not met. 

The solutions we have been working on

In order to solve this problem, one element of our work has focussed on entrepreneurship and business skills training. 20 families in total have benefitted from these sessions which is followed up with an introduction to a loan to start a potential new business.

The previous 10 families who had already received this training have benefitted from ongoing support and further business skills training. From their initial loan they have set up small businesses which have enabled them to generate income. The families have used this additional income to pay for their children’s school fees and other vital supplies. In total, 39 more children are in school as a result.

In the third year of the project a further 22 teenage girls, who were previously engaged in the sex trade have benefitted from psychosocial support sessions and vocational training on subjects such as tailoring, food production and hairdressing. The project has also matched these girls to local businesses and supported with their formal tuition fees. Five girls who went through this programme in year 1 and 2 have set up successful businesses, supporting themselves independently.

A total of seven weekend events have taken place with children and communities which focus on children’s rights. From sports tournaments to debating sessions and counselling, children were part of a range of activities aimed at enabling them to understand their rights. There is also a weekly community radio programme which aims to embed community awareness of children’s rights.

Jul 30, 2014

55% of girls now employed!

One of the girls with her new business
One of the girls with her new business

In Year 3 of this project in Arusha, northern Tanzania, 22 teenage girls are currently being supported, many of whom have been involved in the commercial sex trade.  The girls are being supported by our local partner, Shalom Centre, through training in vocational skills, business skills, life skills, and reproductive/sexual health education, as well as emotional support.

Of the 22 girls, aged 12-19, 14 have started vocational training in hotel management, tailoring or hairdressing; five have decided to set up their own businesses running market stalls that sell items such as clothes, bags, shoes and vegetables; and three girls have been reunified with their families.

Shalom Centre remains in contact with the girls from Years 1 and 2. Over a quarter have found employment in local businesses, such as hotels, restaurants, hair salons, and schools (see chart).  Nearly a third are self-employed having set up their own businesses, including market stalls selling second hand clothes, hair salons, and tailors.

“I am running my own hair dressing salon, and I am getting money to support myself, my little child, two young brothers at home, and my old parents in the village. I didn’t believe if I will have my own business and get income. Thank you Shalom, this is a life people should live not, commercial sex.” 18 year old girl (previously engaged in sex trade for two years)

45% are still unemployed, many of whom are currently looking for work, especially those from Year 2. Shalom Centre is endeavouring to help them find work by working closely with local employers and continueing to build the girls' skills.

Of the 49 young women, six did not compete the training after dropping out and three have returned to sex work.

Stay tuned for updates on the progress of this year's group of girls.


Attachments:
May 14, 2014

"I now have hope of a better future than ever before!"

Some of the girls at the training centre
Some of the girls at the training centre

This project is currently supporting 25 teenage girls in Arusha, Tanzania, many of whom have been involved in the commercial sex trade.  The girls are being supported by our local partner, Shalom Centre, through training in vocational skills, business skills, life skills, and reproductive/sexual health education, as well as emotional support. 

Read here about the difference this project had made to the life of Mary and other girls.Mary’s father passed away when she was young and when her mother remarried she and her two younger siblings suffered.

“My step father never loved us and has never even bothered to take care of our needs.”

Mary was lucky enough to go through primary school and enrolled in secondary school, however as the fees increased Mary’s mother struggled to pay.  Mary was no longer able to attend school regularly, although she did her best and kept studying even when not in school.

“My step father was too harsh and mistreated us.  He always made sexual advances to me but I always refused.  He told me that if I wanted him to pay for my school fees I had to do what he said.  We lived in a single roomed house and it was hard for all of us to sleep in it, therefore when my step father came around, we would have spend the night at our neighbour’s house.  This was very disruptive and in 2010 I failed to pass my O Levels.  I asked my step father to take me to vocational training centre; he would still insist I sleep with him so that he can pay my school fees.

“I decided to do some small income generating activities like selling cakes to the kiosks in our neighbourhood and at times I would get some part time manual jobs at the factories in town.  I came to learn about Shalom Centre through their programme aired at the local radio station and decided to approach them.  I am glad that I was enrolled in their programme and I am pursuing a course in teaching, which I am passionate about.  I am determined to work hard and succeed so that I can make an impact in our community.”

Shalom collaborates with community leaders in two areas in Arusha, which are highly affected by the sex industry, to identify 25 girls each year either involved or at risk of becoming involved in sex work, for support to develop non-exploitative and viable livelihoods.

This year the trainees divided themselves into four groups, which meet on a regular basis to provide peer support, discuss progress and challenges, and share ideas on income generating activities.  The groups are extremely important for providing support – many of the girls had never previously had such a support base where they could confide in others and request advice.

From the girls supported during year one of the project, 10 are now employed, five are self-employed, one is still in secondary school, and eight are searching for employment having completed their field attachments.  Shalom Centre will continue to follow-up on their progress.  For those girls who are now working, their lives have changed significantly.  They no longer have to rely on sex work to meet their living costs; their self-esteem and confidence are visibly improved; and they are generally much happier.

“My life has really changed a lot since I am now busy doing something meaningful with my life, and have as well gained respect with the surrounding community. I now have hope of a better future than ever before."

“You can’t imagine, I was unschooled, came from very poor family and I was engaged in sex trade exploitation for two years and drug abuse, but now see I am a school teacher!"

Thank you for your fantastic support, which has helped us achieve these great results and change the lives of many children.  Please keep supporting us in the coming months, when we will also be working with families and communities to prevent girls from becoming exploited in the first place.

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