Tag

poverty Archives - Poverty Child

How Your Recycling Helps Poverty Child

Poverty Child prides itself on the fact that 95% of your donations is used to further our mission. We are always grateful for and humbled by your generosity- you help to transform our projects from ideas into lifelines for impoverished children. We want you to know how your recycling helps our cause.

Your recycling helps give flexibility.

The funds that are generated from your recycled goods are unrestricted income. This means funds are pooled to become available for where the most need is.  The needs of the children we help change over time. So it gives us the flexibility to invest the funds in response to their changing needs, either by adapting our existing projects or creating new ones if necessary.  As well as this, it allows us to make up for any shortfalls of funds that we have. For example, we used recycling income to make up for a funding shortfall in our project with Fairplay For All Foundation. It was your recycling efforts that allowed the project to then reach its full potential.

Your recycling helps to fund vital research.

It is different to secure funding for research and data collection. Donors appear to be more willing to provide tangible aid such as food and clothing. Yet, the research and the data for our projects is just as vital. Without this research, it would be hard to know what the children need and how they can be helped. Our research is the foundation of our projects, enabling us to build relationships with the children that we find in the developing world. The funds from the recycling initiative contributes to this data collection. It helps us to build our projects based on crucial data. It is an extremely important starting point for many of our projects.

It’s a vital part of our fundraising strategy.

The income generated by recycling is relatively small, but that doesn’t mean to say it isn’t important. The programme allows us to diversify our income and therefore protect our projects, to some extent, against any drops in revenue. During times of economic and/or political uncertainty, people are more cautious about how and where they spend their earnings. As a result, donating to charity is often dropped from household budgets. Your recycling helps us protect our projects from fluctuating income in uncertain times.

Most importantly, your recycling helps slum and street children.

Aside from our different projects, our wider mission is to break the cycle of poverty for many children in the developing world. Whether your donations are funding our research, data collection, or tangible aid, they are contributing to this mission. Your time and efforts are helping us to make a real difference in the world. By getting involved with our initiative, your recycling is successfully changing lives.  Click the link to find out more about our work and our projects in developing countries.

5 Simple Steps For Decluttering Using KonMari

konmari method steps for decluttering and recycling

Whether it’s time for a spring clean, you’re moving house, or there’s too much clutter in your home, decluttering is always worthwhile. There’s nothing like a clutter-free home to leave you feeling organised and cleansed. It seems that decluttering has recently become quite the phenomenon. With Marie Kondo’s growing fame, more people than ever seem enthusiastic about decluttering. If your house is in need of a declutter, we can help. Consider this “Poverty Child meets KonMari”. Below are 5 simple steps for decluttering your home. These are based on the guidance of Marie Kondo and her KonMari method for tidying. Once you have established which items you no longer want to keep, you can recycle them with us. Creating a tidy and organised space has never been so simple.

Commit yourself to the task of decluttering

This is Marie Kondo’s first rule of decluttering. Before starting what can seem like the tedious task of tidying, get yourself into a positive mindset. Remind yourself of your motivation for decluttering. As the KonMari method emphasises, imagine your ideal lifestyle. Let this guide you. A decluttered home will bring you better organisation, increased productivity and less stress. If you’re using the KonMari method for the first time, keep reminding yourself that it will be interesting and inspiring to try something new. Remember that all the goods you decide to get rid of will be recycled with us. This will help to fund our projects in developing countries. You’ll have played a part in helping vulnerable children that are subject to a life in slums and on the streets.

Tidy by category, not by location

Part of the KonMari method is that you tidy according to the category of your items, not by their location. Don’t tidy by room, tidy by category. One of Marie Kondo’s rules is that you stick to the order. You start with clothes, then books, and then move on to papers, miscellaneous items and sentimental items. Gather your items into these categories before sorting through them.

Ask yourself, “does this item bring me joy?”

