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Child Rights Empowerment: Anti-Trafficking in Emergencies ( CREATE)

CREATE uses youth-mentoring through football as a participatory approach to keep children, especially girls, safe from being trafficked.

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What problem does your innovation solve?

Emergencies amplify conditions that enable and attract traffickers. Disruption of state and civil society institutions, including schools, disables child protection systems. Regulatory mechanisms and border controls are in chaos, and devastated families are at their most vulnerable to promises of money and a better life for their child, especially girls. CREATE addresses the need for children, most critically girls, to understand and claim their right to be safe and be educated.

Explain your innovation.

Our research into trafficking in Nepal ( identified exceptional vulnerabilities when girls drop out of school and/or are unaware of links between education and trafficking. Before the 2015 earthquakes we were working on to keep girls in school. In 2015 our work changed in response to massive disaster. The importance of education in emergencies is well documented ( We were among the first to establish temporary classrooms, working closely with UNICEF and Ministry of Education to document children’s situations and get them back into school. Where schools & families were uninformed about trafficking, children were hardest to track and therefore most vulnerable. CREATE combines our research, subject expertise ( and the learning from our unique experience. The approach, building on our existing sports programmes, will work with youth (girls) from local communities to act as mentors and advocates, raising awareness and creating empowerment to combat trafficking and unsafe migration. Football will be a medium and metaphor to make girls aware of trafficking and understand the value of staying in education, especially in emergencies. We will advocate to streamline the new CREATE curriculum into the government’s Extra Curricula schedule. Mentoring will create role models whom other girls can aspire to follow, mobilising as advocates and campaigners at the school and community level.

Who benefits?

Direct beneficiaries will be 640 under-privileged girls aged 10-16 from low income families in the districts of Sindhupalchok, Nuwakot & Kathmandu Valley, who are extremely vulnerable to trafficking and susceptible to unsafe migration since the 2015 earthquakes, which caused destruction of schools & livelihoods in these areas. Young people in these districts will be trained in CREATE curriculum, using sports methodologies to engage & inform children in their communities about trafficking, education, their rights and how to claim them - specifically focused on reaching the 640 girls (many of whom are currently not in school). The programme will engage directly with the communities to build awareness of trafficking and create a supportive and enabling environment to keep girls safe now and against any future challenges. Impact will be measured through a mix of quant/qual evaluation designed in collaboration with the communities, supporting them to become vocal ambassadors for success.

How is your innovation unique?

Using the philosophy of education, going beyond the boundaries of traditional classroom teaching and adopting a play-based pedagogy to make girls aware of trafficking is different from similar initiatives. Football and mentorship model will be used to mobilise girls in the communities to raise awareness on the issues of trafficking and importance of education. Our past experience piloting the use of football to engage boys and girls in schools in other districts covering issues of gender equity and health, gives us the edge, experience and advantage. Additionally, our previous research provides evidence that the issue of trafficking, so prevalent in the target districts, needs to be addressed through innovation. We know of no other organisations who are utilising football to engage and mobilise girls to address the issue of trafficking. Our three-year partnership with the Ministry of Education and District Education Offices will support success and sustainability.

What are some of your unanswered questions about the idea?

We’re currently working on mainstreaming a football and activity based curriculum with the governments’ Extra Curricula school curriculum to ensure sustainability of our existing sports-based programmes so would need to make this broad enough that CREATE could be incorporated and not negotiated separately. We want CREATE to be the best mix of our local knowledge and experience combined with global best practice on anti-trafficking. We want to design a locally relevant programme but publish it as open educational resource that is easily accessible and can be adapted for use anywhere. This is a new step for us as we work very much at community level, so we will need to draw on wider expertise in both designing and sharing the programme.

Tell us more about you.

Childreach Nepal specialises in grassroots change in rural Nepal. 14 local expert staff members work in 6 districts where we understand the challenges and cultures. We empower young people and communities to become agents of change by supporting them to identify issues themselves - eg access to quality education, child trafficking, gender inequality – then to problem solve, and participate in sustainable solutions. Working in partnership, we can provide additional expertise as needed.

What is the primary type of emergency setting where your innovation would operate?

  • Natural disaster
  • Prolonged displacement

Emergency Setting - Elaborate

Our setting for CREATE is post-earthquake medium/long-term emergency response to prevent unsafe migration displacement of children and child trafficking and to mitigate against conditions in unknown (but statistically likely) similar future disasters. The programme could be used in any similar situation (especially e.g. refugee camps) and also adapted into an immediate emergency response training/teacher support pack.

Where will your innovation be implemented?

Districts of Sindhpalchok, Nuwakot and Kathmandu Valley in Nepal. CREATE could be used elsewhere in Nepal without tailoring. In other countries/contexts it would need adaptation to be culturally and contextually appropriate. We will design the programme as user-friendly open educational resource that clearly indicates which content is core and what would need changing, eg locally-relevant examples and case studies. Any (expert) end user can then adapt it for their needs.

