What and Where
Our Urban Work
Creating maximum impact upon the numbers of children whose lives are controlled by the streets. We work directly with street children in their own environment towards reunification with their families, reintroduction to education and the creation of a sustainable home-life for their ongoing upbringing. Between 2008 and 2012 we helped reunify around 2,000 children with their families.
Our Rural Work
Bringing access to education to some of the poorest rural locations in the world. Through teacher training and the establishment of educational facilities in areas where they are needed most, we work towards ensuring that out of school children have the chance to gain an education. Between 2010 and 2013 we helped more than 20,000 children gain access to education.
We believe that every child deserves the right to be empowered through education. Working in some of the poorest areas in the world, we strive to ensure that every child has the chance to go to school.
Where We Work
Street Child began its work in Sierra Leone in 2008 working with a small number of street children. As little as five years later, we had helped around 2,000 street children create stronger bonds with their families and have helped more than 20,000 out of school children gain access to education.
Street Child continues to have a huge presence in Sierra Leone, working where the need is greatest and the help from NGOs and other charities is often least.
Since 2012, Street Child has been conducting needs assessments throughout West Africa in a bid to take the models that we’ve developed in Sierra Leone to other nations desperately in need of help.
In 2013 we launched our first project in Liberia, helping street children in the capital, Monrovia.
Street Child also began working in Nepal in 2015 following the devastating earthquake and we're in the process of scaling up our presence in the region. To read more about our work in Nepal, click here.
Why Sierra Leone?
When Street Child began its work, Sierra Leone was considered to be the poorest nation in the world [UN World Poverty Index 2008]. This was just one of many statistics that made a compelling case for Sierra Leone to become the focus of the charity’s work.
Whilst the current picture is more optimistic – World Bank projections for 2013/14 ranked Sierra Leone as having the second fastest growing economy in the world – a prevalent lack of child rights and extreme poverty remain widespread.
According to our own research, there are close to 50,000 children relying upon the streets for their survival, a portion of them living full-time on the streets. Leading brutal lives that rely upon child labour, petty crime or prostitution to survive, theirs is a sad and harrowing existence.
There are also an estimated 300,000 children in Sierra Leone without access to education. Often neglected rural areas – of which there are many – offer little or no opportunity for children to break from the existing cycle of poverty.
With your help, Street Child is working towards making an impact on both these issues.
Having worked in Sierra Leone since the charity’s launch, in April 2013 Street Child expanded its street-based programme across the border into Liberia.
With close geographic proximity and a shared history of civil war, Liberia faces very similar problems to those in Sierra Leone: gross poverty (84% of the country live below the poverty line); a highly populated capital city (more than half of the population are based in Monrovia); and one of the world’s lowest primary school enrolment rates (49.3% net enrolment compared to the Sub-Saharan average of 76%). Though the exact number is unknown Liberia, like Sierra Leone, has a critical number of street connected children (all stats UNICEF).
Street Child UK currently partners with Street Child of Liberia (SCoL), a Liberian registered NGO, to deliver a street-based programme in the capital city, Monrovia. SCoL is made up of a team of dedicated Liberian social workers who are trained and supported by a street work expert, seconded from Street Child’s Sierra Leone projects.
The first of SCoL’s projects is based in Monrovia’s beach-front slum, WestPoint. The team have been working with 200 street connected children who are now reunited with families and back at school. SCoL is working to ensure these 200 children remain in education by helping their families to improve or establish small businesses. In addition, SCoL is seeking to help more street-connected children in Westpoint and expand into other highly impoverished parts of the city.