Five Organisations Awarded End Violence Funding to Keep Children Safe to Learn

Safe to Learn

A child smiles in Uganda.

The End Violence Fund has awarded five organisations with grants from the first round of the Safe to Learn funding window. These grants, which will support projects in both Nepal and Uganda, were made possible by a generous contribution from the United Kingdom's Department for International Development (DFID).

Both Nepal and Uganda have endorsed the Safe to Learn Call to Action, along with 12 other countries across the globe. These five projects will accelerate the implementation of the Call to Action with a focus on:

  • Strengthening school systems to create safer learning environments
  • Building teachers’ capacity on safeguarding and protection
  • Empowering students, and
  • Increasing community engagement in safeguarding.

Projects are creatively adjusting to current needs related to the COVID-19 pandemic, complementing in-person activities with the use of technology and mass media. All projects, which are listed in more detail below, will be completed by March 2021.

Pictured above: A child smiles during a World Vision programme in her Ugandan classroom. Photo credit: Elissa Miolene for End Violence 

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 three 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 2000 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.