One man's determination changes the headlines in Uganda, a former child at risk volunteers with Viva and tells her story, plus the top three challenges for international development today.
FACEBOOK.COM/VIVATOGETHERFORCHILDREN INFO@VIVA.ORG WWW.VIVA.ORG | ISSUE 13 vivanews WHAT’S INSIDE 06 08 Learn about the top three challenges in international development today from our Programme Development Manager 10 Read how one man’s determination changed the headlines in Kampala, Uganda 16 “My name is Jade!” Find out what gave this Guatemalan girl such confidence in her identity From a children’s centre in Vietnam to volunteering with Viva in Oxford: read the story of a former child at risk WHO car s? ly voices that n o t o n n ig a p s?’ cam r y, hur ting and g Our ‘Who care n u h y n a m stion of so lights desperate que rld, it also high o w e th d n u ren aro answering it. re homeless child a o h w rs e regiv the amazing ca e dedicated to th is s w e n va vi f This edition o ferent ways, are if d in , o h w s lt du . thousands of a erable children ln u v g in lp e h lives to devoting their visit involved then t o g y d a e lr a e If you haven’t ay to watch th d to s e r a c o h er viva.org/w an help answ c u o y w o h t d ou video and fin too. that question 02 All the children named in vivanews have had their names and photos changed in accordance with our Child Protection Policy Cover photo courtesy of Patricia Andrews EDITORIAL Shiisa and her mum, Isobel HI, MY NAME IS SHIISA AND I AM NEARLY 12. I LIVE IN KAMPALA, UGANDA, WITH MY MUM WHO WORKS FOR VIVA AND THAT IS WHY I AM WRITING THIS PAGE FOR YOU. Normally a grown-up writes the beginning of this magazine and tells you all about the children Viva helps. But this time there are lots of stories about the grown-ups who are helping and so I am introducing them. You could probably have guessed I was adopted even if I didn’t tell you, from the picture of me and my mum. I was very little when my mum decided to adopt me. In fact the babies’ home where she found me is in the Uganda network now, and they are still helping babies to find good homes like they did for me. At school people in my class all have nicknames and mine is ‘FIZ’ which stands for Feisty, Energetic and Independent-minded! I really want to be Uganda’s first-ever figure skater. But if that is not possible then I will open a restaurant on ice. What I am trying to say is that I have really big hopes for the future. But sometimes I think if I hadn’t been adopted I would probably look, think, speak and act VERY differently. I feel so sad to see children who have no home and no one to love them. A couple of days ago mum and I were driving and we passed a girl who had collapsed on the road. We were not able to stop there but mum called some people from the network whose organisation was across the road and they rushed out to help her. She had run away from home and had not eaten for three days. But now someone is helping her. That is why I know Viva’s work is so important, even though it means my mum has to go away sometimes to other parts of Africa to help the networks.You will see when you read all the stories what a difference these grown-ups are making. On page six there is a story from a girl who came all the way from America to help Viva - and she is adopted just like me. There is also a really good story about Pastor George who lives in my city and is helping children here, so you should go to page 10 and hear about him. And don’t forget that you are making a difference too by praying for Viva and giving your money, so thank you very much! - Shiisa Booth-Clibborn 03 FOR MANY OLDER CHILDREN, FITTING IN WITH THEIR PEERS SEEMS SO IMPORTANT. THE CLOTHES THEY WEAR, THE MUSIC THEY LISTEN TO, THEIR WEEKEND ACTIVITIES ARE ALL UNDER SCRUTINY. “BUT EVERYONE ELSE IS DOING IT” IS A FAMILIAR CRY TO MANY PARENTS, AS CHILDREN SEEK TO AVOID THE POTENTIAL TEASING THAT STANDING OUT FROM THE CROWD CAN BRING. BUT WHAT IF THE SIMPLE ACT OF ATTENDING SCHOOL WAS WHAT MADE A CHILD DIFFERENT? 04 their futures, they felt increasingly keen to start attending. So they asked their father if he would pay their school fees, promising in return that they would work incredibly hard and find a way to get the other school materials they needed.Their father agreed and the boys kept to their end of the bargain too – they approached Sonu about getting help, and thanks to both his church and a few other contacts in the network Amit and Jamil now have books, stationery and school uniforms. Because of Sonu’s willingness to help the children in his community, and with the training and support of the network, Amit and Jamil dared to be different – breaking the mould and choosing education and a future. But Sonu hopes that soon they won’t be so different, as he works with other children and families in the