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Child Helpline International's History

Child Helpline International was established in 2003, and today is one of the world’s largest international collectives advocating for children and amplifying their voices.

How was Child Helpline International founded?

Our founder, Jeroo Billimoria, began working with street children in India in the early 1990s, and saw that they needed access to more resources. She gave them her phone number to call whenever they needed help. Jeroo’s phone didn’t stop ringing. Her insight and actions led her to establish Childline India – India’s first and only child helpline.

Jeroo realised that a global network of child helplines could leverage the knowledge transfer to countries that wanted to launch their own services. In 2003, she brought together 49 child helplines from around the globe, and they established Child Helpline International – the world’s first network of child helplines.

What does the global network do now?

Today, our child helpline members around the world field more than 15 million calls, chats, texts, letters and emails from children and young people every year. Children can talk with child helpline counsellors about the abuse, neglect, violence, poverty and exploitation they may be experiencing, their hopes and fears and the worries and concerns they might have, or simply because they need someone to talk to who will listen to them.

Child helplines listen to these children each and every day. As a result, they are uniquely placed to bring timely, pertinent data and stories to the world about children’s lives. Child Helpline International makes sure the world receives this data and listens to these stories. We also listen to our child helpline members, and help them to help one another.

Every child has a voice. We believe that no child should be left unheard.

What does the future hold?

Child Helpline International is working to create a world where the voices of children and young people are heard and taken into account. You can read more about our Theory of Change (ToC) here.

A message from our founder

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