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The latest reports and updates from Fulcrum Aid

The lioness program is bouncing back

Written by Steve Blacket on Sunday, 18 July 2021. Posted in Angatunyo Girls Project - Uganda

Overcoming the challenges to continue prevention of forced child marriage in Uganda

Angatunyo Lioness Girls and tutors in front of the new program centre.

The past 18 months have been difficult throughout the world. Uganda was no exception. Pandemic management has included months of strict lockdown. Tragically the closure of schools resulted in an increase of sexual assaults, teen pregnancy and forced marriages. At the same that the need for the Angatunyo intervention was increasing, the program was severely restricted to comply with social distancing and program closures. In addition to these challenges, Carol, the program director, suffered a serious accident. As she was recovering the owners of the property gave short notice that the Angatunyo project would need to vacate.

Remarkably, through the dedicated leadership of Carol and her team, the Angatunyo program has negotiated all these challenges and continues to be a strong and effective intervention for girls facing forced marriage and sexual violence.

Masks Can Save Lives

Written by Steve Blacket on Thursday, 07 March 2019. Posted in Clean Air - Mongolia

320 primary children receive masks in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia.

Masks Can Save Lives

Photo: Munkhzul Chimid-Ochir (Zula) with one of the classes receiving masks.

The first phase of the Clean Air project in Mongolia has been successfully delivered, with 320 students receiving masks to protect them from the city’s toxic air pollution.

Each year in Ulaanbaatar it is estimated 1500 adults and 120 children die as a result of air pollution. Climate change has made the semi-nomadic lifestyle of livestock graziers unviable, and their subsequent migration to makeshift suburbs on the edge of Mongolia’s capital is the cause of the pollution. Burning coal in their ger tents for heating in the winter produces one of the world’s worst cases of pollution.

Zula has a vision to address this crisis.

Fulcrum Aid is an Approved Charity

on Sunday, 03 March 2019. Posted in Fulcrum Aid News

The ACNC has approved Fulcrum Aid's application for Charitable Status.

Fulcrum Aid is an Approved Charity

We are delighted to announce that Fulcrum Aid has been approved by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) as a registered Charity. We have also been granted status as a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI).

The ACNC is the national regulator of charities, overseeing the compliance of over 50,000 Australian charitable organisations. The inclusion of PBI status is an endorsement that Fulcrum Aid's primary purpose is to relieve poverty and suffering.

The Registered Charity logo is a symbol of accountability that will provide greater trust and confidence with Fulcrum Aid's supporters.

It also represents a step towards our eligibility to apply for Deductible Gift Recipient status. Although at this stage we are not able to provide tax-deductible receipts, we look forward to being able to provide this to our donors in the future.


Education, Health Care and Earthquakes in PNG

Written by April Hart on Wednesday, 12 December 2018. Posted in Soil Child - Papua New Guinea

The Soil Child program has made remarkable progress in 2018 despite extreme challenges.

Education, Health Care and Earthquakes in PNG

Soil Child is a community development program designed to break the on-going cycle of systemic poverty in Papua New Guinea. The goal is to develop a model that can be replicated by any community in PNG that desires to provide future generations with access to education, health care, employment, gender equality and improved child nutrition.

It has been a very busy year for Soil Child, and despite incredible obstacles the project has made great progress.

Designing a new HIV program for Bangladesh

Written by Steve Blacket on Thursday, 04 January 2018. Posted in HIV Affected Children - Bangladesh

Designing a new HIV program for Bangladesh

One of Fulcrum Aid’s objectives is to be able to respond quickly and efficiently when we hear of an opportunity to interrupt extreme inequality. However sometimes it just doesn’t work that way. The exploration of a program to support HIV affected children in Bangladesh is a classic example. After five years of conversations, research and stakeholder meetings, we are now just beginning to prepare a proposal for a HIV program with our Bangladeshi partners.

It started in November 2012. I was in Dhaka meeting with Dr Peter Halder, the Founding Director of Bangladesh Youth First Concern (BYFC), when he shared his concern for a small number of children living on the streets who had lost their parents to AIDS. This was long before Fulcrum Aid was formed, but I promised Peter I would support him.

In 2014 I returned with Angela Stewart and Shila Yukuli Phopo to explore the project, and then went again in 2016 for a consultation hosted by BYFC and including major stakeholders such as the national HIV department, UNAIDS, peer-to-peer service providers, and Dhaka University. I was impressed with the collaboration and mutual respect between the agencies, however there were different opinions about the proposed model of intervention which hindered the development of a project.

A Vision To End Child Marriage

Written by Steve Blacket on Tuesday, 17 October 2017. Posted in Angatunyo Girls Project - Uganda

A Conversation with Carol Akello

A Vision To End Child Marriage

Carol Akello is the founder and leader of the Angatunyo Girls Project in Uganda. The project provides vulnerable girls with vocational training that leads to financial independence, providing protection from forced marriages and other forms of abuse. Angatunyo is the local word for lioness and symbolises the strength and independence being developed in the participants.

I recently had the following conversation with Carol about the program.

Soil Child Update - PNG

Written by Shila Yukuli Phopo on Thursday, 03 August 2017.