One of Marie Kondo’s main principles for the KonMari method is that you focus on what brings you joy. You should think about what you can keep instead of what you can discard. Once you have your categories sorted, go through each item and ask “does this item bring me any joy?” If your answer is yes, put the item into a pile of things to keep. If it no longer sparks joy, put the item in a pile of belongings to send to our recycling initiative. You can check out all the items we can accept under the “donate” tab on our website. We are happy to accept broken items, so don’t worry if things aren’t working as they should be.

Contact us for postage materials

If your stuff weighs 10kg or more altogether, you can request a recycling sack from us. Alternatively, if your items weigh less than this, you can ask us for an address label. We’ll email this out to you for posting your unwanted goods to us.

Send your unwanted goods to us

After all the hard work and commitment that has gone into your decluttering, it’s time to get rid of your unwanted items! If you’ve used the address label, you’ll post them out to us. If you’ve used the recycling sacks from us, we can arrange for a courier to collect the items you are kindly donating. All this information is available on our website.

Once you’ve decluttered your home, be proud of the effort you have put into creating a more organised space. You’ll soon begin to feel the benefits of having an organised and decluttered home to live in. Remember, this process isn’t just helping you and anybody else that shares your home. You’re helping us to fund our projects. These projects aim to break the vicious cycle of poverty street children are trapped in. Your donated items will help us to make a real difference.

Ideas For Phase 3 Of National Citizen Service (NCS)

NCS phase 3 teamwork for community project

You’ve conquered the activities your five-day NCS residential had thrown your way. You’ve mastered several life skills in phase 2. Now, you’re looking for a way to make an impact in your community. Phase 3 is all about making a difference. By using our recycling initiative as your social project, you’ll be doing nothing short of that. You will be helping your local community to declutter and come together for a common cause. But, your impact will reach even further than your local community. You will be helping to tackle the vicious poverty cycle that many vulnerable children are in. With the skills you’ve gained and our support, your community project will make a real difference.

About Our Initiative

Our recycling initiative is a unique and creative way to improve the lives of slum and street children. The items that we collect are resold for cash to fund our projects. We work to give poor children opportunities to better their lives and break the cycle of poverty. We accept many items from clothes, jewellery, unwanted gadgets and even old cars! There’s more information on the items we can collect under the “donate” tab on our website.

Some Ideas For Your Social Project

Organise a recycling event in your local community

This could be item specific or to recycle many items. For example, you could collect old mobile phones within your local community. Or, you could ask for people to bring any recyclable goods to a specific collection point. Make sure you promote your event with leaflets and posters. Tell your community what they can recycle and where they need to take their goods to. There’s more information on our website about each specific item and the conditions they must be in.

Work with local businesses to recycle items

Local businesses are always disposing of items, such as ink cartridges and laptops. These might not be of any value to the business anymore, but they are to our recycling initiative. Contact local businesses and encourage them to recycle their goods for your community project. It’s also a great way to impress employers with your effort and project management!

Get creative!

You could rally a team together and head down to your local city centre to encourage people to recycle with you. To draw attention to your project, you could get creative and dress up as a recycling item, such as a mobile phone!

Get competitive!

You could also run a competition within your community to see who can recycle the most. It could be on large competition between individuals. Or, you could run competitions between households, estates, and businesses that take part!

We’ll support your social project

Here at Poverty Child we have valuable experience in running fundraising projects. We can offer our guidance to help you execute yours. We can provide materials you need such as collection boxes and posters if necessary. We’ll also be on hand to help with the collection of your donations. You can request a recycling sack from us if you expect your donations to weigh over 10kg altogether. We’ll then arrange to collect your donations from you, free of charge.

If you’re thinking of using our recycling initiative for your NCS community project, we’d love to hear from you. Be sure to get in touch to tell us about your project, and we’ll be happy to help you in any way we can.

How to Recycle Gold & Silver Jewellery

Recycling gold, silver and jewellery

We all have gold and silver jewellery hidden away in cupboards, drawers, and boxes that is no longer used. Whether it’s broken or out of fashion, at one time it meant something to us and for that reason it’s hard to part with. Yet, there is still a way of putting your unwanted jewellery to use without the guilt of letting it go. Donating it to Poverty Child.

