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ChildHope's aim is to achieve social justice for children. We recognize the crucial role that is played by families in keeping children off the streets and protecting them from abuse. That is why most of our projects involve working not only with children but also with family, carers and community members, whether this is to support their livelihoods or to educate them about the dangers faced by children working on the streets or the importance of children receiving education.

What is International Day of Families and why is it important?
The UN established the International Day of Families in 1993 to raise awareness about the importance of families and how they are affected by different social, economic and political factors. The theme of the day for this year is confronting family poverty. This is a particularly important subject for us at ChildHope because we are confronted daily by the impact that family poverty has on children all over the world. Many of the children we support are either living or working on the streets. In many cases they are there because their family is living in such extreme poverty that they have had to leave to earn money. This can involve children as young as six leaving their family's village to work in the city, where they are vulnerable to being abused or exploited, and often end up working in extremely hazardous jobs.
What is ChildHope doing to help families and children?
In Peru it is estimated that over 2 million children are involved in labour, of which a third is classed as hazardous. These children, who are usually from families living in extreme poverty, are often tricked into exploitative domestic labour or doing risky work in night clubs, streets or rubbish dumps.

ChildHope has been working with three local NGOs, Calandria, Amhauta and Proceso Social, to eliminate the worst forms of child labour and improve education for children in Peru. The project works with families in two ways:

  1. To help create more stable family incomes so that their children are no longer forced to work in dangerous jobs.
  2. To educate parents about the dangers of child labour and the risks faced by children who migrate to the cities.
With Amhauta, for example, which works in the rural areas of Cusco, our project has been providing vocational training and business skills at the same time as implementing a scheme which allows women to set up and run their own businesses. We have found that by offering families the opportunity to develop income-generation skills, the family environment becomes more stable. Alongside education about the importance of children attending school and the dangers of hazardous labour, this then leads to children leaving dangerous jobs so they can return to school. Once back in education the children are able to develop the skills to start their own businesses when they are older, thus ensuring that their families will not fall back into poverty.

ChildHope believes that confronting family poverty in this way will lead to sustainable changes and a safer world for the millions of children worldwide who are living and working on the streets.

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