The remote island of Zanzibar is home to many thousands of vulnerable children, with a high proportion of households caring for orphans or foster children. The lack of support structures in the community, limited access to basic services, insufficient opportunities for education and restricted livelihood options, all lead to low family income, making children even more vulnerable. The violation of children’s rights is a big problem in Zanzibar, with the majority of girls and boys reporting either physical violence or emotional abuse at some stage. Due to its isolated location, few NGOs are able to reach these young people in need.
But together with our local partner, ZACA, we provide isolated children with counseling and emotional support, and safe places to play and develop. By equipping young people with ‘life skills’, vocational training and business skills, we enable them to work towards becoming self-sufficient and financially independent in the long-term. And in the meantime, we train parents and guardians to better care for vulnerable children and young people, and we help them strengthen their businesses and increase their income, to provide for their families.
How we make a difference:
- We work closely with ZACA to understand the local context, to develop community-owned responses, and to share knowledge and solutions from other places in which we operate.
- Together, we provide emotional and social support to orphans and vulnerable children, and their guardians and families, in order to increase their resilience to cope with their own situation.
- We train community volunteers to run clubs where children can socialise and play together, alongside receiving counseling to cope with grief or other trauma. Home visits help tackle absenteeism and identify any cases of neglect.
- We provide vocational training to orphans and vulnerable young people, who have been unable to finish school due to personal or financial reasons, in order to develop their skills and increase their employability. The relevant training materials are also supplied.
- We provide further entrepreneurship training to enable them to continue to build their businesses in the future.
- To economically empower the households of orphans and vulnerable children, we train caregivers in business and entrepreneurship skills and assist them in establishing small businesses.
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Personal accounts from the children, young people and communities in Africa that we’ve had the privilege of working with, show extraordinary strength and human spirit.
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We are proud to be working with 27 project partners, across 217 communities, to support and empower young people for the long-term.