End Violence Fund invests in new projects to keep children Safe to Learn

Safe to Learn

A child at school.

End Violence has invested in three new projects to keep children safe in and through schools and other learning environments. These investments – which build off similar investments made earlier this year – will push the Safe to Learn Call to Action forward in three additional endorser countries.

With this new funding round, Safe to Learn has now invested in five Safe to Learn countries: Cambodia, Lebanon, Nepal, South Sudan and Uganda. This round of projects will focus on evidence-based interventions to prevent and respond to violence against children in and through schools in Cambodia, Lebanon and South Sudan.

Through our latest investment of $3.6 million, organisations in those target countries will deliver on four critical priority areas of the Call to Action, including:

  • Implementing policy and legislation
  • Strengthening prevention and response at the school level (and other learning environments)
  • Shifting social norms and behaviour change in-line with the Call to Action, and
  • Generating and using evidence

To accelerate progress towards the Call to Action and deliver on project activities, organisations have incorporated innovative adaptation and mitigation measures to ensure that safer learning environments remain a priority, even given the current challenges associated with COVID-19.

Our new grantees include:

CAMBODIA: Save the Children

October 2020 – December 2021

Save the Children aims to reduce violence against children in and through schools by providing evidence-based tools across two provinces, Siem Reap and Preah Vihear. To do so, the organisation is working with a consortium of partners, including World Vision and Plan International, to leverage existing collaborations and partnerships around preventing violence against children. Save the Children will also work closely with the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sport (MoEYS), the Safe Schools Technical Committee and the Leading and Coordinating Committee (L&CC), the latter of which is responsible for the development of the Implementation Guidelines for Child Protection in Schools Policy (IGCPSP).

Through this project, partners will test tools and approaches to end violence through a number of activities, including:

  1. Strengthening the Cambodian child protection policy framework through the development, endorsement and dissemination of the IGCPSP 
  2. Supporting the MoEYS in the piloting of the IGCPSP in target primary schools by establishing a functioning school-based child protection mechanism and ensuring its coordination with the existing community-based child protection mechanism
  3. Supporting target schools in developing a data monitoring system for violence against children, as well as safeguarding codes of conduct
  4. Empowering girls, boys, non-binary students, children with disabilities and community-based child protection actors to speak up and take positive action against violence and abuse in schools

LEBANON: International Alert

October 2020 – December 2021

International Alert will focus on violence prevention, response and capacity building to support refugee children and children living in refugee-hosting communities. This project will use school- and community-based approaches to increase awareness and response to violence against children, involving parents, teachers, community members, and children themselves. Over 15 months, this project will work in three districts of Lebanon to:

  1. Raise awareness of the laws and policies that currently protect children from violence in Lebanon, while also developing child safeguarding policies to strengthen such protection mechanisms in the classroom
  2. Increase children’s education on their rights and alternatives to violence
  3. Develop action plans in three schools and six learning centres, helping nearly 300 teachers prevent and respond to violence in more effective ways
  4. Push for stronger legislation alongside partners from the education and child protection sectors, promoting change through advocacy

SOUTH SUDAN: International Rescue Committee

October 2020 – December 2021

In South Sudan, the International Rescue Committee will promote violence reduction by shifting social norms, motivating behaviour change, and strengthening caregivers’ and teachers’ capacity to create safe, supportive environments for children, including through training in positive parenting, non-violent discipline, and stress management. An integral part of this project will be establishing community-based child protection networks to influence non-violent norms and values, along with child protection “help desks” within schools to refer children for additional support in the case of violence, abuse or exploitation.

Through this project, International Rescue Committee will also:

  1. Educate children on social-emotional skills to promote equitable, violence-free peer-to-peer behaviour
  2. Support 26 schools to develop child safeguarding policies with child-friendly reporting and referral procedures
  3. Train hundreds of adolescents in positive coping strategies and helpful life skills
  4. Reach 10,000 community members with messages on violence and its harms, utilising various forms of media to do so

These projects were made possible by the generosity of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO).

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Earlier investments

In the spring of 2020, we invested in five other organisations through an earlier funding round within our Safe to Learn window. 

Nepal: Mercy Corps

May 2020 - March 2021

Mercy Corps works to empower people to survive through crisis, build better lives, and transform their communities with solutions in education, agriculture, disaster preparedness, economic opportunity, conflict management and resilience in more than 40 countries since 1979. Through Safe to Learn funding, the organisation will implement their Blossom Project, which is based on evidence generated by the Mercy Corps' Supporting the Education of Marginalised Girls in Kailali (STEM) Project funded by DFID in the Kailali and Kanchanpur districts of Nepal.

