What is CRY UK?
CRY UK or Child Rights and You, UK is a non profit organisation registered in the UK that works towards restoring basic rights to underprivileged children in India. At CRY UK we believe that each one of us can make a difference. All it takes is the professionally deploy resources and make a real difference to belief that 'change is possible, because I can make it possible’. We believe that together, we can create a movement that can steadily, magically gather momentum and irrevocably change children's lives. Child Rights and You UK Limited is registered charity no. 1119026 registered in England. All donations to CRY UK are tax deductible.
What is the difference between Relief and Rights?
The Relief approach addresses the symptoms of the problem - malnourishment, children out of school, children in the work force, female infanticide etc. The Rights approach identifies the underlying causes of these problems - caste, gender and class biases, livelihoods and absent or indifferent governance - and finds long-term solutions by ensuring children and communities are informed and empowered to seek solutions. The Relief approach treats children as objects of sympathy needing our help. The Rights approach recognises them as citizens who are entitled to all that has been promised them under the Indian Constitution and by the United Nations Child Rights Charter.
It has been 3 years now since I have been involved with here in UK.
India signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child
(CRC) in 1992.The four groups of child rights can be understood as:
THE RIGHT TO SURVIVAL
to life, health, nutrition, name, nationality. The right to survibhhval entails the right to a healthy life. This means that children should be rightfully assured of adequate nutrition and quality healthcare. Their names be registered as citizens to access state nutritional schemes. Infant and child mortality should be curtailed and malnourishment should not be a concern.
THE RIGHT TO PROTECTION
from exploitation, abuse, neglect. Right to Protection entails that all children be nurtured and protected from harmful influences, abuse and exploitation in any form. It rages from a child's right to be protected from, having to work, to face any kind of physical or mental abuse and to have a caring, secure family.
THE RIGHT TO DEVELOPMENT
to education, care, leisure, recreation, cultural activities. Every child has the right to development that lets the child explore her/him full potential. To an education that that not only lead the child to a path of learning but promotes understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and should contribute to maintenance of peace.
THE RIGHT TO PARTICIPATION
to expression, information, thought, religion. This is a right where the child is involved in the decisions taken about her/his life and has the space to develop & express independent though.
How are Child Rights and Human Rights linked?
Children do not live in isolation. They belong to families, communities and society at large.
They are always the most vulnerable victims in any social situation
- poverty, natural disasters, displacement, social biases and prejudices.
It is impossible to find long-term solutions tothe issues confronting
children without addressing these root causes. In the case of India, a
child may not be in school for multiple reasons:
there may be no school in the village, the school may be dysfunctional s/he may be prevented from going to school because of caste, gender or religion, the parents need the child to work, look after younger siblings or migrate due to economic pressures, and so on.
Ensuring she is not only enrolled in school, but stays there and gets an adequate education requires addressing many of those underlying problems.
What is the 'Child Rights Approach?
CRY UK with its partner CRY in India has witnessed the incredible change that is possible when children, parents and local governance come together to ensure their children's rights - to survival, development, protection and participation.
CRY (a leading child rights organisation in India)
has been working on these issues for over 35 years.
Having worked with the poor and marginalised
communities across states in India, CRY has learned
that the only way to make lasting change happen
is to adopt what we call the 'child rights approach’.
What the approach basically entails is:
first, looking at children's issues in their entirety, rather than through the narrow prisms of education, health, child labour, child abuse, foeticide/infanticide etc. then, seeking the underlying root causes of the deprivation - gender, caste, livelihoods, displacement and the like and finally, mobilising each local community to find long-term solutions to these problems by ensuring the relevant laws and policies that guarantee their rights are actually implemented.
What is the role of CRY UK in ensuring Child Rights?
CRY UK's role is to amplify the voice of India's children to reach large numbers of people of Indian origin as well as other locals in the UK to enlist their support for this cause. India's children will only achieve the rights guaranteed to them if everyone believes this should be so and exercises all the power at our command - as parents, neighbours, consumers, employees, business people, teachers, politicians, journalists, professionals, bureaucrats, activists and most importantly as citizens - to make this a reality.We do this by:
- Supporting and partnering NGOs at grassroots levels, mobilising people to address the root causes that leadsto violation of child rights
- Building awareness on children's issues through the media.
- Providing a channel for people to become part of this movement through our civic engagement/ volunteer action programmes.
- Providing a channel for individuals, corporations, associations and foundations to become part of this movement through our fund raising programs.
What is CRY UK's mission?
