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.
What We Are Doing
Each emergency is different, bringing its individual challenges. However, in each emergent situation we do what we can to protect children and education in. Distinctively, we do so by placing local actors 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 the Abuja camp, we are supporting mothers with livelihoods support so they can better afford the costs of education.
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 worked with UNICEF and other partners to construct over 400 classrooms in villages hit by the earthquake.
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 process, working alongside UNICEF, governments, other NGOs, 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 the Ebola crisis, Street Child focused on two critical areas. We fought Ebola itself 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 'person to person'what precisely Ebola was and how it could be avoided. Wherever we deployed our educators there were no further transmission, equating to 250,000 lives saved at a cost of 61c each,
We also cared for the victims of Ebola, especially the children. By March 2015, Street Child teams had supported over 11,000 'Ebola orphans'. In 2017 Street Child continues to care for the worst-affected Ebola orphans through social support and a special food distribution program in conjunction with the World Food Program.
After the devastating flooding and mudslides in Freetown, Sierra Leone, in August 2017, Street Child was one of the first major international agencies to respond. Within 24 hours we were providing emergency food packages and clean water. Our longer term focus is to support the children and families impacted by the crisis to rebuild their lives - including ensuring that children return to school.
How You Can Help
To provide support to those who need it most it is vital that we are able to react quickly to a crisis . By supporting Street Child regularly, you'll be part of an amazing group of people having a lasting positive impact on some of the world's most vulnerable children. Your regular gift will mean we can plan more effectively, commit to helping more children back to school and respond to the urgent needs of children in emergencies.
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.'