Each child deserves a good education, a carefree and joyful childhood, and a fair chance for self-development. That is a basic value which doesn’t need explanation.
Besides youthful joy and self development, there is another important aspect of schooling: A well educated person should be a more responsible person. Especially if global awareness and sustainability has been part of this education. Therefore we ask all educational charities that receive Meaningful Miles support, to include global awareness and responsibility in the learning program.
Find below three educational charities that do fantastic work to give poor children a real chance in life.
Weeshuis Sri Lanka
Weeshuis Sri Lanka -also known as Somawathi Holland House of Hope- provides shelter, education and care to underprivileged children in the town of Habaraduwa, Southern Sri Lanka. Besides a children’s orphanage, the Somawathi House is also a community center. Actually, Somawathi can also be described as a Village of Hope, because since foundation in 2004, the project has grown to a small settlement on 40,000 m2 of land, with school buildings, a medical post, a sports field, living facilities, utilities et cetera. Even children who don’t live inside Somawathi get access to free education, and the medical post is also accessible for people from around the area. The children stay until the age of 18, which gives them an upbringing with hope for a bright future, and respect for local values, culture and nature. Dutch Ms Marja van Leeuwen was inspired to start Somawathi after she first visited the area only to bring medicine, right after the devastating tsunami of December 2004. www.weeshuissrilanka.nl
Estrela da Favela
Estrela da Favela provides education and sports facilities for underprivileged children in the violent slums -the so called 'favelas'- of Rio de Janeiro. These areas have been neglected by the authorities (including the police) since the 1980's and as a result, organized crime is fully in charge. Due to this lawless situation, basic public services such as hospitals and schools are not in place, or very poorly organized. Children don't have the possibility to learn and have fun, and without any hope for a better life, they themselves end up in organized crime and prostitution when they grow up. Estrela da Favela breaks this vicious cycle, by organizing education and sports activities for the children of the favelas. The NGO is incorporated in 2012 and based in the Netherlands, and it is run by a combination of Brazilian and Dutch people. www.estreladafavela.com
Cambodia Organization for Social Development
Cambodia is among the poorest countries in Asia, where education is far from a given fact. Especially outside of the cities, going to school is a privilege rather than a right. Children at young age are put to work, to contribute to the household income. Best case scenario, they at least remain with their families. However it is common practice that ignorant parents trust the fate of their children to others, on the premise that they will be taken care of and sent to school. However these 'caretakers' don't always have best intentions. All too often, the youngsters are forced to work long hours in stores or small factories, or worst case; are sold to the sex industry. The Cambodia Organization for Social Development (COSD) fights for the chances of these vulnerable children. COSD develops locally run health and education programs in rural Cambodia, in order to give the children a real chance on a better future, and make a definite end to the poverty cycle that leads to child abuse. www.cosdcambodia.org