The constitution of Dignity for Children calls for us to cooperate with child help organisations in developing countries. We know the partner organizations personally and value their reliability and commitment. At the moment we have three partners:
Hope for children in Ethiopia, Azul Wasi in Peru and Mobile Mini Circus for Children (MMCC) in Afghanistan.
is working for extremely poor children and children in child labour in Addis Abeba, the capital of Ethiopia, Ethiopia is located at the Horn of Africa in the East of the continent. Ethiopia is one of the poorest countries worldwide with an average annual per capita income of 100 USD. Addis Abeba has more than four million inhabitants; it is crowded, polluted and poor. Around 100 000 children are living on the streets of the city. In average they are between four and 16 years of age. They are living in plastic-, iron - or paper shelters and feed themselves from the garbage containers at the street sides.
Since 1997 Yonas Tesfaye, Gizachew Ayka and their friends are helping these children. In the beginning by talking to them and sharing their money, food and clothes with them. Today they are helping children from extremely poor families to get access to education. And they are fighting against child labour. Children who were taken from the countryside by their "employer", are working up to 18 hours a day, 6 days a week.
The organisation has a number of shelters, counselling centres and schools. First of all the children are taught to read and write, they get lessons in the national language Amharic as well as in Math and English. Then they enter the public school and get parallel social and teaching assistance. Hope for Children takes care of all expenditures of the school year. Children who have been forced to work, are gradually relieved from their duties. Parents and "employers" are taught in children's rights, hygiene and family planning. Up to today thousands of children have taken part in one of these programmes. The work has one main goal: to give the children and their country a better future.
Hope for Children online.
is active in Cuzco, Peru. Cuzco was once the capital of the Inca Empire. Today it is the tourist centre of Peru. Hundreds of tourists can be seen on the streets every day; they come to visit the fantastic Inca sights, above all Macchu Picchu. Only a few take note of the street children's misery. The children are disliked by the police, who often beat them away from the public places so that the image of a beautiful city is preserved. The helping organization Azul Wasi is located in Oropesa, a village about 20 minutes from Cuzco, where the former policeman Alcides Jordan Serda takes care of harassed children. They can take refuge at Azul Wasi, where they get food and an education.
The program for street children was founded in 1998. Most children at Azul Wasi had been working on the street and were therefore at high risk, being exposed to violence and discrimination by the public and the police. Azul Wasi provides them with a visible place in society where they can develop. 21 children from the street are living at Azul Wasi and over 40 more street children are cared for during the day and evening. The children are between 6 and 18 years old, but most of them are under 10. Up to now the organization has helped more than 180 boys and girls. Azul Wasi provides education, food, clothes, extracurricular activities, health education, and it advocates for human rights. The organization works for the reintegration of the children into their families, and foster parents are found for those who have no father or mother. Seven tutors and coordinators are working at Azul Wasi: four are former policemen and three are volunteers. Alcides is the head of the organization. All staff work voluntarily and invest their time and private resources in the project. Nearby friends help by giving clothes, food and other items for the project. Apart from the lack of money, which makes the work very difficult, Alcides says another problem is the lack of assistance from government and the authorities.
We want to support the organization financially in order to put Azul Wasi's work for street children on an independent and sustainable basis. For example the teenager Angel was helped to turn his life around. He was living on the street of Cuzco, but Azul Wasi assisted him and now he is a successful musician. Or Reynaldo, who does not have any parents and was on drugs, was able to overcome his drug problems and learn to bake bread. Today, with the help of Azul Wasi, he is working at a bakery. The most important goal of Azul Wasi's work is to give the children a secure place in society and to ensure that their human rights are respected.
in Kabul, Afghanistan gives the smile back to the children.
Afghan families are shaped by the war. Many familymembers died during the fighting or got disabled. Families had to move again and again, have no house and are poor. This situation affects the childrens situation directly, it takes away their possibility to have a perspective or to realise their wishes, interests or dreams. Many children work in the streets, help in the families shop or live under extremly difficult circumstances. They have no chance to realise their ideas, to use their creativity or to decide how to life their live.
The work of the NGO Mobile Mini Circus for Children starts exactly at that point. The founders Berit Mühlhausen and David Mason want to motivate the children to feel like children again and to use their own creativity. They should get an idea how to shape their own life. To give them a perspective and to forget poverty is a first step to give them back their childrens rights.
MMCCs work is easy: A combination of artistic work with an educational part make the children learn to use their own capacities and to learn something at the same time: About their country, hygiene, about the life. Work has two mainparts: In Kabul children are looked after at the NGOs compound. They play theater, do sports, sing, produce movies. And together with a professional circusgroup the MMCC tours around Afghanistan and plays for hundreds of thousands of children. To make the kids laugh is the first succes.
Dignity for children supports selected projects by the MMCC. For example supported we the construction of a winter facility.
More about MMCC online: www.afghanmmcc.org.