Our jewellery recycling initiative can give your old jewellery purpose once more. It can raise funds to support our work with vulnerable children living on the streets or in slums. Every gold or silver ring, trinket, or earring can make a difference, no matter how small. A little can indeed go a long way in changing someone’s life.

For example, our recent work in Philippines is only possible thanks to your recycling. Your unwanted items are helping to improve the nutrition of children in the slum of Payatas. Some of the most at-risk children. Learn more about our work with Fairplay, and why working with street children is so important.

Recycling with us couldn’t be easier. We accept all jewellery in any condition, whether silver, gold or bejewelled. All you have to do is request a postage label. Then, use the address label to post your jewellery to us. Our recycling partner raises funds with your donated jewellery. Funds that we use to further our charitable mission.

You can even get your family, friends and work colleagues involved. The more recycling you do the more children we can help.

If you’re having a clear out or a spring clean, send your unwanted gold and silver jewellery to us. Your decluttering can make a huge difference to the children we work with. Children who are otherwise ignored by the wider society.

How To Recycle Ink Cartridges

Ink Jet Cartridges

Despite over 65 million ink cartridges sold in the UK every year, only around 15% of these get recycled. Cartridges ending up in landfill contribute further to pollution and global warming. In turn this drives up demand for the mining of raw materials to make new cartridges.

The planet needs us to step up and break this cycle, and this is where you come in. You can help by disposing of your ink cartridges in a better way. Recycle your printer’s ink cartridges instead of chucking them in the bin. This is so much better for the planet as it means less mining for materials and less pollution.

Here’s the thing though. If you recycle your ink cartridges through us, you get an added benefit. You help us further our mission helping improve the lives of street and slum children. All you have to do is send us your ink. Each cartridge you send us raises £1. Every pound raised is a step further in making life better for some of the most vulnerable children.

Sending us your ink cartridges costs you nothing. That’s right, we’ll send you a mailbag for you to pop your cartridges into and post back to us for free. Super convenient for you, helpful to the environment, and benefitting charity. A triple win.

We accept ink cartridges from most printer manufacturers like Canon, Epsom, and HP. See a full list of the cartridges we can accept by printer manufacturer on our ink cartridges page.

Make life a little easier for yourself and better for the most vulnerable, as well as for the planet. Send us your ink cartridges today.

How To Recycle Your Car

Recycling old cars

Britain is facing a landfill crisis – we’re running out of landfill and with Brexit looming over us, it seems things may only get worse. It now seems more vital than ever to do our bit and help the environment, particularly by recycling.

It is this, coupled with our mission to provide street and slum children abroad with opportunities to better their future, that has driven us to create our recycling fundraising initiative. As a part of this initiative to help fund our projects, we are happy to accept your old cars and light vans that need disposing. It won’t cost you a penny to recycle with us and, besides the environmental benefits of recycling, it’ll help to keep our work alive. That’s right – your unwanted vehicle can help slum and street children in the developing world to reach their full potential.

The vehicle you’re recycling can be in any condition, but please note that if your car is working, it will potentially fetch a higher value. All we ask if that you have settled any finance before you donate your vehicle to us, and that any scrap or used vehicles have inflated tyres and are parked on solid ground to ensure it can be safely placed onto a recovery vehicle upon collection.

All you have to do is complete a form with your details, and then our recycling partner will be in touch to arrange a collection time. Please let us know when you are contacted whether or not your car is in working condition, has any missing parts, any damage that affects it, and whether your car is accessible as this may affect its collection. You can click here to view the form you must complete as well as FAQs.

Recycling your vehicle is easy and convenient for you and by doing so, you can help provide youngsters with opportunities to better the life they were born into and reach their full potential in the world. The environmental benefits in themselves are a reason to recycle, but the feeling of doing your bit to help others in the developing world is a bonus.

