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Present Projects – Lorna Byrne Children's Foundation

See Our, Projects

Backing youth innovation in the refugee camps of Jordan

According to Unicef, an estimated 84 per cent of Syrian refugee youth are unemployed and at risk of harmful or exploitative labour or negative coping mechanisms. Specific challenges facing girls include limited mobility and forced or early marriage. With this programme, 200 young people (50% female) who have been forced to flee the war in Syria and are living in the Za’atari and Azraq camps in Jordan will have the opportunity to take part in the Unicef – ONE Humanitarian Changemaker Labs. The focus of the programme will be on jobs and business development in order to take ownership of their own lives and future. They will each receive a three-month intensive training programme in human centred design and from there may enter the world-class Fab-Lab and business accelerator in Irbid or may work as designers for humanitarian organisations. Unicef Jordan will also design two financing instruments for early venture capital stage businesses. This is with the long-term aim of creating meaningful and sustainable job opportunities for vulnerable youth through the new businesses developed and new humanitarian services piloted through this programme.

Transforming the social inclusion of Menja children in Ethiopia

In the Keffa region of Ethiopia the Menja ethnic group have been isolated from their local neighbouring Gomero community and considered as ‘outcasts’ over long historic periods, living as ‘untouchable’ and facing critical and continuous discriminatory acts. Due to social isolation and economic problems, Menjas children often do not go to school or dropout at early grade levels. Menjas also tend to send children to school at a later age than Gomero (after 10 yrs), as children are required to work at home. The situation of girls is even worse: the home workload, the fear of rape – many cases of sexual violence have been registered against Menja girls on their way to and from school – and the absence of stationary materials are among the reasons why few Menja girls attend high school. This project aims to support most at risk children and young people through an integrated approach: by involving governmental authorities and school boards to address discrimination and facilitate integration; by providing access to integrated education for children; by establishing associations and drama clubs and community conversations for vulnerable girls to fight for their rights and support each other; by supporting families to thrive by establishing mixed community cooperatives, with training in business, saving and microcredit, agriculture and by supporting water development and management.