The world is currently facing COVID-19, a new virus that spreads quickly through droplet infection especially in crowded places. It can be spread from person to person through coughing (droplet infection), human to human contact and contact with contaminated surfaces.
There are currently no known vaccines or treatments, so it is unknown how long this will continue to affect peoples’ lives. During this pandemic businesses and schools alike have been closed. People have been unprepared for how they and their families can cope during the lockdown, a measure put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the community.
Violence in homes
Due to the lockdown, relationships have buckled under the demand for basic needs and domestic violence rates have, unfortunately, soared. This has forced many children to run away to ease the pressure. As the traditional African saying goes; “where elephants fight the grass suffers“. To survive, children have moved to the streets to sell sweet bananas and look for scrap metal to make money, creating havoc in their lives.
Violations of rights
While the children are on the streets, their rights are being violated. They are isolated without shelter and their health compromised. They are whipped, raped and sexually abused, forced to work and prone to mob violence and drug abuse.
Through S.A.L.V.E. International’s Street Outreach work to build trust, children have been referred to the Emergency Quarantine Centre, which was set up temporarily for the COVID-19 lockdown. Here they receive psychological and medical support, shelter, love and care. At this centre, the children’s health and wellbeing have improved due to support from the team and from their peers.
S.A.L.V.E. then works out how to reunite the children with their families, for example, through home tracing, family counselling, and finding relatives with an interest in the welfare of the child.
The best gift you can give to S.A.L.V.E is by donating. This will help us resettle these children so that their rights and relationships in families are restored.
Thank you for being there for children when they need you the most.