area to empower them to take hold of a better future too. Older brother Jamil (right) with classmates from the ‘Dare to be different’ programme Raised in a small community on the outskirts of Delhi, India, brothers Amit and Jamil spent their days just like the other local children – running errands, doing chores or playing outside with friends. School definitely wasn't on the agenda. Like many families they didn’t have much money: their father worked long hours for low pay in a local store and their diet of rice and dahl, eaten in a tworoom shack, was no different from their neighbours. with Amit and Jamil and invited them along to the next round of ‘Dare to be different’. The boys warmed to Sonu’s friendly enthusiasm and eagerly came along. Sonu laughingly told us of the disappointment on their faces at the end of the first session when they realised they would have to wait three more days for their next class! Over the weeks Sonu helped Amit and Jamil understand more about hygiene and healthy diet, talked Then the brothers met them through key sex education Sonu Malhotra. A volunteer from a nearby church (a member principles, showed them some practical ways of staying safe and of Viva’s partner network in taught them about their rights as Delhi), Sonu had recently been children. In particular, the trained to lead a life-skill and mentoring programme called ‘Dare right to education was a to be different’. Excited by the new surprise to the boys: they hope he felt the programme could had never really thought offer local children, Sonu couldn’t about school before, as wait to go out into the community they didn’t know many and get started. It was through an children who went. But as they began to understand the outreach day organised by his church that he came into contact important role it could play in Sonu helps Amit and Jamil with their reading and writing 05 by Rebekah Kennel nel h Ken a k e b Re YOU MIGHT NOT KNOW IT TO LOOK AT ME BUT I WAS ONCE CONSIDERED TO BE A CHILD AT RISK. It’s a time I do not remember well. I do not remember waking up, sleepy-eyed, in the Centre for Abandoned Children in Vietnam, suffering from third-degree malnutrition. I have no memory of my mother’s face and do not know if I even laid eyes on my father. I can’t recall the kind young woman on staff at the Centre whispering lullabies into my ear to stop my crying. Everything I know of my early years I learned from my parents – my adoptive parents that is – and it seems like a dream in my comfortable reality. Yet there has always been the thought of ‘what if?’ What if I wasn’t placed in a rehabilitation centre for my illness, or Rebekah is currently an undergraduate student studying International Development at the University of Washington in Seattle, USA. She has recently returned home after a five-month internship at Viva’s UK office. watched over by attentive caregivers, or adopted into a loving family? Would I have remained an orphan my entire life? I KEPT ASKING MYSELF THE QUESTION - WOULD I HAVE REMAINED AN ORPHAN MY ENTIRE LIFE? 06 Pondering these possibilities only highlights the immensely blessed life I have. For it was at a crucial moment in my childhood that I crossed paths with people who changed the course of my life forever. Caring adults who saw the danger of my situation and intervened, enabling me to thrive and become the person I am today. Rebekah, age two, in her adoptive parents’ home in Thailand CARING ADULTS SAW THE DANGER OF MY SITUATION AND INTERVENED That’s why I am so drawn to what Viva does: they provide a powerful presence during the most formative years of children’s lives. At a time when fear and anxiety are present every day and huge questions about what will happen in their futures are looming over them,Viva is there, pulling together all kinds of caring, knowledgeable Rebek ah back g , age four, in arden in Seatt her le with churches. In my studies one of the things I’ve researched is how the work of faith-based organisations compares with that of secular charities with similar goals, and my time at Viva has shown me what a powerful vehicle the Church can be. Local As an International churches have a legitimacy in Development student I’m always being encouraged to go their communities that an and ‘see the world’ and get real- outside organisation may never achieve and the motivation and life experiences to measure ability within congregations to against the academic theories support and care for struggling we are learning in the classroom. So it was great to be children is just enormous. in the Viva office and not only see first-hand how programmes At the end of the day though I’ve loved my time at Viva not are developed and rolled out, for the interesting programmes, but also see the fruit of that the chance to write, the work – hearing stories of learning, or