Street Children: Everything About This Global Humanitarian Crisis

Street Children in Cambodia

Across the world there are millions of children who face the reality of spending their everyday life living or working on the streets. The quality of life of these children is poor, as they are exposed violence, deprived living conditions and a lack of access to basic necessities, healthcare and education. The numbers of street children around the world are also likely to be rising, especially in developing countries where rapid urbanisation has led to the creation of urban slums in which children often experience extreme poverty.

A global crisis is rapidly unfolding and yet the international community continues to largely ignore children connected to the street. As a result, the need to alleviate the problems causing children to become involved with the street as well as support and protect those already living in these conditions is ever more vital.

Here we introduce the crisis, with four main sections:

  1. Who are street children?
  2. What causes children live and work on the street?
  3. Life on the street
  4. How do street children process into adulthood and what are the long-term effects of street involvement?

Who are street children?

Who does the term ‘street children’ refer to?

Street children are a group of children with diverse characteristics and have very complex lives. Because of this, definitions of the term ‘street child’ are often disputed and vary significantly between policy makers, researchers, NGOs and other social actors.  Earlier work on street children tended to focus on just those living (sleeping) and/or working on the streets (1). More recently the term has also come to include those who spend a significant amount of time on the streets (2), whether that be hanging out with friends, accompanying their parents working on the street or for any other reason.

Generally speaking we can say that street children are children who, for whatever reason, depend on the streets for their survival. The street is a central reference point for them, plays a significant role in their everyday life and forms a vital part of their identity (3).

How many street children are there and where do they live?

Latest figures on the number of street children living globally emerged more than a decade ago, published by the international children’s charity, Unicef. In 2005, the organisation predicted that there are more than 100 million street children around the world (2). This is just an estimate, however, and many other agencies working with street children have doubted the accuracy of the claim (1).

Finding a more accurate and up-to-date figure for the number of street children globally is difficult due to the challenges which come along with counting these children: street children tend to move around a lot, they may also not want to be found or are scared and mistrustful of authorities (2). Since definitions of the term ‘street child’ and methods used for counting vary significantly between organisations, it can also prove unreliable to compare and compile data collected in different cities or regions (3)(4)(5).

While the true number of street children living globally is disputed, many researchers and NGOs agree that their numbers are rising. This is occurring alongside the world’s growing population and due to certain global trends, such as rapid urbanisation, increasing inequalities and migration (3). Although it is often thought that street children only live in the poorer nations of Asia, Africa and South America, they are found all over the world, including in richer countries and regions (2).

Street children have diverse characteristics and experiences 

As mentioned above, street children are not a clearly defined, consistent group (5). Their characteristics are diverse, coming from a range of different backgrounds, ethnicity and ages (3).

Stereotypically street children are often thought of as boys and it is true that studies in many locations have counted more boys on the street than girls (2)(5). This is likely due to the more traditional gender roles at play in many cultures, which encourage boys to be independent, work and socialise outside of the home, while girls stay indoors (5). Girls are also often less visible on the street, keeping out of sight to protect themselves from the dangers of street living or being more likely to work as domestic servants or involved in commercial sex (5)(6).

As a result of their varying identities and locations in which they live, street children will have different experiences, needs and struggles and will use the street in diverse ways (5)(7).

What causes children to live or work on the street?

Push and pull factors

Broadly speaking we can put the presence of children living, working or spending large amounts of time on the street down to a range of so called ‘push’ and ‘pull’ factors. Push factors are aspects which force children on to the street (3). These could be reasons such as family collapse, death, economic difficulties, domestic violence, abuse or neglect (8)(10). Pull factors, meanwhile, are circumstances which make the street attractive to a child, for example friendships or the sense of independence, freedom and adventure (3)(2).

In many cases, the process of a child becoming involved in the street is not the result of a single one of these factors, but rather a combination of reasons which have left them in an extremely vulnerable position and meant that the street has become their best or only option for survival (2)(5).

The society in which a child lives also has a huge influence on their likelihood of taking to the streets. In many countries there are wider societal problems at play which make life challenging for children and intensify the conditions which make street involvement more likely.