To enable people to take responsibility for the situation of underprivileged children, especially Indian, and so motivate them to confront the situation through collective action thereby giving the child and themselves an opportunity to realize their full potential.
CRY UK's Vision
A world where every child enjoys his or her rights and where every person pledges his or her particular strengths, working in partnership towards the common cause of child rights.
What are CRY UK's beliefs?
CRY UK believes in creating long-term, sustainable change. Hence, CRY UK addresses children's rights and issues holistically. We believe that the solutions to issues that affect children lie not just in direct interventions with the child but beyond as well - in the child's immediate environment; in the socio-political structures and processes that affect the environment.
It has been 3 years now since I have been involved with here in UK.
Therefore, our focus is on direct action with children, community
mobilization efforts and activities towards influencing macro
structures. And through these efforts we believe that we can bring
about irrevocable change.
The power of collective action
At CRY UK we believe that if each one of us does whatever we can, there is no task which is too big or difficult. We know that when ordinary people, people like you and me join hands we can create a movement that can create a better world for all children.
What are CRY UK's values?
CRY UK operates on the values of
- respect for human dignity
- collective action
- non violence
How does CRY UK select the organisations it supports?
The organisations that CRY UK supports are selected for their track record, the issues they work with and the impact on the community they work with. We also realize the criticality of ensuring that the resources are utilised by grantees optimally and effectively.
To ensure this, CRY UK utilises the grant management services of CRY, a premier Indian NGO for child rights, to ensure the quality of each of these interventions. CRY has developed highly effective selection, planning, monitoring and evaluation systems in over 30 years of operation.
How does CRY UK perceive its role vis-a-vis children?
46% of children in India are underweight, 38% stunted and 19% wasted; their fate decided even before they turn three.
- 53% children in India reported having faced one or more forms of sexual abuse.
- There are 17 million child labourers in India.
- 180 out of 581 districts in India have seen primary school enrolments fall.
- 88,000 schools (nearly 8 percent) in India still do not have a blackboard in their classes
It has been 3 years now since I have been involved with here in UK. These statistics are shocking, especially in the light of recent GDP growth. A number of recent Indian government reports and pronouncements indicate recognition of the scale and severity of the problems afflicting India's children and the need for more inclusive economic policies. The reality of India after 67 years after independence is that millions of children have their very survival threatened on a daily basis - malnutrition, illiteracy, child labour, preventable diseases, abuse and exploitation.CRY UK's raison d’être is therefore to ensure that the story of India's children is heard.CRY UK works towards restoring basic rights to underprivileged children, primarily those in India. The organisation channels the concern, goodwill, time, money, skills and civic responsibility of individuals and organizations in the UK towards child development initiatives in India and the UK. The idea is to create effective grassroots change movements in India that will empower marginalised communities to build sustainable futures for their children.
What is capacity building?
NGOs are most often started by individuals or groups who feel passionately about an issue. To grow to significant scale, achieve long-term sustainability and maximise their impact they often need support – financial, program design, organisation building, training information support and networking. This is what CRY UK defines as capacity building. CRY UK utilises the grant management services of CRY in India to ensure that the quality of supported initiatives is enhanced and that the funds are utilised optimally. CRY has developed highly effective selection, planning, monitoring, evaluation, systems that include: Stringent partner selection processes including pre-funding site visits, Quarterly/half-yearly field visits, financial reports, grant disbursal based on reviews. Financial Risk Management Module to help identify projects where funds may be at risk due to poor financial management Ongoing review of accounting systems by project partner, regional CRY teams
Intensive monitoring for high risk projects
It has also developed exhaustive and well-recognised impact parameters used in reviewing and planning processes that enables grantees and CRY UK to set clearly defined, measurable long term goals. Impact parameters are selected that highlight the status of children and ultimately reflect the socio- economic status of any community that CRY UK is working with.
How does CRY UK reach out to the children?
At CRY UK, we've learned that permanent change is only possible when children, their parents and their communities are informed about their rights and engage with their local government bodies to ensure the root causes of their immediate problems are solved. We believe in the philosophy of community mobilisation - empowering communities - (the immediate family, the immediate neighbourhood and the village or the town) to resolve the problem affecting them. To achieve this we partner and support grassroots NGOs who work with these communities.
