C.R.E.E.R – Centre de Réinsertion et Education pour les Enfants de la Rue or ‘Re-insertion & Educational Centre for Street Children’ is a residential vocational centre due to be built in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast) Cote d’Ivoire along with several countries in West Africa Cote d’Ivoire is on a ‘Tier 2’ list for trafficking, children are trafficked for a variety of reasons including being used as labour in agriculture and domestic servants. Some receive physical, mental & sexual abuse. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Trafficking_of_children
C.R.E.E.R aims to give the children a new start; to provide an education, nurture & build the children’s confidence.
We will give them skills that they will be able to use when they gain their independence at 18, so that the vicious cycle of poverty & selling children doesn’t continue. C.R.E.E.R is thought to be the first such centre in West Africa which is rife with trafficking problems.
You can read here how the idea started: http://thirdeyemom.com/2012/10/21/sunday-social-good-one-little-girls-trafficking-legacy/
Why are children trafficked?
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. Others are kidnapped and trafficked, older ones are tricked into believing they’ll have a better life and leave the family home; many girls ending up in prostitution. The families often need the money to manage the rest of the family, an extra mouth to feed is a financial burden especially when the family may already be in debt. Traffickers will sell these children onto farmers, fishermen, domestic homes 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, sniffing glue, working as prostitutes etc.
Where are we?
C.R.E.E.R is to be a non-profit, non-political and non-religious centre in Cote d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). We aim to work with the children, we expect a mix of Christians & Muslims as well as local religions; those that want to follow their faith can do so locally.
What will C.R.E.E.R be?
As the first such designated centre in West Africa our aim is to cater for trafficked children from all over region that are being brought over the border. 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 it’s conception in 2010 before the Ivorian crisis, 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.
1. We hoping for 5-hectares of suitable land just over the border from Ghana, to 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.
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 and with international NGO’s. 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 : firstname.lastname@example.org
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
Our vision of the centre