Broader societal problems

Poverty and income inequality: In societies where income inequality is high, children from the poorest families can be forced onto the street as a means of economic survival for themselves or their families (4)(10). Once there, they are likely to take part in income-generating activities, such as begging, street trading, collecting raw materials, or more dangerous practices, such as stealing or commercial sex work (6)(9)(10).

Financial instability not only puts a strain on families economically, but also emotionally (10). Research has found that stress associated with economic hardship can cause a weakening of relationships between family members (10)(4). This can lead to more conflicts within the family and increased incidences of domestic violence, abuse and neglect, all of which can contribute to a child leaving home (4).

Inadequate social protection for vulnerable children: Many children experiencing hardships and violations of their basic rights at home are reliant on government social services or support from NGOs to provide them with care and protection. In situations where these provisions are unavailable, not accessible or inadequate to meet their needs, children are left vulnerable and exposed to many forms of abuse (3)(11). These children may take to the streets as a means of protecting themselves from the dangers they face at home, after being left with no feasible alternative (1).

Wars, conflicts, epidemics and disasters: Numbers of street children often increase during times of crisis, such as wars, health epidemics, natural disasters, famine and economic recessions. While the consequences of such events are varied, they typically result in death, displacement and disruption of the normal running of services. All of these factors lead to a deepening of poverty and can leave children without care and protection stopping them from becoming involved in the street (5). Recent examples of crises that have had a damaging impact on children include:

  • The 2014 Ebola crisis in Sierra Leone to which over 12,000 children lost their primary care giver (12).
  • The war and refugee crisis in Iraq which forced more than 12.3 million children from their homes (13).
  • The HIV/AIDS pandemic which has left an estimated 16.6 million children as orphans, 90% of whom live in Sub-Saharan Africa (5).

Patterns of urbanisation: Over the last fifty years, movement from rural to urban areas has increased significantly. Currently the highest levels of rural to urban migration are taking place in Asia and Africa, where rapid urbanisation has led to the creation of large unplanned, informal settlements and urban slums (5). Physical conditions in these areas are poor and the settlements are often characterised by poverty, limited resources, little access to social provisions and large family populations per household (3)(5). Children living in these slums are at risk of being forced onto the streets to earn a living or survive, given their poor economic background, little education and limited means for securing their basic needs (11).

Discrimination against certain groups: Studies in many locations have found higher percentages of children from ethnic minorities on the streets than those from native backgrounds. This is the case in South Eastern Europe where children from Roma backgrounds represent a large proportion of children on the street, as high as 89 percent in Serbia and 67 percent in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In these countries, Roma families face many challenges in their everyday lives, including extreme poverty, unemployment, little access to services, as well as prejudice, discrimination and intolerance, which are likely to be the reasons behind this trend (10).

Discrimination not only affects ethnic minorities but also other marginalised groups. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, the HIV pandemic has led to an extreme form of discrimination targeted at AIDS orphans. These children are frequently accused of witchcraft, shunned by their extended families and left with no option but to struggle on the streets to survive (5).

Life on the street

Challenges faced by street children

For the many children who have moved onto the street to live or work, life is extremely challenging. On the streets they are subjected to poor physical conditions and have little access to basic necessities, such as food, clothing and shelter (10). They are also likely to find it difficult to access relevant social services, such as healthcare, either because they do not have the documents required for using such services, lack information or are discriminated against by service providers (3).

Low school attendance is common among children in street situations too. Many street children struggle to stay in standard education because of the attendance requirements, routine and discipline of school, especially when having to juggle work on the street alongside. In addition, street children often experience discrimination from other pupils and teachers, have little family support to help them with schoolwork and find the topics taught irrelevant to their everyday lives, meaning that they do not enjoy school (2)(10)(11).

Violence becomes a part of everyday life

Another major difficulty of life on the street is the constant threat of violence. While the street can be a place for friendships, violence between street children is also common. A study looking at children living alone on the streets in Kenya and Tanzania found that incidences of violence took place as a result of stealing, conflicts over owing money and securing places to stay. A lot of this behaviour was directed at younger children, who not only experienced physical abuse, but also sexual abuse at the hands of older street youths. Many of these older children had been raped themselves when they were younger and used sexual abuse as a means of expressing power and anger over their younger peers (4).

