Anita Roddick sparked the beginnings of Children on the Edge in 1990, in response to the Romanian Orphanage Crisis.
After witnessing the appalling conditions in Romanian orphanages first hand, she mobilised her company, The Body Shop International, to help these children. Initially, this involved helping three orphanages in the small village of Halaucesti in the Iasi district of Romania.
By 1992, the team had developed considerable expertise in working with institutionalised children, establishing a programme to integrate them back into society. This prompted the organisation, upon invitation to expand its work into Albania.
By 1994, the work developed into Bosnia. It was clear that the organisation was working primarily with vulnerable children, in particular those without parental care. It was then that Rachel Bentley co-founded Children on the Edge.
In 1999, thousands of Kosovan Refugees arrived in the town of Korce, Southern Albania where we were working. We became involved in the relief effort, developing the skills necessary to work with refugees. The same year, we expanded into Kosovo to help rebuild the schools and communities devastated by conflict.
Working with the children of Kosovo developed our expertise to include children in post conflict situations. In 2000 Children on the Edge was invited by UNICEF to work with traumatised children and youth post-conflict in Timor-Leste and in 2004 when an earthquake and tsunami hit Indonesia, we utilised our skills to help children in the area most devastated by the disaster.
Children on the Edge became an independently registered charity in 2004. Since then, we have expanded our reach to include:
Information about all our current projects is available via our 'How we help' page.
For a concise timeline of our history, please see our 'Archived projects' page and our 'Facebook milestones'