At Chance for Childhood, four out of the five counties we operate in are within the eastern part of Africa. We exist to ensure that every child in the countries we operate in can thrive from their early year through to adulthood.
We don’t work alone in our efforts to help children in vulnerable situations, we do it together with the help of our amazing partners, supporters, children and the communities they live in. we protect, educate and create lasting change for every child that is threatened by violence, neglect and conflict.
We’ve been working in Rwanda since 2009 to support children experiencing disabilities. As the leading child-focused disability inclusion specialist in the country, we work to ensure the inclusion of the most marginalised children through inclusive early childhood development, inclusive education, teacher training, parenting education and through inputs at the policy level.
To read more on our expertise in Rwanda Click Here
In line with the Government of Rwanda’s Strategy for National Child Care Reform, Chance for Childhood are working with UNICEF Rwanda to strengthen family and community-based support for children experiencing disabilities and put a stop to institutionalising children in orphanages. Focusing on two districts, Huye and Bugesera, we have so far identified over 6,000 children living with disabilities who are at risk of being institutionalised. We have identified inclusive services including health and rehabilitation centres, primary and secondary schools and social protection agencies. We recognise that discrimination at an institutional level can prevent children accessing the support they deserve so we have trained 600 local leaders such as heads of health centres, headteachers, social protection workers and district officials, on disability and inclusion. We have developed an inclusive parenting guide and established 146 Parent Support Groups (PSGs) supporting over 4,000 parents across 29 areas. PSGs bring together families of children experiencing disabilities to form a supportive peer network and tackle the isolation and stigma parents may experience. These groups teach critical parenting skills that can be tailored to the specific needs of each child.
To see our Phase 1 Evaluation Click Here.
There are only seven schools for deaf children in the whole of Rwanda and a lack of training amongst mainstream school teachers means that deaf children are usually left out of school, excluded and invisible in their communities. Unable to communicate, deaf children are often trapped in a world of their own. This leaves them extremely vulnerable to adults who abuse or rape them knowing there’s no way the child can tell anyone. Set up in 2013, the school is the only one of its kind in the Nyabihu district. We work with Empowering Children with Disabilities to support 100 deaf children who are taught the national syllabus, along with Rwandan Sign Language and lip-reading (in English and local Kinyarwanda) to help them communicate better..
In May 2021, we began a three-year partnership with Comic Relief to implement Natwe Turashoboye together with our partners, Empowering Children with Disabilities (EmCD) and MindLeaps. Our research in northern Rwanda showed that 92% of victims of sexual abuse were girls with communication disabilities. But through this programme we are help in to build protection, participation, inclusion and empowerment for girls in the deaf community. These provide a safe space for young girls to express their opinions and share their struggles.
Girls are able to learn about their rights, support services they can access and take part in decision-making forums..
We’ve been working in Uganda since 2008 to support children affected by conflict, children in conflict with the law, and children in refugee settlements. Uganda is host to 1.4 million refugees, the largest refugee-hosting nation in Africa. Recently, many have arrived from DR Congo, where they are fleeing both war and Ebola.
To read more about our Expertise In Uganda Click Here
In 2020, Chance for Childhood completed a situation analysis of the educational and safeguarding needs of children living in Kyaka revealing that 44% of children had a functional disability or were at risk of a developmental delay. We also revealed that 45% of girls and 46% of children living with disabilities do not feel safe at school.
In September 2021, we launched the EQUAL programme with support from the Vitol Foundation to tackle the lack of inclusion in education for the most marginalised learners in Kyaka II; children with disabilities, girls and those from economically vulnerable households. By the end of 2023, our programme will see 1,100 refugee children (aged 5-17) enjoy quality inclusive primary education. We’re supporting families by supplying school equipment such as uniforms, pens and books. We also training teaching assistants on inclusive education techniques to ensure that all children are included in the classroom and are able to thrive and learn in education.
To see our evaluation of our work with EQUAL click here.
