Friday, 13 June 2014

TES - Hope blooms in Sierra Leone's schools despite lack of support

I wrote this article for TES from Sierra Leone, after visiting schools in the remote northern chiefdom of Tambakha.

The schools were built by charity Street Child. Incredibly, before 2009 when the charity began working in the area, Tambakha had only three schools and two qualified teachers for 9,000 primary-aged children.

Building the schools and training teachers has been an incredible achievement, but the area is struggling to maintain the institutions without government backing.

I was amazed to see how hard locals were trying to support their children's education despite so many barriers. In some classes the children had no books or pencils - they were learning everything aurally.

This piece was written to coincide with a Street Child fundraising campaign. A film shot during my trip explains more about the charity's work in the area.

To read the full article, visit the TES website.

Watch the film at about Street Child's rural schools project.





Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Children & Young People Now: Female Genital Mutilation in the UK

This feature for Children & Young People Now explores how children's services in the UK should act to prevent and support children and women affected by female genital mutilation (FGM).

More than 20,000 girls aged under 15 could be at risk of FGM in England and Wales every year, while 66,000 women living in England and Wales had undergone FGM.

I spoke to representatives of local authority children's services, social workers, health and education professionals and charities to find out how they are dealing with the issue, and what still needs to be done.

You can read the full piece on the CYP Now website (behind a paywall).