ICR is dedicated to working with young people to find creative solutions to poverty. With a strong focus on education, vocational skills and business training, ICR gives otherwise vulnerable children and young people the start to a life they deserve. ICR works with young people and their communities at every step of the way, so that they have control and input into all aspects of the projects that affect their lives. In 2005, ICR has helped to empower children and young people in Kenya, Uganda, South Africa and Ghana. This Annual Review provides an overview of some of our major achievements in 2005.
One of the most essential tools in breaking the cycle of poverty is education. In all of the work that ICR does, education plays a vital role. With quality education young people can acquire the knowledge, skills and understanding to take control of their own lives and choose better futures for themselves.
In 2005, ICR supported 34 disadvantaged rural primary schools with vital infrastructure and resources in Kenya and Uganda. Theconstruction and resourcing of these schools means that over 30,000 children now have access to quality education.
Kenya and Uganda
ICR's education programmes in Kenya and Uganda work at many levels to ensure that the children's learning environment is an accessible, stable and healthy one and that children have access to a quality education.
The installation of new, clean and efficient latrines in schools and simple health education has reduced the spread of diseases, like diarrhoea, that can kill. First aid kits with basic medicines and feminine hygiene products have also been introduced into schools. This has had a direct impact on attendance levels and the general well being of the children.
The introduction of school gardens has brought practical benefits into Ugandan schools. Integrating practical lessons, like those associated with school gardens, gives students life skills that relate to their immediate environments and home situations.
In South Africa, ICR's continued support of university scholarships for 10 disadvantaged young people has proved to have significant impact. The education and skills gained by the students are being successfully filtered back into their communities through teaching and mentoring and the students are now looking forward to promising careers.
Long lasting. Effective. Real Difference
In the regions in which we work young people face uncertain futures. The ability to generate income is vital to their survival and for the development of their communities. ICR works, in regions of great need, to deliver life-changing enterprise programmes to the young people who need it most.
In 2005, ICR empowered over 10,000 young people with life skills training, vocational skills and small business enterprises.
ICR's micro-credit programme in Rakai supports young people, particularly women, with much needed investment to set up small and viable businesses. The project currently benefits 3,000 young people and another 1460 women with business and vocational training such as carpentry, tailoring, agriculture and masonry.
In other parts of Uganda ICR has been working in conjunction with the World Food Programme and a number of community based organisations, to distribute essential food and vocational training to Ugandan orphans and street children. In 2005, 6654 children were supported in the districts of Jinja, Busia and Mbale.
ICR has been working with established polytechnics supporting the provision of quality vocational skills training. An example of this is a production unit at Nyahururu Polytechnic which gives students practical experience and business skills while earning money for the polytechnic at the same time.
Apprenticeship schemes for disadvantaged young people have also been a focus in 2005.
In the countries where ICR works HIV/AIDS is devastatingb the lives of the young, and has therefore become an integral and vital part of our programmes. In some of the areas we work, over 12% of the population are affected by HIV/AIDs leaving orphans and child headed households.
In 2005, ICR has empowered over 42,000 young people with the knowledge they need to make well informed health decisions.
ICR's HIV/AIDS project in Kenya aims to educate young people about the choices they have, so that they can make well-informed healthy decisions. We support this education by improving local health services and through training young people to be 'peer educators'. These educators work with young people in an attempt to change their understanding and behaviour about their sexual health and drug and substance abuse. As a result teenage pregnancies in the schools and youth centres targeted has dropped by 40% in 2005.
We also work with communities to reduce the stigma and discrimination of people living with the disease so that they can lead fulfilling and empowered lives.
Make Poverty History
Grassroots programmes have a great impact locally, but to have the greatest impact we need to change global perspectives also. Pressure on those with the power to alleviate poverty in Africa is vital if we are to make significant steps towards poverty eradication.
ICR was heavily involved in the Make Poverty History campaign in 2005. We helped to organise the youth zone at the G8 rally in Edinburgh, and took part in a mass Parliamentary lobby for trade justice in November.