Mercy Corps will work with a national non-governmental organisation, Backward Society Education, to reach new geographic areas and BBC Media Action and Sustainable Development Goals Studio. To do so, the project will conduct media campaigns to support community sensitisation.

The project aims to foster a safe and supportive educational environment for 24,500 children in 70 schools, by:

  1. Working with headteachers to develop safer school environment policies;
  2. Building capacities of teachers on safeguarding, complaint mechanisms, positive discipline and classroom management at the school level;
  3. Establishing Student Life Clubs to promote protection rights and safeguarding;
  4. Creating Voice Boxes feedback mechanisms;
  5. Establishing Parent-Teacher Associations (PTAs) to promote the welfare of children at home, in schools and in communities; and
  6. Organising a national-level media dialogue to raise awareness on child safeguarding.

Nepal: Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO)

May 2020 - March 2021

VSO has been working to create a fair world for everyone, especially for the marginalised and the poor, through its inclusive education, livelihoods and health programming in 120 countries since 1958. The organisation will use this funding to strengthen the government-run school system, empower children and parents on child safety, and promote gender-responsive and safer learning environments in 69 schools. In total, the project will benefit 17,000 students in five districts in four provinces of Nepal.

The project will complement two ongoing girls' education challenge projects by partnering with four national non-governmental organisations and the National Campaign for Education for Policy Advocacy. To do so, the organisation will utilise approaches including their Social Exclusion and Gender Analysis Toolkit and its manual, Community Score Cards, Gender and Teen Transformative Norms Training Module, and the School-Centre Approach to Reducing Violence Against Children.

The project will focus on:

  1. Supporting school governance and management for a safer learning environment;
  2. Building capacity of teachers on a gender-responsive approach;
  3. Enhancing students' knowledge and skills on addressing violence, bullying and harassment; and,
  4. Raising awareness among parents and community members on child safety.

Nepal: World Education

May 2020 - March 2021

World Education has been improving quality of life through education and social and economic development programmes for children and adults in 20 countries since 1951. It will implement its Safe Learning project by building on its ongoing Schools as Zones of Peace (SZOP) activities using SZOP, School Codes of Conduct, Youth-led Peace Circle, and Retroactive Justice approaches in 500 high schools in 16 districts in four provinces of Nepal.

The project will support a total of 400,000 children, educators, parents, community members and government stakeholders by:

  1. Operationalising the Comprehensive School Safety Master Plan;
  2. Building capacity of headteachers and government officials to create a safer learning environment;
  3. Building capacities of teachers on positive discipline and classroom management;
  4. Supporting student-led initiatives;
  5. Establishing and activating Student groups (Peace Circles); and
  6. Raising awareness among community members for behavioural change.

Uganda: Raising Voices

May 2020 - March 2021

Raising Voices has been working toward the prevention of violence against women and children by influencing the power dynamics shaping relationship particularly between women and men, girls and boys, and adults and children since 1999. Building on the evidence-based Good School Toolkit, Raising Voices will consolidate and reinforce interventions in 500 previously targeted primary schools and adapting its toolkits to an additional 100 secondary schools in five districts across the Central, Western, Eastern and Northern regions of Uganda. A combination of media campaigns and local advocacy will be conducted at the community level for social and behavioural change.

The project will focus on:

  1. Advocating for mainstreaming the Good School Toolkit within the school curriculum and management;
  2. Implementing of the Good School Toolkit in 500 primary and 100 secondary schools;
  3. Encouraging students' engagement in promoting safer learning environments; and,
  4. Raising awareness among parents and community members on safer learning environments.

Uganda: Right to Play

May 2020 - March 2021

Right to Play was established in 1994 to protect, educate and empower children to rise above adversity using the power of play in 15 countries. Through this project, the organisation will continue improving safety in schools for 9,000 girls and boys in 30 primary and three secondary schools in the Adjumani District of Uganda in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.

The main focus areas of the project are:

  1. Strengthening school-based child protection mechanisms and school governance structures;
  2. Building capacities of teachers and government education officials on conflict and gender-sensitive play-based approaches;
  3. Encouraging students' engagement in play-based learning activities and life skills; and
  4. Promoting regular engagement and participation of communities and parents in creating a safer learning environment in the communities.

Learn more about Safe to Learn.