So the Day is over for another year.
It’s been wonderful to hear about the events in Nigeria and around the world – it seems like more and more happens each year and with the UN General Comment also coming up it feels like the issue of street children’s rights is really starting to get a lot more attention.
I’ve been thinking about how important it is that we keep going with our work to support street children and to campaign for their rights.
Already this year we’ve supported more than 100 children who are either on the streets, are ex-street children or who are at risk of ending up on the streets. I think one of the most effective things we do is early intervention with children and families – identifying those at-risk children and stepping in with support so that they don’t end up like Jacob, or Richard, or Patrick. The team over in Nigeria – James, Esther and everyone else – really do an amazing job and I feel honoured to be working with them.
I’m also feeling very excited about our plans to expand our work.
I’m currently finalising plans for a new Drop-In Centre, where street children can come for food, get a shower and wash their clothes, get medical care and have access to education.
It’s going to be a lot of work to get this set up, but what means the most to me is that we’ll be providing a place where someone actually takes an interest in street children’s welfare, and tells them they are worth supporting.
For many of them, it will be the first time that they’ve experienced this. Over time, this means we’ll be able to develop relationships of trust with them, so they feel able to make use of our other services to help them trace their families or find long-term homes off the streets.
As well as this, we are planning an Emergency Accommodation facility, so that children no longer have to make such a terrible choice between staying somewhere where they are scared, hurt and abused, or leaving for the streets. We hope to have this up and running in the next few months, and it’s going to make a huge difference. Sadly there are extreme cases where the child needs to get out of the situation straight away, and at the moment there is nowhere for them to go.
That has to stop and we are determined it will. But we do need your help!
Can you help make these plans possible?
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading about our work with street children. If you want to find out more about our work or keep up to date with our latest news, please do sign up to our newsletter.