Vulnerable Children

FY2015 Funding Recommendation:  
$30 million


Funding History


       President's FY2015 Request   

       InterAction's FY2015 Recommendation



 Key Facts

  • The United States government works with other governments and partners to protect children from violence, exploitation, abuse and neglect. Despite that:
  • There are 153 million orphans around the globe, of whom 17.8 million have lost both parents.

  • 115 million children are engaged in hazardous work, and 5.7 million children are in forced labor.

  • 150 million girls and 73 million boys have experienced sexual violence.

In December of 2012, the U.S. government launched the Action Plan for Children in Adversity, the first-ever, whole-of-government global strategy for vulnerable children. The plan has three goals: (1) create strong beginnings for children; (2) ensure a family for every child; and (3) protect children from abuse, exploitation, violence and neglect. The plan also includes establishing an evidence base of effective program models; increasing U.S. government interagency coordination and efficiency on behalf of vulnerable children; and partnering with host countries to support strengthening child welfare systems.

The requested $30 million for FY2015, an increase of $8 million over enacted FY2014 spending levels, would allow the U.S. government to make progress towards piloting the strategy in six focus countries. Funding will be allocated to support the following objectives:

  • Objective 1: Helping infants and young children survive and thrive by expanding cost-effective programs targeting early child cognitive development.
  • Objective 2: Helping children living outside of family care by deinstitutionalizing children and helping focus countries establish foster care and other permanent family care solutions. The U.S. government hopes to reduce the number of children outside of family care by 75% over four years.
  • Objective 3: Scale up and replicate effective child protection programs and strengthen child protection systems in the six focus countries.

Success Story:

Beyond disabilities’ limits in Belarus

Belarus’ 119,000 children with special needs, including about 30,000 with disabilities, typically experience insufficient access to education, inappropriate quality of services and social exclusion.

For Oleg, a teenage boy with musculoskeletal issues that keep him mostly wheelchair-bound, these societal limits left him unable to express himself. Then Oleg participated in Leadership Without Limitations, a course offered by ChildFund Belarus. An activity within the Expanding Participation of People With Disabilities component of ChildFund’s USAID-funded project Community Services to Vulnerable Groups, the course was designed to help young people with disabilities share their talents and explore their leadership potential.

Oleg loved taking pictures, and he was good at it. But he had never imagined sharing his photos publicly. The course’s mini-project provided the opportunity to do just that.

Oleg’s mother suggested a photo exhibition, and ChildFund supported the effort. His photos debuted at a ChildFund-led event for disability-focused organizations, and more than 120 people attended. The acclaim Oleg received led to his being asked to photograph a fashion show for children in wheelchairs. Those images were shown at his school, to even greater acclaim – even more meaningful as it came from peers and teachers.

Suddenly, people saw beyond Oleg’s disability: Here was a person with strength, talent and capabilities.

“I didn’t even think that the exhibition could change my life so much,” says Oleg. “If I hadn’t taken part in the course, I would never have come to the idea of exhibiting my photos.”

Photo Credit: Oleg



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