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Our work

Working together, we can improve conditions for children and young people

Every day, millions of children are exposed to violence, abuse and exploitation. We work in some of the world’s most oppressed areas. We are part of a global Viva network and support partners with strong local rooting and expertise in children’s rights. The objective of our work is to ensure children a safe and healthy upbringing with access to basic rights. We don’t only work forchildren and youth – we also work withthem. We engage them as role models and change agents with the opportunity to create their own future.

Our work builds on three areas of initiative:

Protecting children from violence, abuse and exploitation

Freeing children from oppression

Rehabilitating child victims and ensuring better future opportunities for them

The UN’s Sustainable Development Goals help create a framework for our projects around the world. Based on our capacity and know-how, we have chosen primarily to work with goal 16, which focuses on supporting peaceful and inclusive communities and providing global access to legal rights, and developing effective, accountable and engaging institutions on all levelsAt Viva, we primarily work to end abuse, exploitation, human trafficking and all forms of violence and torture against children.

If you would like to find out more about how we work in our three areas of initiative, you can read more about the work in our partner countries below.


Life without a birth certificate!

Zimbabwe

The UN estimates that 25 percent of all the world’s children under the age of 5 live without a birth certificate. In Zimbabwe, the number is 67.7%. Without a certificate it is difficult, if not impossible, to gain access to health services or education. The life these children can look forward to is one where formal education and employment is not a possibility, leading many to fall into child labour, prostitution or trafficking.

Registration of children is the first step towards ensuring their access to basic rights. That is why we are fighting for children’s right to an identity by strengthening registration systems and empowering children without a birth certificate, so they have the opportunity to create their own future.

Surviving online sexual abuse

Philippines

Every year, thousands of children are bought and sold as sex slaves. The Internet has become a paradise for sexual predators who can sit behind the screen anonymously and live-stream children posing and performing sexual acts.

The UN has identified the Philippines as “the global epicentre of the live-stream sexual abuse trade”. In 2015 alone, the Philippine National Police received 12,374 reports.

We are working to free children from this slavery and restore them in a safe and loving family environment. We also work to punish criminals to guarantee justice and protect children in the future.

When violence is part of everyday life

Nicaragua

According to Amnesty International, more than 30,000 cases of violence and domestic abuse are reported every year in Nicaragua. Many of these reports involve sexual abuse of children under the age of 17, and in the vast majority of cases, the abuse is carried out by family members or a person already acquainted with the children. We are working to change the culture that legitimates the use of violence against children both at home and in public spaces. Through activities and campaigns led by young people, children and young people learn what they can do if they are subjected to violence, and what can be done to help others. Working in close collaboration with local authorities, violence is put on the agenda, thereby creating changes in families.

Growing up without a family

Honduras

Lisa watched her mother get shot in a gang conflict. As a 9-year-old she was placed in a children’s home. Unfortunately, Lisa is but one example among many of the human consequences of the poverty and gang-related crime that scars Honduras. In many cases, institutionalization unfortunately ends up becoming a permanent solution when families fall apart.

Children deserve a family; therefore, we work to make unstable families more robust so they can handle challenges despite poverty. We also work together with institutions to return children to secure family environments with the opportunity to develop close relationships with adults. This is how we were able to help Lisa, who, after six years in the children’s home has finally seen her dream come true – to be reunited with her grandmother.