5 ways we’re keeping children safe
We believe that all children have the right to a life that is safe and free from violence, exploitation, and poverty. Our work around the world not only provides relief and recovery from such circumstances, but aims to eliminate the causes behind the danger. We provide safe spaces during emergency, and we help families to provide for themselves and better weather whatever crises they may face in the future.
1. Teaching children how to survive in emergencies
Our Safe Schools Initiative teaches children in areas that experience extreme weather how to respond to and stay safe in a natural disaster. We work with children to set up early warning task forces, search and rescue teams and first aid teams. Children are also taught how to respond to drills and develop school evacuation maps.
2. Providing child-friendly spaces
During emergencies, we set up child-friendly spaces that give children a safe place to learn, play, and interact with their friends. These spaces protect children from abuse and exploitation, give them access to psychological support, and can let them continue their education if their school is not safe. By providing safe spaces, we’re keeping these children out of dangerous places and situations.
3. Teaching children how to wash their hands
We work to provide better access to clean water and better hygiene, putting water tanks and handwashing stations in schools, and teach children and their communities about the importance of washing their hands.
Each year, diarrhoeal diseases kill over half a million children before they reach the age of five. Proper handwashing and hygiene can prevent the spread of these diseases, reducing the number of cases by 30 per cent.
4. Helping families find economic stability
Children are often the first to feel the effects of poverty, being forced to go hungry or leave school to earn an income for the family. We work with children and families in extreme poverty to build up the skills they need to increase their income and assets.
We also set up savings and loan schemes so families can plan and provide for their children’s future. This approach helps families to become more resilient and better placed to cope with changing circumstances.
5. Fighting child-trafficking
During an emergency or disaster, children are vulnerable to many things – injury from unsafe environments, hunger, cold, and many other risks. But in these times of chaos, when families can become separated and communication is difficult, children are also at risk of abduction and trafficking. We work with communities and local organisations to prevent this. After the earthquake in Nepal, our anti-trafficking booths intercepted 247 abducted children!
Many children are tricked into their own abduction by the promise of a better life elsewhere – we aim to eliminate this danger by helping families out of poverty and into a more stable economic situation.
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