At Chance for Childhood we believe that no child should be forgotten. That’s why we work in DRC, Ghana, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda to support the most vulnerable children, such as street connected children, children with disabilities, children affected by conflict and children behind bars.
The safety of the children and young people we work with is our top priority. Despite the effects COVID-19 has had on our work, such as schools having to close and community outreach programmes suspended, we’ve worked tirelessly with our partners through this crisis and have already reached thousands across the five countries we work in.
However, our Survivors Support Fund is now more important than ever. Lockdowns imposed across Africa to contain the spread of the Coronavirus have put the most vulnerable at the greatest risk. With schools, youth clubs and drop-in centres closed, many children no longer have access to safe spaces and safe adults. Some will experience abuse and neglect. Our Survivors Support Fund will allow us to reach these vulnerable children with the right support.
We're expecting a big rise in safeguarding incidents as children are forced to spend time in the places where they are most vulnerable.
In Uganda we've already witnessed a spike in teenage pregnancies and child marriages, while in Rwanda children with disabilities may have been stuck in their communities who stigmatise them. In Ghana and Kenya, street connected children are more vulnerable and at risk of sexual abuse, while a strict lockdown in DRC means increasing numbers of young women have been stuck at home with abusive family members. Our partners have told us they’re fearful of a big rise in child trafficking.
The economic crisis worldwide has already pushed 8 million children into begging or child labour, a serious violation of their rights. Too often they face abuse and exploitation. A donation to our crowdfunder will give expert support to survivors of abuse.
The fund allows us to provide fast, targeted support to survivors of abuse. Including survivors of sexual abuse, rape, physical abuse, psychological abuse and neglect, the Survivors Support Fund will ensure the child and their family, and others who have experienced trauma, will get the help they need.
We have a team of Safeguarding Superheroes, who are our partners in the field. They work tirelessly to improve the lives of the most vulnerable children and young people and will step in to provide the right support as soon as an incident is reported. For many children our safeguarding superheroes are considered safe adults and provide a safe space for them to open up about abuse they may have experienced. With a surge in reports due to lockdown and the economic impacts of COVID-19, our safeguarding superheroes are ready to listen and help, we need to ensure that they have all the resources they need to support children and young people.
Every case is different, but survivors will get support such as:
- Medical attention for survivors of physical assault, sexual assault and neglect
- Counselling and specialist therapy sessions for survivors and their families to process the trauma experienced and develop coping strategies.
- A long-term recovery plan and additional support for the staff supporting an incident, which can be very traumatic
A safeguarding superhero will design a unique care plan to support the survivor with interventions such as those above. Your support will take care of the resources and funding through the Survivors Support Fund, while our safeguarding experts will be there to support our partner throughout the investigation and response.
Any donation, large or small, could strengthen the Survivors Support Fund to allow more young survivors of abuse to access the support they need at this crucial time! Your support will help to fund anything from transport to medical centres and hospitals to therapy sessions for survivors and their families. A donation of £60 could provide a series of counselling sessions for a survivor.
Hosted by broadcast journalist, Julius Mbaluto, join in this discussion with Chance for Childhood partners and staff as they discuss the impact COVID-19 on vulnerable children and the increasing accounts of abuse. You'll get to hear from Liz Mnengwah (Head of Programmes at Glad's House Kenya), Ritah Nansereko (AWYAD) and Eric Ngabo (Empowering Children with Disabilities), Vicky Ferguson (Global Safeguarding Lead at Chance for Childhood) and Anna-Mai Andrews (Co-CEO at Chance for Childhood).