CRY UK helps these projects with financial
And non financialsupport.CRY UK partners
with CRY to ensure that the grants are utilised
effectively and to enhance the quality of
Non financial support includes project-planning, financial management, material requirements, perspective-building programmes, baseline data establishment, organisational development, training for skill building, information support, and developing promotional materials. Does CRY UK allow me to monitor my contributions? We believe that all our donors, volunteers and supporters must be informed about CRY UK and it's activities. This includes info about money raised, spent, disbursed to projects. We declare our financial results to everybody through our Annual Reports and publish our accounts on our website for public viewing. We report on the progress of projects from time to time. Details of supported projects are also available on our website at all times.
How does CRY UK raise funds in the UK?
CRY UK partners with individuals, networks, corporations and foundations to raise funds. Some key fund-raising strategies include direct mail, promoting and marketing the organisation through the website and facilitating events. In support of its fund-raising activities, CRY UK has developed, implemented and trained its staff in a completely customised software programme, Donor Management System (DMS), which enables effective donor servicing and analysis to study effectiveness of fund-raising strategies/ campaigns. It has also established http://uk.cry.org/ as an effective fund-raising channel that accepts general donations, emergency based donations, payments for events. Individual donors continue to be CRY UK's primary support base.
Who is a typical CRY UK volunteer and what is the role of a Volunteer?
The core of CRY UK is volunteer action. CRY UK runs on the strength of her volunteers. Volunteers are a team of dedicated people willing to give their time and skills to promote and build CRY UK and to raise resources for underprivileged children.
Each volunteer is a child advocate. He / She is also a brand ambassador of CRY UK. He / she works among his/ her colleagues, friends, family and local community to raise awareness for the status of children in India and helps harness resources..both financial and non financial. Each effort of the volunteer is a building block to achieve the ultimate goal of CRY UK - ensuring a secure future for children! At CRY UK, volunteers can participate in the following way:
- Help organise events and help sponsor them.
- Help increase our volunteer base.
- Spread the word about CRY UK among friends, colleagues, Family and local community.
- Talk about CRY UK to the organisation/institution where he/she works.
- Put up posters and distribute CRY UK leaflets at your office, other offices, clubs and other public places.
- Help CRY UK organise events nationally - across various cities through our action centres.
How is CRY UK different from its partner CRY in India?
CRY UK is an independent non profit organisation registered in the UK.
CRY UK has its own Board of trustees.
Child Rights and You UK Limited is registered charity no. 1119026
Registered in England as a company limited by guarantee having company number 05621889
C/O - Penningtons Manches LLP
125 Wood Street, London ,EC2V 7AW .
CRY UK has a volunteer base currently only in London. Volunteers play a critical role in promoting & building CRY UK. CRY is a premier Indian Non-government Organization (NGO) that has been working in the area of child rights for over 35 years.
CRY has gained the trust of donors across the world for its highly effective planning, monitoring and evaluation systems that are applied to each of the supported projects.
Most of the NGOs publish annual reports, so why do you claim to be transparent?
CRY UK's belief in transparency and accountability is not limited only to the publishing of Annual Reports. It spans an entire gamut of operations. What it means in practical terms:
At the project/ initiative level: There is intensive involvement of CRY's development support team in strategy formulation and planning by the partner. The Projects are encouraged to discuss budgets/expenditure with core team and the community as well. This is followed by monitoring of implementation impact on a quarterly/half yearly/annual basis when field visits to the projects are carried out and the grant disbursals are based on these reviews. There is an ongoing review of accounting systems by the partner, regional team and an external financial partner Account Aid.
There is also intensive monitoring for high risk projects. An external evaluation is also undertaken for sample projects. At the organisational level this is reflected in internal management and accounting systems and organization planning / review processes. The organization engages professional assistance in implementing and ensuring proper book keeping and financial systems. The organizations performance is disseminated to donors, volunteers and the public through the annual report, newsletters and published on our website http://uk.cry.org External financial audit is conducted annually.
What are the criteria used for a child to be in a CRY programme?
CRY UK does not work directly in the field with children. CRY UK identifies the areas and issues of most critical need and provides grassroots organizations working in those areas financial, organization building, training and networking support. CRY UK accords a higher priority to remote areas,
socially and economically marginalized communities and those working with difficult issues. All CRY UK supported programmes must also be secular, non-violent, transparent, democratic and inclusive in their functioning.
How do you deal with children on the streets and disabled children?
Apart from supporting urban programs that work with street children, CRY UK also seeks to address the root causes of migration that force children and their families onto the streets of Indian cities. Further, CRY UK's partner CRY, works with the Indian government to develop better policies for juvenile homes and laws relating to children in conflict with the law. Similarly, CRY UK seeks to ensure that physically and mentally challenged children receive equal treatment.
