Wishing everyone a happy holiday season
This year, we asked children connected to A&O people to help us raise awareness of the work of our Global Charity Partner, Street Child, by designing the images for A&O’s festive message. We received entries from around the world inspired by favourite festive traditions.
Street Child is one of the fastest growing international development charities, operating in 20 of the world’s most fragile countries. It has already transformed educational opportunities for more than half a million children with the goal to reach millions more by 2024.
Founded with a single project for 100 street-connected children in Sierra Leone in 2008, Street Child aims to ensure that children are safe, in school, and learning - even, and especially in, low-resource environments and emergencies.
Nadine has not been to school for five years. She lives in Cameroon, in a semi-permanent settlement for men, women and children who have fled conflict.
Her school, like 80% of schools in Cameroon, have been closed since 2016, when a boycott on education was imposed by armed groups. Without a school routine, Nadine is restless.
When Street Child’s local partner, SHUMAS, came to the settlement to introduce the idea of setting up community learning spaces, Nadine and her friends immediately enrolled in the project. SHUMAS, with the support of Street Child, trained community members to lead basic reading and writing skills, as well as running games and life-skills activities.
For Nadine and her friends, this is more than just a space to receive a basic education. These learning centres have become critical safe spaces for children like Nadine to play, helping them to overcome the stress and trauma of living through conflict.