A number of people have got in touch because they’ve been moved by what they’ve seen in the TV series.
There are a number of ways you can help – firstly, by getting involved with kids’ charities and organisations near to where you live. They might not have had to survive in a jungle, but there are kids in all societies who live through the most unimaginable privation and suffering. They carry the scars of their experiences with them forever.
IN FIJI: You can support Elizabeth Clayton’s work with Sujit and other children in need through www.thehappyhometrust.com
IN UGANDA: You can support Paul and Molly Wasswa’s work with street children in Kampala through the UK charity Pearl of Africa Child Care http://www.pearlofafrica.org.uk
One of John’s early helpers is now the headteacher of Green Acres Primary School In Masaka District. They specialise in teaching special needs kids within in an inclusive school environment. They also have a skills programme so the students come out with the best chance of supporting themselves in adult life. For more information on ways to directly help disabled children like John, at Green Acres, contact the headteacher, Sam Kiggundu, on firstname.lastname@example.org
Many of the people I stayed with, spoke to and interviewed in Uganda were suffering from Malaria. http://www.nothingbutnets.net/ is a grassroots campaign to send mosquito nets to people in need. It’s the cheapest, easiest way to save lives.
IN UKRAINE: It’s difficult to support Oxana directly, as she lives in a government-funded home that doesn’t have a charitable arm.
One of the most fantastic charities I’ve come across working in Ukraine is Hope and Homes for Children. Their aim is to ensure all children have the chance to grow up in the safe care of a family, rather than in an institution. They support families so their kids don’t end up in care in the first place and they invest in local community organisations that offer alternatives – rehabilitating families, supporting adoption and fostering, or establishing group homes for kids with specific needs.
Next door in Russia, there’s a hardworking team who run http://www.orphanz.org/ to support orphans and abandoned children in state care in the Urals. Resources are scarce, and the prospects for some of these children are dire. They deserve our support and generosity.
If you know of other charities that work with abandoned, traumatised and troubled children, please get in touch. It’s not easy work and we all have a responsibility to contribute in whatever ways we can.