When I go to the toilet, men are scarier than the rats,” Darline said. “I can kill the rats, but I can’t kill the men. —
Darline, a 13-year-old Haitian girl living in a makeshift encampment in Haiti.
Words that stay with me after reading Nicholas Kristof’s column (Can Foreign Aid Help This Girl?) in The New York Times.
Carrying on the Work of Nelson Mandela -
Nelson Mandela called on all people to do something, even something small, to make the world a better place.
At ChildFund, we strive to honor that vision.
The international 2013 ChildFund Connect Family Film Festival launched this week, involving young filmmakers from around the world.
ChildFund Australia, with support from AUSAID, is spearheading the project to connect students in Australia with their peers in other countries. More than 700 children from Australia and from ChildFund’s programs in Brazil, Ecuador, Laos, Timor-Leste, Sri Lanka and Vietnam submitted films for the festival, exploring the theme of “family” and the role it plays in their lives. Over the next few weeks, film festival events will be held in all seven countries with the participation of the children, their families and communities.
Maria Jose de Carvalho Soares, with ChildFund Timor-Leste, explains that the project has three important aims for children:
More than 100 students from grades 6-7 at Suai Loro Primary School in Timor-Leste have taken part in ChildFund Connect since February.
“For us, this is our first experience, and it is amazing because we’re free to express ourselves with the capabilities we have,” says Dirce, 12, a student at Suai Loro. “The one thing we like from this program is that we can choose for ourselves and make decisions about the results of our work to be published. This program also teaches and trains us on how to make good decisions and quality films that can be published to others. This is very important to us; although we’re children, our voices can also be heard by others through our work.”
Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world. —
Rest in peace. Your work for a just society inspired millions and reminds us all to work harder everyday for those whose voices are oppressed.
ChildFund continues to actively respond to the large-scale emergency in the Philippines caused by Typhoon Haiyan just a few weeks ago. Geoffrey Petkovich, ChildFund’s regional director for Asia, reports that we are very fortunate that none of the children in our programs or staff from our local partner organizations lost their lives in the disaster.
Yet, our hearts break as we continue to remember the more than 5,000 who died as a result of this super typhoon, which may prove to be the strongest storm ever to make landfall. The destruction on the ground is unbelievable, with most homes destroyed or severely damaged in the most hard-hit communities of the central, eastern and western Visayas.
The office of ChildFund’s local partner in Ormoc was heavily damaged – its roof ripped away and offices inundated by floodwaters – but despite these massive obstacles, this team was able to work with our emergency staff to set up Child-Centered Spaces. These are safe havens for children who’ve lost their homes and their normal routines.
Response to this disaster is still in its early phase, with much work needed to be done by ChildFund and all the organizations that are working with the Philippines government on the ground. I wanted to share some of what ChildFund has been able to accomplish and our goals for the coming months.
ChildFund was the first organization to establish Child-Centered Spaces in the storm-impacted areas. We were also the first international organization to deliver food and non-food items to a number of communities initially cut off after the storm passed.
These actions are the result of the dedication and determination of our field staff on the front line working in difficult conditions, supported around the clock by ChildFund’s national office staff in Manila, our emergency management unit and our regional and headquarters staff.
We are implementing a two-phase response. Phase one, over the next three to six months, is focused on relief through the distribution of food and non-food items, the establishment of Child-Centered Spaces (CCS) to assist with child protection, support for early childhood development (ECD) and basic education and support for maternal and child health and nutrition.
In the following six to 12 months, we will focus on livelihood recovery for families and communities, strengthening community-based child protection and disaster risk management and emergency response training for these communities.
We are extremely grateful to ChildFund’s sponsors and donors who are contributing to the Philippines Relief and Recovery Fund. Your ongoing support for children and families is so critical to the massive rebuilding effort that is required to restore lives.
In the ChildFund Alliance’s fourth annual Small Voices, Big Dreams survey, a global poll that recorded the opinions of 6,500 children ages 10 to 12 in 47 countries, the young participants said what they think about violence, peace, happiness and their heroes.
Children in Zambia.
Asked what they would do if they were in charge of their country, one in three would create stronger anti-violence laws. Three in four believe violence is caused by either bad behavior, poverty or alcohol and drugs.
Here are some additional highlights from the survey results:
What does peace mean to you?
Harmony/unity – 19 percent of children from developed countries; 22 percent of children from developing countries
No war – 34 percent of children from developed countries; 19 percent of children from developing countries
No violence – 21 percent of children from developed countries; 12 percent of children from developing countries
What makes you feel safe and happy?
Family – 65 percent of children from developed countries; 50 percent of children from developing countries
Education – 5 percent of children from developed countries; 25 percent of children from developing countries
Home – 19 percent of children from developed countries; 9 percent of children from developing countries
Friends – 31 percent of children from developed countries; 14 percent of children from developing countries
What is the one thing you would do to protect children from violence?
More law/order – 33 percent of children from developed countries; 28 percent of children from developing countries
Improve education – 6 percent of children from developed countries; 17 percent of children from developing countries
Guarantee kids’ safety – 11 percent of children from developed countries; 13 percent of children from developing countries
Read more about the survey.