Viva 2010 Review 1
10 0 2 w ie v e R l a u n n A
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
P14 P10 P8
Oxford, United Kingdom
Wisconsin, North America
Viva Review 2010
Earlier this year I sat in a crowded slum in Kampala, Uganda, wondering how I could help a frightened little girl called Esther.* She had been accidentally hit in the eye a few weeks before my visit, and was starting to lose her sight. Esther’s mother, Lydia, had taken her to hospital, but they couldn’t afford the necessary treatment. Lydia only earns £1 a day, and she uses that to feed, clothe and house her four children. However, she is unable to find a better paying job because she cannot read or write, as the education system that taught her struggled hugely for money and teachers. This deficiency is true across Uganda’s school system, and is mostly due to a lack of investment from the government behind it. Suddenly it’s a lot bigger than just helping to fix an eye. In order to really change Esther’s life I would have to change the people and places that shape it. The family, the community, the city, the whole country.Yet this Review shows that when we work together we can not only change the individual lives of vulnerable girls in Cambodia (page 4) and school children in Zimbabwe (page 10) but also strengthen hundreds of churches across East Africa (page 14), challenge entire cities in Bolivia (page 16) and begin to influence whole countries like India (page 6). When we work together an awesome power is unleashed! And maybe it starts with just an eye. Maybe it starts with just one compassionate person, determined to act, like the doctor in our Kampala network who agreed to treat Esther and managed to stop her going blind. However, when we add other willing people, when we combine our skills, contacts and resources, we can have a force for change that is more than just the sum of its parts. We can one day watch Esther bring up little girls of her own in a place safe from the dangers that characterised her childhood.
So as we take a look back over this year, across time zones and country boundaries, through city networks and into the lives of real people, I hope you will be encouraged and inspired by what you find. That when we act together we can do more than just save an eye: we can build a better world for children.
Where Viva’s city-wide networks are helping people work together for the children of their communities ■ Where Viva Equip is empowering people to offer children care that is professional, loving and truly beneficial 2
Patrick McDonald Chief Executive
*Any children referred to in this Review have had their names changed in accordance with our Child Protection Policy
Viva Review 2010
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Viva + 6 churches + 40 local projects = children kept safe It’s 23:00, and 12-year-old Chantrea is fast asleep in her own bed.That might seem fairly unremarkable; but it took more than fifty different people to get her there.
An escapee from Cambodia’s notorious sex trade, Chantrea’s nights used to be spent wide awake, waiting in the filthy back bedroom of a local ‘bar’ for her next customer. Now, thanks to the combined efforts of Viva, local police, social workers, project staff, teachers, doctors, carers and counsellors, she finally has a chance of a new life. These dedicated workers are all vital links in the long chain of people that pulls girls out of the mire of the child sex industry and into a place of safety. And what we have seen this year is that the most pressing need is actually not to find more of these ‘links’, but to help the ones already in place become stronger and more successful. So we have been working through our city-wide network in Phnom Penh to make sure that every part of the chain is equipped to offer vulnerable girls the help they so desperately need. One of the first things we did was help to provide funding for some of the local projects that make up this chain. This made it possible for them to do things like open a new centre that provides counselling and safe housing for girls like Chantrea; offer education and vocational training to vulnerable young people; and start community projects such as mushroom farms and fish hatcheries. As these programmes have developed over the year we have seen many traumatised children rescued and restored, and many more protected from trauma entirely. The growth of the projects has allowed them to offer greater help to at-risk families and children, ensuring that they never have to experience what it is like to be trafficked or exploited.
They learnt how to best manage scarce resources, be financially accountable and plan strategically to create a stable environment for the children they care for. Through this training we not only saw the projects grow stronger individually but also begin to function better together. As a network they have now organised a phone helpline, manned by volunteers from several local specialist projects. Children and adults can phone in to report cases of abuse, alert staff to potential traffickers, or ask for advice or help. Through the network they can then be put in touch with the relevant project or local authority. Our place in the chain has changed regularly as we have spent time with the different parts of it, connecting them and helping them grow stronger.Yet from every vantage point we have seen the same result: more girls like Chantrea able to sleep soundly in their beds at night.
