PROJECTS FUNDED IN 2019
Empowering Girls in Rural Areas
Dignified Children International in Kenya addresses the challenges of young girls in rural areas and focuses on expanding opportunities for disadvantaged girls. Our support will allow the organization of 7-week long personal development workshops in central Kenya for vulnerable girls to empower them to dream bigger. Classes on responsible adulthood, economic independence and college preparedness will be taught, and many activities will be geared towards self-confidence, communication, problem solving and leadership. Participants are then invited to a 7-day camp where girls meet with experts in different careers and participate in peer-to-peer learning in a relaxed environment. Activities include themed sports, hiking excursions, group art sessions as well as one on one time with various mentors. These workshops and the camp are a platform to teach these young girls a variety of skills which will help them successfully navigate the transition into adulthood.
Girl Child Rights and Art
We are very proud to support Girls to Lead Africa in their work to sensitize girls, parents, community members and local leaders in the Kanungu District on the dangers of gender-based discrimination and girl child rights abuses through the use of art. This district is located in the western part of Uganda and is a rural, remote, and very hard-to-reach area. Most girls living there don’t know about their rights and most parents still look at girls as property and a source of wealth for the family (girls are forced into early marriages to generate money to pay school fees for their brothers) and consider a girl’s education to be a waste of time and money. Over 200 girls will participate in drama and dance performances and art displays in churches, community centers, markets and trading centres, impacting over 150,000 people. All the performances and displays will carry very strong messages about girl child rights and condemn gender-based discrimination.
Menstrual Health Management
Development Expertise Centre is working with schools in the Buikwe District in Central Uganda to support young girls in understanding and managing their sexuality. Every month, countless girls miss schooldays as a result of menstruation. Although parents are supposed to provide their young daughters with information about their sexuality, they too lack the skills to communicate and abdicate their responsibility to the school teachers. 80% of the girls in the targeted schools have had their first period with no prior information from either their parents or teachers. We are collaborating with them to provide parents and teachers with various skills to properly communicate to young people on issues of sexuality. And over 300 girls will receive education on menstrual health management and will be taught how to manage their menstruation through the use of reusable pads.
Sports for Children in Slums
Cesba Kenya’s goal is to enroll children and youth from the slums of Ongata Rongai and Nairobi in sporting and recreational activities. Physical education and engaging in play are key factors in a child’s development, but the majority of kids living in the slums don’t have access to sporting facilities or any kind of social amenities. Participation in sports will enhance the growth and development of cognitive and social skills and is especially critical for youth who are currently engaging in delinquent behaviours. We are providing our support to help 250 needy children who will be given the opportunity to participate in various sports activities such as soccer, table tennis, skating and track & field as well learn how to play chess and scrabble. These activities will be complemented by educational and instructional sessions on life-skills and mentorship, food and nutrition, drug and substance abuse counselling, environmental awareness, and personal grooming and hygiene.
Returning Girls with a Disability their Dignity
We are so proud to announce that we are working with the Gifted Community Center in the Kibera slums of Nairobi, Kenya to increase ENROLMENT and retention of girls with disabilities in schools. With our support, they will be creating a peer-based network of girls and women with disabilities for economic empowerment and emotional support, advocating for full inclusion of persons with disabilities in the health and education programming, and promoting increased access to sanitary materials, health services and information for girls with disabilities. The objective is to ensure menstrual hygiene practices are taught in schools and are promoted in community settings, that leaders allocate the appropriate funds to provide a safe sanitation infrastructure whilst simultaneously investing in social businesses that provide environmentally sustainable low-cost pads, and that laws are implemented to protect girls from harmful socio-cultural myths surrounding menstruation. To that effect, various information and training sessions and awareness workshops will be organized for the girls as well as for community leaders, health and education officials and members of government.