In addition to violence from other street inhabitants, street children are vulnerable to experiencing abuse from the police, local business owners and other members of the public (3)(5). Police brutality against street children has been witnessed in many locations worldwide. In Kenya, for example, there has been extensive reporting of the maltreatment of street youths by the country’s authorities which has sometimes led to bodily harm and even death (14).

Forced sex-selling and begging is also common on the streets, leaving children at risk of abuse and exploitation from the adult organisers of this work. Sex work is particularly prevalent among girls: a study in Tanzania found that 79 percent of girls counted on the street at night were involved in commercial sex work, rising to 86 percent of the 15 to 18 year old girls counted (9).

Crime as a means of survival and coping mechanism

Street children are often viewed negatively by officials and others in the community. They are seen as a problem and associated with crimes, such as stealing, loitering, sleeping in prohibited places, selling goods illegally, as well as using drugs and alcohol (2).

Stereotypes of street children as ‘criminals’ and ‘delinquents’ fail to understand the complex lives that these children lead (1)(3). In many incidences, street children only resort to illegal work practices or crimes like stealing after being left with no other alternative to earn a living or for survival (2)(4). They can also be forced into it by adults and other children who are exploiting them. Drugs and alcohol, on the other hand, are often used as a coping mechanism by street children, thought to offer a relief from the harsh realities of their everyday lives (1)(4).

How do street children process into adulthood and what are the long-term effects of street involvement?

Pathways in adulthood

Research has shown that children’s lives can develop in numerous directions once being involved with the street (4). Some of these pathways are more negative, as former street children are more likely to take part in organised crime and end up in the penal system. In Brazil it is thought that over a third of street children have been placed inside young offender institutions (13).

Some of the pathways which street children take into adulthood are more positive. They can find routes into housing, off-street work or education (1). In many cases, children require interventions from the government, NGOs or other support networks to help with the transition into off-street life and overcome barriers, such as costs, lack of documentation, fear and discrimination (1)(4)(5). With this support not available for every child, it is the case that many children remain street dwellers into late adulthood (1).

Worryingly, several studies have also indicated that there is a high mortality rate among street children. Incidences of death among street youth can be linked to a number of factors, including their exposure to violence, high rates of substance use, mental health problems and susceptibility to illness and diseases like HIV, combined with their lower uptake of health care (1)(14). The nature of street work is often dangerous, meaning that street children are also prone to accidents, such as when begging close to traffic in busy cities (10).

Long-term effects of street involvement

The experiences which street children face in the early stages of lives can have a range of impacts on their physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. All of these factors have consequences on a child’s long-term health and personal development through adolescence and into adulthood.

Mental and emotional impacts: Violence is one of the biggest dangers of street life, affecting children not just physically, but also mentally and emotionally. Research suggests that incidences of abuse can severely affect children’s ability to trust and form attachments and, thereby, make it difficult to form appropriate and meaningful relationships in the future (3)(4). The violence experienced by street children can also result in trauma and emotional distress, which if not addressed can cause psychological damage and mental health problems, such depression, post-traumatic stress and anxiety (4).

High levels of substance use, which is common among street children, has also been proven to have a negative effect on mental health (1)(3)(4).

Physical impacts: The physical conditions which street children are subjected to are poor. They often work and sleep in areas which are dirty, polluted and exposed to harsh weather. These environments pose a major risk to children’s health, as chest problems are likely and infectious diseases like malaria and cholera spread easily. Since many street children lack food or have a poor diet, it is also common for them to experience shunted growth and appear physically much younger than their actual age (4). Being deprived of nutrition negatively affects a child’s activity and motivation levels too, which are important for their cognitive development (10).  

Given the lack of medical care accessible to children on the street, those suffering from health problems or injuries from accidents and assaults frequently do not get the treatment they need (4)(10). This can increase the severity of the issue in the long term and even have fatal consequences.

