Education and Protection of Children and Young People (EPCYP): The project was funded by Comic Relief for five years, from September 2011 to August 2016. ChildHope took over management of the project in May 2015 when the International ChildCare Trust closed. The project aimed to
1. Increase enrolment in quality primary education, particularly for children living with disabilities
2. Implement improved child protection mechanisms, ensuring children have a voice in their development and implementation
3. Give child mothers safe opportunities to earn a living and increase their household income
The project participants included vulnerable and marginalised children, including those born in captivity, children and young people with disabilities and child mothers. All were living in communities in Kitgum and Lamwo districts in Northern Uganda, affected by the conflict between Ugandan government forces and the Lord’s Resistance Army, where access to education and other services, including child protection services, have remained poor since the end of hostilities in 2006.
The five-year project supported 1451 marginalised children to enrol, attend and stay in school, including 76 girls and 97 boys with disabilities. The programme focused not only on quantity but on improving the learning environment, by providing re-usable sanitary towels for girls, providing catch-up classes for children who had fallen behind in times of absence, and improving building conditions.
The children also participated in child rights clubs, where they learned about both their rights and responsibilities as citizens and participated in creating positive change in their schools and communities. 208 community leaders (80 women and 128 men) were trained in child protection and safeguarding, participation and inclusion, so that the children were listened to by adults who understood their rights and needs. New by-laws were passed to protect children, for example by curbing the public consumption of alcohol, and 174 child protection committee members (75 women and 99 men) were trained in community based child protection and encouraged to more effectively document reported cases.
Over the course of the five-year project, 616 child mothers were supported through vocational training and village savings and loans association (VSLA) schemes, which were also accessed by the parents of marginalised children enrolled in school, to increase their income and encourage ongoing support to their children’s education. Although the project has now ended the VSLAs are still meeting and operational and this has been one of the most successful, and sustainable, aspects of the programme.
By adopting a holistic approach to addressing the right to education and child protection with different stakeholders in the community, including parents, teachers, the local authorities, community leaders and politicians, the project increased access and retention of vulnerable children in schools and catch-up centres. Combining activities such as awareness raising on girls education and disability and inclusion, along with training and capacity building on child safeguarding, ensured the quality of the school experience improved for the target groups.
80% of child mothers and young people are able to meet their daily needs.
70% of child mothers and young people have increased their income from $1 to $6 a day.
The knock-on effect of this increase in income has been a greater commitment to keep children in school and value their education..
“I am very grateful because before I had to beg for money to eat, but now I am self-providing, independent and can support my family” Josephine
Subscribe to our newsletter. Don't miss a thing, show your support and follow us...