Breaking Silence and Taboos
Innovative Youth with Action Uganda is launching their “Girl Empowerment Project” with our support. The focus is on breaking the unspoken cultural silence and taboos surrounding menstruation. The project will target 4,500 in-school girls and 2,500 out-of-school girls between the ages of 10 and 17 years, as well as 7,000 men, boys and parents in school communities in Northern Uganda, with an objective of overcoming the stigma associated with menstruation which is one of the leading causes of girls dropping out of school. The organization will contribute to the educational development of girls and women andwill employ a comprehensive approach to improve the knowledge, attitudes, and practices surrounding menstrual health of children, parents, teachers and the entire community through sensitization training and community dialogues. In addition, school girls will be trained on how to make reusable cloth sanitary pads and will be provided with personal dignity items and covered bins for proper disposal of sanitary pads. And very importantly, men and boys will be taught to become involved and supportive of girls during their menstruation.
Emergency Education Support
We are very excited to announce our collaboration with The Denis Miki Foundation to provide emergency education support to children living in some of the conflict-affected areas of the Anglophone Crisis in Cameroon. Two years into the Anglophone Crisis, hundreds have been recorded dead, over a thousand homes burned, dozens of schools attacked and over 250,000 people have fled their homes. The organization will be working with several local communities affected by the crisis to ensure that children, women and girls affected by the crisis are educated and economically empowered. Courses will be taught using Google Classrooms and online platforms in what are called small “Neighbourhood Education Clusters”. Children will be providedwith healthy and nutritious meals throughout the day to increase school attendance, retention and graduation rates, and also encourage parents to send their children to school rather than keeping them home. In addition, a “Safe Schools” campaign will be launched to educate the various parties in the armed conflict on the importance of why children should go to school even during periods of war.
Tackling Human Trafficking and GBV
A lot of young people in Nigeria have experienced different forms of human rights abuses such as gender-based violence, exploitation, human trafficking, rape, and stigmatization and the majority of these cases go unreported. A report by the U.S. State Department has described Nigeria as a country where gross human rights violations occur at will, and according to the 2018 Global Slavery Index, there are 1.3 million victims of human trafficking in Nigeria, making it one of the countries with the highest number of human trafficking victims. Research shows that 80% of the victims of human trafficking are women and girls between the ages of 6 and 24. In addition, the incidence of gender-based violence (GBV) is growing astronomically in Nigeria, especially in the Northern sections of the country. Nearly 3 in 10 Nigerian women have experienced physical and sexual violence by the age of 15. We are providing our support to Devatop Centre for Africa Development to train young people to become advocates against human trafficking and GBV and educate up to 50,000 of their peers on how to use Devatop’s recently developed human rights abuse reporting app (known as TALKAM) to monitor and report incidences of such abuses.
Restoring Hope to Orphaned Children
Raise A Child Initiative in Uganda aims to provide a springboard for orphaned children to develop their learning skills, thinking skills, positive attitudes and self-love. Orphaned children often experience higher levels of stigma, psychological stress and trauma, leading to poor school attendance and educational achievement, and are at a much greater risk of abuse and mistreatment. We are collaborating with this wonderful organization to restore the hope and to provide joy to 250 children between the ages of 5 and 12 years through social story-telling, counselling, mentorship, cognitive behavioural therapy and psychological rehabilitation of their thinking. A wide range of activities will enhance their language and thinking skills, reinforce positive attitudes and self-love, as well as an appreciation of other cultures through community story-telling groups, trips to meet motivational speakers (who were orphans themselves before becoming successful), and surprise kindness gifts. The hope is that this will enhance their sense of love, confidence and self-esteem, and help them realize their full potential.
Culturally Relevant Books for Students
Our newest grantee, Tomorrow’s Stars, is committed to improving educational opportunities for approximately 500 children in Elmina, Ghana. There are currently very few local content books in the schools and community libraries, and this organization firmly believes students deserve to have culturally relevant books they can relate to by seeing children who look like them and reading stories that are meaningful to them. Our support will help provide professional development to tutors who will be taught to write children’s books and who will then create early readers containing photos and illustrations local to the environment for kindergarten and grade 1 students in both English and the local language of Fante. For older students, the tutors will write “A Day in the Life” books exploring various vocational opportunities available in Ghana to inspire students to work hard in school and be hopeful for their future. In addition, we will help publish approximately 300 books so that every child will have access to culturally relevant books at school and at home. Through the use of these books, the hope is that students will be inspired to become readers and acquire a love of learning.
