What is your signature innovation, your new idea, in one sentence?
Instant intervention into child trafficking & labour by empowering mothers to earn a steady income from home & return their children to school, giving us time to work with the families in a participatory fashion towards exiting the cycle of poverty.
Describe your innovation. What makes your idea unique and different than others doing work in the field?
We eliminate the normal time lag between identifying a family or children at risk of trafficking or who are working and eliminating that risk / getting the child out of labour and back to school.
Identifying a family to having a child back in school and the mother receiving their first income can take as little as 24 hours.
We remove the economic incentive (by providing the mothers with simple work they can do from home) with our proven market based, financially self sustaining social business model. Our first product is rugs made of recycled cotton and sold internationally.
Importantly we then work with the families though a 4 step participatory development process that sees them pay off their debts, learn financial management, participate in community building, design their own support programs, receive training, send there kids to non formal education (as well as formal schooling), save to improve their family's situation, plan their futures and progress from carpet making to a self determined form of income generation with the assistance of micro loans, training, market access support and general project staff support.
Delivery Model: How do you implement your innovation and apply it to the challenge/problem you are addressing?
We survey children and families and take referrals to find children at high risk who are bound to economically supporting their families. We interview the mother and check their situation against entry criteria (# children out of school, income, debt, financial stability, housing, health and most importantly the children's level of risk).
They sign a contract to have the children in school and not working if they want to earn money making carpets. We then train them (takes about 30 mins) and give them the materials and simple tools to start working. On the same day the children are enrolled back in school (sometimes for the first time) and teachers are trained to use the monitoring system.
Social workers then work with the family using a participatory development process.
How do you plan to grow your innovation?
1. Scale up production and distribution to commercial levels through securing funding and national wholesalers in order to fully access the mainstream market
2. Diversify products and exit options for families
3. Replicate in other provinces and countries
4. Publish tool kits and proliferate the model globally (through training, consulting, speaking, partnerships and excellent PR)
Do you have any existing partnerships, and if so, how do you create them?
By approaching organisations when we have a need and asking if they are willing to work together. Most are excited to help.
Cambodian Hope Organisation - Cambodian Partner Organisation help to manage the local staff and finances.
World Youth International - Australian Auspicing Organisation (for fund-raising)
Local Schools - Principals an teachers help to monitor students.