Most children grow up with layers of support around them. ChildHope works with children when the usual support structures have broken down, leaving them vulnerable and marginalised.
Primary importance is often placed on the family, but children thrive through the many interactions and relationships they form with friends, teachers, neighbours and others who enter their world. This complex network of relationships provides the type of protective environment that is every child’s right.
For the children we work with, these layers of protection have been stripped away leaving them seriously at risk. Many find themselves alone, migrating from village to city, trafficked from country to country or living on the street, deprived of adult care. For others, protection has been replaced by relationships scarred by fear and violence.
Children are sexually exploited by the adults who are meant to protect them or forced into early marriage, often with much older men. Disabled children are shunned or neglected by those around them. And in many cases, while governments have developed elaborate policies, their implementation is lacking, denying children any state support.
The challenges facing these children are widely documented. Their strengths are not. ChildHope encourages children to recognise their own strengths and capabilities to overcome the challenges they face. We examine each layer of the system that surrounds them and build mechanisms that allow them access to support and protection.
We believe there is always hope. We enable children to support their friends through children’s clubs and peer mentoring. We train teachers to identify children at risk and respond appropriately. We work with communities to change attitudes and develop their capacity to protect the most vulnerable. Whatever the situation, we aim to find a relationship or connection that can be nurtured in order to build the safety net that all children need.
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