We also wanted to help these organisations be as confident and capable of running their new initiatives as possible, so nineteen of them went through the Viva Equip Projects training.
Viva Review 2010
Viva + 10 churches + 66 local projects = girls with equal sta tus It’s 22:00, and in homes across India many school-age boys are just finishing their homework and packing their books for the next morning. Their parents have high hopes for their education and future careers. But what about their sisters? What are India’s girls doing at 22:00? They are most likely to be found preparing the next day’s meal, helping younger siblings to bed or doing other household chores. Sadly, it is a common occurrence in India that a girl’s education is sacrificed so that her brothers can attend school, as often parents can see no reason to invest time and money in someone who may leave the family to get married. This leaves female children much more vulnerable to forced labour, sexual abuse and almost certainly a lifelong struggle with poverty. The clear correlation between schooling and status means that education for India’s girl children is vital, yet we found that no one project wielded sufficient influence to combat such a large-scale issue. “If you have one person here and one there who want to help the girl child that is good” says Karuna Sagilli, a Viva staff member in India, “but you will not change a nation like that.” So this year saw the beginning of the Jyoti Forum; a national Viva initiative that draws on our city-wide networks to seek out and bring together projects, organisations and churches to champion education for the girl child. Karuna continues, “Viva has united the ideas and enthusiasm of the many individuals to give us real influence, so now we can turn hopes into actions.”
Already these meetings are bearing fruit, with the Delhi group now running a project mentoring adolescent girls and helping them complete high school. Many of the city’s girls struggle to stay in school due to financial constraints or lack of family support, so the project has worked to alleviate social and emotional pressure through regular counselling, and also address practical concerns by connecting them with network projects that have offered subsidised education or help with schoolwork. The hierarchical nature of India’s society means that a change of mindset at the ‘top’ is vital, and so in Madurai we have been helping several legal groups campaign together to see the ‘Right to Free Education Act’ properly implemented. It was passed in early 2009, but its impact has yet to be felt by India’s children.
Jyoti, an Indian girl’s name meaning ‘light’, has focused on combining and maximising the skills and contacts of individual projects to raise the status of girls. Three India-wide forums have been held and local working groups have met regularly in Delhi, Chandigarh, Bangalore, Madurai and Dehradun, bringing together hundreds of people committed to helping girl children receive the knowledge, confidence and freedom to grasp hold of a positive future.
“As a girl growing up in India I had to fight for my education,” Karuna shares. “Yet here I am, choosing my own path, trying to make a difference in the world. Now the girls growing up in India have all these people fighting for them – just imagine the amazing women they now have the chance to become.”
Viva Review 2010
Viva + 7 churches + 24 local projects = children with a voice It’s 19:00, and Shida and Aika Birungi are exhilarated but exhausted from an afternoon of dancing and singing to the adults in their community.This year’s performing arts competition saw these two sisters get up on stage with more than 300 other children and use music, drama and poetry to explore a single theme: what makes them feel safe. In order for something to be safe, it must be protected; and in order to be protected, it must be seen to be of value.Yet widespread poverty in Uganda has created a culture where a person’s value lies in what they can help to provide. This leaves children significantly undervalued compared to adults, often resulting in them being mistreated, neglected or simply ignored. So this year a concerted effort has been made to challenge this prejudice and bring together parents, teachers, project workers, church members, community leaders and government representatives to see children given the respect and value they deserve.
