Our work is underpinned by three priorities which we believe are vital for making a long-term and sustainable difference to children’s lives.
Justice for children
Child protection is at the heart of everything we do. This means ensuring that young people grow up in safe, nurturing environments. We train and support local people to identify and protect vulnerable children in their communities. We provide counselling and individual support to children who have been traumatised by conflict or sexual violence. We help to provide legal aid and access to the justice system for young victims of sexual violence or neglect, and work to keep children out of the adult criminal justice system and adult prisons.
A quality education
We believe that every child’s needs and circumstances are different and that their education should be tailored to their individual needs. Wherever possible, we promote an ‘inclusive education’ approach whereby disabled children attend mainstream schools and learn alongside their peers. However we recognise that formal education isn’t the best solution for everyone and so we help to provide informal education/vocational training for some young people, and support a specialist deaf school in Rwanda for children with profound hearing difficulties.
Alternative and sustainable care
There isn’t a social services safety net to catch and support vulnerable young people in most developing countries. Some are orphaned by conflict/HIV, others have been left to fend for themselves on the streets. We believe that a nurturing home and community is the best environment for childhood to thrive in. We therefore work to support extended families to provide for their children, or we help ‘child headed households’ to live independently. In most cases, we don’t believe that institutions like orphanages are the best and most sustainable solution.