Vulnerable Children

FY2016 Funding Recommendation:  
$30 million

 

Funding History

       Enacted   

       President's FY2016 Request   

       InterAction's FY2016 Recommendation


Justification

 Key Facts

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 FY2016 – an increase of $8 million over enacted FY2015 spending levels – would allow the U.S. government to make progress toward piloting this strategy in six focus countries. Funding will be allocated to support the following objectives:

  • Objective 1: Helping children under 5 not only survive, but also thrive by supporting comprehensive programs that promote sound development of children through the integration of health, nutrition, and family support.
  • Objective 2: Support and enable families to care for their children; prevent unnecessary child-parent separation; and promote appropriate, protective, and permanent family care.
  • Objective 3: Facilitate efforts by national governments and partners to protect and respond to abuse, neglect, exploitation, and violence against children.

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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