We are delighted to announce that we have been awarded an iF Design Social Impact Prize for our Cluster Learning refugee education programme in Kyaka II refugee settlement, Uganda.
In the kind of work we do - supporting children in the some of the toughest situations across the world - there are many benefits to being a small organisation. Here are five reasons why small is beautiful…
1. We can work under the radar
Being small has enabled us to access situations that larger organisations cannot, due to their size and the corresponding limitations and bureaucracy. For example, from 2011, for six years we were the only organisation providing education in safe spaces to Rohingya refugee children from Myanmar in the largest makeshift camp in Bangladesh. We attribute this in part, to our compact size. Since the influx of Rohingya refugees after attacks escalated in August 2017, a huge number of larger organisations arrived to contribute help, and we have replicated our community based education model to meet gaps in provision of education.
2. We’re agile
Our size enables us to have the flexibility to meet needs in a targeted way, as they arise, quickly and in a relational manner. If our partners are faced with a crisis, like dropping temperatures, fires within crowded camps, the explosion in Beirut, sudden floods, increased air raids or arrests, then we can respond immediately, garnering support or adapting the programme accordingly to continue to meet the needs of the children we work with.
3. We’re streamlined
We don’t rely on large and costly international staff offices in the countries we work in. Instead, we focus on building strong relationships with our local partners who have a thorough understanding of the situation on the ground and a depth of relationship with their communities.
4. We’re focused
Having a small number of projects means we can focus on delivering work of the highest quality. Larger organisations have a higher capacity, but deal very much in 'broad brush strokes', where as we have the ability to fine tune and ensure that each child is valued as an individual.
5. We keep you connected
Our small size means that our donors and supporters can have a greater connection and ownership with the work they are investing in. Your money doesn’t go into a huge machine, but to a small (but perfectly formed!) group of projects which you are updated on regularly, seeing tangibly and specifically the ongoing progress that you are making possible.
Read more about our work and how we help.
The crisis in Ukraine has shocked the world, and as with other conflicts and crises, people are desperate to help. But what is the best way to support the people affected and respond to the humanitarian crisis unfolding in Europe?
On this year’s International Women’s Day, we are reflecting on some of the amazing women that make our programmes happen around the world, by asking our team in the UK who inspires them and why.
This year’s theme is #BreakTheBias, and it asks us to imagine a gender equal world, a world free of bias, stereotypes and discrimination. A world that's diverse, equitable, and inclusive. A world where difference is valued and celebrated.
Children on the Edge envisions a world in which every child thrives regardless of their geography, ethnicity, gender, or caste. So we’d like to introduce some of the women that most inspire us, and how they’re contributing to ‘breaking the bias’.
Children on the Edge works in coalition with local communities in some of the toughest places in the world, transforming the lives of marginalised children by creating protective environments where they can safely live, play, learn and grow.
It will come as no surprise that our focus in 2020-2021 has been responding to the coronavirus pandemic and it’s devastating effects in every area where we work.
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.
30 years ago, along with Anita Roddick, our co-founder and CEO Rachel Bentley visited Romania to help institutionalised children left in orphanages from the brutal Ceausescu regime. This trip marked the very beginning of Children on the Edge.
Over the years in all of our work, we have gone to places far from the media spotlight and worked with some of the most marginalised children in the world. We have partnered with local organisations, supported communities to realise their rights and ensured that children's voices are heard.
Take 10 minutes, grab a cuppa and watch our interview with Rachel to find out how Children on the Edge started, what she regards as one of her 'stand out moments', and what the edge looks like today.
We're taking a look back to our history, and will be sharing memories from our early work in the 1990's and early 2000's as part of a #ThrowbackThursday series.
In 2005 we established a Child and Community Centre in Aceh, Indonesia helping children and their community rebuild their lives after the traumas of the Asian Tsunami. The aim of the project was to start to rebuild a sense of normalcy for the children of the community. We worked with them to find local recognition and support and the project is now running independently.
Our UK Director Ben Wilkes talks about one of his best memories of working here:
“On my last day living in Aceh, Indonesia, after living and working there for 8 months on our Tsunami project, I leant against one of the buildings at the Child Friendly Space and just watched about 200 children of all ages playing and having fun; just being children.
When we arrived to work on the project, there were no children. The locals were very suspicious of us and closed to the idea of what we were trying to do.
In that moment, before leaving to fly home, I knew that undeniably Children on the Edge had made a difference. To the community, its elders and most importantly, the children who were overcoming their trauma and discovering how to be children”.
Children on the Edge continue to make a difference to the lives of thousands of vulnerable children around the world. Read more about our work and how you can support us.
On July 16th, Christine Smith, who works for The Body Shop At Home took part in the Windmill Half Marathon in Lytham for Children on the Edge.
Christine raised £100 - all helping to support our work with vulnerable children around the world. £100 is enough to cover the costs of educating 100 Syrian refugee children at one of our tented schools in Lebanon for a day.
It was Christine's first ever half marathon, she said "it's safe to say that training didn't go to plan so I kind of 'winged it' on the day but absolutely loved it, mentally (although I'm not sure my body felt the same way as I crossed he finishing line!)".
She explains why she chose to fundraise for Children on the Edge:
"As a Consultant with The Body Shop at Home, Children on the Edge is a charity close to my heart and I follow their activities closely. I like to do something additional to the general fundraising I do at Body Shop parties each year. My children have done things like carol singing around our estate and 'Iron Kids' and last year I did the Yorkshire 3 Peaks".
Christine started running in January last year but got out of the habit during the summer holidays, so she was determined that this year she would do more than a 10k. Inspired by an unplanned 10 mile run, she signed up to the Windmill Half Marathon that night. She said: "I knew that doing it for charity would keep me motivated when training".
We asked Christine what was the best and hardest part of taking on the Windmill Half Marathon:
"The best part was without a doubt the sense of achievement and the camaraderie of the other runners - everyone really encouraged each other. The hardest was when my hip started complaining around the half way mark and the change in position to go downhill on the last stretch caused pain that quite literally took my breath away. It wouldn't put me off doing it again though!"
When asked what she'd say to someone else thinking about fundraising for Children on the Edge she said:
"Just do it. It doesn't have to be huge and every little helps".
Would you like to fundraise for Children on the Edge by taking on a personal challenge, like a walk, run or cycle? Find out more.