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.
Oct 25, 2012

Training to former child labourers

Ram
Ram

Over the past year, this project has made a massive difference to child labourers and children who at risk of entering exploitative work in Myagdi district, West Nepal.  One such child is Ram.

Ram, 16 years old, has lived in the small village of Dhairing in Parbat District all his life.  Because of extreme poverty and lack of fertile land, his parents were forced to work on other people’s land offering wages enough for just a hand to mouth existence.  Due to this extreme situation, Ram dropped out of school at the age of 11 and began working as a seasonal agricultural labourer and stonebreaker.

One of REEC’s community workers came across Ram and began the long process of rehabilitation, with the aim of giving him an opportunity of a better life.  Ram became involved in a Child Rights Club but was unwilling to be enrolled into school.  He expressed interest in taking up tailoring training.  REEC supported him on a six month tailoring course along with an apprenticeship placement.  He successfully completed the training and has now been provided with a sewing machine and all the necessary equipment to set up his own tailoring shop.  This will meet not only his needs but also the needs of his family.  He is determined that his sister continues her education and does not have to take the tough path that he was compelled to take.  He is also involved in savings activities within his Child Rights Club in Dhairing and is also saving with a local cooperative.  When he was supported with the sewing machine, he commented:

"The programme conducted by REEC is supporting many child labourers like me so I would like to express my great thanks to REEC and its supporters.  This programme is creating awareness on our rights and is changing our life becoming dignified citizens.”

Aug 29, 2012

Student's determination increases exam pass rates!

Sophia with the new generator
Sophia with the new generator

International Childcare Trust established a partnership with Shalom Centre in March 2011.  Shalom is a local NGO, established in 2005, which provides support to street children in Arusha, northern Tanzania.  As well as providing services from its main centre and meeting the basic need of orphans and street children in the Arusha area, Shalom has developed an extensive outreach programme which focuses on reintegrating these children back into society.  Shalom supports children who otherwise would not have the opportunity to reach their full potential.  One such child is Sophia who has recently received a Diana Award after being nominated by Shalom.

Sophia is from Arusha and comes from a poor background.  Having spent two years living on the streets, she met a social worker from Shalom.  After meeting with the social worker three times, Sophia and her two siblings were helped to get off the streets and back into school.  Sophia was enrolled in Lesiraa Primary School where she completed her primary education in September 2011 and was then selected to join secondary school in January 2012.

The Diana Awards were founded in 1999 by the UK Government to act as a lasting legacy to Princess Diana’s belief in the power of young people to change the world.  The awards encourage their exceptional young recipients to continue building a better society for all.

Sophia has been awarded a Diana Award for her contribution to her community and the determination she demonstrated in the face of adversity when attempting to secure remedial classes for herself and her classmates, and an electrical generator for Shalom.  Sophia is assertive, persuasive and courageous.  She seeks to understand why some things are not progressing in a positive manner and actively looks for solutions to these issues.  

Having broached the subject with her peers, Sophia approached the teachers at her primary school with a request for remedial classes to help those students who were struggling.  She was sent away with the message that the school could not afford to do this as it would mean providing an additional meal to all of the students and staff involved in the classes.  Sophia was not deterred by this news, and instead, having spoken to parents, went back to the teachers with news that parents had agreed to pay for the extra meal.  Remedial classes were established and examination pass rates at the school consequently increased from 34% in 2010 to 81% in 2011.  The Ward Educational Officer was so impressed upon his visit to the school that he suggested to all of the schools within his ward that they establish a similar remedial class system to that of Lesiraa Primary School.

Not only did Sophia succeed in establishing a system of food and remedial classes at her primary school, she also suggested to Shalom that they install an electrical generator at the Centre to enable the resident children to complete their homework, in the light, at night.  Unfortunately Shalom did not have the funds to install such a generator, but again Sophia was not deterred.  She demonstrated her determination by working with Shalom to raise funds for an electrical generator by visiting churches in the area with the choir which she had founded at Shalom.  Sophia was successful in raising the funds needed to purchase the electrical generator.