A report on recent progress with the Soil Child project

Soil Child Update - PNG

Despite numerous shortfalls and unexpected events in the year, we have achieved significant milestones in lifting off Soil Child. Here are the key feature events:

  • Soil Child – the brand is selling itself at different levels across the program network. Academics, researchers, biologists, agronomists, agriculturalists, nutritionists, anthropologists, advocates, social workers, students and volunteers have been asking what “Soil Child” really stands for and shown enthusiasm. Through the brand we have so far established some very useful networking contacts and working towards establishing long-term partnerships into the future.
  • My admission into the Doctor of Public Health program at Flinders University is also strengthening the project and gathering interest. The research involves an ethnographic study focusing on my community as a first step towards mobilising people, understanding their ideas and knowledge about priority needs and issues in their community and then setting goals for positive change which is what Soil Child aims to achieve.
  • Soil Child implementation partner in PNG, Women in Development Foundation PNG (WIDFPNG) now has a basic website, and three program volunteers based in Port Moresby and in Pakura village. This is encouraging because our volunteers will facilitate logistics, activities and work with the community to achieve our targets.
  • Soil Child also has support from PNG students here in SA who have shown interest and will be working from PNG upon their return with our team in terms of linking us to relevant institutional partners, stakeholders and communities.
  • I have had opportunities to present Soil Child at various locations in Adelaide through Zonta Club and Adelaide University of Third Age and this has produced some important connections, as well as the funds raised.

Empowering Food Champions

on Friday, 28 July 2017. Posted in Food Champions - South Sudan

Fulcrum Aid has responded urgently to support food security in South Sudan.

Empowering Food Champions

Approval for the Food Champions project was given by the Fulcrum Aid Directors less than 2 months ago to support food security in South Sudan during the current famine. Seeking $500 to purchase tractor fuel for planting crops, within three weeks $1100 had been raised. $500 was transferred immediately and within two days the project manager Luka Thel reported seeding had recommenced. Just last week the remaining $600 has been transferred and will be used to weed the established crops.

Luka reports that the rains have been good and the earlier crops are looking healthy. He is optimistic of a good harvest in a few months time.

Quoting Nelson Mandela, Luka says “Poverty, hunger and famine are not an accident. Like slavery and apartheid, it is man-made and can be removed by the action of human beings.” 

Food Champions in a time of Famine

Written by Steve Blacket on Monday, 05 June 2017. Posted in Food Champions - South Sudan

As the world donates millions of dollars for food relief in South Sudan, one community is determined to achieve food security

Food Champions in a time of Famine

Just days ago the Minister for Foreign Affairs Julie Bishop announced over $19 million would be given in emergency assistance to an estimated 10 million people starving in South Sudan and the surrounding region.

It was in response to a desperate plea from the UN’s Emergency Relief Coordinator Mr Stephen O’Brien who in March announced the “worst humanitarian disaster” since the formation of the United Nations in 1945. 

In the face of the worsening crisis the leaders of St Andrews Episcopal Church in Aweil developed their own response. Forming the New Wider Hope for Agriculture Development Agency (NWHADA) the community aims to achieve food security and income generation while also striving for improved education and gender equality.

Executive Director Luka Thel says “We are building a network of food champions. We put agriculture at the centre, because we know we can't overcome poverty or hunger until all our people have equal rights to food.” 

Changing Attitudes and Changing Fortunes in Uganda

Written by Steve Blacket on Wednesday, 24 August 2016. Posted in Angatunyo Girls Project - Uganda

The Angatunyo Girls Project has provided twelve girls with an opportunity for ongoing education and financial independence, rather than being forced into unwanted marriages.

Changing Attitudes and Changing Fortunes in Uganda

Early this year Carol Akello used a modest grant from Fulcrum Aid to establish a micro-enterprise project designed to empower teenage girls with alternatives to forced marriage. She called the project “Angatanyo” which is the local word for lioness. Four teenage girls commenced training in business skills that would enable them to become financially self-sufficient – which is all it takes to avoid being forced into an early marriage.

Within a few months community leaders from Amuria approached Carol asking if she would accept other girls who were at risk of forced marriages, and even some who had already been forced into marriages. Despite her resources being stretched to the limit Carol has accepted an additional eight girls. 

Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Remote PNG

Written by Steve Blacket on Monday, 04 April 2016. Posted in Soil Child - Papua New Guinea

A bold vision is beginning to take shape for a comprehensive poverty reduction program in the highlands of Papua New Guinea.

Breaking Cycles of Poverty in Remote PNG

The Soil Child project is the initiative of Shila Phopo and aims to provide full access to primary education and basic health care, as well as development of agricultural practices that boost nutrition and the local economy.

Soil Child will commence in Pakura, in the highlands of PNG where Shila was raised, and is designed to be replicated throughout rural PNG. Little has changed in Pakura since Shila’s childhood, but recently the community has been mobilised to establish a basic pre-school, and building has commenced on two classrooms for the primary school. Fulcrum Aid is gathering resources to be sent to this and other primary schools throughout Hela Province. (Read our Blog to see the progress towards re-opening Pakura Primary School).

Academics and health professionals in Adelaide are collaborating with Fulcrum Aid to increase the capacity of the regional health system, with a focus initially on training and resourcing maternal health care workers. The project is to be implemented in partnership with Women In Development Foundation PNG, ensuring opportunities for the empowerment of women in a strongly patriarchal society.

The design of Soil Child is shaped by Shila’s Doctoral research through Flinders University exploring socio-cultural factors related to the development of a thriving society in rural PNG.

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