The Global Fund for Children: Trusting in the Power of Local

During the month of May, a panel topic was organized by The Global Fund for Children in Dallas, Texas, on the topic “Trusting in the Power of Local: A Working Model for Transforming Lives”.

For more than 20 years, the Global Fund for Children has been quietly transforming the lives of children and their families around the globe, through a unique approach to working with stakeholders from the ground up. With the aim to promote the work that brought changes, the panel was attended by Marijana Savic, representative of NGO Atina, and Bahati Kanyamanza, founder of the organization CIYOTA, who spoke about the work of their organizations and the position of girls and women in Serbia and Democratic Republic of the Congo.

They also had an opportunity to meet Margot Perot, founder of the Center for Women and Infants, a philanthropist who has, together with her husband Ross Perot, assisted in strengthening of the support system for children and youth in Dallas, Texas.

Marijana Savic, from NGO Atina, particularly commented on the position of girls and women refugees and migrants who are currently in Serbia, and who are, during their entire journey, at an increased risk of abuse and exploitation. Marijana has described the change which NGO Atina’s activists managed to create working to improve their position in the communities where they are located. For 250 of them, who have survived human trafficking and gender-based violence, Atina has in 2016 alone managed to provide long-term and direct support through their programs of Safe House, psychological empowerment, legal and health care, motivation to enter into the education system, and other needs they had.

CIYOTA founder, Bahati Kanyamanza, spoke about the importance of education for young people, focusing recently on “providing quality education for marginalized girls”. CIYOTA’s programs are said to have helped thousands of young people, not only to receive quality education but also to be trained “in active nonviolence, entrepreneurship, and leadership, both in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo”.

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