EU gives $75.7M grant support to improve child rights in Guyana

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The European Union (EU) Guyana office, today, signed a grant contract to implement a ‘Child Rights Alliance’ project here, with one of its main aim being the placement of  greater emphasis on prevention of abuse of children, to give more children a better chance to grow up without the trauma of abuse.

The grant involves the support of a maximum of   Gy$75.7 million and will be funded from the European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) 2014-2015 country allocation for Guyana.

Ambassador Videtič and Ms Madray affix their signatures to the contract in the presence of EU Delegation and Childlink Inc officials
Ambassador Videtič and Ms Madray affix their signatures to the contract in the presence of EU Delegation and Childlink Inc officials

The grant agreement was signed by Head of Delegation of the EU to Guyana, Trinidad and Tobago, Suriname and the Dutch OCTs, Ambassador Jernej Videtič;  and Managing Director of ChildLinK Ms. Omattie Madray.

Ambassador Videtič highlighted: “Human Rights are one of the core values of the European Union and its Member states. The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights provides the possibility to support civil society projects in this area also in Guyana. The rights of vulnerable groups, especially children are particularly important in this regard and the ChildLinK proposal convinced us. We look forward to a successful implementation.

Ms. Madray explained: “ChildLinK’s vision is a Guyanese society where children are growing up in safe families and communities.  This new initiative, the Child Rights Alliance (CRA), builds on our previous and current work more specifically on the work of the Child Advocacy Centres which were all funded by the European Union.  Whilst the centres will continue to provide services to abused children, greater emphasis must be placed on prevention of abuse of children, to give more children a better chance to grow up without the trauma of abuse.   The CRA will therefore build a national coalition led by the Rights of the Child Commission to work strategically with stakeholders across all regions creating higher levels of awareness of child abuse to safeguard children from all forms of abuse. ChildLinK is very pleased that the European Union has a long term commitment to creating safe families and communities for Guyanese children.”

A statement from the local EU Delegation office said the overall objective of the fresh project is to strengthen national collaboration for the prevention of violence and abuse against 6,000 children through improved networking, influencing policies and practices and advocacy in Regions 3, 4 and 5 by June 2018.

Further, the activities are foreseen under the grant supplement work done already by ChildLinK under three previous grants totalling over Gy$86 million which were funded from previous EIDHR Calls for Proposal put out by the Delegation.

ChildLinK Inc, a local Non-Governmental Organisation, was established in year 2009 and its mandate is to work with its partners towards a Guyanese society where every child has the right to grow up in a safe and secure family and community.

BACKGROUND

The European Instrument for Democracy and Human Rights (EIDHR) is a self-standing financing instrument that provides assistance for the promotion of democracy and human rights worldwide and specifically aims at assisting civil society to become an effective force for political reform and defence of human rights. The European Union launches regular calls for proposal.

ChildLinK Inc. has previously received three grants totalling over Gy$86 million all funded from the aforementioned EIDHR initiative and completed activities under one of them in 2013, i.e. the HUG project which was implemented over a 30-month period. The HUG initiative was envisioned with the principal objective of improving the lives of Guyanese children experiencing violence and domestic abuse. The project exceeded its stated objectives in sensitising almost 2,000 children from the Agricola and Ruimveldt communities who were under the activities conducted able to access services and information to enable them to realise their rights to protection from abuse.

Two ongoing actions also funded by the European Commission are aimed to provide children an opportunity to grow up in environments that are safe, secure and conducive for their all-round development. Their collective focus is to ensure that children receive direct psychosocial support in the form of counselling and family support to help them develop resilience in their varying situations and where possible, to accommodate changes. These interventions will contribute to ChildLinK working directly with 500 children; 300 in alternative family-based care comprising of foster care and kinship care and 200 children who are at risk of losing parental care.

It is envisaged that the fresh grant will complement the work already undertaken and the beneficiary will be working along with its partners over the next 30 months who include the relevant Government agencies, such as the Childcare and Protection Agency towards the effective roll out of the activities foreseen under the intervention.

 

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