the fun people I’ve children rescued from forced labour, saved from worked with (although those things have been great!) It’s gang violence on the streets or empowered to because I’ve had the opportunity to help speak with government make sure that children, officials about their not so different from me, rights. are given the same chance in life that I was It’s also been brilliant to see how Viva is prioritising working once given. people to answer those questions and provide a safe and caring community for these children. So I decided that I wanted to pack my bags and head off for a closer look at what they were doing, hopefully helping out at the same time. 07 Despite the recent recession, the UK still has one of the largest economies in the world and we’re considered to be the fourth most powerful nation. So we’re in a privileged position to offer support to people living in poorer and less stable countries. But how can we make sure we’re helping in the best possible way? Viva’s Programme Development Manager, JaneTravis, shares some thoughts on what she considers to be three of the biggest challenges in international development today. 3 TODAY CHALLENGES INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT TOP THE #1 Want to delve deeper? Find out more about how Viva pulls together strong networks of well-equipped and supported local people at viva.org/together Are we supporting not supplanting? When thinking about how to help struggling people - in Viva’s case particularly children - it’s so important to make sure that any resources we offer are not supplanting local efforts but are a support to what’s already in place. Before I came to Viva I worked for 10 years in emergency and relief settings in Africa. In the aftermath of a crisis one thing I saw repeatedly was the quickness of the local church to respond when there was a need. Before the big international players arrived on the scene the churches would be housing people, feeding them, donating clothes, helping locate family members. That’s not to say that the bigger relief agencies aren’t doing good work. But local churches and organisations have a relationship with the local area - and a physical presence within it - that just can’t be replicated by outsiders. If we really want to help then it’s vital that we recognise and resource that. 08 #2 Want to hear more from our staff about how they got into their jobs and what motivates them in their work? Check out bit.ly/inside-viva to read more personal stories from our Inside Viva series. Are we valuing local culture? In this sector there is often talk of ‘respecting’ the culture of countries we go into, as if the main point is simply not to offend people. But we’ve got to go beyond that and actually value the culture of the place in which we’re working and learn from it. Local communities have so much God-given talent and compassion, we can’t afford to simply impose our ideas onto a situation and overlook the unique contributions of the very people we are trying to help. Of course there are traditions that need to be challenged: when babies are aborted just because they’re female, or children are ritually sacrificed to bring good luck. But still the point stands that we’re not offering help in a vacuum - we’re offering it to specific people in a specific place at a specific point in time, and if we don’t appreciate the value of their context it will be impossible to provide help that is truly effective. #3 READ MORE Jane is describing Viva’s Early Encounter programme, currently running through six networks across Latin America.You can read more about it at bit.ly/earlyencounter Are we meeting real needs? One of the best bits of my job is talking with project leaders, caregivers and pastors all over the world as together we learn from one another and grow programmes that really have a positive impact on children’s lives. Their input is vital for understanding exactly what the real needs are, so that we’re finding solutions that target the root of the problem. A tangible example of this was when we first began working with the networks in Latin America to address the needs of street children. There was, understandably, a big emphasis on getting children away from the influence of drugs and gang culture and back into school. But the reality was that families who relied on income brought in by their working children were now struggling even more, and given the choice between an afternoon lesson or an evening meal most kids were opting to head back to the streets to earn money for food. As we listened to and learned from the network’s discoveries, together we developed a way to support whole families to keep their children away from the dangers of street life for good. 09 HEADLINES LIKE THESE WOULD CAUSE A PUBLIC OUTCRY IN THE UK TODAY. BUT IN THE MUKONO