May 5, 2021

Home Based Learning Project Report

Dear Supporter,

Thank you for your generosity, kindness and support towards Street Child’s home-based learning initiative in the North and East of Sri Lanka. We are pleased to share an update on project progress.

Sri Lanka is currently experiencing a third wave in COVID-19 cases with the daily rate of infection higher than previously recorded figures. As of May 1st 2021, the current average has exceeded 1,300 new cases which has resulted in over 13,000 active cases. The health ministry has issued a revised alert level 3 COVID-19 restriction list in operation with immediate effect until further notice. Nationwide school closures have been announced for the third time in a span of one year, continuing to threaten the long-term prospects of children in marginalised communities.

This project was designed to overcome the challenges that may arise due to the uncertainty of COVID-19 in the country. The learning support package of interactive learning materials that were distributed to 874 children from remote, rural communities of North and East Sri Lanka through our local partners have continued to support student’s English education through periods of inconsistent schooling.

105 teachers have received training for inclusive and interactive learning thus far including use of digital learning resources in the classroom. During a period of 3 months when schools conducted classes on a limited capacity, the skills learnt through these training sessions have been useful upon the reopening of schools. Teachers have shown appreciation towards such trainings and have requested for future comprehensive skills training in interactive learning. 

With the uncertainty of COVID-19 and lack of indication of when students will be able to return to normal schooling, our home-based learning intervention will continue to play a vital role as students navigate their education in the upcoming weeks and months. Street Child hope to continue expanding this program to reach more students and encourage a continuation of learning throughout the challenges faced amid the pandemic. Street Child thank you for your ongoing support. We look forward to sharing further progress with you soon.

Jan 15, 2021

Project Update - January 2021

Dear Supporter,

We are pleased to share an update on our programme supporting children and women in conflict with the law in Balkh and Kabul Provinces of Afghanistan.

The COVID-19 pandemic has created significant challenges with increased restrictions upon access to detention facilities. Despite these challenges in delivery, our team have been able to maintain support for vulnerable children and women in in a number of key areas – diversion of cases to avoid unnecessary detention of children and women; rehabilitation to support the education and wellbeing of incarcerated children and women, and reintegration support for children and women into their families, schools and communities.

We have progressed in promoting diversion of cases - promoting more proportionate sentencing and avoiding the involvement of children and women in the punitive justice system altogether. Our interventions been directly effective towards increased diversion of cases, but also our capacity strengthening measures have built the ability of justice sector actors to promote diversion of cases in the long-term. Specifically, our team has achieved the following:

  • Facilitated the diversion of children in conflict with the law from incarceration through promotion of alternatives to detention – a total of 63 cases in the past year
  • Provided legal advice sessions to women and girls in female detention facilities – 232 women and girls in past year
  • Delivered advocacy and training for community members, correctional facility and police station staff, government and other key stakeholders to change attitudes, policies and procedures to better protect the rights of vulnerable children and women – 42 police officers, 24 social workers and 21 prison staff were trained in the past year
  • Carried out a research study evaluating alternative to detention methods. The report will be made available to justice sector stakeholders and the wider community to advocate for community service sentencing as a viable and much-needed alternative to detention

We have also progressed in offering rehabilitation support to incarcerated women and children. Our interventions have improved education and employability skills, the health and emotional well-being of incarcerated children and women; the long-term effects of can reduce rates of recidivism (reoffending). In particular, we have:

  • Delivered education and vocational training programmes to children and women including basic literacy and numeracy classes, as well as specific classes in computing, English and arts. 192 children and 89 women participated in education and vocational programmes in the past year
  • Provided psychosocial counselling support and support group sessions to address stress and mental traumas faced by incarcerated children and women. 47 children and 506 women received psychosocial support through individual and group sessions in the past year
  • Offered gender-responsive rights awareness courses to incarcerated women and girls. 93 women and girls in female detention facilities participated in the course in the past year

Finally, we have supported the reintegration of children and women upon release. Our reintegration support tackles a strong negative bias towards children and women offenders that prevents acceptance by families and communities, therefore reducing the likelihood of recidivism upon release. In particular, we have:

  • Supported incarcerated children with reintegration prior to release by facilitating family visits, and post-release through monitoring visits by programme social workers – 340 children received reintegration support in the past year
  • Provided reintegration support for former detainees women’s detention facilities post-release through social work support via telephone – 70 women received post-release social work support in the past year

We thank you for your continued support. We look forward to sharing further updates with you.

Jan 15, 2021

Update - January 2021

Dear Supporter,

We are pleased to share an update on the progress of our work in support of marginalised Musahar girls in the Terai region of Nepal. 

Our team have continued to meet the basic needs of Musahar girls during the COVID-19 pandemic through provision of food assistance and essential hygiene packs to girls and their families.  

Activities suspended since March 2020 including literacy and numeracy classes and life skills support circles have now resumed. By adapting our methods of delivery from face-to-face sessions to remote sessions, we have resumed our vital work in strengthening the self-confidence, resilience and employability of girls.

Our team have piloted an innovative intervention that combines delivery methods of audio-assisted sessions, self-learning print packages, and phone sessions to develop foundational arithmetic and reading skills of girls participating in the programme. In addition to maintaining learning gains, the approach incorporates sharing of life-saving information and psychosocial protection to mitigate against negative coping strategies for girls during confinement.

Impact assessment data of our remote learning and protection intervention show that girls have achieved significant learning gains. After 5 weeks of remote learning, the proportion of girls able to read simple paragraphs of text fluently sharply increased from just 22% to 55% of girls. Similarly for numeracy, after 5 weeks the proportion of students unable to recognise 2-digit numbers decreased by more than four-fold from 23% at baseline to just 5% after 5 weeks. 

Assessment results also show that girls made significant gains in understanding of critical skills for socio-emotional development and protection. After 5 weeks of remote learning the proportion of girls with demonstrable understanding of health-related issues doubled from 40% to 88% of girls.

These substantive gains in foundational numeracy, literacy and life skills are transformative towards the ability of girls to access vital information and navigate risks encountered on a day-to-day basis, as well as increasing long-term employability prospects.

We thank you for your continued support towards this vital work.

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