Since we started working with Dalit communities in Bihar State, one of the main requests from the children has been to set up some computer training, alongside the Learning Centres and Women’s Groups. Consequently, our partners have set up a Computer Centre, open to all children at the Centres. In two shifts, 20 students come and learn basic computer skills each day.
Through both printed and digital child- led publications, Children on the Edge are working to ensure Rohingya refugee children have a voice.
“Nobody knows about us” has been a frequent remark coming from discussions with many of the 7,500 children we support in the Kutupalong camp, Bangladesh.
For the past two years Children on the Edge has been Make it Cheaper’s charity partner. During the partnership, the team at Make it Cheaper have raised an amazing £49,917 for Children on the Edge.
Dan O'Sullivan from Make it Cheaper shares how; “I saw first hand how Children on the Edge make a difference to the lives of truly vulnerable children and knowing Make it Cheaper were part of that is truly satisfying. We are a passionate bunch and took the cause to heart, whether we were doing bake off competitions, running through mud or donating from our pay packets. We were brilliantly supported by the Children on the Edge team and couldn’t have raised this great amount without them.”
Refugee communities have hit the ground running in impressive style, preparing for the strengthening of early years education in Kyaka II settlement, Uganda. Since the launch announcement of the programme in May, new staff have been engaging in high quality training and creating colourful learning resources for centres.
What can I do?
If you would like to donate towards our early years refugee work in Kyaka II one way to do this is through our appeal with The Big Give in December, the UK’s biggest online matched giving platform.
Every donation you make will be doubled through our Big Give appeal and we are hoping to raise £30,000.
Please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we will send you more details of when and how you can give as the appeal approaches.
Painter Alex Rennie announces his exhibition ‘Home from Home’ raising funds for Children on the Edge and the Rural Refugee Network.
When: 24-25 September
Where: The Frestonian Gallery, West London, W11 4BE
For more information please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
At the start of July we visited a number of Dalit communities in Patna, India to learn from many of the inspiring people who live there. One of these communities was Bintoli, home to one of the 27 Learning Centres we support here for Dalit children.
All the Dalit groups we work with in Patna face discrimination, exclusion and violence, but Bintoli also has to cope with regular flooding. The village is situated in the middle of the river, and becomes an island for about two months a year during rainy season. Over this time the 500 people who live here are completely isolated. They were forced to move to Bintoli from another area when the government built a railway, then half the community lost their land in floods. All the people here now have to rent off the land mafia.
Read below as we introduce a group of resourceful, dedicated people, who against all odds are making a difference for others around them.
Seeing investment in action inspires a month of record breaking fundraising from The Body Shop at Home
This June started with a trip to Uganda and ended with a target smashing amount raised by The Body Shop at Home™.
Ben, our Executive Director, visited Jinja with Suzanne, Jade, Louise and Lauren - supporters from The Body Shop at Home. They visited the five communities we work with , to see the difference that The Body Shop at Home are making through their dedicated, year round generosity of their consultants and customers.
Children on the Edge Africa is at the forefront of efforts to lobby the Ugandan parliament to tackle child sacrifice through the legal system. We ask CEO Winnie Biira about progress so far...
I didn’t think this happened any more?
Child sacrifice has emerged as a horrifying form of child abuse in Uganda. In the past decade, sacrifice of children in Uganda has been cited by the media, police and Government of Uganda as a major child protection concern. Police records continue to highlight numerous cases of child sacrifice in the country. The media in Uganda is also awash with stories of gruesome murders on young, innocent children committed for various reasons.
Why does it happen?
A study carried out by Uganda Child Rights NGO Network (UCRNN) with support from Children on the Edge, showed how the practice is rooted in a number of socio-economic and cultural factors as well as traditional beliefs that the ritual murder or mutilation of children can bring health, wealth and good fortune. Children are more likely to fall victims to sacrifice compared to adults, because they are more easily lured and believed to be “pure”. Adults drawn to the practice are tricked into believing that the purity of child makes the ritual more powerful.
Why is the law not working?
Currently, human sacrifice cases in Uganda are prosecuted as murder under the Penal Code Act. These cases have a very unique nature, so the offence of murder is not sufficient to deal with the practice. For example a child could be kidnapped for sacrifice but get away, or could be mutilated but still live, and there is no law to deal with the severity of that crime. Sadly this results in perpetrators committing crimes with relative impunity. A statement from Uganda Police Force in 2015 showed how 87 cases of child sacrifice were registered over eight years nationwide, but only 23 were put before the High Court and only two people were convicted!
What needs to change?
This crime needs to be represented as an offence within its own right and sentences need to be strict, stringent and non-negotiable. Associated crimes need to be explicitly identified and processes put in place to facilitate effective investigation. This will lead to an increase in successful prosecutions and should deter those involved in the crime. Our work is consequently geared at strengthening legislation to prevent and prohibit human sacrifice and harmful practices.
What has been achieved so far?
It’s been a lot of work and a hugely complex journey, but I will describe some of the milestones…
At the start, Children on the Edge Africa worked with a group of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) to engage the ‘Uganda Parliamentary Forum for Children’ to draft a Bill to end Human Sacrifice in Uganda. It’s called ‘The Prevention and Prohibition of Human Sacrifice and other Traditional Harmful Practices Bill, 2017’.
Through 2016 we worked with the police, the media and traditional healers, looking at how cases are dealt with and promoting a petition to ensure witch doctors do not advertise through the media. In 2017, through work with UCRNN, we focussed on gaining testimonies from survivors and families and Honorable Atiku Bernard introduced a private members bill for the Act.
In 2018, World Vision Uganda spearheaded community consultative meetings in the law making process in Nakasongola, Buikwe, Busia and Rakai and by September 2018 with support from Children on The Edge Africa and Save the Children, a benchmark trip was made to Tanzania to research their legal approach to tackling human sacrifice. Shortly after this further consultations were facilitated, aiding in the improvement and momentum of the bill with MPs.
What is happening with the bill now?
Further refinements have been made this year and currently the bill is being reviewed by the Director of the Legal department of Parliament to make it ready for a Judges meeting in July. It has been a busy few years but we feel now we are very close to the first reading and the Bill making its way through parliament to become law.
Running concurrently with this national work, Children on the Edge Africa is rolling out of a community based model of eradicating child sacrifice incidents. Through voluntary Child Protection Teams, a simple method of community safety and awareness is established. After a pilot scheme stopped all abductions in Masese II slum, this model has been replicated in four further communities surrounding Jinja with excellent results.
Find out more about our work in Uganda.
On the 20th June each year, the world commemorates the strength, courage, and resilience of millions of refugees. Around the world more than 50 million people have fled their homes, and over half of these are children.
The refugee children we work with in Lebanon, Bangladesh and Myanmar all show great strength, courage and resilience every day, surviving in some of the toughest places around the world. On World Refugee Day 2019, we wanted to take the time to share some of their thoughts and experiences.
Each year, our flagship fundraising event, the Chichester Half Marathon Event raises thousands of pounds for our work with vulnerable children around the world.
We organise the event in partnership with Everyone Active and it's only possible with the kind support of our local sponsors Store Property and Montezuma's Chocolate. We've been running the event for the past seven years, and all proceeds from the race go to support our work. The event has raised over £120,000 so far!
All our runners, just by entering the race, are supporting Children on the Edge. But for those who want to go the extra mile, we encourage them to raise money for us as they run.
This year, we're looking for 100 runners to raise £100 for our work with refugee children as part of our Run for Refugees Team. Could you join our Team?