Natural disasters and wars have the most brutal impact on children - whose futures can be turned upside down as they are forced to flee their homes, see their loved ones killed or injured, their schools closed and even face the risk of being recruited into fighting forces.
Up to a third of the world's out of school children live in disaster and conflict-affected countries - a percentage that is rising annually. Out of school children is Street Child's primary issue. This is why education in emergencies is a priority area for Street Child.
Despite everything only 2% of all humanitarian funds are presently spent on education.
In all emergency programming, Street Child works closely with UN/IASC Education and Protection Cluster structures.
What are we doing
Each emergency is different, bringing its individual challenges. However, in every situation, we do what we can to protect children and education in, and after, emergencies - and distinctively, we do so by placing local actors, and communities, at the heart of our action.
In conflict-impacted North East Nigeria, we are presently operating learning centres in internally displaced persons (IDP) settlements. In Abuja, we are supporting IDP mothers from the North East so they can better afford the costs of education through livelihoods support.
In the immediate aftermath of the 2015 earthquake in Nepal we worked with UNICEF and local NGOs to distribute school materials and construct temporary learning centres (TLCs). Over the course of 2016 and 2017 we have worked with UNICEF and other partners to construct over 400 classrooms in villages hit by the earthquake.
When Ebola began to fade in Sierra Leone and Liberia in early 2015, Street Child played a massive role in the nationwide post-Ebola school re-opening processes, working alongside UNICEF, governments, other charities and communities to re-open schools as quickly as possible. We refurbished schools, equipped them with essential Ebola-safety hygiene materials and distributed livelihood support and cash grants to cover school charges - altogether helping over 45,000 children safely return to school in 2015.
During Ebola itself, Street Child focused on two critical areas. We fought Ebola itself by turning our network of rural school teachers in an 'Ebola educator' team, numbering nearly 2,000 men and women at its peak, knocking on the doors of tens of thousands of homes to explain 'man to man' and 'woman to woman' what precisely Ebola was and how it could be avoided. Almost uniquely, we also cared for the victims of Ebola, especially the children, during the heart of the crisis - by March 2015, Street Child teams had counted, and supported over 11,000 'Ebola orphans'. In 2017 Street Child continues to care for the worst-affected Ebola orphans through social support and a special feeding programme in conjunction with the World Food Programme.
how you can help
We desperately want to help more children impacted by conflict in Nigeria to return to school but we cannot do this without your support.
stories from our work
Mariatu, the Ebola orphan caring for her younger brothers at 15
At 15, she lost both her parents to Ebola and took on the responsibility of caring for her two younger brothers, just 12 and nine years old. In one year, her life has turned upside down.
"I do petty trading to try and support both my brothers through school but it is very hard to raise the money for fees, books and uniforms. I want to be somebody, I want to finish school.. I also really want my brothers to finish education and get well paid jobs. I get on very well with both my brothers, we look after each other”.
A Street Child social worker noticed Mariatu and her brothers and they are now receiving support so they can have a brighter future.
aadi, the 10-year-old girl who wants to be a nurse when she grows up
Aadi's school building was destroyed during the 2015 Nepal earthquakes. It became unsafe to teach in and was at risk from landslides.
Street Child has constructed new TLCs for the school, and trained the teachers in disaster risk management, so that if Nepal is hit by a disaster like this in future, teachers will know what to do to keep their pupils safe. The school has also received hygiene kits and WASH facilities.
"'I am very happy to study in this new school. Now we don’t have any threat from landslides. I got to know that we are even safe during earthquakes. I feel safe in my new classroom and I love its colour. Yellow is my favourite colour.''