The power to change a community into a safer, better place for children lies in the hands of the adults in that community. We believe in empowering the local community to run Kids' Clubs, support groups, workshops etc. However, this is a very slow process in the communities we work in. A lot of the adults we work with have not had adequate education because of their poorer upbringing. And even though they are often extremely capable and incredibly intelligent people, it takes many years of walking alongside them before they believe they do not need a certificate to do this work. Another major challenge of the work of empowering local run work is that of limited funding. Often money is not available for salaries or stipends for facilitators and program managers. In a country where people are impoverished and there is a lot of hopelessness about any improvement of things in the future people generally do not understand volunteering. It is very difficult to sell the idea of giving your time and energy to help children because they are children and they deserve a better future.
Thankfully, over the years we have had a lot of volunteers to be able to sustain the work. This year (2012) we have been especially blessed by international students/volunteers along with more people helping from our partner churches; people who have carried the cost to help us in the work. This has been an amazing opportunity to model and teach the principle of volunteering to make the world a safe place for children. As a result this year we have had a growth in local volunteers and we are looking forward to having our first ever local intern in 2013.
The more adults we have the more we can have safe play spaces and healing spaces for children. So, in order to keep on empowering community leadership and at the same time work that reaches a large number of children, we need people. We welcome volunteers and interns - people who are willing to give their time at their own expense, to come and help us empower not only by telling what to do but by showing in love and care how valuable children are and how they can be cared for. And in doing so, trusting that soon all adults will get that keeping children safe is the right thing to do.
If you have time to give (however much or little) and skills to offer (being able to read this is a skill we can use) please contact us.