As Children in Crossfire’s Head of International Programmes, sometimes I can get distracted by the day to day work in the office. Therefore it’s nice to reconnect and not lose sight of the lives that will ultimately be impacted by all our effort! One way to remain connected is to relate to what our beneficiaries might be doing for a few moments throughout the day.
Children in Crossfire help reduce poverty by providing quality early childhood experiences that give the most vulnerable children a better chance to thrive in life. Children that have positive early childhood experiences do better at school, live healthier lives, and reach their full potential as adults.
The typical day for a child in our programmes starts at sunrise. They are sent out to get water (which could be a couple of miles away or more), and they also help get the fire going. Food would likely be some rice, maize flour (Ugali being the choice for many Tanzanians!) if anything. Parents are then focused on farming, trading and earning their daily income of probably £1-£3 a day that provides them with the money they need to get through the next day.
In our target countries, 70-85% of children do not go to any kind of pre-school before full Primary school begins at 6 years old and about 50% of them are undernourished, which permanently affects their physical and cognitive development. For those that can access pre-schools or kindergartens, they are often in the hands of teachers with little or no resources. The children will almost certainly get no food at the pre-school.
Getting through the day involves a bit of schooling in very resource poor settings in overcrowded classrooms (we see classes of over 200 children in Mwanza region of Tanzania), then it is home for their daily chores – sweeping the yard, fetching firewood and water, looking after their younger siblings, cooking etc.
As the sun goes down families tend to come together, to tell stories, share their day and enjoy time together before darkness and bed. In my 15 years in Africa, it was these moments late in the day that I loved the most.
Just sitting back in my chair during a typical day and imagining what is going on in the village of Miwaleni in the foothills of Kilimanjaro, or in Bugogwa on the shores of Lake Victoria, or in Addis Ababa or Wolisso in Ethiopia is an inspiration. Whilst there is a daily struggle of life for many millions, I can connect to what we are doing about it, and we are doing a lot for those that we target in Ethiopia and Tanzania. In recent years our programmes demonstrated positive outcomes for over 40,000 people. We train teachers, support parents to improve their knowledge and practice towards children, work with the local government for long-term planning and policy implementation and provide safe play spaces. In the coming 5 years, we aim to reach over 200,000 people. We may not be able to resolve global poverty, but we can point to many thousands who have a better chance in life as a result of our work.
Get Involved with Children in Crossfire
One of the vital elements of our organisation is the participation and involvement of each volunteer in our local community. Our Volunteers help us work towards our mission of making a positive difference to the lives of young children.
Just like our work, our voluntary roles take on many forms. We have roles available within our office from Fundraising to Development Education. You choose how to spend your time. Donate a few hours a week or month or inquire about our internship opportunities. Our community fundraisers are always on the lookout for like-minded people to donate a few hours of their time to help at events. Below you will find information on the various ways in which you can get involved.
Call 028 71 269898 to chat with our team or email firstname.lastname@example.org