A single child sponsorship, why is it not recommended by CRY UK if it mutually benefits the donor and the child in need? Why does CRY UK not directly link a donor with a child?
There are several reasons why we have chosen not to connect donors to children in CRY UK supported projects directly. The second, and perhaps most important, reason is our belief that the support we provide children is theirs by right and they should not be expected or made to feel obliged to us or to donors for them. Building self-assurance and independence among the children we work with is often the single most vital ingredient in their achieving these rights. Secondly, the resources CRY UK receives from individuals are not directed to a specific child. They go towards supporting grassroots NGOs and cover the costs of teachers, education material, training programmes and efforts with parents and communities to enable them to ensure their children's rights. We believe this approach is not only more sustainable in the long-term, but also impacts far more children and families than just those covered directly
by balwadis pre-primary centres] and non-formal
education centres in CRY UK supported projects.
This in turn ensures that the communities we work
with become truly empowered and self-sufficient
and that contributions are used to maximum effect.
The third obstacle to direct linkages between donors and children are the sheer logistical and financial implications of doing this. It would require fairly complex additional systems, personnel and funds to log, track and moderate communications. In addition, when a donor ceases to contribute (as several do each year) we would need to explain this to the kids and deal with their reactions to the termination of the relationship which would occur for no fault of theirs. These are some of the reasons we do not have a system of direct linkage between donors and children. All the resources we raise are pooled together and disbursed to the organizations and initiatives we support, not to individual children.
Don't you think it is better to employ a child and send him to
school for part time rather than face poverty?
Child labour perpetuates poverty. Child labourers come from impoverished families because working in harsh unhealthy conditions leads children to grow into unskilled, debilitated adults who will not even be employed by the very industry that exploited them. Furthermore, child labourers receive a low, negligible income and often no wages at all. Child labour also depresses adult wages and keeps adults unemployed. All the available data, from the India PROBE report to the demand for private education in rural India to CRY's own experience confirms that parents value education and will do their best, including incurring considerable financial costs to ensure their children go to school. Often this is a process that takes time. CRY UK supports evening classes and bridge courses for children till the infrastructure, livelihood and other barriers to
their attending school full-time have been addressed. '"The idea that some children have no alternative than to work is so universally entrenched that even social workers attached to agencies implementing direct support programs were initially reluctant to persuade parents of working children to enroll them in formal schools. They feared that families of child labourers would not accept the idea of full-time formal schools, nor will they absorb or accept the fall in family income. Individual and community acceptance of education as an alternative to work did not turn out to be as difficult as it was generally feared to be. More difficult than parental resistance to formal schooling for their children, was the difficulty in satisfying the administrative requirements for admission. Documentary evidence of date of birth, and transfer from a previous school (in the case of children who are being
re-integrated into schools) were greater barriers in enrolling children into schools." ("Problems of Universal Elementary Education", Poromesh Acharya, Economic and Political Weekly, December 3, 1994.)
Why should I commit my money to the community? Isn't it because of lazy
parents that children are in trouble?
Every child deprived of her rights is our responsibility. We committed these rights to children as nations and their violation is unjust. Whether, therefore, we view this from the point of view of legal obligation, enlightened self-interest or simply the desire to build a just society, ensuring child rights is our responsibility as citizens. While it is true that child labourers usually come from impoverished families where at times parents do not have work, it must be understood that if a parent forces her child to work it is not out of choice. A parent will force her child to work only under extreme conditions and by doing that she is squashing her dreams for a happy childhood for her child which she would have wanted to give her otherwise.
It should be noted that child labour also perpetuates poverty and unemployment. Child labourers receive a low, negligible income and often no wages at all. This depresses adult wages and keeps adults unemployed. Furthermore, the child labour misses out on a chance for education and exploring her/his potential. The one who survives the harsh conditions in future becomes an unskilled, debilitated adult who is then not employed even in the same industry that exploited him or her earlier. Thus, the cycle continues of parents being unemployed & children working that further weakens the job market.
What will your stake with the Indian Government be?
Our partner CRY in India analyses government policies to assess their Impact on the rights of children. CRY engages with government agencies at all levels from villages to the national level to ensure that existing child-friendly policies are implemented and that new policies are evolved
where necessary. This engagement ranges from advising the Indian government on projects for street children to studying the conditions in juvenile homes, to drafting the current Juvenile Justice Act, coordinating govt. relief work in disaster areas, consulting with the Planning Commission and advocating for the Fundamental Right to education. CRY also plans to work with various levels of Government to promote a comprehensive Child Rights Act/Law for India and the formation of a strong Child Rights Commission in India.