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Street Action Charity In Durban South Africa

Street Action

 Durban     South Africa

http://streetaction.org     << Visit Website

Categories:  ChildrenOverseas Aid, [ View All ]

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Street Action Charity Profile

Street Children' are usually broken down into two broad groups; 1 - Children who are forced to work on the street, to support their families' income. They will return 'home' to sleep and will return to the street the next day. They are children 'on' the street. 2 - Children 'of' the street, some with no family connections. They sleep, eat and live on the streets of major cities across the globe. The children that our partners work with are from this second category - they live on the streets twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week with no parental or adult care or supervision. They are not an ordinary group of children but are defined by their extreme vulnerability, heightened by the failure of the general population and public services to recognise them as ‘children’. Today, children are living on the streets of sub-Saharan Africa’s cities due to a multitude of poverty related issues. Street-life can be devastating and extremely traumatic. Street children are at risk from sexual abuse, rape and sexual exploitation. Hunger, violence and disease are ever present. Substance abuse, in particular sniffing glue, is prevalent and used as a way to escape the harsh realities of street life. Street children also get caught up in petty crime in order to survive and sadly children also loose their lives. For the outside observer, living on the streets seems to be a hopeless existence. Even so, many children choose this life in preference to returning home or accepting services from provisional departments or non-governmental organisations (NGOs). The pull of the streets seems incomprehensible in light of the abuse and deprivation they face, and yet many opt for the streets as a way of escaping the extreme social and economic circumstances in their communities. HIV/AIDS HIV/AIDS has also redefined the issues of street children on the continent. With Sub-Saharan Africa having the highest levels of HIV infection in the world, the disease has fundamentally changed the context from which children come to the streets, as well as the resources available to assist them. According to UNAIDS (2010), there were approximately 14.8 million AIDS orphans living in Sub-Saharan Africa in 2010. This may be one parent, or both, and is also in spite of generous family networks that absorb thousands of African children without parents, despite the added pressures this places on their resources. As a result of the orphan crisis, children turn to the streets where their physical needs and financial desperation makes them vulnerable to street life. Over the past couple of decades international NGOs' attention has focused on Africa’s orphan crisis in light of the HIV/AIDS pandemic in Africa. Street children have continued to remain a largely forgotten and marginalised group and remain no more than footnote for government and NGO development priorities. This sees many projects and organisations struggle to develop sustainable funding to allow them to grow and develop models of care and prevention that can really make a difference. Committed to former Street Children One of the distinctive and pioneering aspects of our partners work in Burundi and South Africa is that they are organisations that have former street children playing a leading role in the development of programmes, strategies and policies. New Generation and Umthombo Street Children were also both founded by former street children. The term ‘former street child’ can refer to young adults (18 years or over) who have left the streets after a period of time, having been rehabilitated back home or into their communities. However, it can also refer to young people who continue to live on the streets. They are no longer classed as children and so do not receive the same social protection that children are entitled to. Ongoing Support Whatever the reason, these individuals continue to need a great deal of support to become fully integrated back into society. Street culture can deprive an individual of many of the skills and knowledge to live a ‘normal’ life, and their lack of education and employment skills has meant many former street children are unable to find basic work. Many continue to suffer from the trauma of their experiences on the streets and struggle to overcome the persistent challenges of addiction to drugs and alcohol. Without the support and encouragement to overcome these issues, many former street children are at risk to becoming further marginalised and lost to society, with many getting caught up in crime and violence to survive. In South Africa, for example, a high proportion of the prison population between the ages of 16 and 25 have spend some time living on the streets. Street Action’s partners not only recognise the urgent need to support and develop former street children in their current situation, but they also see the value in investing in these individuals for the future. These children can play an important role in changing the way that society perceives them, and can also become powerful advocates on behalf of those currently living on the streets. Our partners run various projects designed to develop a sustainable programme of life skills, skills training, assistance in the process of obtaining ID’s, counselling, mentoring, accommodation and assisted job search.

Street Action Volunteer Information

There are many ways in which you can support Street Action and its partners. The quickest and most direct way of helping us is to donate now. We are building a network of interested and committed people who have the time, skills and experience in areas that could benefit the future development of our work. Whether in Burundi, Kenya, South Africa, the UK, the US or anywhere else, if you'd like to know more, get in touch. Supporting our work and partners Providing monthly support is an effective way to ensure long-term growth and sustainability for the work of our partners. Strategic investment As we grow into an effective 21st century charity we welcome contributors towards core costs, including: Building towards funding a full-time director. Providing part-time administration support. Communications and infrastructure costs. Organising fund-raising events People get involved with Street Action in many different ways. Organising a fund-raiser is a great way to engage your friends, local community, place of work, college or school, church or place or worship or the general public to raise awareness and support for our work.

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