such as the arts competition, which have attracted national media and government-level attention, we have also focused locally; educating the people responsible for keeping children safe on a daily basis. Twenty-four projects from within the network have received training on child rights, and been taught very practical ways to prevent discrimination and abuse. Staff from these projects have taken what they learnt and visited families, schools, churches and local authorities, teaching more than 1,200 people about the things children need and ought to have in order to grow up healthy and happy. However, upholding children’s rights takes more than just a willing attitude – in fact Shida and Aika are just one example of children whose families simply cannot afford to give them the education or care they should receive. So we have also been working closely with parents who are struggling to provide for their children, using the network to put them in touch with organisations that can offer micro-finance opportunities, provide help with housing or even assist with school fees. The best thing about Hear the Child is that it has put power into the hands of children themselves. Those who took part in this year’s competition not only had a fun day, but gained a new ability and confidence to stand up for themselves as they realised their own value and worth. The adults in the audience also learnt something new, as many of them recognised for the first time that their country’s children actually have something positive and important to say, and that they deserve to be heard. It was Aika who, at only seven years old, delivered one of the most poignant lines of the day when she sang “I feel safe when you listen to me”. Throughout this year Hear the Child has been working to ensure that even when they don’t have a microphone and a platform, Kampala’s children are listened to, protected and loved.
Working through our city-wide network of projects and churches in Kampala, we have been running an advocacy programme called Hear the Child. Alongside high-profile events
Viva Review 2010
Viva + 10 local churches + 20 projects = children learning to read It’s 18:00, and as the sun begins to set people all over the city of Harare are preparing their evening meals. But in Rudo Mutangadura’s home there is no room for cooking. Packed with busy volunteers, piles of paperwork and constantly ringing mobile phones, her house is now the office of Viva Network Zimbabwe. Although inflation stabilised due to the introduction of the US dollar last year, Zimbabwe’s economic situation remains unpredictable. The country has continued to struggle with a steep rise in the cost of living, limited access to healthcare and a huge drop in the provision of education, with over 90% of rural schools now closed down.Yet in the midst of all this instability, including such a severe lack of funds that they had to give up their office building and work from their co-ordinator’s own home, our Zimbabwe network has united more than 30 Harare-based projects and churches to help meet the educational needs of the city’s children. Due to the frequent school closures and teacher strikes, many children are having their education disrupted. Our bridging schools, which offer catch-up education in English and Maths, still continue to run through four local churches staffed by teachers and project workers from within the network. More than 80 children, including 50 who could not even read or write, began the schools in January and are now being taught basic numeracy and literacy and receiving regular help with their homework. Thanks to donations from another local project the schools are now also able to give the children one nutritious meal at lunch every day, something which their own families are often unable to offer them.
Many children are also unable to attend school because the financial needs of their families make earning a living a necessity; yet education is the very thing that could break them out of that cycle of poverty. So this year the network has brought school to the streets. The mobile Active Learning Library (a large bus filled with books, educational games and crafts) has gone out once a week to serve almost 100 children between the ages of 6 and 15 years who live or work on the streets of central Harare. The children get to play a game, choose a book from the library and then do a craft activity with volunteers. “Although at first the kids were a little unsure of the library, this year has seen huge progress,” reports Rudo, Harare network co-ordinator. “The older children now regularly request to borrow the book they were going through in the session, and all the grade one children can retell every story that has been read to them over the past six months!” Alongside meeting the children’s educational needs, the network has also been investing in other ways of caring for them: training the people and projects working with them every day. This year has seen 30 local church and project staff begin the Viva Equip People course, learning very practical childcare skills to help them look after children in a way that is not only loving but truly relevant and effective. “The lack of office space has certainly been difficult,” says Rudo, “but we are very hopeful about the future.We have seen children living and working on the streets develop a love for books and reading, we have seen vulnerable children in poor communities beginning to understand maths concepts and we have seen relationships really grow between staff and children on the streets and in the projects. Out of all the difficulties has come a very good year!”
Viva Review 2010
Through Viva this year...
city-wide networks united and equipped people to work together in their communities
local projects and churches were significantly involved in joint action for children at risk
volunteers from the UK, US and Denmark went out to support our city-wide networks
children enjoyed a day of fun, food and friendship at a Viva Christmas Party
of those organisations were strengthened by our Viva Equip Projects training
1,104,000 children were protected, loved, educated and empowered throughout the year
of those church and project workers benefited from the Viva Equip People course
Oxford, United Kingdom
Viva + 650 churches + Tearfund = communities strengthened It’s 17:00, and in most church buildings around the UK it’s fairly quiet. Playgroups and after-school clubs are finished and evening Bible studies or youth events have not begun.Yet even when the buildings are dormant, the congregations are not. They are an active part of a worldwide team working hard to meet the needs of children at risk: they are part of the global church. “When we work together, the church is unparalleled in its ability to reach out to society,” says David Westlake, Integral Mission Director for Tearfund and Trustee of Viva. “Where organisations come and go, churches are very much a part of the community. Viva’s city-wide networks connect and anchor churches to the other people, projects and authorities working to bring change to those local communities, increasing their potential even more.” So this year we have worked with Tearfund to distribute eleven grants of £5,000 through our networks, to help these local churches see that potential realised.
