Street Child - A&O’s new Global Charity Partner
07 January 2022
Socio-economic background still has a huge impact on children’s life chances around the world, so A&O’s new Global Charity Partnership will bring the firm’s resources together to raise GBP1m and provide significant pro bono support for Street Child’s work over two years.
Education and sustainable livelihoods
Street Child works to ensure that every child is safe, in school and learning. It particularly targets low-resource environments and emergency situations across Africa, Asia and the Middle East, focusing on sustainable support to protect children from harm; create safe schools; increase capacities of caregivers and communities to create environments for children to flourish; and help state systems provide high-quality, equitable education and livelihood skills.
Street Child actively seeks out situations where gaps exist between the needs of children and the aid being provided, often making it one of the only organisations operating in situations of sudden crises, hard-to-reach environments and protracted conflict situations.
Pathways to secondary education in Sierra Leone
As with all A&O’s Global Charity Partnerships, a portion of the funding – GBP500,000 – will support a specific project, with the rest used by Street Child on an ‘opportunity for impact’ basis, to leverage other funding or respond to under-resourced situations.
The A&O-funded project is in Sierra Leone, where Street Child will reform 40 under-resourced primary schools, enrol 1,500 girls in secondary school and help 1,000 families build businesses to help pay for their children’s sustained education.
Most of the girls will be the first in their family to reach secondary education, which is vital in transforming their life prospects – for every year of secondary education completed, a girl’s lifetime earnings are enhanced by 25%.
“We launched our Right to Learn project in Sierra Leone in 2018 to transform education in the rural Eastern Province,” says Tom Dannatt, Founder and CEO of Street Child.
“Half of all children there don’t complete even their basic education due to lack of resources – school closures during the pandemic have really exacerbated this, particularly as it’s the second time in five years they’ve closed, following the Ebola outbreak of 2014-16.
“With A&O’s support, we will be able to scale up our work – transforming primary schools, training teachers, identifying girls at risk of not continuing education and supporting their caregivers through our Family Business for Education model.
Street Child in Afghanistan
Afghanistan is facing one of the worst humanitarian crises ever seen. Before the Taliban takeover, the UN estimated that over 50% of the population was living below the poverty line – that is expected to rise to 97% at the start of 2022, a level of universal poverty not seen in any country in recent history. Twenty-three million Afghans are now on the brink of starvation with rising rates of malnutrition in children.
In Kabul and Bamyan, Street Child has launched two emergency humanitarian projects to provide food and shelter, case workers and psychosocial support to families displaced by the crisis, and is providing humanitarian relief to hundreds of thousands of Afghans displaced during the Taliban takeover.
Street Child is also working on the ground to try and ensure as many children as possible are able to remain safe, in school and learning. In Baghlan, Uruzgan and Zabul, Street Child is continuing to provide educational access and life-saving learning for 40,000 children and is scaling up its response to support an additional 25,000 children.
Under Taliban rule, girls’ rights and education are at risk, but Street Child is continuing to urge the Taliban to allow girls to complete secondary education. Having worked in Afghanistan since 1997, often in areas under de-facto Taliban control, Street Child is one of the few charities able to remain active throughout the change in government.
“We’ve seen the impact A&O has had with previous charity partners and are very excited and grateful for this opportunity to work together for the next two years, both to support our work in Sierra Leone and more widely,” Tom says.