Humanium was founded in 2008 as a neutral and independent organization to support Children's Rights and work with those in poverty. The organization's headquarters are in Geneva, but it also has offices in France and Germany.
Humanium adopts a global approach to encourage sustainable, fair development. It runs programs in seven main areas, namely, education, health, microfinance, human rights, environment, citizenship and peace. Humanium needs support in implementing its important work to help children and communities around the world and so donations and sponsorships are particularly welcome.
However, people actively contribute to its international network of volunteers in numerous other ways. For example, volunteers offer services in diverse areas such as fundraising raising awareness, online promotion, events development and management, legal expertise, proofreading and translation. There are also opportunities for internships either at its headquarters in Geneva or distance-based (online).
Humanium currently disseminates information on its activities in English, French, German and Spanish. This involves considerable effort and coordination to develop important content and news, carry out simultaneous translations and then ensure effective publication and distribution.
Encouraging sustainable development
Cooperation and partnership are key elements of Humanium's approach to development projects so that its work effectively reinforces existing local structures in areas where it operates.
In 2009, Humanium launched a major global aid and development project in the village of Sankarapuram in southwest India. Great care was taken to work with the inhabitants and local partners in order to set the objectives based on Humanium's core program areas.
By 2011, huge progress had been achieved in Sankarapuram. For example, the project partners managed to eradicate child labour so that all children could receive school education. In parallel, the wider community benefited through a reduction in poverty levels as the project generated a steady income for locals, while also being sustainable and fair. Overall levels of health and hygiene were also improved, especially for the women and children, who no longer suffered from malnutrition. The success of the project in Sankarapuram is now being mirrored elsewhere enabling and villages to build upon improvements and continue their own autonomous development. The most visible sign of progress is the change in behavior of local people's behavior in that they feel able to take charge of their own lives.
Defending Children's Rights worldwide
In 1989, the International Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted by the United Nations General Assembly. Although there had been previous efforts to defend children's rights, this was the first international legally binding text recognizing all the fundamental rights of the child. Despite this important legal landmark, progress in defending children's rights worldwide has been worryingly inconsistent.
To improve the level of reliable information available in this area and pinpoint where more effort is needed internationally, Humanium developed its Children's Rights Portal. The portal provides various tools and types of content to raise awareness and educate people about Children's Rights issues. In addition, the organization created a Map on the Respect of Children's Rights Worldwide, which shows a global overview of the state of children's rights. This map, which is updated at regular intervals by a team of volunteers across the world, was created in accordance with the Realization of Children's Rights Index (RCRI), a statistical tool which rates a country's progress in implementing Children's Rights on a scale from 0-10. Color coding of the map, based on the RCRI, enables situation levels of Children's Rights in countries to be visually apparent at a glance. Assessments can range from a "Good situation" through to a "Very serious situation".
Humanium's 2014 classification of countries and the corresponding map reveals that the global situation is still "very worrying and in some cases, tragic". Despite this disappointing status report for Children's Rights, Humanium is optimistic about the future. It believes that there are many ways in which each of us can do our part to help children throughout the world.