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Overseas Social Security (OSS) takes the occasion of World Day Against Child Labour to talk to one of its clients from the association sector. On 12 June, we are focusing on an NGO that works for children and young people. Together with its partners, KIYO promotes personal development and enriches the technical skills of talented young people by giving them tools to take greater control of their lives.

To get a more comprehensive insight into KIYO's global reach, we spoke to codirector Melodie Arts. She explains the ways in which the NGO fights against the exploitation of children worldwide and tries to raise public awareness.

Fighting against child labour and for children's rights are the core of KIYO.

“We want to raise awareness of this global problem - now more than ever. In our capacity as an association, we are actively involved in the fight against child labour and for children's rights.” KIYO therefore works with local partner organisations who are experienced in youth ‘empowerment’. “We use different learning methods and encourage young people to participate in various activities such as social circus, inclusive theatre and youth radio.”

Building a society that respects sustainability and human rights starts with the emancipation of young people.

KIYO is currently active in Belgium, Brazil, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Philippines. “Building a society that respects sustainability and human rights starts with the emancipation of young people. By building bridges between our partner organisations on all continents, we share best practices and try to identify techniques that we can transfer on a larger scale, considering the specificities of different contexts.”

Expats have special needs

The NGO currently employs two expats who are spending their last year abroad.

“As we remain a small organisation that wants to offer maximum support to our expats outside Europe, we recently adopted a new policy that encourages the hiring of local staff.” Thus, KIYO is not only committed to the emancipation of young people, but also provides opportunities to qualified locals. “They are experts because they are familiar with the local culture and know where the needs are.” When asked if they will send more staff abroad, the co-leader makes no secret of her doubts: “We only consider hiring a new expat if they have a clear added value.”

KIYO's expats appreciate the services provided by OSS. “They feel the support and the care,” she explains.

The cooperation between KIYO and their partners shows the importance to fight child exploitation worldwide and to stand up for the rights and welfare of children and young people. They have our full support!

Would you like to share your travel experiences?

Are you an expat or do you know someone with an inspiring experience abroad? Please don't hesitate to contact us at overseas-expat@onssrszlss.fgov.be. And who knows, you might inspire future expats with your story.

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