On 18th June, we hosted our annual Partner Event at Sarasin & Partners LLP. Uganda Reproductive Health Bureau (URHB) & Butterflies, our partners from Uganda and India, presented their vital work to our supporters. We were delighted to see so many of our supporters and wanted to say a huge THANK YOU for your ongoing support.
From left to Right Francis Nfukiraani National Co-ordinator at Uganda Reproductive Health Bureau URHB, ChildHope's Patron Juliet Stevenson, & Rita Panikar, Founder and Director of award winning partner project Butterflies in India.
Commercial sexual exploitation in Uganda. In Uganda, it is estimated that 6,000 girls have been recruited into sex work since 2006, with some girls as young as 13 years old. Extreme poverty, huge pressure coming from the families to contribute to household income and both physical and emotional domestic violence, are major factors leading girls to the street. The majority (63%) of sexually exploited children are girls who are orphans and 80% live without any connection to their families. Truck drivers are one of the main groups involved in the sexual exploitation of the girls. Bordering Kenya, eastern Uganda is transversed by the busy Busia/Malaba-Kampala highway (the A109), which dominates the Eastern trucking corridor, and this is where URHB's project work is focused.
Uganda Reproductive Health Bureau (URHB)
is our partner project in Uganda. The overall aim of their project is to more effectively prevent the commercial sexual exploitation of children at-risk and to support those who are already involved to find alternative livelihoods and, wherever possible, reunification with family and community. URHB is currently helping 270 girls aged 13-17 years, who are currently commercially sexually exploited, to find alternative opportunities through education and training. Here, you can see Francis Nfukiraani, URHB National Co-ordinator talking about the project's challenges and progress.
- 430 commercially sexually exploited girls have connected with URHB social workers for project support
- 70 girls have completed vocational training and received a business loan
- 622 sex workers and clients have received health services including Voluntary Confidential Counselling and Testing (for HIV), sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment and counselling
Lucy loved school but her family struggled to pay her fees. When her father passed away, Lucy recounts that her life 'became even more difficult', and she dropped out of school completely. She ran away from home and went to a town where she met some other girls of similar age, renting a single room for themselves. As a means of survival, all the girls were forced to have sex with men for very little money. They were often abused by the men but couldn't see a way out. After over two years away from home, Lucy heard other girls talking about URHB, and a programme working with young girls. Wanting to escape her situation, Lucy decided to talk with one of URHB's Social Workers. With support from URHB, Lucy has now withdrawn from sex work and is back with her family.
India is home to 19% (440 million) of the world's children, 110.4 million of whom are street or working children. These children experience abuse, exploitation, have limited access to healthcare and poor nutrition and most do not attend school.
Butterflies, our partner in India, works to empower children with the skills and knowledge to exit the cycle of illiteracy and poverty. They implement realistic programmes designed with street and working children themselves, focusing on education, child protection and health. Rita Panicker, Butterflies' Founder and Director, told us how:
- Education and mobile schools reach the most vulnerable children in the remotest areas giving them the opportunity to obtain an elementary level of schooling.
- The Children's Development Khazana (CDK), life skills education teaching the children financial management.
- Child Health Co-operatives enable children themselves to take control of their health and well-being as well as providing a service to their communities
Our impactHere are some figures of the direct and indirect impact Butterflies is making on the lives of vulnerable street and working children through the CDK and Child Health Co-operatives
- Delhi - 1,922 (1,431boys and 491 girls)
- Uttarakhand - 1,234 (589 boys and 645 girls)
- Andaman and Nicobar Islands - 1,465 (704 boys and 761 girls)
- Indirect (through partners):
- Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Madagascar and Ghana Outreach - 12,346 children (6,633 boys and 5,713 girls)