some space to call their own; and some church members have actually been inspired to personally take in and care for children who are homeless. One congregation even elected a child to their church council, so they can make sure the needs of children are considered in every part of church life. The grant also helped the programme develop into Kenya and Tanzania, meaning that this year more than 12,000 children across East Africa have discovered what it’s like to belong to a church that loves, respects and reaches out to them.
One community where a grant helped churches to bring great change was in Kampala, Uganda, where our Child-Friendly Church programme is taking root. Developed by Viva, supported by Tearfund and implemented by local churches, this initiative has been educating congregations about how best to include and care for children. As a result of our work this year we have seen many churches rise to the challenge and work to become more child-friendly – they now involve children in the planning and leading of services; they have built new rooms and play areas so the children have
It is not only African communities that are seeing the power of the church in action: through our city-wide networks grants have been distributed across several continents and a total of 650 local churches have been empowered by them over the year. Money given has helped churches in Nepal continue to prevent trafficking in their communities; enabled our Pakistan network to campaign against child labour; helped our partners in Kenya provide education for children living in the Nairobi slums; and given our Kolkata network the ability to help churches raise awareness about child sexual abuse in India. Through these grants we have not only worked in the lives of more than 35,000 children this year, but also strengthened the churches surrounding them to offer support in the years to come.
David sums up the ethos of the partnership between Viva and Tearfund when he says: “Some hugely positive changes have been made in the lives of thousands of children this year, and those changes were brought about through the generosity – in both time and money - of congregations around the world. It’s not about churches in the UK supporting churches overseas to do mission work - we’re all on the same mission!”
Photo courtesy of John Cairns
Viva Review 2010
Viva Review 2010
Viva + 41 churches + 132 local projects = children empowered It’s 11:30, and the children of Cochabamba are on the march. First they meet at the city’s stadium for prayer, then they head for the streets armed with banners, songs and a firm grasp of their rights. And Cochabamba can’t help but take notice - there are more than 2,000 of them.
This prayer march is the latest venture of our child-led advocacy programme, which has been rapidly gathering momentum throughout the year. It currently brings together 72 child ambassadors from our city-wide networks in Bolivia, and their job is to get the word out that children have rights and need to be respected, valued and kept safe. Bolivia is in the process of widespread development, and it’s encouraging to see the opening of new schools, health centres and feeding programmes. However, the long-standing issues of child neglect and abuse still linger on in Bolivian culture, and in many places it is still considered appropriate to beat a child. So a key part of protecting Bolivia’s children is educating Bolivia’s adults, and who better to do the teaching than the children themselves? Every year our city-wide networks provide the platform for these 72 child ambassadors to organise national
campaigns on keeping children safe, and this year’s was the biggest yet. The weeklong Good Treatment campaign saw 5,000 children setting up market stalls in six of the country’s largest cities, teaching adults how to protect children and ‘inoculating’ them (with a sweet!) against treating children badly. This generation are clearly good communicators, as their efforts resulted in more than 28,000 adults becoming ‘certified’ child protectors over the week. When they are not storming the streets these groups of child advocates regularly arrange their own radio interviews, television appearances, audiences with government ministers and local authorities, and church and classroom presentations to make as many people as possible aware of child rights. New advocates are elected every year, so that many different children have the chance to impact their cities. The Cochabamba prayer march has been a huge success. Local politicians, business owners and adult passers-by are witnessing children stand up for themselves in a way Bolivian culture has never seen, and with every stride more children are learning that they don’t have to live with abuse and neglect. So look out Bolivia – there’s no telling what transformation this confident and empowered generation might bring as it comes of age.
