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.
May 8, 2012

"It changed my life as well as my knowledge..."

Pabitra with other memebrs of the
Pabitra with other memebrs of the 'CLPG'

International Childcare Trust has been working in partnership with Rural Environment & Empowerment Centre (REEC) since 2009, supporting Brighter Futures for Child Labourers, a project that aims to provide vital support to child labourers in western Nepal and prevent other vulnerable, at-risk children entering exploitative and hazardous employment.

It is evident from REEC’s work with the communities that when families are not economically secure, children end up working to supplement the family income.  Family-based livelihood support is therefore crucial to preventing child labour and withdrawing children from exploitative and hazardous employment.  As part of the project REEC has established 10 Child Labour Parent Groups (CLPGs) throughout the district, with all women members.  Through these groups, REEC raises awareness among parents on child rights and hazards of child labour; the women also receive financial support for income generation activities as well as training on basic business skills and savings and credit concepts.

Pabitra, a member of Shantideep CLPG, is a woman belonging to the historically and traditionally discriminated and marginalised Dalit community.  Her only dream was to be free from debt and lead a socially respectable life.  As she could not afford to have goats of her own, Pabitra used to take care of other peoples’ goats for meagre wages.  Her husband worked as a stone breaker and both their wages put together could not feed their family of seven.  When her husband fell ill, her family either had to borrow from others or had to go hungry.  One day her youngest son asked her for a notebook and pencil for school, she was compelled to say "go to work instead of wasting your time reading."

She became a member of the parents groups after her son joined a Child Labour Club.  She obtained a grant from the group to buy a goat and begin earning money by selling milk.  She says that it now much easier to run the household.

"I feel ashamed that my son was nearly to leave school because of poverty but there was no alternative.  But nowadays it is easier to run our daily lives and it is not necessary to stop children from gaining from the bright light of education. REEC changed my life as well as knowledge.  My children will be one of the good citizens after his education.”

Mar 1, 2012

"I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education"

Case Study: Josephine

Josephine is a 15-year old pupil at Ayuu Alali Primary School.  She is from Palabek Kal sub county in Lamwo District and is the fourth born in a family of eight children.  After she lost her father in 2003 and her mother started to struggle to support the family on her own, KICWA identified Josephine for support in 2009.

Through the project, Josephine was provided with books, pens, pencils, a maths set, school bag and school uniform, which significantly improved her attendance and performance at school.  During a follow up visit by a KICWA social worker, Josephine said:

“Before I was identified to become a beneficiary of KICWA project, I used to miss school because I had to go and dig in people’s garden in order to get money to buy scholastic materials.  But when KICWA came in, I started attending school regularly and my performance in class also improved.  The scholastic support I received eased my class work so much because before I used to combine all the subjects in one exercise book which made reading a problem.  But now I can read freely because each subject has its own exercise book and am not sent out of class because I haven’t got the basic school requirements including uniform.   I even have many friends now.  Before, many of my peers were dodging me for fear of borrowing from them items such as pens, rubber etc.  I am so grateful for the support KICWA rendered towards my education.”

It is extremely evident that lack of basic school materials excludes many children from school simply because their parents/guardians cannot afford to buy them.  Josephine completed ‘primary six’ in December 2011 and has now been promoted to ‘primary seven’ after performing so well, coming seventh best out of 38 in her class.  Josephine is extremely determined to continue with her education and hopes to go on to secondary education.  One day Josephine dreams of becoming a doctor.  She maintains that the suffering of many people within her community, especially the children and women, has nurtured this dream.

Mar 1, 2012

Update from M'Lop Tapang

Last month M’Lop Tapang reached 207 children through its Mobile Library, as well as:

•    Providing education classes at the Main Centre to 223 children
•    Supporting 936 children in local government public schools
•    Providing 248 children and youth with organized sports and arts activities
•    Successfully reintegrating 6 children back to their families
•    Providing counselling to 31 children
•    Referring 19 new children from the streets into M’Lop Tapang programmes
•    Supporting 90 youths in vocational training programmes
•    Treated 873 children and 129 adults in the Medical Clinic

Helping to reunite a lost child with her parents…
More than 80 calls were made to M’Lop’s 24-Hour Confidential Hotline over the last month. Thanks to one of those calls and the cooperation of local authorities one scared little girl found her way back home safely. 

It was a frightening start to the New Year for one little four-year girl when she wandered away from her house and became lost.  The police found her near the factory district and called M’Lop’s Hotline to see if they could help.  Unable to locate the family immediately the little girl stayed in M’Lop’s Girl’s Night Shelter for one night.  The next day, after talking with people in the area, the Child Protection team was able to finally track down the girl’s mother who was happy and relieved to have her daughter back home safe and sound.

Drop-in Center
Drug use by children and youth on the streets of Sihanoukville is common as they look for means to numb the pain and hunger and deal with the hardships associated with street life.  M'Lop Tapang's Drop-in Center is a drug free environment that offers access to hot nutritious meals, shower facilities, sports and counselling for drug-using street youth.

On average approximately 30 youth access the Drop-in Center.  Many of the boys in the past have gone on to join one of M'Lop Tapang's vocational training programmes offering them a chance at a more stable and brighter future.

Street Carnival 2012
Each year M’Lop Tapang organizes a 3-day street carnival with hundreds of children participating and an audience of thousands.

Using music, dancing and colourful costumes the carnival includes daytime parades through the streets of Sihanoukville and night-time concerts.  Each year the carnival highlights specific issues affecting Cambodian children.  This year's Carnival was held from February 23-25, 2012, focusing on road safety and HIV.