Who are we?
At Chance for Childhood we believe that no child should be forgotten! That’s why we work across five countries in Africa to support the most vulnerable children, such as street children, disabled children, children affected by conflict and kids behind bars.
In the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) we work with the local organisation Children’s Voice across a range of projects, from giving children affected by war access to education, to supporting vulnerable children to access fair justice. Since 2018 we’ve also been running life-saving Ebola campaigns to combat the world’s second-largest Ebola outbreak.
What’s the situation in DRC?
For almost two decades, war has been raging in eastern DRC. In the world’s deadliest conflict since World War II, almost nowhere is safe. An estimated 130 armed groups are operating in the region alone and in the last four months over 250 have died.
In the ‘rape capital of the world’, young women and children are the most vulnerable. In two years, eastern DRC has seen over 100 victims of mass rape, making the situation particularly dangerous for young girls.
We work in North Kivu, where over 40% of children don’t go to school. Some are recruited as child soldiers, forced to witness and carry out the most horrific acts. Girls are forced to be ‘wives’ for senior commanders. We work with Children’s Voice, a group founded by a women’s collective in 2002 at the start of the Kivu conflict. Together we’ve protected, educated and empowered hundreds of the most vulnerable children and young people.
The terrible trauma these children face is hard to imagine. If they manage to escape, they are regularly isolated from their communities. Too often they have nowhere to go but the streets, trapped in a devastating cycle of poverty.
“Young women in Kibati don’t study. They don’t work either. Parents are poor and can’t send them to school. They marry at an early age – many become pregnant as teenagers.” - Nicodème Ruboneka, Project Leader
What will the crowdfunder do?
By raising £5,000 we’ll be able to work with our partner Children’s Voice to support 40 girls affected by war. They’ll receive vocational training in either hairdressing or tailoring, giving them a skill, as well as mentoring to help them set up their own business and earn a stable income. They’ll also be supported to form cooperatives and have access to Village Saving Association Schemes.
As well as these practical skills, the girls will get specialist psychosocial support to help them overcome trauma from witnessing violence and war.
By running their own business or finding employment, the girls will be able to escape the cycle of poverty.
“The training opens up another world, a world of independence and of financial autonomy. They choose to get married when they want and earn their own income.” - Nicodème Ruboneka, Project Leader
How could your donation be spent?
- £6 could buy a mirror
- £20 could buy a hairdressing kit (towels, mats, comb, cotton, needles, varnish, hair curlers, brushes)
- £40 could buy a hairdressing salon chair
- £125 could fund hairdressing or tailoring training for one girl
- £150 could pay for a trainer to deliver a month’s hairdressing or tailoring training
Who could you help? Jeannette’s story
“When I became pregnant at the age of 15, I was kicked out of my family home. My parents said I would set a bad example for my little sisters by raising my child there. They told me to go and live with my baby’s father.
His family resented me staying with them and he said he wasn’t ready to live with a woman. After I gave birth, he started to beat me. He wouldn’t let me have any food. I suffered. The abuse was so bad I almost killed myself.
Thankfully a neighbour let me in to her home and told me about the Kibati Centre (run by Children’s Voice and supported by Chance for Childhood), where I could take hairdressing training. The training helped me a lot. The team there took me home to my parents and helped agree with them that I could move back home with my child.
After three months of training I started to get customers! I earn up to 20,000 Congolese Francs a week and with this money I can provide for myself and my child.
I am 17 now and have set up my own hairdressing salon at home and hired two girls from my village to work alongside me. I am happy and proud of my work and thankful to those who have supported me for giving my life meaning.
Your impact will reach more girls like Jeannette, and beyond
Jeannette got the support she needed. But there are too many girls still suffering in situations like hers. By pledging to this crowdfunder, you will help us to reach and empower 40 more girls.
However, your impact won’t stop there. By providing this training, setting up collectives and investing in Village Saving Association Schemes your support tackles the root causes of poverty in the area. With a stable income, if they have children the girls will be able to provide them with the education they never got. And as they grow their businesses, more jobs are created giving more young people in the area opportunities. Your donation goes further than you think towards making a long-term difference! Together we can create change that lasts.
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