About the project:
Following the closure of the International Childcare Trust in May 2015, ChildHope took on a project funded by the Marr Munning Trust and delivered by Voice of Children in Nepal. The two year project has recently drawn to a close. In spite of serious challenges – including the devastating earthquake and severe aftershocks in Nepal in May 2015 and a change in UK partner – Voice of Children was able to deliver the project effectively and, during this time, ChildHope and Voice of Children were able to secure a one-year grant from the Jersey Overseas Aid Commission. 768 people directly benefited from the project supported by Marr Munning Trust, which worked closely with rural families to prevent children at high risk from leaving their homes in search of a better life in the city of Kathmandu.
Who we are helping:
Children are given a better understanding of their rights and how they can protect themselves from abuse and exploitation. Their families are supported to increase their income and their understanding of the importance of education to their children’s future, and encouraged to enable their children to go to school. Local authorities and community leaders also benefited from increased awareness of children’s rights and their responsibilities and power to protect children in their area.
How we helped:
The vocational training programme enabled 189 families to increase their economic capacity and skills, so that they were better equipped to provide for their children’s basic needs and education. Training recipients were women as, prior to this, it was only the husbands who contributed to family incomes. The project income generation activities enabled women in families to contribute as well. Training has both boosted confidence and increased the monthly family income by on average 30%. It was also found that the families have increased awareness of children’s rights and knowledge on positive childcare practices.
381 children reported feeling safer, with improved psychosocial wellbeing, as a result of their participation in the project. Through training and informal discussions, they were equipped with information and prevention mechanism to protect themselves from abuse and exploitation. Prior to the project, these children were either street-connected or living in an unstable abusive family environment. The project activities encouraged them to return back to school and helped in improving their relationships with family members.
Regular meetings and sensitisation programmes around child rights with parents and school teachers ensured that children were better taken care of. Eighteen Child Rights Clubs and nine Family Groups were formed in the target communities, which helped to strengthen community based child protection mechanisms.
Children in their clubs meet frequently to discuss school related activities, child rights issues and play games. Through clubs, children were able to raise issues concerning them around physical or sexual abuse and neglect by family members. School teachers were also made aware of child protection issues through the awareness sessions and workshop so that they were better equipped to deal with issues arising.
198 families & 90 community members developed a better understanding of relevant available government services and provision. As a result of this, four Family Groups were registered in municipality (local council) and received small grants for community development, which they used in activities such as leadership training for families, education support for children, street lighting, etc. The family groups are able to handle problems raised in community like violence in families, child abuse issues, etc, and if there is anything which they don’t feel confident to handle, they know who to go to for further support. The project also ensured that 56 government officials & 52 existing Child Protection Committees members improved their knowledge of child rights and protection mechanisms and established good relationship with District Child Welfare Board (DCWB), which helps in regular monitoring of activities related to child protection.
Child Clubs and family groups will continue without any external support and this is a model of sustainable community based child protection. Families with increased income are in a better position to support their children’s future. Instead of engaging children in work to contribute in family income, they are now encouraging children to get educated. Working with local government authorities, local leaders and school teachers has ensured they are more vigilant towards any child rights and protection issues.
How this will improve the child’s life:
The children in the project, who continue with their education in a more nurturing home environment, have improved life chances, with significantly reduced risk of the kinds of harm that come with migrating alone at a young age and living on the streets of the city.
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