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Each January, nearly half a million people visit the small town of Saundatti for a jatre, or festival, to be blessed by Yellamma, the Hindu goddess of prosperity. Devadasis consider Yellamma as their god.
In rural Malawi young girls are leaving their families to marry from a young age. They do this because of poverty, adult migration, hunger and the HIV/AIDS crisis all of which are fragmenting vulnerable families. EveryChild is working with communities in rural Malawi through child rights clubs, parenting classes and children’s corners to challenge this practice and encourage girls to access their rights to an education and a childhood.
> Watch and listen to our audio slideshow
Photographer Matt Writtle recently travelled with EveryChild to see how poor children who become separated from their parents to live and work on the streets, are subject to violence and exploitation and may end up in prison without trial.
In this slideshow, produced for the Guardian website, Matt meets some children living and working on the streets in Cambodia, and gains unique access to some of Cambodia’s provincial prisons and children incarcerated there. > Watch and listen to our audio slideshow
20 years on from the adoption of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child EveryChild is warning that at least 24 million children are growing up without a parent and in poor countries their number is growing rapidly.
In March, David Levene, Guardian photographer, travelled to Georgia to document the work done by EveryChild to help families displaced by war.
We celebrate International Women’s Day, 8th March, by sharing eight stories of women and girls working hard to change lives for vulnerable children and their families where we work.
Over the past seven years Mestawot (green dress) and Afework (denim jacket) have not only cared for their younger brothers and sisters, they have also transformed their family’s fortunes.
EveryChild believes that every child has the right to go to school. We are making sure children like Jesca have the support they need to get the education, and the childhood, they deserve
> Read more about Jesca's local children’s day centre, supported by EveryChild
Mulu Getachew didn’t have to take in Gifti’s pregnant mother. She had no connection with Mulu’s family and Mulu was already struggling to bring up her own children in one small room in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. But Mulu decided to care for the woman in her final weeks of pregnancy anyway.
> Read more on this inspirational story
Misrak is a teacher in Addis Ketema, Ethiopia. She works in a centre, set up and run by EveryChild’s partner, FSCE, to help children and young people who have missed out on school. At the centre, children learn Amharic, Ethiopia’s main language, science, English and maths in order to prepare them to go to a local state school for a formal education.
> Read more on Misrak's story
On World Day Against Child Labour EveryChild, the international children’s charity, highlighted the plight of child labourers in India and Malawi. There are estimated to be more than 115 million children involved in hazardous labour around the world and often living away from home making them vulnerable to abuse and further exploitation.
Mahananda spent years as a sex worker in Northern Karnataka, India. But thanks to our local partner’s support she escaped a life of prostitution and now works as an agricultural labourer. Our local partner also supports her two daughters to go to school so that they can stay together as a family.
Shobha, a former Devadasi, who is featured in the film ‘Sex, Death and the Gods’, was dedicated at the age of eight. Her family was very poor and they believed she could support the family financially once she reached puberty. Shobha is from the Madiga caste.
> Read more on Shobha's story
Rekha is ten years old and comes from a low caste dalit community in Northern Karnataka. Her mother practised as a Devadasi and, tragically, died when Rekha was only five years old.
> Read more on Rekha's story
Thousands of children have told us what they want to change. 13-year-old Eclipse, from Moldova, spent four frightening years away from his mother living in an institution. Thanks to EveryChild he is now safely back at home. He told us 'I wanted to go home to see my mother and help her.'
> Read Eclipse's story here
Sergey, 8 years old, Nicolai, 9 years old, and Egor, 6 years old, live with their mother Alice in one room. They share an apartment in St Petersburg with two other families. All three boys are registered disabled as they suffer from asthma, digestive and neurological problems.
> Read Sergey Nicolai and Egor's story
Veniamin is 8 years old. He lives with his mother, father and two older brothers in St Petersburg. Two years ago Veniamin was taken away from his family and placed in a children's home for three months.
Watch our photo feature which celebrates amazing mums from Cambodia, Azerbaijan, India, Malawi and Guyana.
Towera faced a bleak future after an early marriage. But thanks to EveryChild's intervention, she's now back at school and on the road to a better life.
Onani, 14 years old, is employed as a cattle herder. In Malawi over a quarter of all boys aged 5-14 work, mostly in agriculture. Of all children employed in Malawi approximately 5 per cent never attend school.
> Read Onani's story