We put on armors to fight to eliminate harmful traditional practices
Subvert the harmful influences and effects
We are united and determined to take actions
Because we are now well awaken to the scourge.
Ignorant people in the past
Have been badly harmed by them
Because they did not know any better.
Ignorant people in the past believed
Harmful traditional practices were good for them
When indeed their lives were at stake.
Female Genital Mutilation is a major harmful practice.
Sugar-coated as prestigious and noble,
FGM suffocated our mothers
We regret and repent for the harm incurred.
FGM steals away sexual pleasures, corrupts marriages
And adds complications to child birth.
(Lyrics edited by CEDAR Fund, originally written by a member
from the ant-FGM group in Ethiopia.)
Under the warmth of the bright and serene sun, a group of Ethiopian village and school girls stood before a hundred villagers, and sang the above song with shiny smiles and beaming faces. Some of them had a uniformed yellow T-shirt on, where the slogan “STOP Female Genital Mutilation” was displayed clearly in the local language. This day was the special day of village education day, and also the performance day of the advocacy club.
Education is a very important part of eradicating poverty. Yet, many children living in low-income countries do not have the opportunity to receive proper education. Their parents are usually occupied by work to earn a living to put food on the table, thus they seldom think about the future of their children, who they thought would likely share similar fate like them. Because in their eyes, earning income to support their families is more important than getting an educational access for their children.
Every individuals should be entitled to basic human rights, no matter adults or children. However, in reality, millions of children are far from having their rights secured. Children’s rights is not just an ideology, but are about children’s survival, children being free from any form of abuse and exploitation, children’s entitlement to education, children’s freedom of expression and their rights to enjoy social and cultural lives.
Situated in southern India, Chennai is the sixth biggest city in the country. It is the cultural, economic, and academic hub of South India. Many travel websites named Chennai as “hottest city for travellers” and one of the “best cosmopolitan city”, attracting numerous tourists and expats. However, behind the prosperity are families in slums struggling with everyday living.
Amongst the children ministries of CEDAR and its partners, post-war children ministry in Myanmar must be the most well-known one. You may ask, “Why do we still support this particular children ministry after two decades?” The answer is simple: Because it is worth it. We saw how God worked amazingly on these children, and we hope that they will become ambassadors for reconciliation.
Family AIDS Caring Trust (FACT) was established in 1987 with an aim to help families affected by AIDS in Zimbabwe. Through its sponsorship programme, FACT provides education to children orphaned by AIDS and distributes food and daily commodities to their families regularly. CEDAR has started its partnership with FACT since 2002.
As most of these orphans lost both their parents, they are usually cared by their grandparents or eldest siblings. Very often there is a generation gap between grandparents and orphaned children which leads to tension in their relations. To respond, FACT holds workshop for the grandparents to explore the dynamic teaching pertaining to their relation with new generations and serve as a platform for them to share their challenges. Partner also recruit volunteers from the communities who visit these families regularly, especially those child-headed households, to assist them in every possible areas.
Besides taking care of the basic needs and family relations of these orphans, partner also puts effort in building the capacity of the local churches. FACT trains the pastors on resource mobilising and facilitating congregations to participate in weekly meetings of orphans. The congregations are encouraged to pray with these children together and to care for their spiritual growth.
FACT trains elder children in the project to become peer educators. Besides assisting the younger ones, peer educators would also share healthy life values with their peers at school or in the communities so as to influence the others in living out a positive life. They also involve in the regular project planning and evaluation meeting so that partner would know the thoughts of children thus projects could be adjusted to cater their needs more adequately.
Recently, partner began assisting parents to form saving groups as well as to provide saving and micro-credit trainings. The group members save regularly and they take turns to loan so that they would have more capital to start income generating activities. This is in hope that the parents will be able to earn a better income for their family, thus improving their livelihood in the long run.