To conclude…

With millions of children living and working on the streets around the world and evidence to suggest these numbers are rising, it is clear that the global humanitarian crisis of street children needs to be tackled. Before coming to the streets, these children have already lived in deprived conditions, often experiencing extreme poverty, family collapse, death, abuse or neglect at home, meaning that the street has become their best or only option for survival. On the streets they face more dangers, including high rates of violence, poor physical conditions and a lack of access to healthcare, education and basic necessities, like food, clothing and shelter.

Without proper support street children may struggle to adapt to life off the street and pursue negative pathways into adulthood, such as becoming involved in organised crime and ending up in the penal system. If their issues are not addressed, they are also likely to experience long-term impacts on their mental and physical health, and even face higher risks of death. As this is the case, the support from charities and NGOs is vital in helping alleviate the problems of street children and providing them with the care and protection they need.

Sources used in this article:

  1. Benitez S (2011) State of the World’s Street Children: Research. Consortium for Street Children.
  2. Consortium for Street Children (2015) Street-Connected Children Myth Busters: Challenge Your Perceptions.
  3. OHCHR, United Nations Children’s Fund, Consortium for Street Children and Aviva (2013) Protection and promotion of the rights of children working and/or living on the street.
  4. Smeaton, E (2012) Struggling to Survive: Children Living Alone on the Streets in Tanzania and Kenya. Railway Children.
  5. Ray P, Davey C and Nolan P (2011) Still on The Streets – Still Short of Rights: Analysis of policy and programmes related to street involved children. Plan and Consortium for Street Children
  6. Railway Children (2016) Children on the streets of Kitale: Headcount findings 2015.
  7. Consortium for Street Children (2015) Advocacy and Action Guide: Making rights a reality for street-connected children.
  8. Comic Relief (2009-12) Street and Working Children & Young People’s Programme (SWC&YP) Strategy 2009-12.
  9. Government of the United Republic of Tanzania and USAID Kizazi Kipya Project (2018) Street-Connected Children in Tanzania: Headcount Findings 2017.
  10. Duci V and Tahsini I (2016) Regional research on prevalence of street children phenomenon in Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro and Serbia. Save The Children.
  11. Guga E S (2010) Final Evaluation of Building the Capacity of Local CBOs and Government Agencies to Improve the Lives of Migrant Children Project. FTF/ICT/ CSC, Dar es Salaam.
  12. Street Child (2015) The Street Child Ebola Orphan Report.
  13. Consortium for Street Children (2016) Street Children: A Global Picture (Infographic/Map).
  14. Embleton L, Ayuku D, Makori D, Kamanda A and Braitstein P (2018) Causes of death among street-connected children and youth in Eldoret, Kenya. BMC International Health and Human Rights, 18 (19).

 

Helping 100 Children At-Risk in Payatas, The Philippines

Child at-risk in Payatas

In February 2018, our partner Fairplay For All Foundation launched a project we’re co-funding aimed at helping 100 children living in poverty and at-risk in Payatas, The Philippines. The project intends to support these children by providing regular sport, nutrition and social groups that help to improve their quality of life as well as their physical and mental wellbeing. Four main interventions have been developed with the children in mind and form the basis of this project. These are:

  • The organisation of football sessions held two times a week;
  • The provision of free healthy, nutritious meals at the Fairplay Café;
  • Weekly sessions aimed at improving the emotional intelligence of the children;
  • For children aged 13 and above, youth groups teaching life skills held twice a week.

Thanks to kind donations and the hard work of our fundraisers, we’re funding the nutrition aspect of this project. The plan is that free meals will be provided to the children at the Fairplay Café after the twice-weekly football sessions. Since the café specialises in vegetarian, healthy food, it guarantees a much higher standard of nutrition for the children who have poor diets.

For us, nutritional support is an extremely important aspect of the program. Not only is nutrition an important determiner for physical health and growth, but it also has a huge impact on mental health outcomes. Without adequate and healthy food provisions, children may experience stunted growth, difficulties in learning, behavioural problems and emotional issues such as depression, anxiety or bipolar disorder¹.