Viva Review 2010
Wisconsin, North America
Viva + 1 church + 34 local projects = young people connected It’s 11:00, and in Brookfield,Wisconsin the youth auditorium of Elmbrook church is filling up fast. It’s noisy and hot, crowded with teenagers chattering away to their friends. But the usual talk of sports, new movies and plans for lunch is missing, and in its place is a new topic: children at risk.
This year the young people of Elmbrook have had a radical wake-up call, not only about the plight of children at risk but about their role in responding to it. The 3,000-member church has partnered with our city-wide network in Santo Domingo, in the Dominican Republic, and youth pastor Tom Keppeler is enthusiastic about how it has affected the younger members of the congregation: “It’s one thing to read about ‘children at risk’ in a prayer booklet or to hear about them in church, and another to actually hold their hands, help build houses for them, feed them. Our teenagers have now seen what these children’s lives are really like and have seen how they can make a difference.”
to help children pray. One of the leaders in the Dominican Republic reported feeling very encouraged as “the children are already seeming more happy and co-operative as I am more confident” and another shared that the support they received from the American group made them feel that “I really can do this work, and I would like to continue it for the rest of my life!” The six in North America were also enthusiastic about the partnership, all agreeing with one of the male youth workers when he said: “Meeting these guys and learning together has completely changed my worldview, and that impacts everything I do, especially working with our own kids here. It’s been really amazing.”
As well as supporting the network financially, prayerfully and practically, sending teams to help local projects with things like building work and running summer camps, the church has also partnered six of their youth workers with six children’s group leaders from the network. “We wanted to expand our young people’s understanding of mission, and what it means to fulfil the Biblical mandate of serving the poor and seeking justice,” says Tom. “Getting involved with Viva has shown them that mission is more than putting money in an offering basket to be sent to some far-off place – true mission is about relationship.” The relationship between the twelve was helped along by a gift of six laptops for the Dominican leaders, which allowed the counterparts to connect through Skype or e-mail several times a week, encouraging and praying for one another. They even introduced their different children’s groups to each other through video-chats!
Tom is thrilled to see the partnership having such positive effects on both sides: “Viva’s commitment to working together spills over geographical boundaries and connects people dedicated to helping children wherever they are and with whatever skills they bring. It has been a privilege this year to see that commitment not only changing the lives of children and young people in Santo Domingo, but also enriching the lives of young people here in my own country.”
Together they have also done basic training in children’s work, studying topics which are relevant in both countries such as dealing with conflict, good teaching strategies and how
How I got involved with Viva this year...
Viva Review 2010
God has really used Viva to strengthen our church
I’m so thankful to see what my giving has helped to do
“It is all too easy for churches in the west to feel far removed from the pain of children at risk, both geographically and culturally. But developing our church’s relationship with Viva has changed that, and has tangibly enriched our community life.
“When you hear of all the problems in the world do you sometimes feel that it’s just too hard to make a difference, and that whatever you do to help would hardly be noticed anyway? Well, I used to think like that, but since I’ve been involved with Viva both my mindset and my heart have been completely changed.
Stuart Pascall, Banbury Community Church A real highlight was this year’s World Weekend of Prayer, marked by an amazing ‘hands on’ service to help us interact with the prayer themes – everything from planting seeds and praying for the safe nurturing and growth of children to an African drumming workshop helping people learn (very loudly!) how to work and pray together.
My wife and I also recently spent a challenging and life-changing two months in Costa Rica helping to develop the Viva Equip Leaders programme. Our church partly funded that trip, and continues to give to the programme, ensuring that the local people heading up projects and churches get the support and training they deserve and need to see their communities changed for children. God has really used Viva to strengthen our church to serve him, to serve our local community and to serve and learn from some of the world’s most vulnerable children. I know we will be glad to stand together with Viva in this great mission for many years to come!”
