Every child and every young person has the right to life, personal development, education, health, protection from violence and the right to be heard. Unfortunately, the reality is different: Millions of children and young people live in poverty, are exploited and marginalised. But many children and young people are trying to find a way out of this cycle of poverty, violence and hopelessness: They organize themselves and actively stand up for their rights. They take responsibility for themselves, their families and their communities. We want to support them and have set up a fund for children and young people to provide fast and unbureaucratic help for individuals in need. With the donations we support shelters for children and young people, support youth groups or offer training and education courses.
With donations from the children and youth fund we support the child shelter of our partner organisation Talikala in the Philippines. Here, boys and girls of different ages live together with two foster mothers. They are all children of prostitutes and particularly at risk of slipping into prostitution themselves.
As far as possible, they live a "normal" life in the shelter. Here they get enough to eat and are supported in their school education. Mothers and children are informed about their rights in special trainings and psychologically accompanied. Donations were used to support the maintenance of the shelter, such as the purchase of tables, chairs, beds and toys. The building was additionally protected by a wall and a fence in order to offer the children more safety.
In Central America, together with partner organisations, we supported committed young people in independently carrying out their own projects. The spectrum is very diverse: from leisure activities to income-generating measures to educational opportunities. For example, donations from the Children and Youth Fund helped to open two mini libraries in Nicaragua and Guatemala in which children, young people and their families come together to read, play and learn. Young people offer reading lessons to the children and try to teach them in a playful way about topics such as treating the environment responsibly. "We wanted to encourage children to read. It was important to us that the reading lessons were not a compulsory event. The children should enjoy reading books," says Hernestina, one of the participants in the youth initiative in Nicaragua.
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