Nigeria celebrates International Day for Street Chidren

It‘s been fantastic to hear what our partners over in Nigeria did to mark the Day on 12th April. I’ve been sent through some of the pictures of their event, and it looks great. It’s especially encouraging to see that government representatives attended to hear about what street children actually go through

It’s also brilliant to see children themselves speaking out publically about their experiences. One of the things we make sure to do each year is to use this event to give street children an opportunity for a platform and a voice. Having a big public event where street children talk about their lives, what they need and what is important to them is a really big deal, because usually no one is prepared to listen.

It makes a huge difference to their self-esteem.

Our partner, Barrister James was on the radio in Calabar just before the Day as well, talking about street children’s rights. It’s a great way to reach a lot of people, because while a lot of people don’t have a TV, they do listen to the radio.

Over the next few weeks I’ll be following up the great work our partners have been doing to raise the issue of street children’s rights with the government. We’ve found that showing the government how people outside of Nigeria are aware of what’s going on and are calling for change can be very effective. Every time this happens, it puts more pressure on the government to actually make the changes needed so that street children either don’t end up there in the first place, or are able to get the support they need. And most importantly for me, our work strengthens what our partners and the children are saying and gives them greater power to achieve change themselves.