DISTRICT, JUST EAST OF KAMPALA, UGANDA, THEY WERE NOTHING UNUSUAL. IN FACT, THEY WERE ALL TOO COMMON: CHILD ABUSE WAS JUST A PART OF EVERYDAY LIFE. 00 10 CHILD MISSING, D E R E D R U M D E T C E SUSP EXCLUSIVE However, three years ago, one man decided that enough was enough. He caught a vision of a community where children would suffer no longer. Where they would be kept safe, supported, nurtured and loved. That man was Pastor George Kaniike: a hard-working church leader who believed passionately that things should and could be different in the area where he lived and worked. Pastor George had been inspired by his experience of working with Vivaâ€™s partner network in Kampala, particularly their advocacy training on the importance of standing up for childrenâ€™s rights and taking practical action to keep them safe. After what he learnt through the network, George felt able to go back to his community and change it. 11 Pastor George caught a vision of a community where children would suffer no longer. Where they would be kept safe, supported, nurtured and loved. Returning to his church team with renewed vigour, George was determined to teach them how to protect children and share the valuable information he had gained. Together they began to formulate child protection policies and started putting them into action within his church and local community project. Now, that might have been where many people would have stopped. Making an impact in the immediate vicinity is probably all you can hope to achieve when you’re responsible for a busy parish; after all, there are only so many hours in the day. But not George. His vision was much bigger. He began contacting community leaders and members from neighbouring villages, to convince them to join his pursuit of a safe community for children, and his enthusiasm was contagious. Wherever he went to spread this message of hope, people were impressed by his passion and encouraged by his pragmatic approach to improving the lives of children. On one occasion, members of the community George visited were so excited by what he was teaching them about how to protect children that they insisted he stayed until after dark and begged him to come back and give them further training. What started small steadily gathered momentum as more than 30 villages in the surrounding area came together and established child protection committees. These groups encouraged local people to look out for their neighbours’ children and report any concerns and any collaborative learning and action has begun to pay off with encouraging results. A total of eight people from the district who had previously abused children are now serving time in prison: a mother who beat, burned and broke her child’s hand and seven men who were convicted of child rape. They have been brought to justice and are facing punishment because the community is working together to create a safe environment for its children. So, what is the secret of his success? Pastor George says, On one occasion, members of the community George visited were so excited by what he was teaching them about how to protect children that they insisted he stayed until after dark. 12 00 known cases of abuse, and Pastor George and his team are now well equipped to offer advice and refer cases to the relevant authorities quickly and efficiently. This combination of focused “Being a part of the network, learning from others and having their support has been vital.That is what gave me the confidence to believe that change was possible and the determination to make it Pastor George is not a charismatic powerhouse, a dynamic figurehead or a superhero. He is just an unassuming, faithful man who had a vision of hope. Pastor George Kaniike happen.” Pastor George is not a charismatic powerhouse, a dynamic figurehead or a superhero. He is just an unassuming, faithful man who had a vision of hope and turned it into a practical reality in his district and beyond. His personal mission to make a difference for the children of Mukono has inspired and encouraged other community leaders to follow his example and put a structure in place that will ensure ongoing success. The newly-formed committee overseeing child protection in Mukono. Pastor George is in the back row, with a raised hand. This was clearly evident at the end of 2012 when a two-day conference organised by the network brought together a wide cross-section of the community including the police, local councillors and teachers. After discussing topics including community policing, child abuse, child protection, the Children’s Act and domestic violence, they went on to form a committee that is now overseeing the work of child protection in the Mukono area. But perhaps the most visible legacy of Pastor George’s personal campaign is something that is more noticeable by its