Supporting Victims of Sexual Violence
The goal of the Peace and Development Outreach Volunteers in Liberia is to reduce the incidence of sexual gender-based violence (SGBV) and harassment in schools. Most of the abuses and crimes are perpetrated by teachers and male students against girls between the ages of five to fifteen. In the schools of Lofa County, 25% of the girls who are raped become critically ill and eventually die, 30% of the students who survive rape will never bear children as a result of the damage caused to their genitals and 55% of children who survive rape remain traumatized and imbued with fear. Perpetrators of these rapes usually threaten to kill the girls if they dare speak up and, as a result, the victims do not normally report these crimes. We are working with this wonderful organization to encourage girls, parents and teachers to report these assaults and rapes immediately to law enforcement and to educate them about preventive measures and the legal pathways and resources which are available to them to ensure the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are properly prosecuted by the courts.
Protecting the Rights of Children
Community Care Foundation Uganda focuses on sensitizingcommunities on child rights and on equipping these communities with the knowledge to promote and protect the rights of children. In order to achieve this, we are providing our support to facilitate and form eight child right clubs in primary and secondary schools in the Masaka District bringing both girls and boys to discuss and debate the rights of children (with a specific focus on the rights of young girls). In addition, a total of 10 Community Child Protection Committees (CCPCs) will be created to spearhead the protection of the rights of children within the local communities and to refer cases of abuse to police and other relevant authorities. This work will be complemented by working closely with law enforcement and legal agencies to apprehend child right abusers and to influence local policies that promote the rights of children. The goal is to empower children in protecting their own rights and to educate right-holders on how to make duty bearers accountable to their obligations.
Holistic Education for Orphans and Vulnerable Children
Community Relief and Development Action is a non-profit based in Cameroon whose goal is to provide an inclusive and holistic educational program targeting vulnerable and internally displaced children as well as orphans in the Tiko semi-urban slums. The Tiko community is one of the few places in the South West Region of Cameroon with relative stability ever since the socio-political situation in the two English speaking regions of Cameroon degenerated into armed conflict in 2017. Schools have continued operating there unperturbed compared to many other localities in the region where many children have been forced out of school, which has led to internally-displaced households and educational refugees flooding the community every day in the quest for safety and education. While many privileged children have been relocated to safe Francophone zones, the education of less privileged children in the Anglophone regions is in serious jeopardy. We are very proud to support this organization’s holistic educational program for over 120 children, with a focus on early childhood learning and STEM classes. This unique program also blends in psycho-social and emotional support, helping transform the children morally, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, and incorporates teachings of peace and tolerance which are critical in helping defuse the climate of violence in the region.
Creating a Safe Space for Maasai Girls and Women
The Maasai society is a very patriarchal society where girls and women often suffer from serious discrimination and are generally disempowered, resulting in forced early marriages, practices of female genital mutilation and regular instances of gender-based violence. One of the biggest challenges for these girls and women is their inability to safely confide in one another and share their frustrations and aspirations, which leads to high rates of girls dropping out of school and many of them feeling hopeless and frustrated. We are partnering with the Enosupukia Youth Empowerment Group in Narok County, Kenya to encourage, empower and guide over 750 women and young girls into achieving their full potential by creating a safe space for where an honest conversation can take place among young girls and women to share their frustrations and seek assistance without fear of discrimination or retaliation. In addition, workshops, forums and open-air outreach events will educate and enlighten parents, opinion leaders and community elders to try and reverse outdated cultural practices that have reduced Maasai women to be completely dependent on men. This project is about instilling hope and encouraging girls and women to pursue their aspirations in a safe and nurturing environment.