Life on the streets is dirty, violent and short. Street children are the target of human trafficking, child labour and physical, sexual and psychological abuse. They are often seen as a burden to society – not as children deprived of their basic human needs and needing protection and care.
What we do
- Provide safe places to meet most urgent needs.
- Reunite children with their families or find foster families as a temporary solution.
- Run Early Childhood Development centres.
- Provide vocational training and catch up lessons in literacy and maths.
- Offer psychological support & support groups.
- Enable families to start income-generating activities to lift themselves out of poverty.
What is it like to spend a day on the streets? Find out about the day in the life of a street child.
Children with disabilities
Children with disabilities, especially girls, are three times more likely to be victims of sexual abuse. Deep-rooted traditions of acceptance towards gender-based violence, stigma and negative attitudes lead to these children being excluded, often considered cursed or ‘dumb’.
What we do
- Identify disabled children hidden in their homes.
- Train teachers and provide learning support assistants in schools.
- Help parents accept and support their children.
- Champion the inclusion of disabled children within communities, and at government level.
- Promote inclusive school clubs.
What is it like growing up with a disability in the rural hills of Rwanda? Meet Rosine and Eugene.
Kids behind bars
Extreme poverty, conflict and loss of support networks can lead to children breaking the law. They steal food to survive, or get into a fight for a spot to sleep on the streets. Children end up overcrowded adult prisons, at risk of violence and malnutrition. 83% of girls and women in jail in DRC have experienced physical abuse.
What we do
- Provide legal aid to ensure a fair and appropriate representation.
- Provide education and vocational training to vulnerable young offenders.
- Train front line workers (e.g. police, judiciary staff).
- Deliver basic counselling, mediation and support to children and their families.
- Ensure that child protection and justice systems are inclusive to safeguard those who need it the most.
How would you cope locked up in an adult prison, with just one meal a day, at the age of 12? This is what Brenda went through.
Children affected by conflict
The global migration crisis is heavily affecting Eastern Africa with thousands of refugees arriving in Uganda and Rwanda and internally displaced people in DRC. Children are particularly at risk – they can get separated from their families. Many witness, and under duress commit, horrific acts of violence. Girls are also very vulnerable to sexual violence.
What we do
- Provide counselling to tackle deep-rooted issues of self-esteem and self-worth.
- Offer accelerated learning programmes, including vocational training.
- Deliver inclusive education projects.
Bosco dreamed of becoming a doctor, until both of his parents were killed by conflict. See how he rebuilt his life after the terrible tragedy.