Before the start of the program, Fairplay gave the children taking part a series of tests to measure them against five key performance indicators or KPIs. These KPIs are body mass index (BMI), adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), learned optimism (LO), growth mindset, and risk of depression. The results of the tests have been used as a baseline to identify how the children are suffering and what can be done about it. They also offer the possibility to determine the overall success of the project, as the children will be tested again both mid-way and at the end of the programme.

We hope to see improvement in these KPIs over the period. The collected data will show whether the work we have done in collaboration with our partner has been beneficial to the children and has increased their quality of life.

A brief outline of the baseline results for the 100 children is given below. You can click through the link on each of the KPIs to find a description of them and why they are important. Be sure to keep up-to-date with our blog to see how the project is going and if there’s been improvements in these KPIs midway and after the programme has ended.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

The baseline results show a large degree of malnourishment among the children and indicate the need for nutritional assistance in the group. The average BMI of the 100 children is 18.4, classified in the underweight category. Furthermore, 52 percent of the male children, and 59 percent of the female children are considered underweight. The most underweight group is 7 to 12 year olds, with the average BMI generally increasing with age.

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs)

ACEs is a tool used to measure the level of childhood trauma an individual has experienced. According to the baseline results, the children supported by this project are highly at-risk. Only 12 of the 100 children said they had not experienced any of the types of childhood trauma listed in the test, while 37 percent had encountered four or more. The most common types of trauma experienced are emotional abuse (59 percent), parental separation/death (52 percent) and physical abuse (42 percent).

Learned Optimism (LO)

LO measures the degree to which people are pessimistic or optimistic about their experiences and what impact this has on them long-term. When this was tested in Payatas, the results showed that, on average, the children are very pessimistic. Around 70 percent of them scored within the ‘very pessimistic’ category and a further 13 percent were rated ‘moderately pessimistic’. Only three percent of the children were deemed to be optimistic. The test also showed that around half of the children reported low self-esteem.

It is worth noting that LO test is relatively complex and therefore, when it was used it Payatas, it was only given to children aged 13 and above (40 out of 100).

Growth Mindset

A growth mindset is the belief that basic qualities, such as intelligence, creativity and talent, can develop over time through hard work, dedication and training. It is an extremely valuable mindset for a child to have. On the opposite end of the scale is a fixed mindset. This is the belief that these basic qualities are essentially predetermined, fixed traits and cannot be improved much, if at all.

Fairplay tested whether the children in Payatas have mainly growth or fixed mindsets, finding the results to be overwhelmingly positive compared to the other KPIs.  Overall, 68 percent of the children have a predominately growth mindset, with this being strong in 13 percent. Less than a third of the children have a fixed mindset and none of them strong fixed mindset.

Risk of Depression

Fairplay used the  Center for Epidemiologic Studies – Depression Child (CES-DC) test to measure the likelihood of depression among the children. This involved asking them 20 questions about what they had felt or experienced in the last seven days. The results of the test are alarming as they show that the large majority of the children are at risk of depression. Almost a half of the group (45 percent) scored 25 or above, categorised as being severely depressed, and 41 percent scored between 16 and 24, categorised as moderately depressed. There were no significant difference in results between males and females or between children of different ages. All groups seem to experience similar risks of depression.

In Summary

Overall, the baseline results show that the children supported by our project in Payatas are incredibly at-risk. Not only do they have smaller BMIs than others their age, but they are also suffering mentally due to childhood trauma, risks of depression and low self-esteem and optimism. We hope that through our partnership with Fairplay we will be able to help and assist the children in these and other aspects of their lives. We will keep you up-to-date with our progress here on our blog. Until then!

Sources

  1. Fairplay For All Foundation (2018) Helping 100 Children At-Risk: How Much does Regular Sport, Nutrition, and Social Groups Improve the Well-being of Children in Payatas? Unpublished.
  2. How Poor Nutrition Affects Child Development, Livestrong.com.