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 full 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.
Jun 22, 2011

M'Lop Tapang Update

Girl smiling
Girl smiling

The Tapang tree, also known as the ‘umbrella’ tree, provides shelter from the elements.  M’Lop means shade or protection in the Khmer language.

M'Lop Tapang was created in 2003 with the aim of giving street children access to the learning tools, resources, and opportunities they needed to build a better future. It offers regular meals, shelter, medical care, education, counseling, and protection from all types of abuse.  Additionally, M'Lop Tapang works to increase awareness in the community about issues affecting street children.

Today M'Lop Tapang works with over 2,500 street living and working young people and their families at nine centres in the Sihanoukville area.  It works closely with schools, the police and local authorities to help make the community a safer place for all children.

As we are still endeavoring to raise the money required to buy a new mobile library, here are a few statistics about M'Lop Tapang's work from the last month:

  • 2,033 children attended educational activities
  • 51 children slept safely in M'Lop Tapang's two Night Shelters
  • 1,137 children were treated in the Medical Clinic
  • 65 youth participated in vocational training programmes
  • 70 calls were made to the 24-Hour Confidential Hotline
  • 44 community members were certified in ChildSafe training
  • 425 youths participated in drug awareness training
  • 14 children were reintegrated back into their families

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May 31, 2011

Kalki Project Update

Children at Kalki
Children at Kalki

Project Progress

Over the past year, this project has supported approximately 700 children.  At Kalki's drop-in centre, which is in easy reach of children working and begging on the streets of central Pondicherry, approximately 50 children each month attended the crèche/kindergarten, 30 children each month accessed basic services (shower, meals, medical care, play etc), and 120 young girls, exposed to extreme violence and abuse, were provided with sexual/health education, life-skills classes and vocational training. The centre keeps children away from the dangers of the street and provides a stable base from which the outreach team can begin working with the child and their families to create a longer term solution. 

Kalki views its centre-based activities as an extension of its outreach work on the streets where the majority of vulnerable children and their families spend most of their time. Kalki’s team of social workers worked with over 250 children during the year with the ultimate aim of reintegrating them back with their families. Six outreach workers operate within the community, each responsible for a different area of the city, informing children of their rights, telling them how to seek help and protection, and encouraging them to visit the centre for further support. Newly established in January 2010, Kalki’s mobile library, stocked with books, videos and educational games, reached more than 300 children each month. Many street children are excluded from mainstream education because they are forced to stay at home caring for younger siblings, work on the streets to support themselves and their families, or school is too far away. The library visits areas with high concentrations of excluded street children and more remote areas, helping them to access basic education and prepare them for reintegration into formal education. 

Kalki has also recently established a HIV programme, which supports 140 children in the community by providing them with nutritious food, recreational activities, health check-ups, and emotional support.

Case Study - Raj (10 years old)

Raj comes from a family that has been living on the streets for generations.  His mother is a sex worker and he does not know his father.  For a long time he was in and out of school but, since joining a gang a year ago and becoming addicted to sniffing glue, he has dropped out of school completely.  Raj spent his days hanging around the streets, begging and stealing to pay for drugs and getting into fights with other gangs.

Raj knew of Kalki having seen Kalki’s social workers around town.  One of his friends had also told him about Kalki after visiting the drop-in centre.  Although initially very skeptical, (thinking the drop-in centre would be like school), Raj decided to have a quick look around.  When he arrived he saw his friend painting with one of Kalki’s volunteers.  An art lover himself, Raj decided to stay and joined in the class.

Raj now visits the drop-in centre almost daily.  He is still not ready to rejoin school as he struggles to remain in one place and concentrate for long periods of time.  However he enjoys the art classes and has helped to paint colourful murals in the kindergarten classroom.

He is now more trustworthy of the social workers and is confident enough to speak to them about his past as well as his worries for the future.  He is keen to stop using drugs and through the support of the social workers is making good progress.  For the first time in his young life, Raj feels respected by adults and valued by those around him.  He finally has the self-confidence to believe that he can achieve his dream of becoming an artist.

Children at Kalki
Children at Kalki
Apr 11, 2011

Anna's Story

Anna and her daughter
Anna and her daughter

Kitgum Concerned Women’s Association (KICWA) was formed in 1998 by a group of women volunteers who were concerned about the plight of formerly abducted children from Kitgum District in northern Uganda.  As the number of children returning from captivity has decreased due to the on-going peace process, KICWA is now focusing on the resettlement needs of these children and communities that have been displaced by the conflict.  Anna is one of almost 4,000 children rehabilitated by KICWA.

In January 1999, Anna, aged 11, was abducted by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army).  Anna spent a large part of her childhood in captivity, during which she was forced to carry out domestic duties as well taking part in armed conflict.  Once she reached puberty, she was forced to become a wife of a rebel commander and fell pregnant.  In March 2006, after spending seven years in captivity, Anna and her baby girl were rescued by government troops.  With KICWA’s support and ongoing follow-up, Anna has been successfully rehabilitated and reintegrated into her former community.

“During the reunification process, I received a warm welcome from my community through a traditional cleansing ceremony.  I lived with my uncle and my grandmother for a year and got married to my lovely husband.  My marriage was out of my own choice since I had cherished to be married to a caring husband.  In my marriage I was blessed with a baby girl who became very close to my other child that I had while in captivity.  The most amazing thing is that my husband loves all these children equally, which has really contributed to my readjustment to community life.  I have now forgotten of all the bad memories of captivity.

“Currently we are working very hard to cultivate our farm land and have planted varieties of crops such as cassava, millet and beans.  We have joined the local farming group, which has boosted our agricultural output and gives us guidance on what we should plant.  This has further broadened my social network and I feel wholly accepted by the community.”

Anna now produces enough food to feed her whole family as well as sell some to the community.  Anna and her new family can now look forward to a brighter, happier future.