absence. Something that even people who haven’t heard about him can’t help but observe. The local newspapers don’t feature headlines about child abuse any more. 13 What does ‘FAMILY’ look like? 1-2 June 2013 Everyone’s family is different and while lots of children have very happy childhoods there are many others across the world who cannot say the same.Yet the Bible says that God is the originator of the concept of family and that his love is powerful and sufficient even in situations of considerable pain. So this year we’re focusing our prayers on asking God to strengthen and repair children’s family lives and bring the fullness of his fatherly love, protection and encouragement into their situations. Hundreds of thousands of adults and children across more than 40 countries will be praying over the WWP weekend. VISIT US ONLINE 14 ray Will you p with us? PRAY@VIVA.ORG VIVA.ORG/WWP FACEBOOK.COM/WWPRAYER PLAN TO PRAY INVOLVE YOUR CHURCH your pastor about using the prayer slot in the Sunday service for the WWP. You’ll find a variety of set prayers (and accompanying PowerPoint slides) at viva.org/wwp SPREAD THE WORD your friends to a prayer breakfast or prayer walk the WWP booklet is packed full of statistics, stories and prayer points and it also has specific ideas in the back for creative ways to pray. Invite Ask our special WWP Facebook cover photo now and get it on your timeline so all your friends know you’re joining in. your own personal website, e-newsletter or Pinterest board to encourage people to pray. We’ve got all the logos and graphics you need online so you can easily share the WWP message. old-fashioned and just talk about it! Whether it’s in a conversation at the school gates, by the coffee machine at work, or when catching up with a friend, you can encourage anyone to get involved. Download Use your own on both the Saturday and Sunday mornings to pray for children, either a specific child or situation you know of, or maybe a country that’s on your heart. Take just five minutes on Put a notice in your church bulletin, newsletter or prayer diary, encouraging church members to pray. Tell your church children’s worker about our prayer activities for kids (also online) so that your young people can be praying for their peers. Decide as a family that you will pray for children at every meal you eat together over the weekend.You could choose a different family member to pray each time. Go YOUR WWP CHECKLIST Put the WWP dates in your diary Talk to your pastor about using the prayer slot at church on Sunday 2 June for the WWP Visit viva.org/wwp to watch the 2013 video Share the link with five of your friends Get the WWP Facebook cover photo up on your timeline 15 Mi nombre e My name is s Jade Jade 04 GU E AT MALA If you told someone your name and nationality and they didn’t believe you, you would be able to prove it by pulling out your driver’s licence, National Insurance card or passport. But what if you didn’t have any of those things? What if the only proof you had of being a citizen of your own country was your word? Jade Cariño was born in Chimaltenango, Guatemala, at 3.16am on 9 May 2010 to Bartolomé Guachin and Marilyn Argueta Cariño. But that information was never recorded officially, thanks to a lack of 400 quetzales. Money had always been a struggle for the family, as Bartolomé’s job as a farm worker did not pay well and he and Marilyn had five children to support. To make matters worse, the couple had been having problems for some time and had just officially separated when Jade was born. The midwife who attended the birth was supposed to register Jade with the National Registry of Persons, but when her fee (approximately £35) went unpaid that task was left incomplete. A few weeks after Jade’s birth the family tried again, but Guatemala’s late birth registration process is complex and even if she had the money Marilyn would still have struggled to meet all the requirements needed to receive Jade’s birth certificate. Thankfully, the local network in Guatemala City heard about Jade’s situation and offered to help. They are currently running Viva’s ‘I exist’ programme, which is designed to help children who have no birth certificate or are struggling in some way with the registration process. Members of the network, such as lawyers, social workers, or local leaders with government contacts help with the legal process and financial contributions are made where they are needed. Since the programme began last year the network has taken on the cases of 163 children. 