Our Builder, Frankie & the Drogba connection

Frankie is a force to be reckoned with … he gives as good as he gets!

How he’ll get on in Cote d’Ivoire is anyone’s guess, but he’s already ‘au fait’ with Ivorian culture to an extent!

He built a house near Marseille for the world famous footballer Didier Drogba, an Ivorian himself.  However, the house was initially built for another man but rented it to Drogba who loved it so much, he bought it!

So we have the claim to having Drogba’s builder!  Frankie did spend an afternoon talking to Didier about the pool tiles whilst surrounded by an entourage of assistants.

However, this time Frankie will be managing the project & learning from Ivorian builders, bringing in new sustainable ideas & giving it the ‘Drogba’ seal of approval.  Frankie doesn’t cut corners & will ensure that the building is fit for purpose.

Spanish by name, English by birth, German by residence, he also (luckily for us) speaks French!   We can’t wait to realise the project with Drogba’s builder overseeing it all!

 

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Bucket list

Cote d'Ivoire 2

As the Founder, I believe that I’m nowhere near kicking the bucket yet but on my bucket list I have to put a few ideals for CREER.

1.  CREER will have 30 children as a minimum

2.  That the centre will have small houses on the land for a few of the 17-18 year olds to start their road to independence.

3.  That our sustainable land will be flourishing & providing an income to keep CREER going in the long term

4. The children that have left will be in full-time employment or have set up their own businesses, no matter how small

5.  At least one of the children is working in an aviation related role (slightly biased here!)

But at the end of the day, if they’re all happy, healthy & being educated, that will be enough!

Children on the Move and the migration debate in development

Excellent piece on trafficking in Africa

Wait... What?

birds 2I spent the weekend working on a paper about “Children on the Move.” I’m not even close to done with it yet, but the topic is fascinating. Some reports say that 1/3 of migrants are between the ages of 12 and 25, including millions of children under the age of 18. The number of children and youth who migrate is difficult to pin down with certainty, given that migration is often within country, seasonal, across porous borders, and because most child migrants don’t have legal means to migrate or they lack identification, leaving them under the radar and uncounted.

Children move for all kinds of reasons, from and into all kinds of situations. The push-pull factors that cause them to migrate vary a great deal from situation to situation. Often the movement of children is lumped under trafficking and child labor, and all children who move are considered…

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SUNDAY SOCIAL GOOD: One Little Girl’s Trafficking Legacy

More information about C.R.E.E.R Thanks to ThirdEyeMom with our guest blog

More information about C.R.E.E.R Thanks to ThirdEyeMom with our guest blog

View original post

Child Trafficking – Ever thought about it?

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Too many children are trafficked in the modern world.  Slavery was abolished before our time but yet it continues.  Children are trafficked around the world to be used as slaves in one form or other.

Can you really let this continue?

When did you last check the origin of your chocolate, clothes etc?

Have you thought why trafficking happens?

Do you ever wonder what happens to those children?

Would you like to assist C.R.E.E.R assist these children?

Please help us to help them!

Why, where, what will C.R.E.E.R be?

CREER logo

C.R.E.E.R = Centre de Reinsertion et d’Education pour les Enfants de la Rue

(Centre of Reinsertion & Education for street children)

Cote d'Ivoire near the Ghana border

Why?

Some children are sold by their families for about US $60, believing that they will have a good life with an employer or promised that they will receive an education.

The families often need the money to manage the rest of the family.

Traffickers will sell these children onto farmers, domestic homes and brothels  offering children for US$200-US$250+.

Many of these children end up mentally and physically scarred from working  like bonded slaves; some will manage to runaway but live on the streets.

Why do families sell their children?

This video says it all, it’s why there are so many children coming from the Sahel belt; the Sahara encroaching on farmland; seeing it for yourself is startling, this video makes it all a bit more real

A farmer with dry land, how can he be expected to feed his family if the land isn’t sustainable?

It’s not just in Niger, but in Burkina Faso, Mali (where there’s more than just drought right now!)  and right across to Mauritania on the Atlantic coast where many West Africans are working for a pittance & slavery has only just been made illegal …

What makes it worse is when families such as these, share their food bowl with you; C.R.E.E.R’s founder has eaten with similar families.

So many are ‘forced’ to sell a child for US$60 or so, to pay for the rest of the family, buy necessary provisions or receive medical care.  The US$60 will go a long way for the family but the child who is sold will end up trafficked & working for others somewhere …

We all have to give back in abundance.  Our own way is to help the trafficked children in long-term rehabilitative care, providing an education to empower them out of this vicious cycle.

Read more here about the young girl’s legacy who gave the inspiration to create C.R.E.E.R http://wp.me/s3aqBS-17

Where?

C.R.E.E.R is to be a non-profit, non-political and non-religious centre in Abengourou, Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast).   We expect a mix of Christians & Muslims as well as local religions; those that want to follow their faith can do so locally and will be taken to their place of worship by our staff.  We aim to work with the children, to give them future hope and be able to lead a normal adult life, after being part of a family at the centre.

Map of CI

What will C.R.E.E.R be?

As the first such designated centre in West Africa our aim is to give long-term rehabilitation for trafficked children from all over region that are being brought over the border for farming, domestic servitude & prostitution.

We’ve already talked to the immigration authorities.  The Ivorian Authorities are keen to see us set up as there’s nowhere that solely caters for trafficked children.  They house those that they can intercept at the border, wherever they can find a bed.  Our aim is to repatriate those that have families that can take care of them & educate the children that cannot be repatriated.

The idea is to create the centre as soon as possible.  C.R.E.E.R has worked hard since conception in 2010 before the Ivorian crisis and was unfortunately let down already regarding land with false promises in early 2011.

We aim to be as self-sufficient as possible, enabling the children to learn about animal husbandry as well as renewable energy sources and their maintenance.

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1.  We have been promised 5-hectares of land just over the border from Ghana in Cote d’Ivoire’s 10th largest town, Abengourou.  We will build the centre with single sex dormitories and workshops but to also create a small holding that the children will manage with tutors.

a)  The centre will provide accommodation for about 30 children initially.
b)  All children will receive an education, maths, French and also potentially English as core components of other subjects.

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2.  On the land we want to build workshops, this will be the vocational part of the project so that all children will have a chance to leave with a skill.

We hope some will further their education too in tertiary establishments.   The workshops will consist of vocational skills such as sewing, mechanics, carpentry and cooking etc.

We have a wonderful manager who is now ready to work with us, he has already managed an orphanage for several years & dearly missed by the children there.   He has held a variety of important meetings for C.R.E.E.R with government ministers.

We totally trust him & believe he will drive things forward in the interests of trafficked children.

In the longer term we’re hoping to have other C.R.E.E.R centres in Africa, the next one being at the other end of this trafficking corridor, just inside Nigeria’s border.

If you’d like to help, please email us at : c.r.e.e.r.rci@gmail.com

Or join our group http://www.facebook.com/groups/c.r.e.e.r.rci/

Or page http://www.facebook.com/pages/CREER/160911540628718 on Facebook

We’re also on Twitter @CREER_RCI

Please help us to get the first building at the centre constructed

(Thanks to ThirdEyeMom for the video & Sahel update: http://thirdeyemom.com/2013/02/26/starving-in-sahel-its-time-to-care)