Sophia is a role model and inspiration to her peers, inspiring them to lead positive lives. Her peers admire and learn from her, and the way in which she continually acts in the best interests of the community and her classmates.

Jul 27, 2012

Importance of the Drop-in Centre

A child at the drop-in centre
A child at the drop-in centre

Over the past year, this project has made a massive difference to child laborers and children who at risk of entering exploitative work in Myagdi district, West Nepal.  Central to this is the Drop-in Center, run by International Childcare Trust's partner, REEC.

Access to basic services for child laborers through the Drop-in Centre (DIC)

 Since March 2011, 438 child laborers (240 boys and 198 girls) had regular access to health services, non-formal education and play and recreation activities at the DIC. The DIC is central to reintegrating separated children back into their families and communities and providing legal aid to children who have suffered abuse and exploitation. The DIC also runs the outreach programme which enables identification and withdrawal of child laborers form the worst form of child laborer by decreasing their working hour and facilitating school enrollment. The DIC also provides essential support to the child laborers and children at risk, providing vital basic services and protecting them from abuse and exploitation.

Health services:

  • REEC provides a weekly health check-up to child laborers and children at-risk in the area.  373 children (168 boys and 205 girls) were examined by a health professional and given appropriate treatment for minor illnesses and ailments. Children identified to have major illnesses are referred to the district hospital or sometimes the regional or zonal hospital for specialized care depending on his/her condition and the availability of qualified staff in the local hospital.
  • All 438 children participated in awareness-raising sessions on substance abuse, HIV and AIDS and child rights – a combination of lectures and audiovisual means are used for these sessions followed by interactive question and answer session in which the children are encouraged to actively participate.
    • REEC has placed 10 first aid-medicine kits with local community health workers in 5 villages which have improved children and families’ access to minimum basic health care. This has also improved the rapport between community members and the community health workers, who earlier had the basic knowledge of first aid and basic medicine but did not have the resources to deliver the same.  466 children (206 child laborers and 260 children at-risk) and their families now have access to first-aid and basic medicine in these 5 villages through the efforts of REEC.

 Non-formal education (NFE):

  • 18 children are regularly attending NFE at the DIC; NFE comprises of classes on basic literacy, maths and English and hygiene and sanitation. Attending classes at the NFE helps children access basic education and prepares them for entry into formal schooling and potentially reduces the amount of time they spend working.

 Recreational activities:

  • All children accessing the center participate in sports and recreation activities. The DIC also holds football, volleyball and singing competitions to keep the children engaged and motivate them, increasing their confidence and self-esteem. In the past year, REEC conducted: sports competition including inter-child labour clubs (CLCs) football and volleyball competitions and sprints; singing competitions for girls and boys; and inter-club quiz competitions.

 Family reintegration:

  • Family reintegration is an important element of our work with child laborers and in line with International Childcare Trust’s (ICT) core strategic focus of protecting children’s rights to be part of families and communities. In the past year, 5 child laborers have been safely reunited with their families within Myagdi and other neighboring districts. REEC works with the child and family to ensure safe reintegration by addressing the root cause of family break-up – this takes series of follow-ups. All reunited children are being followed up to ensure they are enrolled and continue to stay in school.

 Legal aid:

  • A 12 year old girl child laborer was supported by REEC to take legal recourse against a neighbor, who was sexually abusing her. The perpetrator has since been duly convicted and imprisoned. REEC’s outreach workers continue to follow up on the case with regular meetings with the child and her family focusing on counseling and in due course outlining a plan, in consultation with the child, for her education and safe employment. Cases like this where children bravely come forward to talk about the abuse suffered are few and far between – REEC’s work on making children aware of their rights including child protection issues is vital to safeguarding the children from abuse and exploitation.
    • Most children from marginalized communities do not have any legal records of their birth which makes it difficult to get a citizenship card in Nepal, which is important for accessing services within the public system. REEC supported 160 child laborers (91 males and 69 females) to obtain birth registration in this reporting period.
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