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Cross-cutting themes

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Across all our programmes, capacity building, collaboration, participation, advocacy, gender, disability, and the environment are of importance to the people and communities we work with.

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Giving voice: speaking out for children and families

women sewing uzbekistanChildren need and deserve a supportive environment in which they can enjoy a safe childhood. They require the protection of the community and of the state; they need to be assured of adequate nutrition, freedom from fear and violence, access to education and healthcare, safe water and decent sanitation. These are basics, yet many of the children and families we work with go without some or all of them.

We can make a difference by fighting for essential changes to policy and practice. In our advocacy work we concentrate on:

Encouraging state reform of child care systems

  • The UN has developed quality care standards – Guidelines for the Alternative Care of Children (UN) – as have the EU and many NGO’s: national quality standards should meet existing international targets.
  • We campaign for:
    • National policies that strengthen families.
    • Programmes which help children to stay with their families.
    • Subsidies and material assistance for those in crisis and in chronic hardship.
    • Social and health services for all families.
    • Education for every individual.
    • Adequate housing, sanitation and water for all families.
    • Child-sensitive family counselling services for all who need them.
  • States have to adopt legislation, regulation, national action plans and guidelines so that their most vulnerable children grow up with dignity and in safety: we are leaders and members of many different local, national and international groups who seek to make changes and monitor and evaluate their impact.

Building the environment in which children can be safely cared for by their own families

  • Local multidisciplinary teams are best able to work with families and communities to find good solutions for children at risk: we look for partnerships and coalitions to create services and facilities at local level.
  • Services should be designed and accessible at community level – and give support to women and children in particular: we look for obstacles which operate to exclude marginalised groups and advocate for their removal.
  • Community programmes should empower families to give their children the care, protection and development they need: we advocate for community groups to ensure they are able to draw on the capacities of the state and civil society as they work for community and family strengthening.

Our advocacy is additional to the host of activities we engage in designed for:

  • Awareness raising in communities, among the general public and in government.
  • Partnering and networking in order to create fruitful working relationships.
  • Fundraising.

With the support of SOS Children, children and families in Kyrgyzstan are better equipped to access government and local services. We provide legal support to the most vulnerable families. This often includes help making applications for basic documentation such as passports and birth certificates but also includes housing support, financial support and registration for disability status.

Children's and women's clubs have been established to increase their support network, develop their skills through training and also to offer a safe space where SOS Children can refer them to the services they require.

Many families in Kyrgyzstan have lost their documentation during the conflict. Fatima is a single mother with five children to care and provide for. She lives in extremely poor housing, with only one room and no heating. Alongside providing her children with training and educational opportunities, SOS Children helped Fatima restore her passports and have applied to the local state agency on her behalf for a new plot of land on which her and her family can live.