Born to Learn
The Javed Fiyaz Charitable Trust with Save the Children
24% of children in Southwark are living in poverty, with poverty rates in some areas as high as 35% - this is higher than both the London and Uk average. A high proportion of Southwark's residents currently receive out-of-work benefits and those parents who do work are in either low paid or insecure jobs, which impacts on their children's chances to reach their full potential.
Through a multi-programme approach, the project will strengthen the relationship with local services and community groups in Southwark, offering children and their families access to three of our programmes as a package: Eat, Sleep, Learn, Plan!(ESLP!); Families and Schools Together (FAST); and Born to Read.
With support of Javed Fiyaz, the Born to Learn project reached 2,609 disadvantaged children, parents and community partners between January 2013 and December 2015, with additional funding from corporate partners.
Child poverty ruins childhoods and stops children from achieving their potential. Lack of jobs, stagnating wages, welfare cuts and increased living costs are all combining to place enormous pressure on families, forcing many in to poverty. Parents experiencing financial pressure cannot meet their children’s basic material needs without risking debt or making choices they should not have to make, such as skipping a meal so they can feed their children.
Eat, Sleep, Learn, Play! (ESLP) is our early-intervention grants programme that supports deprived families with young children by providing essential household items. These items improve children’s health and well-being, their ability to learn and develop in the long term, and reduce financial pressures in the home, family stress and poor mental health.
ESLP! grants have had a life-changing impact on the families receiving our support, giving children throughout Southwark the start they need to have a good start in life. After receiving an ESLP! grant:
Amaani was born in Somalia and came to the UK with her family just before starting her secondary school education. She lives in South London with her husband and four children, a boy, Sadiiq* (5), and her three girls (4, 2, and 1), of which Aiyanna* is the oldest.
Amaani participated in FAST with her three eldest children and as a result has seen significant changes in Aiyanna’s confidence levels and communication skills.
Both Amaani and Aiyanna enjoyed Special Play:
“When she started school, I used to take her to speech and language therapy, because she wasn’t really talking. But she’s okay now, and FAST really helped. And I do Special Play at home with her now. I give her fifteen minutes to play only with her. Before I didn’t know what she liked or what she wanted, but now I know exactly what she likes and what she wants to play."
FAST provided opportunities for Amaani to make new friends with other parents. Amaani cooked a lamb dish on the week she was responsible for bringing in food for her hub. One of children liked it so much, he wanted his mum to cook it for him. So, the mum asked Amaani for the recipe: “I told her the recipe, but it wasn’t okay, so she called me, and said to me, ‘will you show it to me?’ She came to my house last Thursday, and I showed her how to do it, and I gave it to her to take home.”
The programme has made a significant difference in the family’s life, and helped both Amaani and her children grow in confidence. “I now feel more comfortable. I want to help with the children, I want to help with the homework, and teach them, you know, like the teachers do.”
Reading is the key to unlocking a child’s full potential and the best route out of poverty for our poorest children. Yet, every year, 130,000 children in the UK leave primary school unable to read well. This means that over the next decade, almost 1.5 million children will start secondary school already behind. England is one of the most unequal countries for children's reading levels, second in the EU only to Romania.
A young adult who reads poorly is more likely to be obliged to take low-paid jobs or fail to find work at all. In these cases, poor literacy amounts to a life sentence of poverty.
To ensure every child has the right to a good start and a fair chance in life, Save the Children runs Born to Read with our charity partner Beanstalk to give disadvantaged children the reading skills they need for a better future by providing one-to-one reading support for children who are struggling with literacy.
Together, Born to Learn has given thousands of children of Southwark the chance for a fair start in life. We have reached 2,609 children, parents and community partners across Southwark through an innovative package of early intervention, evidenced based programmes, achieving outstanding results.
Javed's support has also enabled Save the Children to further strengthen their relationships with schools, communities and the local authority to ensure this replicable, sustainable and highly impactful model leaves a lasting legacy for children living in poverty within Southwark.