Take Action: Schools
Many schools raise funds for good causes, which is of course an excellent thing. Not only do the good causes benefit from this, but it instils a sense of good citizenship in the students. It raises their awareness that many people suffer in the world.
No one wants to see destitute children abandoned and living on the streets, and the desire to do something is natural. What project you decide to support can make the difference between a child living for many years in an orphanage, or living in a family.
The decision about which causes to support is critical. No one wants to support a system that denies children their rights. No one wants to support causes that harm children. The decision is often driven by emotions, rather than a study of best-practice in poverty alleviation.
Yet many schools raise funds for orphanages, rather than for projects that work hard to ensure these children enjoy their right to a family life. Every cent or penny raised for orphanages makes it harder for those projects that are trying to deinstitutionalise childcare.
Best-practices in childcare and of the rights of children worldwide can be found in the Convention on the Rights of the Child and Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children. The Convention is often studied in schools as part of citizenship classes. We ask for it to be applied when making decisions about which causes to support in your charity fundraising projects.
Calling on teachers
We call on teachers to be aware of the rights of children to a family life and to direct fundraising decisions accordingly.
Calling on students
We call on all students to be aware that an orphanage is no place for a child. Rather support projects that strive to ensure every child lives in a family.
Calling on Ministers of Education
We call on all Ministers of Education to direct the schools under their jurisdiction to ensure that rights of children are respected in all charity fundraising activities.
Calling on all School Governors
We call on all school governors to be aware of the rights of children to a family life and to influence the charity fundraising decisions accordingly.
The REPLACE Campaign can provide study materials for both teachers and students. We can also join lessons, via Skype, on request.
"Believe me the students are greatly thrilled by today's chat and have enjoyed conversing with you so much that they wish to have another one. Let's keep in touch and I shall update you with their progress. Many thanks for your valuable time and inputs in making this interaction a fruitful one."
Form 4 Teacher, New Delhi, India.