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.
Dec 7, 2011

Mobile library reaching thousands of children

The mobile library team with a family
The mobile library team with a family

Srey Leak, 11 years old, lives near the port in the bustling town of Sihanoukville.  Her parents make their living from selling fish and Srey often used to help them.  She recently dropped out of school to help earn some money for her family.

M’Lop Tapang’s mobile library team met her two years ago when they provided weekly education sessions on a fishing platform in a remote part of the fishing village.  M’Lop’s social workers assessed her needs and immediately found out she was not attending school.  They also found out that she had an ear problem and her parents could not afford to send her to a doctor.

The social worker referred her to the M’Lop Tapang clinic were staff treated her with antibiotics for an ear infection.  M’Lop’s Back-to-school team met her and her family and helped her return to school.  M’Lop met her teachers and director of the school and over time managed to help her reach the appropriate grade.  Srey was provided with school uniforms, shoes, school bags and learning materials, as well as M’Lop’s education team monitoring her attendance daily.  She is now in Grade 3.

She loves drawing and playing sport, and when she grows up she would like to be a nurse and help improve the healthcare situation in her community.

M’Lop’s mobile library is an excellent referral point for thousands of children in the Sihanoukville area, processing daily referrals of children back into education and training and for medical services, which are also available to their carers.

Nov 15, 2011

Project update from Pondicherry

Mobile Library
Mobile Library

In the past year, this project has provided care and protection to about 700 children living in Pondicherry and nearby districts.  Each child is assigned a social worker who is responsible for designing a ‘development plan’, based on their specific needs and abilities, which outline the care and support they will receive.  The plans are reviewed on a regular basis and help to monitor the child’s progress. 

130 young girls who used to live on the streets and were exposed to all forms of abuse and exploitation have been offered protection through Kalki’s night shelter (when needed) and provided with sexual/reproductive health education, workshops on confidence building, educational support, professional training and job placement.  Younger children (girls under 18 and boys under 14) who were facing similar difficulties or were simply left alone by their parents were also able to use the temporary night shelter.

The Outreach Programme and Drop-in Programme have enabled Kalki to be constantly in touch with the children (and their families) through follow-ups and the identification of new beneficiaries.  The outreach team has supported families and children both on the street where they live or through Kalki’s facilities, always keeping in mind that reunification between the child and his/her family should be the final objective, if possible and appropriate.  At present, the outreach team is in contact with 260 children.

The Mobile Library has brought education and recreational activities to more than 248 children each month, accessing those areas where no physical presence is possible but where there is a high concentration of children.  Touring the town, the Mobile Library also provides education on health, hygiene and child protection.

The Early Childhood Programme, which includes a crèche, kindergarten and pre-school, has supported an average of 75 children under the age of six each day.  As well as expert care by experienced and qualified staff, the programme offers nutritious meals, healthcare, early childhood education, and a wide range of stimulating activities for children.  These children would otherwise have been left alone on the street or under the care of older siblings while parents are at work.  This programme has therefore also enabled the older siblings to attend school.

Finally, with the recently started HIV programme Kalki has supported 140 children in the districts of Pondicherry and Cuddalore by providing them with nutritional food, recreational activities, health check-ups and emotional support.  Visits by Kalki’s dedicated social workers have meant that the condition of the children can be continually assessed, while the support of the Mobile Library has meant that areas away from the town can be accessed.

Sep 30, 2011

We now have football in school, I am so obsessed with playing that I think of never missing school!

Community awareness meeting
Community awareness meeting

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.  Here is a selection of recent achievements:

Increased School Attendance

The holistic educational support provided to the schools and children has promoted enrolment, attendance, and consequently improved the performance of the children who would otherwise lack the opportunity to access education due to poverty.  This support included provision of school uniforms, books, pens/pencils, and mathematical sets that were provided to all the targeted children; and sports equipment (balls, sports uniforms etc) and stationery to six primary schools that are supported by the project.  The support has inspired the children to attend school on a regular basis since they now have the basic scholastic materials and can take part in sports activities:

“I was very excited about the support especially the football that made me not to miss school; because we now have football in school, I am so much obsessed with playing that I think of never missing school.” Pupil

“I used to successively miss classes because of lack of scholastic materials and household chores.  I was always forced to do casual work to raise money to buy books and pens for me and my siblings. However due to the support from KICWA, it helped me to promptly be in school and hence was able to pass to the next class.” Pupil

School Enrollment

The project has recently enrolled 20 children born in captivity in early childhood education.  The children were able to start learning while their parents (young mothers) were able to engage in income generating activities and household chores.  The project was able to pay for their school fees and other scholastic needs such as uniforms, books, and pens.

Improved School Performance

Educational support has led to the improvement of the children’s academic performance. Because of increased attendance and interest in studying, all children were able to progress to the next class.  Out of the 187 children supported in primary education 84% passed with high grades and progressed to the next class while 16% passed with low grades.  

Increased Community Responsibility

The project has improved the knowledge and awareness of the roles and responsibilities of key actors in the education of children in the community.  KICWA organized 18 dialogue meetings with teachers, parents, children and School Management Committees (SMCs) in the parishes to sensitize and create awareness on each actors’ roles and responsibilities in the education and development of children.  Through the interactive meetings the members became fully aware of their roles.

“I spare some time to find out what my child is doing in school and count books and pens given to her to avoid any loss.” Parent

Increased Community Awareness

The project has helped to increase knowledge and awareness of community members on the importance of education for girls and the impact of domestic violence and gender-based violence (GBV) on community development.  KICWA recently organized four dialogue and sensitization meetings in two parishes in Kitgum district.  The meetings attracted parents and other members of the community and were facilitated by community leaders, the police and members of the child protection committees.  The meetings were an eye opener to many community members.

I used to think that the issue of GBV was an attempt by the female folk to dominate the male folk, but after the meeting I now know that its related to the gender roles (social responsibilities attached to the respective sexes) that need to be shared between husband and wife; I will now go back home and help my wife to bathe my children.” Parent

 Vocational Training

The project has recently helped 10 child mothers to enroll in vocational skills training and provided them with tools to help them establish income generating activities.  The mothers have acquired various skills such as tailoring, hair dressing, sign language, and tanning, which have helped them to secure work and become less dependent on their parents.

 Improved Income Levels

The project has contributed to improvement in the income level and savings culture of the child mothers. This is evident by their improved ability to meet their children’s basic needs such as paying for their medical bills, clothing, food and other household related costs.  Most of the child mothers in the women’s groups are able to earn more than three dollars a day as all of them are actively engaged in income generating activities.  Similarly, the activities of village savings and loan schemes have improved the saving culture of the child mothers involved in the business activities.

“I now earn over 5,000shs ($2.5) daily from my small business and I have managed to accumulate savings of up to 750,000shs ($325) in the past six months.  The proceeds from the business has helped me to buy livestock such as pigs and goats which I shall sell in future at a higher price to buy a piece of land for my children.” Mother