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Freedom Charity - Saving Lives

The overall aim of Freedom Charity is to raise awareness and prevent child abuse around the issues surrounding forced marriage, dishonour based violence by placing informative material in schools, running school programs and by maintaining an up to date website.

Freedom became a registered charity in January 2011. It’s Chair of trustees is Lord Toby Harris. One of its key aims is the prevention of child abuse and keeping children safe, by empowering young people to feel they have the tools and confidence to support each other and have practical ways they can help their best friend.

The charity are aiming for every teenager in the country to receive a copy of But it’s Not Fair BINF written by Aneeta Prem. This book and the associated lessons will help pupils become aware of forced marriage, which may not be part of their own culture, and direct them towards help.

The book is written from the point of view of an Asian girl from a well-integrated family who comes into contact with families with different views on marriage and the roles of girls and young women. She is exposed to experiences of forced marriage and finds that there is help available if only she knows where to go.

Readers are made aware of the issues and given tools to empower them to take action. Teachers will be given resources such as lesson plans and discussion topics to incorporate the subject in the curriculum. The reason for doing the project is to raise awareness not only of potential victims of forced marriage, but of their best friends who may be of any culture or religion.

By giving children knowledge of forced marriage, they will understand that they do have choices. By opening up discussions with their friends, they may be more willing to confide their concerns. The book But it’s Not Fair BINF has been successfully launched and the first pilots into schools in Bedford, Luton and London have started. The project will roll out nationwide thoroughout 2012

Lesson plans - have been produced by one of the leading experts in Citizenship. A distance learning CPD level 4 certificate in citizenship, accredited by the University of Warwick has been commissioned and the production of high quality curriculum materials, e-learning tools, a regular magazine, e-bulletin and marketing materials is in place. Speakers to support national and local events in support of the Staying Safe agenda are available on request.

Trained volunteers -Trained Volunteers are also available on request to visit schools to deliver assemblies and workshops.

Social Media - Freedom Charity are developing a social media strategy and have a Facebook and Twitter page and are developing an interactive website for students and staff. This is designed to empower the best friend to be equipped to save their best friends life and to use social media as a positive platform to engage and equip young people.

App - An App is going to be launched in March 2012 that students can download on their smart phones; this will have a quiz about the signs of forced marriage and a help button that will go directly to the helpline. All smartphones have GPS so if a child is in danger the phone can be tracked and the police can be alerted. This is a unique service that Freedom Charity believes will save lives.

Please help Freedom Charity by ensuring schools and pupils in your region are aware of this initiative through your contacts. If you would like Freedom Charity to visit your school and deliver workshops and assemblies, and to receive copies of the book and a set of lesson plans please contact us at www.freedomcharity.org.uk

Charity Registration Number 1139657

Freedom Charity provides:

Helpline - The first 24/7 professionally manned Helpline (0845 607 0133) and 24 hour text line in the UK (88802 4freedom) that provides support to young people. This is supported by the FCO and Home Office.

Published: 26/01/2012 14:05:30

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