41 of them are now officially registered as citizens and the team hopes that the others will not be far behind. Through ‘I exist’ Jade was able to gain a birth certificate and be legally recognised as a citizen of Guatemala. Now Jade is registered she is eligible for health services and will be able to start school when she is old enough, neither of which would have been possible without a birth certificate. It also means that as she grows up she will be able to do all the things we take for granted – find a job, learn to drive, get a passport, cast her vote. Marilyn recently told us that Jade, now almost three, has become quite a talkative child and that she has a new favourite sentence: “Mi nombre es Jade!” Thanks to the ‘I exist’ programme she now has the vital piece of paper to back that up. 05 CEO GO ON THE JONATHAN EDWARDS, THE 18TH-CENTURY AMERICAN PREACHER, WROTE, “A TRUE AND FAITHFUL CHRISTIAN DOES NOT MAKE HOLY LIVING A MERE INCIDENTAL THING. IT IS HIS GREAT CONCERN... FOR THE BUSINESS OF THE CHRISTIAN IS TO BE LIKE CHRIST.” That saying has come to mind many times recently as I have met some inspiring people who are doing exactly that. Like the wonderful caregivers I met on my recent trip to India, literally acting like Jesus in Matthew 19 and inviting children onto their laps and into their hearts. Or brilliant colleagues like Jane Travis, facing the challenges she lists on page eight head-on, imitating Jesus’ determination to help people no matter what the obstacles. I’m being inspired by my own family too. My daughters recently received some money from a relative and before they even considered buying anything for themselves they chose to give 10% to Viva. Since doing that they’ve certainly been busy spending, but they are still thinking creatively about how to use their purchases for good. One of the girls bought a guitar and another bought a drum set (I’m sure our neighbours are thrilled) and they are talking about busking to raise more money for Viva! Of course they aren’t model children all the time, but it’s been wonderful to see them acting in such Christ-like ways with their money, their time and their actions. Our global Viva family has also sought to imitate Jesus as we have been prayerfully shaping an exciting three-year plan: deepening our partnership with networks and helping them deliver lasting change for children. At the heart of this has been the renewing of our identity and finding fresh ways to share who we are. Have a look at some of our new life statements on the back of vivanews and let me know what you think. As Viva seeks to be life-giving in all we do I feel challenged and invigorated to keep making it my business to live a holy life - an abundant life bursting with Christ-inspired compassion, generosity, perseverance and love and I urge you to do the same. Together we stand as family in one God, Andy Dipper | Chief Executive 18 Andy r u P WITH A R U P e s cha E S PO PLAY DRINK WEAR with your family when you’re stuck indoors using this fantastic Rainy Day Box from our online fairtrade shop. It includes all the materials your children need to draw, make puppets and paint for as long as the rain keeps coming. It even comes with aprons for the kids so you don’t need to do too much cleaning up! Start playing today at viva.org/purchasewithapurpose something tasty from the Café Direct range and you’ll be making sure that your daily cuppa comes from responsible, adult farmers who don’t exploit poor workers or vulnerable children. They do several varieties of coffee, as well as tea and hot chocolate (the Rich Roast coffee is the current Viva office favourite!) this bright, stylish bag, with its beautiful braided shoulder strap, and it will feel like the sunshine has arrived regardless of what the weather is doing! Whether you’re headed to work, picking the kids up from school, or off to a fun picnic or garden party, this bag will give your outfit the perfect touch of colourful playfulness. Get it now at viva.org/purchasewithapurpose Get your caffeine fix at cafedirect.co.uk 19 We are inspiring lasting change in childrenâ€™s lives through the power of collective action because we have a vision to see children safe, well and fulfilling their God-given potential. We believe that a network of community organisations and churches, locally focused and united in purpose, is the best possible vehicle for bringing lasting change for children.Through 35 partner networks we are increasing the unity, quality and impact of work for children at risk, our joint action training 6,500 caregivers and changing the lives of over 810,000 children. Viva is all about life! Viva, Unit 8, The Gallery, 54 Marston Street, Oxford, OX4 1LF t: 01865 811660 Mixed Sources Product group from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood or fibre. www.fsc.org Cert No. SA-COC-09174 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.viva.org Viva is an operating name of Viva Network. Viva Network is a company limited by guarantee no. 3162776, registered charity no.1053389, and registered in England at Unit 8, The Gallery, 54 Marston Street, Oxford, OX4 1LF, UK