This July, Facebook’s lack of action in addressing hate speech has been under increasing global scrutiny as big businesses have boycotted advertising on the platform.
In response to this moment, Children on the Edge are joining forces with 36 other UK charities to challenge social networks to become safer and more inclusive environments. This has included the release of a joint statement and the formation of a working group to review these concerns for the sector and bring recommendations of potential change.
Earlier this year we launched our new virtual event 12,000 steps for 12,000 refugee children.
Since the launch we have been delighted to see so many people signing up, getting active and walking to help make a difference to the 12,000 refugee children we support.
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.
My name is Nisha. I am 14 years old and I live with my parents, two sisters and one brother in a village in Patna. My father is a daily wage earner and mother is a sweeper in a private hospital. I was learning in a local fee paying school, but due to financial problems my parents had to stop my studies. When my schooling was stopped, I used to get bored sitting at home, but myself and my started going attending the NESWSD Learning Centre supported by Children on the Edge in my village. It is free and myself and my sisters have been going for the last two years.
Because of this, we are able to continue our learning. Visiting the school library I have learned to use my free time reading books and getting more knowledge in various subjects which will help me for higher studies. I also participated in a Storytelling Contest and I won the second prize! Now I am not bored at home. I don’t just gossip with friends now, I have very many good things to discuss with them and I feel that they value me.
All the children had to stop studies and be at home for the whole time. For two or three days this was okay for us. We were hopeful that the situation would change and things would become normal. But things got worse day by day and we had nothing to eat. Even though my father went out in search of food items; the prices of everything had gone up and he had very little money to spend. Whatever money he did have was gone within a few days and we had nowhere to go. We were so worried and fearful about how to live without any earnings.
Then I heard from the teacher of my Centre that they were preparing a list of students and families like ours who were in need of food. I asked my teacher to include our family in the list. Within two days they gave me a food coupon and I went to the place where the ration distribution was taking place. I was given a parcel including rice, dal, oil, soya baris, sugar, salt, soap and masala. Our family is very thankful for the support we received. Otherwise we would have starved during this lockdown.
Since the Ugandan government announced an enforced lockdown due to the threat of coronavirus, Children on the Edge Africa have been delivering vital supplies to some of the most vulnerable households in the slum communities surrounding Jinja.
Due to the prevalence of AIDS and its devastating effects in the area, there are a high number of grandparent-headed families, mostly run by elderly women, providing for an average of five children whose parents have died or gone missing.
“The loss of her little brother left Jemima and her parents shaken and demoralised. They stopped seeing education as something valuable and were considering stopping her from coming to school” - Ibrahim Bagwiire (resource person for Kaborogota Zone)
During school break, the head caregiver, a team of teachers from her centre, and Ibrahim made numerous visits to the family where they comforted them and gently persuaded them to bring Jemima back to school. They also encouraged Jemima and talked to her parents about how being back in a safe and welcoming environment on a regular basis would be the best place for her at this time.
Jemima returned when school term began in February 2020 and her teachers decided it would be best for her to repeat baby class so she could fill in the gaps she had missed and have another chance to take the exam. They gave her extra time and attention right up until the time the coronavirus pandemic struck.
By then Jemima was attending regularly and doing very well in both classroom and outdoor activities. The head caregiver attributed this turnaround to the expertise of Jemima’s teachers and himself, adding that training from Children on the Edge Africa developed the skills they needed to help Jemima when she needed it most.
Sahil lives in a persecuted Dalit community in Bihar State, India. Through the education and encouragement of his teacher at one of the Learning Centres we support here, he has not only realised his rights, but those of his wider community. Now he has become a teacher himself and is ‘paying it forward’ helping younger children to know their self worth and access vital services.
Through ten Children’s Parliaments, children are learning about their rights and responsibilities, developing leadership skills, learning about the political system and election process of their country and how to campaign about the issues that matter to them. Here are some of the highlights, from the Children's Parliaments over the past few months.