ChildVoice acts on the conviction that children broken by war can be restored in safe, therapeutic settings with loving care, spiritual and emotional counseling, and effective education and vocational training. This is accomplished through both community-based and center-based programs.
As part of its community-based efforts, ChildVoice establishes Girl Empowerment Centers and Groups within internally displaced persons (IDP) camps and refugee settlements, where a high percentage of adolescent girls are orphaned or are part of child-headed households with extremely limited means of meeting their basic needs and protecting themselves against abuse. These Centers and Groups provide an array of psychosocial and livelihood-related services — including long-term aftercare — for vulnerable and traumatized adolescent girls and their children, directing and equipping them for a life of self-empowerment.
For the most highly traumatized and vulnerable girls, ChildVoice operates a center-based program which includes a boarding school, non-traditional educational programs, a vocational center, and in-depth counseling services for those girls who need long-term care in order to actuate the healing process and care for their own children.
Sustainable Healing: Our Aftercare Program
The skills, healing, and love our students receive doesn’t end when they leave ChildVoice’s Lukome Center. After they graduate and move back to their communities, they enter a three-year program of follow-up counseling, business-skills development, mentoring, and letter writing with their ChildVoice godparents. We want to ensure these young women successfully reintegrate with their communities and families—as more than 90 percent of them do. Above all, we stress to each and every girl that they will always be a part of the ChildVoice family.
Expanding Our Reach
The ChildVoice model has proven so successful at healing traumatized, war-affected girls that we often are asked to bring our program to other countries suffering the effects of conflict and violence.
Our most recent expansion is in the northeast region of Nigeria, where hundreds of thousands of people—more than 80 percent of them women and children—have fled their villages to IDP (internally displaced persons) camps due to unspeakable atrocities committed by Boko Haram. This militant jihadist group is one of the most violent in the world, frequently kidnapping and using children as suicide bombers and forcing girls as young as 12 to become child brides.
Clearly, the need to restore the voices of children silenced by war is greater than ever. Our hope is to bring ChildVoice programs to other conflict-ridden countries such as Central African Republic (CAR), Democratic Republic of the Congo, Syria, and Pakistan.