Experience in Implementation Country(ies)

  • Yes, for more than one year.

In-country Networks

Since 2012, Childreach Nepal has been implementing sports for social impact programmes in partnership with 24 government schools, focusing on issues of education, health and protection using football as the central methodology. To ensure sustainability, we have a renewable three-year Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry and Department of Education. In addition, our ongoing partnership with Coaches Across Continents (CAC) supports the development of effective issue-based curriculums.

Sector Expertise

  • I've worked in a sector related to my innovation for more than a year.

Sector Expertise - Elaborate

We actively participated in the leadership forum in the USA in 2015. We are recognised by the Nepal Ministry of Education as leaders of Sports for Development and Social Change, opening possibilities for development of joint curriculums with the government. We were a key responder in our districts in 2015, and kept our promises to build and support new schools. Our taughtnottrafficked campaign, in collaboration with SOLD the movie, is recognised and supported worldwide.

Innovation Maturity

  • Roll-out/Ready to Scale: I have completed a pilot and am ready or in the process of expanding.

Organization Status

  • We are a registered non-profit, charity, NGO, or community-based organization.

Organization Location

Childreach Nepal is a local NGO in Nepal registered with the Social Welfare Council of Nepal (Registration number 31616).

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Attachments (2)

CREATE user experience.pdf

This is a user experience map.

CREATE attachment1.pdf

This document elaborates the CREATE context and concept.


Join the conversation:

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Finally, we wanted to include this testimonial from one of the participants in our current sports programme, 14 year old Hassina Lama, who took part in our test games for CREATE feedback:

I live in Chilaune, Paachpokhari Thangpalkot rural municipality in Sindhupalchok district. I study in Chilaune secondary school in grade 9. My father is a farmer, my mother is a house wife and I have 5 siblings, 3 sisters and 2 brothers in my family. My elder sisters and brothers are working in India and Kathmandu. I enjoy spending time with my younger brother and sister. Besides this, I like to go to school and complete my education unlike my brother and sister who had to drop out because they had to earn a living for the family. I love school, it is my second home because I have friends and my teachers are very cooperative and very helpful in giving proper guidance.
I have always loved playing football but girls in our villages are not encouraged to play football as it is said to be a boys’ game. I used to watch boys play football in our school and villages. I learnt football was always 11 side of game where the most important thing was scoring goals and celebrating, also sometime I used to see boys fighting after the match which is seen very common in our village.
Recently Childreach Nepal started a sports initiative club in our school where I got a chance to become a group-member. For the first time I played football. But this game was different from what I knew, it addressed the social issues and awareness about the problems seen in the community or around the world.
I had only little knowledge about trafficking which was taught in our social studies subject, where our teacher used to talk about what is trafficking? The cause of trafficking? But I never knew that this major problem can be addressed through football to aware and bring changes in the community. In our recent session, we place a game called ‘Say no to Trafficking’. One of the mentors Sange conducted the session at my school. The game showed about how the trafficker could enter in the community and how they disguise themselves within the community and traffick the girls/children to other countries and too big cities. What I learned through this games was, everyone should be aware about the issue trafficking and immediately report to teachers or parents if there is a suspicious approach by strangers. I also learned about how to keep myself, friends and family safe. I had no idea about the protective system that exists in my community. Now, I am aware about where to seek help if I witness any suspicious case. I would definitely, consult with my school teachers at first.
Now, I want to make my parents and community people aware and raise speak up about trafficking and unsafe migration and how school and education helps us be safe. In our community the word trafficking is very sensitive and people do not want to talk about it even if there are such cases. I would like to take up the responsibility of being the girls’ voice and end trafficking not only from my village but from the district. I would want this sports programme to continue and to involve more of my friends. I would love to play more of these games and make other children in the community play as well.

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You said: Would love to better understand core elements of your program, how you recruit and select participants, the curriculum, etc.
Our answer:
We believe that working with local, grassroots organisations is critical to the success of our approach. We have a long-established MoU to work with Shakti Samuha, the first organisation globally to be established and run by survivors of trafficking, and they and others have confirmed their commitment to working with CREATE. Survivors are uniquely qualified to advise on what is effective in the fight to empower girls and young women against trafficking, and their voices will contribute to every element of the community-based project design.

We usually encourage children (45 from each target school) who have already been involved in our My School My Voice (MSMV) Clubs in our partner government schools to become the project members. They will run weekly football sessions lasting approximately 3 hours in schools and communities with support from school sports teachers and project staff. They will in turn run sessions with other girls and boys in the schools and in their communities. Additionally 10 youth mentors will be adolescent girls (Ateam) from the communities who along with the Project Coordinator will additionally support the children in ‘forming a group to advocate to the relevant duty bearers at the community events, utilizing their MSMV methodology, to bring about change in their schools and communities. The context specific sports curriculum will subsequently empower school students and community children with the information and skills to develop leadership and teamwork to raise their voices against gender discrimination, trafficking, school drop out etc and to demand access to education for all children, creating a community that is more aware of, and less vulnerable to, the dangers of child trafficking, particularly girls.