Through Viva I clearly see that it is not just down to me or you or somebody else, individually, but that it takes all of us working together to give a child a secure future. Some people give their time, some their skills, some their money. And it is when all those things are combined that real lasting differences are made in children’s lives. What I love most about giving to Viva is that I am not only playing my part, but helping others to play theirs – my support is community-focused, helping to build up the very people who can together make sure that lots of children never have to go without food or education or healthcare in the first place. I’m so thankful to see what my giving has helped to do this year, and I look forward to playing my part in the lives of children at risk in the year to come.”
I have absolutely loved my time as a volunteer
Being a Trustee is both a privilege and a pleasure
Adrian Cooper,Viva Trustee
“As a Trustee you look mostly at the ‘big picture’. And the sheer number of children reached through Viva’s networks, the thousands of people and projects benefiting from Viva Equip training and the many more involved in the World Weekend of Prayer make for some impressive headline figures.
But the great thing about working with Viva is knowing that those numbers are not just there to fill spreadsheets or to satisfy stakeholders – those numbers represent real lives changed and improved, real children with a new hope for the future. That has made being a Trustee both a privilege and a pleasure.”
Rebecca Davies, Personal Assistant
Jonnie Welford, Student
“I’ve just spent one of the most incredible years of my life working with Viva in Latin America. Some of the situations I found broke my heart like I never expected. But actually the things that Viva is doing to respond made me excited in a way I hadn’t expected either.
In particular I remember our World Weekend of Prayer event in Bolivia - we had 2,000 kids praying in a huge stadium, and there were television cameras everywhere interviewing project leaders and children about Viva and Toybox’s Early Encounter programme. This brilliant work to help street kids and their families has been attracting not only local but national interest, with even politicians and other big charities recognising how great it is. It’s been incredible to see first-hand that there actually are ways of tackling these seemingly enormous problems, especially when people get connected and work together. It’s been hard being away from family, friends, a drum kit, Match of the Day, my Granny’s roasts etc, but I have absolutely loved my time as a volunteer, and I would do it again in a heartbeat.” 21
Viva Review 2010
Financial Review Financial year April 2009 to March 2010
Gift Aid £62,539
Fees for Viva events and products £47,789 Designated funds channelled through Viva £103,728 Grants £416,897
Income raised by regional offices £1,349,297
General donations £591,697
Total: £2,571,947 2008-09: £3,221,231
Expenditure Designated funds channelled through Viva £118,238 Regional programmes - Africa £264,872 Regional programmes - India £116,182
Raising funds £155,114 Awareness raising, prayer and advocacy £88,914 Building international partnerships £167,246
International programmes £211,650
Regional programmes - Asia £72,177
Total: £2,615,554 2008-09: £3,194,283
Regional programmes Latin America £1,421,161
We would like to thank Viva’s supporters and partners for continued generosity in the midst of a difficult economic climate. Although our overall income has seen a decrease, and there was a small deficit due to expenditure of funds accumulated in the previous financial year, thousands of children’s lives have been changed for the better through the work you have read about in this Review. Thank you. Audited accounts are available on the website www.viva.org or by request at email@example.com
Children are suffering. We all know that. Thousands of people are working to help them. We all know that too. Yet the problems persist. Children are still suffering. In cities all over the world there are projects doing great work, but a lack of money, people and time means there is a limit to what they can achieve alone. We need to work together. Imagine what would happen if the people caring for children joined forces. If childcare workers, local churches, governments and international charities came together to tackle the issues faced by children. Whole cities would be transformed. Together we would have the power to bring about real change for children, not just chipping away at the surface of the problems but fighting them right at the root. At Viva we are doing just that. Through our 44 city-wide networks we are increasing the unity, quality and impact of work for children at risk, our joint action changing the lives of over 1 million children around the world.
Viva, Unit 8, The Gallery, 54 Marston Street, Oxford, United Kingdom, OX4 1LF t: +44(0)1865 811660 e: firstname.lastname@example.org w: www.viva.org
We would like to thank Sterling Greenaways for so generously printing this document at no cost to Viva and also Chris Matthews for the wonderful design work.
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, 24Oxford, OX4 1LF, UK