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To Build a Better World, Invest in Children

02 December 2021

By

Mahima Sashank

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3 min read

We look around us and there are so many things we would like to change. Some of us would like a better environment, while others would like to see a more just treatment. Be it any problem, planning an effective solution boils down to two major questions:

  1. Who are we eventually doing this for?

The answer is simple – our children.

They play a very key role in building the foundation of whatever we set out to do, and thus are crucial stakeholders for the wellbeing of every generation.

Often, when we use terms like ‘human rights’ or  ‘human development’, how many times do we actually think of children? Very few. We acknowledge children to be playful, sweet, loving and innocent but do we realise that the fabric of tomorrow’s society rests completely on their shoulders? The problem with us is that we don’t take our children as seriously as we ought to.

So, what do we do now?

Again, a simple answer – invest in the well being of a child (or) children. Help them access better health care, broaden their minds through education, train them in life skills and most importantly include them in decision making.

At Terre des Hommes Netherlands, we can tell you how this has worked for us. From our grassroots level work with children from vulnerable communities, we have gathered that they are very quick to observe, learn, absorb and act. For instance, we trained a group of girls from a marginalised community on life skills and simple advocacy through photographs and videos. With this training, the girls have actually gone on to represent concerns with the local government and solve community problems such as drainage issues, lack of access to toilets and have even stopped child marriages.

The point is, with just a drop children can build an ocean, and even swim in it. When you invest in them, you are certain of a better world, not just for today or tomorrow but for future generations to come.

So what should you keep in mind while investing in a child? As a global child rights organisation with experience in child well being for over 56 years, we can offer some insights that may be of help to you.

1. Make sure the investment is holistic

When you are investing in a project/intervention for children make sure to see that the investment goes towards a solution which addresses all aspects of the problem. For example, a project on addressing child labour should not only focus on education or child protection but also on the economic development of parents.

2. Make sure the investment is participative 

A project where children don’t have a say doesn’t fully address the issue. It addresses problems only at the surface and is a top down approach which yields little or no result. Instead, ensure to see that children are very much a part of the solution. Make sure that they have a voice in the functioning of the project or play a part in its operation.

3. Make sure the investment is sustainable

A sustainable project is one which yields results even after its closure. So when you choose to invest, ensure to see whether the solution remains even after the closure of the project.

May we as a society derive a lot of inspiration from children in the years to come!

 

References

A. Environmental Stewardship
To protect the environment, we organize programmes like mangrove nursery and Reforestation, Coastal and River Clean-Up, Community Based Environmental Solid Waste Management, Environmental IEC Campaign and Eco-Academy

B. Food Security and Sustainable Livelihood
To ensure a sustainable livelihood for the community, eco-tourism include Buhatan River Cruise Visitor Center Buhatan River Mangrove Boardwalk are run by the community. Others include Organic Vegetable and Root crops Farming, Vegetable and Root crops Chips and by-products Processing and establishing a Zero waste store.

C. Empowered Communities
To empower the community, we provide product and Agri-Enterprise Development Training, Immersion and Learnings Exchange Program, Earth Warrior Training and Community Based Social Entrepreneurship Training

Author

Mahima Sashank

Programme Communications and Resource Mobilisation Officer

Mahima Sashank manages the Communications and Fundraising team at Terre des Hommes Netherlands in India. Being in the development sector for 7 years, Mahima’s work has primarily focused on child well being where she has worked on communications for social impact, marketing and fundraising communications as well as communications for development (C4D).

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We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

We see social investment as a continuum that encompasses everything from philanthropy and venture philanthropy to impact investing, CSR and sustainable investment. We call this the “Continuum of Capital”.

©2021 Asian Venture Philanthropy Network | AVPN is registered in Singapore as a charity (UEN 201016116M)

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