The youth mentors (Ateam) will be responsible for running awareness-raising campaigns within the communities, alongside organizing the Childreach Cup tournaments as well as two other sports festivals that will highlight issues affecting girls including child trafficking, as well as the need for gender equality and continued attendance at school. Additional topics to be covered at these events will be decided by the children themselves.

Monthly meetings with parents and other community members led by the youth mentors (Ateam) will raise awareness of the issues affecting children and youth people within the community, and will provide vital information on how to combat these issues and keep their children safe and out of the hands of the traffickers, such as where to report concerns about children in the community and the importance of children/girls finishing their education and not sending children away to work.

The children and youth mentors will be trained on the Coaches Across Continents’ ‘Ask for choice’ methodology by the project staff. This curriculum will be contextualized in consultation with the target stakeholders. This will provide young people with the opportunity to discuss and learn more about issues affecting children in their community, with a particular focus on the risks of trafficking and reasons for school drop-out. Weekly games in the curriculum will help children to ask questions and come up with solutions to their own problems. This will develop their critical thinking and assertive communication skills and raise awareness on all forms of abuse.

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We work intensively with our communities on a number of connected projects, and regularly meet as a team to make sure that learning from each is transferred across all that we do. For CREATE specifically:
1. As with all our community-based development, we work closely with the target stakeholders to create solutions that are driven by their understanding of their own needs. This is true for how we have developed issue-based football curriculum to date and will be the same for CREATE.
2. We will customise the CAC ‘ask for choice’ curriculum based on feedback and consultation with stakeholders and according to the context and location.
3. We will regularly revise curriculum, process and practice based on weekly discussions with the youth mentors and school groups.
4. We will design and implement a full MEAL plan, with equal emphasis on all elements of monitoring, evaluation, accountability *and* learning.

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You said: “[…] It is not very clear from the proposal how football will be used to raise awareness and creating empowerment to combat trafficking.”

Our answer:
We have a lot of experience of bringing about positive behaviour change through a sport-based curriculum. We know that both boys and girls love to play football, and it is an easy and natural way to engage them in allegorical games that provide the basis for deeper discussion in a workshop-style group session after the ‘match’.
To test our ideas for the Feedback phase, we played three games with our own staff and then a group of teachers and finally a group of school children who participate in our existing sports programme. Hopefully the description of those games will help you see how it works -

First: Four small squares in the corners of the football pitch area represent the different places children get trafficked to and how they are exploited. It is important to explain that children can be trafficked domestically, not always to another country. Three or four taggers are chosen to represent the different techniques traffickers use, e.g. fake documentation, fake job offers, fake marriage proposals, kidnapping, buying children from poor parents, coercion, peer pressure. When a tagger touches a player, they hold hands and bring them to one of the squares. The player has to stay there. The game ends when there are no more players left in the area, all players are in a square.

Second: The taggers represent traffickers that use fake promises or other techniques that players can say no to. If one of these taggers touches a player, they now have the choice to say "No!" and reject the offer (job offer, marriage proposal, study proposal). Add some new taggers and give them footballs: they represent the situations where the children don't have a choice – this can be when they are kidnapped, when their parents sell them to a trafficker or when they don't have access to school. When a tagger with a ball touches a player, they are forced to go with them to one of the squares.

Third: Now we talk about what children and the community can do to prevent trafficking, even the forms where there is no choice. Some of these include staying in school, going to NGOs that fight trafficking, verifying job offers at the police station, finding supporters and friends. Place cones around the area that represents these: players can only stay at the cone for 3 seconds and have to shout what the cone represents. Also add a ball for players to use: they can pass the ball around. This represents sharing the information about our rights, the methods used by traffickers and the effects of trafficking on children (exploitation, violence, trauma, alcohol, and drug abuse). Players are safe if they have the ball at their feet. We still have two types of taggers: the ones with balls and the ones with no balls who you can say "No!" too.

All of our test groups enjoyed the games and thought they highlighted a lot of issues. The teachers and children especially thought that this was a more effective way to learn about trafficking than the sort of traditional classroom teaching they are used to delivering/receiving. One of the girls said “It is a new way of spreading awareness in the village because most of the awareness program is related to theory methods and less interesting, whereas through the help of football it makes easy to explain people about types of trafficking and how to identify the traffickers”.
We also asked our groups what they didn’t like about the games:
The children thought there should be more games covering a wider range of issues.
The teachers thought that the training should be specifically adapted to local (micro) context, and include role models and mentoring in the activities.
Our staff thought the games should be more realistic because the traffickers are unknown in the community, so while playing the game the traffickers should be hidden or unknown.

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Thank you so much for your valuable feedback OpenIDEO team. Much appreciated! We will work towards improving our idea keeping all your suggestions/comments in mind.