Gali is three years old and his parents fled to Kyaka II refugee settlement in Uganda around six years ago after a life-threatening conflict erupted between the Hema and Lendu tribes in their village of Ituri in the Democratic Republic of Congo. Uganda is a world leader in the way it hosts refugees, but Gali’s mother Maurine says that since crossing the border into the country life has not been easy.
Children on the Edge works alongside local communities in some of the toughest places in the world to transform the lives of overlooked children by co-creating protective environments where they can safely live, play, learn and grow. To do this, we work closely with the people and places that have the most impact on the child: the family, classroom, community and society.
If families lack the resources to meet needs and solve problems, their children are pushed to the edge. They become poorly protected and are at risk of abuse, exploitation, exclusion and neglect, causing irreversible damage.
Last month we introduced Programme Manager Balaba Henry Bosco (Henry) who is part of the COTE Africa team in Uganda, and works with refugees from the DR Congo in the Kyaka II settlement. He told us about his work in Kyaka II and his hopes for the future, and then we threw it over to YOU.
Giving our supporters an opportunity to ask Henry a question. We were sent some fantastic questions which Henry has answered, read on to find out what he said about the most challenging parts of his job and how he helped to spread joy in the COTE Africa office at Christmas.
Players of People’s Postcode Lottery support over 5,500 refugee children with funding of £250,000 for second year in a row
We are delighted to announce that we will not only be benefitting from a second year of incredible generosity from the players of People’s Postcode Lottery, but funding will be extended to support our work with refugee children in both Lebanon and Uganda.
Kyaka II refugee communities celebrate completion of the first four Early Childhood Development Centres.
In July 2020 we broke ground on the start of our sustainable construction project in Kyaka II. Partnering with Haileybury Youth Trust (HYT), over two years we will be working alongside local communities to rebuild and refurbish 14 Early Childhood Development (ECD) centres that we support across the 30 zones of the camp.
2020 has been a year like no other. The global pandemic has created universal challenges to accessing education that millions have never faced before and the traditional model of teaching in a classroom environment has had to quickly adapt to the new normal.
The current global pandemic has created universal challenges to accessing education that millions have never faced before. This summer, children all round the world are getting ready to return to a very different school environment.
This summer also marks 30 years since the beginning of Children on the Edge. We’ve been overcoming barriers to education for the most marginalised since 1990, so for us, lockdown has been just one more hurdle to jump. The children we work with have been amongst the hardest hit, so we’ve been providing regular support and finding creative ways to get them back to school.
In Kyaka II refugee settlement, Uganda we have been piloting the use of radio lessons to ensure the youngest Congolese refugee children can still have access to their early years education. Near the start of the Ugandan lockdown, all education services in the camp were shut. We started a home-learning programme for teachers so they can continue their full training and take their university exams in January.
The children have been working with our resource officers and teachers to work through the Ugandan Early Childhood Development (ECD) home learning curriculum. Activity packs are delivered once a month with pencils and crayons to keep the children learning. It has also been translated into suitable languages and is accompanied by a parents guide. Follow up visits from the teachers will also serve as a means to check on children’s safety and wellbeing while they are unable to attend the centres.
Learning through lockdown - Creating a sustainable start for 5,000 Congolese refugee children in Uganda.
From carbon saving bricks to locally crafted learning materials, Children on the Edge and Haileybury Youth Trust are working in Kyaka II refugee settlement to create sustainable and climate-friendly early years education.
Near the start of Ugandan lockdown, all education services were shut and the World Food Programme cut food rations by 30% for refugees. Since then, our team in Kyaka II refugee settlement have been finding creative ways to get supplies to the most vulnerable households, support teachers and ensure children have access to learning.
When we think of distance learning during lockdown, the images that often spring to mind are interactive whiteboards, back-to-back digital lessons and a variety of personalised online programmes. In the situations where we work, there are many distinctive barriers to simply protecting and connecting with children during lockdown, let alone delivering effective learning opportunities, but our partners are rising to the challenge.