A long-standing commitment to young people
Our particular strength lies in our childhood protection, inclusion and profesionnal insertion programmes for young people, as we offer them high quality training that fit the local markets’ needs, in Switzerland and in 15 other countries in the world.
Our programme focuses on 4 main areas and is directly in line with the objectives stated in Agenda 2030’s Sustainable Development Goals.
Our objectives are to promote and enforce children's rights and support reinsertion programmes for street children.
Generally excluded from their families (sometimes from a very young age), they are socially marginalized, face extreme poverty (malnutrition, poor sanitation and health conditions…) and insecurity (violence, rape, racketeering); they survive by scavenging for food in bins, begging and trafficking. Most of these children have no parental care or social protection, have not completed their basic education or may have never attended school. When children are completely cut off from family contact, they receive no protection, supervision or guidance from responsible adults. It is estimated that there are 100 to 150 million street children around the world.
Together with its local partners, FAAI supports children who are living in vulnerable circumstances through a range of interventions:
- We go out to make contact with the youth in the street, give them access to healthcare and feed them,
- We get them off the street definitively by offering them a shelter where they are free from danger (creation of shelters),
- We enrol older children into professional training and help them to establish themselves,
- We make use of family mediation to reintegrate the children back into their families when it is possible,
- We support extremely vulnerable parents in dedicated facilities,
- We increase local communities’ awareness and we unravel the arguments of those whose beliefs and practices contribute to the children’s departure from home (voodoo priests, pastors of revival churches, Koranic teachers….),
- We train the caregivers.
INTEGRATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP
Around the world, 69 million children and youth of school or vocational training age are excluded from the school system, while, in certain countries, shortage of skilled workers affects the growth of the economy.
In many countries, the 16-25 year-old with little or no qualifications are hard hit by the slow down of the economy.
FAAI’s local partners develop and implement high quality and relevant training programmes tailored to the needs of both young people and employers. These training programmes not only teach functional literacy and vocational skills, they also help develop the life skills necessary in one’s personal and professional environments.
With our partners, we aim to:
- Improve the quality and relevance of the existing training programmes and open them to a wider public, in particular to girls,
- Develop and implement new training programmes and train the trainers,
- Facilitate youth social integration and transition into the work place.
FAMILY SUPPORT AND PARENTING
A growing number of families find themselves in situations which cause them moral distress when faced with the crucial issue of raising their children. Many parents facing economic hardships and strained resources are too isolated to find solutions, and they need assistance. Listening and supporting families facing such distress is essential. It is possible to prevent the development or worsening of such situations through solutions designed to reach out to vulnerable families.
This work of FAAI aims to:
- Strengthen parental skills through individual and collective actions,
- Combat isolation by organising peer-support activities for parents, fathers and mothers,
- Help social integration of very vulnerable families by supporting access to employment, particularly for mothers, and by enabling income-generating activities,
- Facilitate the education of children by providing safe places such as nurseries, and offering parent-child activities, prevention workshops, field trips, family holidays,
- Strengthen child development through stimulation workshops, academic support, group and team games,
- Support the creation of “Family Houses” where families exchange ideas and support each other to creatively find solutions to the many challenges they face.
Currently in the world, 61 million children of primary school age are not enrolled in school. Lack of education is one of the main causes and main consequences of the marginalization of children. While Africa remains the continent with the most alarming figures, no continent is spared.
For those children, it is necessary to develop and implement a teaching approach that takes into account their specific needs, no matter how behind they may be.
FAAI's work aims to provide each young person with their first international exchange or training experience through offering students a week trip to work in a developping country with a team of young people. This multicultural experience is a critical educational tool to enable young people to develop and acquire the knowledge and skills required for their social and professional integration.
FAAI operates in partnership with local associations in around thirty countries. Those partners offer locally relevant and efficient education-based solutions, but they are not always in a position to raise their voices to speak up and denounce abuse or the failure to comply with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Yet, we firmly believe that, with regards to protecting the rights of the child, policy is a powerful tool to foster change at country level, provided that it takes into consideration the local situation and that it is implemented and enforced.
Apprentis d’Auteuil has the ECOSOC status (we are a consultative member of the UNO Economic and Social Council) since 2014 and, as such, we regularly take part in the Universal Quadrennial Periodic Reviews which examine the countries where we operate. We systematically invite our local partners to speak on these occasions, enabling the voices from the field to be heard then helping them to seize this opportunity for international advocacy to lobby at national level.
In order to have an even stronger voice, Apprentis d’Auteuil is part of an advocacy network involving organisations such as the Consortium for Street Children, the Alliance (a federation of 8 major organisations for education) and the International Catholic Center of Geneva (CCIG) bringing together a number of child-protection actors.