Poonam attended a government school in India until seventh grade. This was when her parents pulled her out of school despite her protests, so that she could work to support her family’s increasing household expenses. At just 17, her parents then made arrangements for her to marry a local boy.
Child marriage puts an end to childhood. It impacts young girls’ right to education and puts them at risk of violence, exploitation and abuse. Girls who are married as children are less likely to be in school and they struggle to earn money and contribute to the community. They are also more likely to have children while they are still children themselves and are more at risk of dying due to complications during pregnancy and childbirth.
It is estimated that 1.5 million girls under 18 get married in India each year, making it home to the largest number of child brides in the world. Dalit children, like Poonam, as members of the lowest caste in India are especially at risk of child marriage and face discrimination at almost every level.
Our programme in India looks to change this by creating protective environments for Dalit children in and surrounding Patna in Bihar State.
Eight year old Florrie Legge from Wombourne near Wolverhampton is taking on a 20 mile bike ride to raise money for Children on the Edge on Saturday 12th June. She hopes to raise an incredible £1500.
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.
In Uganda, we support communities to create a protective environment for their children. Recently, we facilitated our annual 'Most Significant Change' exercise with the five slum communities we work with in Jinja, Uganda. People from each area gather to share their experiences and discuss which stories of change are the most significant to them over the year, and why. They then vote on which story they feel represents the most important kind of transformation for them as a community.
This is the fourth time we have used this technique in the Loco, Masese I, Masese II and Masese III and the second time it has been used in Wandago. Here are some highlights from the stories chosen by each community.
Namakusa Ruth - MASESE I
Covid-19 lockdown procedures are having a devastating effect on the slum dwelling, refugee and internally displaced communities we support around the world. Through over 30 years of working with some of the most marginalised groups, we know they are always the hardest hit in times such as these.
Together with our local partners we have been pursuing sensible solutions to contain the outbreak and so far provided 12,850 essential supply parcels to households who are most affected. This is thanks to the support of many generous donors including The Angus Lawson Memorial Trust, Partners Asia, DAK Foundation, The Body Shop at Home™, Alex and Will De Winton, Jeff Lucas and Postcode Global Trust.
Wherever possible, we are using creative solutions to enable children's learning to continue and to ensure they are safe whilst they are cut off from regular protection services.
The last set of exams in Lebanon saw some great results. Overall the children achieved a 99% pass rate for the Arabic and Maths tests which were taken by 211 students, and a 100% pass rate for English which was taken by 68 older students.
Exams are graded on a scale of 1 -10 with 10 the highest, 1 the lowest and 6 a pass. The majority of students are high-performing with 70% getting a grade 9 or above in Maths, 67% in Arabic and 59% in English.
You can see from the photo above that the children have loved celebrating, but what would they like to do with their skills in the future? Our partners asked them and here are a few of the responses...
Top chef Tom Cenci is supporting Children on the Edge and helping to reduce food wastage this Mother’s Day, by selling his delicious Ginger and Rose Rocky Roads. Each Rocky Road is made from repurposed Montezuma’s truffles.