Nominated by Compass Children's Charity (UK)
What the judges said
‘Every Child Deserves a Future’, nominated by Compass Children’s Charity, UK, was awarded its £25,000 prize for a strong project providing refugee and Internally Displaced children with a place of safety, essential services and information to understand their rights. Casa Alianza Honduras (CAH) is successfully addressing Internal Displacement, is well run, and has manifestly improved self-esteem and self-reliance of its young beneficiaries by imaginatively addressing underlying traumas, reducing stigma and deterring gang culture.
The project ‘Every Child Deserves a Future’, nominated by Compass Children’s Charity, UK, “promotes the protection and integral response of children returned, displaced and at risk of displacement related to violence and insecurity” in the Central American country of Honduras. Casa Alianza Honduras (CAH) supports some of the most at-risk children with a comprehensive support and solution-oriented approach.
Mrs. Sue Scarbrow, General Manager of Compass Children’s Charity said her UK-based organisation have been project partners with CAH for 20 years, raising funds and awareness. “In that time, we have seen over and again the commitment and hard work undertaken by the staff in what are often dangerous and difficult circumstances.
“Their overwhelming desire to do the best they can for the children of Honduras is outstanding. Which is why we worked tirelessly with them to make an application to the Ockenden International Prizes for recognition for their ground-breaking and successful project ‘Every child deserves a chance’ working with migrant and ID children in Honduras.
“We are all so excited at the difference the £25,000.00 prize money will make to the children at Casa Alianza Honduras and for all of the staff who work so incredibly hard to make a difference to the children they work with,”Mrs. Scarbrow added.
The CAH residential program caters annually for between 50 and 100 refugee-seeking ID children who have spent large portions of their lives escaping from violence in their communities, many in fear for their lives.
In 2019, more than 50 children were successfully reintegrated with their families, with CAH providing ongoing support monitoring their safety in a new community free from violence. A further 10 children who were unable to return to their families were supported in their transition into adulthood and independent living by providing them with a safe home, employment and ongoing therapeutic interventions in support of their mental health.
More than 450 children have received support from the programme since it began in 2015 and every child has received legal assistance to secure formal documentation such as birth certificates, identity cards and passports – a legal right of every child. Of these, 220 children were referred to CAH by the UNHCR.
‘Every Child Deserves a Future’ successfully promotes self-reliance for displaced children by providing them with stability, psychosocial care and legal assistance. Stability enables the children to think and plan for their futures, while support of their mental well-being augments recovery from traumatic experiences, while fortifying resilience in the face of future challenges. The legal aid enables children to make informed decisions about their futures.
CAH also supports families hit by forced displacement with social entrepreneurship training, guidance and technical support by specialists in micro-enterprise. This sometimes includes seed capital as well as ongoing support – ensuring that business models and plans are viable and sustainable. Twenty such businesses, launched in 2019, have so far proven sustainable, generating profits, which allow the families involved to provide further stability for their children.
CAH’s adolescent residents are given the opportunity to pursue vocational training in support of their future career choices. Courses are varied and practical, responding to current market needs and employment opportunities, which will lead to future financial independence.
Adolescents receive practical employability skills such as CV and job application guidance, interview preparation and practical information such as opening a bank account and budgeting.
Ockenden International’s four cash prizes recognize and reward innovative work that delivers evidential self-reliance to refugees and/or IDPs, the hallmark of Ockenden International since its inception in 1951.
The four annual prizes are open to projects or programmes focused on Internally Displaced People (IDP)/refugee self-reliance anywhere in the world.The 2020 finalists were (with the other three winners italicised):
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