CHILDREN IN EMERGENCIES
Natural disasters and wars have the most brutal impact on children, whose futures can be turned upside down as they are forced to flee their homes, see their loved ones killed or injured and their schools closed, and even face the risk of being recruited into fighting forces.
Up to one-third of the world's out-of-school children live in disaster and conflict-affected countries - a percentage that is rising annually. Out-of-school children are Street Child's primary focus, which is why education in emergencies is a priority area for Street Child.
Despite the above facts, only 2% of all humanitarian funds are currently spent on education.
In all emergency programming, Street Child works closely with UN/IASC Education and Protection Cluster structures.
RESPONSE TO THE EMERGENCY FLOODING AND MUDSLIDES IN SIERRA LEONE
On Monday August 14 Sierra Leone was hit by devastating flooding that has left thousands dead and even more homeless.
The communities affected, who live on the hill slopes on the edge of Freetown, are among the capital's poorest inhabitants. We have been working in and out of these communities since Street Child began operating in Freetown in 2009. Those who have survived this tragedy are left with simply nothing. The capacity of the already stretched Sierra Leonean Government to help is very limited. This is a time when urgent support is needed.
Street Child has launched a flood relief fundraiser, from which 100% of all donations will be spent as quickly as possible supporting our excellent, on-the-ground, social and livelihood teams.
STREET CHILD IN NORTHERN NIGERIA
Each emergency is different, bringing its individual challenges. However, in every situation, we do what we can to protect children and education in and after emergencies. Uniquely, we do so by placing local teams and communities at the heart of our action.
In conflict-impacted North East Nigeria, we are presently operating learning centers in internally displaced persons (IDP) settlements. In Abuja, we are supporting IDP mothers from the North East to set up their own businesses, so they can better afford the costs of education.
STREET CHILD IN NEPAL
In the immediate aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal we worked with UNICEF and local NGOs to distribute school materials and construct temporary learning centers (TLCs). Over the course of 2016 and 2017 we have worked with UNICEF and other partners to construct more than 400 classrooms in villages hit by the earthquake.
STREET CHILD DURING EBOLA
When Ebola began to fade in Sierra Leone and Liberia in early 2015, Street Child played a massive role in the nationwide post-Ebola school re-opening processes, working alongside UNICEF, governments, other nonprofits, and communities to re-open schools as quickly as possible. We refurbished schools, equipped them with essential Ebola-safety hygiene materials, and distributed livelihood support and cash grants to cover school charges - altogether helping over 45,000 children safely return to school in 2015.
During Ebola itself, Street Child focused on two critical areas. We fought Ebola by turning our network of rural school teachers into an 'Ebola educator' team, numbering nearly 2,000 men and women at its peak, knocking on the doors of tens of thousands of homes to explain what precisely Ebola was and how it could be avoided. We also cared for the victims of Ebola, especially the children, during the heart of the crisis. By March 2015, Street Child teams had supported over 11,000 Ebola orphans. Even though the crisis is 'over', we continue to care for the worst-affected orphans through social support and a special food distribution program in conjunction with the World Food Programme.
STORIES FROM OUR WORK
MARIATU, THE EBOLA ORPHAN CARING FOR HER YOUNGER BROTHERS AT 15
At 15, she lost both her parents to Ebola and took on the responsibility of caring for her two younger brothers, just 12 and nine years old. In one year, her life has turned upside down.
"I do petty trading to try and support both my brothers through school but it is very hard to raise the money for fees, books and uniforms. I want to be somebody, I want to finish school. I also really want my brothers to finish education and get well paid jobs. I get on very well with both my brothers, we look after each other”.
Mariatu and her brothers are now receiving support to access school, so they can have a brighter future.
AADI, THE 10-YEAR-OLD GIRL WHO WANTS TO BE A NURSE WHEN SHE GROWS UP
Aadi's school building was destroyed during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. Since then, Street Child has constructed new temporary learning centers for the school, and has trained the teachers in disaster risk management, so that if Nepal is hit by a disaster like this in future, teachers will know how to keep their pupils safe. The school has also received hygiene kits and WASH facilities.
"'I am very happy to study in this new school. Now we don’t have any threat from landslides and we are even safe during earthquakes. I feel safe in my new classroom and I love its color. Yellow is my favorite color.''