Life in the refugee settlements is hard as people are forced to rely on government support to survive. But food rations have severely been cut as a result of the pandemic, inflation and the rising cost of food. Women and children must survive of maize flour and beans, but the rations now amount to a little over 1,000 calories. Women and children often end up stealing bread simply to survive. But when arrested, they are punished harshly. Conditions in prisons are poor, with a lack of food and sanitation. As part of a consortium under the EU Supreme fund we’re working with AWYAD and Penal Reform International to raise the standards of access to justice for women and children! That means ensuring access to quality legal support and providing training to the justice sector in child protection. We’re also directly supporting women and children to overcome trauma and build a life for themselves when they leave prison..
Between 2015-18 in partnership with Passion for Community, we supported over 2,000 of some of the most vulnerable young people across the Agago, Pader, Kitgum and Lamwo districts. An amazing 99% of children and young people helped didn’t reoffend and 95% of our graduates are now earning an income. Before starting Right2Change, just 3% of young people had received information about the procedures of their cases, compared to 55% at project completion. Our approach was found to deliver excellent value for money, with each £1 invested in our Right2Change project, a social return of investment of £10.30 was generated..
We’ve been working in Kenya since 2002 to support street-connected children and children living with disabilities.
There are nearly 3,000 children on the streets of Kisumu with the impact of the pandemic forcing more children to the streets every day. Children who are out of school and rely on the streets are not only at risk of sexual exploitation, violence, and abuse but their development is severely affected. 80% of children reliant on the streets experience disability. With support from TheirWorld, and with our partner KUAP, we’re using our flagship Learning Support Assistant model to give 200 children the chance to learn. So far have trained 20 new Learning Support Assistants to provide one-on-one support to children with additional needs in the classroom. The difference they make is phenomenal, over 60% of children working with a Learning Support Assistant have performed above average in their class! Additionally, specially trained Violence Prevention Activists visit children in their homes. They work with parents to build honest and open relationships, improving the lives of children by addressing the underlying causes that lead to them leaving home for the streets..
Working with our partner Glad’s House Kenya (GHK) we support them to deliver outreach services to street-connected children through their specialist team of Outreach and Social Workers who build relationships with children and young people living and/ or working on the streets. Through these interactions the team will start to build trusted relationships with young people and give them the support they need to improve their physical and social wellbeing. GHK also run a specialist Youth Centre in the heart of Mombasa. The centre is the first of its kind in the city and provides a much-needed safe space for 1,000 children on the streets every year where they access critical support. GHK also provide children with the opportunity to take part in football, boxing or volleyball. The matches are often the first point of contact with a trusted adult and over time, allows a trusted relationship to be formed together with an introduction to the safety, support and rehabilitation provided by the affiliated dedicated Youth Centre.
We’ve been working in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) since 2015 to support children affected by conflict and children experiencing disabilities. The DRC is often referred to as “the rape capital of the world” with the worse levels of sexual violence globally and where we work in North Kivu 40% of children are out of school. Out of school boys are often recruited by rebel groups to become child soldiers and girls turn to prostitution as a way of survival.
Working with our partner, Children’s Voice, we have enabled over 1,000 marginalised children to access quality primary education in war-torn Kibati since 2015. Children attend 10 educational catch-up centres and complete primary education in just three years. We also give children with disabilities access to education in a mainstream inclusive school through our Learning Support Assistant scheme – the first of its type in North Kivu! Having successfully piloted this scheme in Rwanda, Uganda and Kenya, we know that Learning Support Assistants, who act like UK teaching assistants, have a massive impact on children’s learning..
The broken justice system treats children like criminals, even for minor offences. There could be at least 100,000 children in conflict with the law in DRC. Children are detained in overcrowded adult prisons, at risk of abuse and malnutrition. In 2017 we set up the first ever community-based diversion programme in Eastern DRC. Our award-winning Right2Change project makes smart use of diversion by strengthening both formal and informal justice systems to deliver child-friendly justice, and promoting community-based non-custodial rehabilitation as alternatives to detention. As a result, Right2Change creates better outcomes for young people (making them more likely to engage in education) and reduces crime..
In 2018, Chance for Childhood invited organisations, children and youth advocates and social entrepreneurs in Uganda and Rwanda to submit innovative ideas that deliver community-led and sustainable solutions to development problems.
To find out more about the challenge fund click here
Children have accessed respite and care in Safer Spaces so far this year