Resolutions From The Field

The start of any year gives each of us a moment to pause, look back at what we achieved, struggled with, and learned. It is also the time that we set our sights on what we want to achieve in the year ahead. Our grantee partners do no less.

Their focus remains constant: how to improve the lives of children and families. Their strategies, approaches and priorities vary, shaped by the local context and the pressing needs facing children in their particular community.

We asked our grantees what they hoped to achieve this coming year – we share a couple of their comments here to provide a sense of what’s on deck for 2011:

Although most people don’t know this, Africa has the highest child labor in the world.[1] In fact, one in four children in Africa is engaged in some kind of work. What makes Africa’s child labor invisible is that unlike other parts of the world, children in Africa are engaged in the family economy: they work within and around the family rather than on large industries.

Youth Group Smiling

When Community Youth in Development Activities (COYIDA) in Malawi realized the rate of child labor in their region was higher (35 percent) than the national average (26 percent) – they decided to set their sights on withdrawing 2,000 children from work and get them back into school or into skills training. This year, COYIDA also hopes to complete construction of their resource center for youth. This will be a place where young people have their own space to have fun while staying safe.

Chiedza Community Based Orphan Welfare Organization of Zimbabwe is also focused on the welfare of youth and helping them to achieve a more sustainable livelihood. This year, Chiedza is hoping to see the 15 youth that they have supported in a two-year skills training program graduate. Equipped with new skills, these youth will be better prepared to take up jobs in the formal economy, which is slowly recovering after hitting one of the highest rates of inflation in history. At the same time, they are building on their HIV prevention success by helping pregnant women access ARV treatment so that they do not transmit the virus to their babies.

In Zambia, the Livingstone Anglican Children’s Project is focused on fundamentals: increasing the number of meals they provide in their meals program, but also strengthening their program for providing counseling and recreation for some of the most vulnerable children who live in this border town.

While this is not all that these organizations will be doing in the year ahead with fundraising, community building, and unexpected emergencies still calling, these resolutions and significant goals are on our grantee partners’ minds as they continue to meet the needs of children in their communities.

[1] Accelerating action against child labour - ILO Global report on child labour 2010,, p. 9.