Research, community education and partnerships are important and all interlink to ensure that we can provide the best services possible. These are areas we plan to grow significantly in the future as part of our current strategy, as we believe we can make a bigger impact when working together with others. We are aiming for a future where no child calls the streets their home, and believe that having deeper knowledge, community support and tackling the root causes that lead children to the streets in the first place are vital to achieve this.
Carrying out research means that we are continuously looking to deepen our understanding and knowledge so that we can improve our programmes and ensure that more children are able to stop calling the streets their home.
We have focused a lot of our research on the issue of drug addiction on the streets and how we could offer the best rehabilitation service possible to help them to recover. We also explore other keys topics such as which types of businesses survived the lockdown best in Uganda and which geographical areas more children run away to the streets from.
A central aim of our community work has been to challenge negative stereotyping about children living and working on the streets. If people better understand the difficulties they face living on the streets and the reasons why they are there, then they can join us in becoming part of the solution.
We are members of street child networks such as the Consortium for Street Children, so that we can have a stronger voice to advocate for children’s rights together. As part of this, our CEO represented S.A.L.V.E. International and the voices of children on the streets of Uganda, as part of a delegation led by the Consortium for Street Children to the UN Committee for the Rights of the Child in Geneva late May 2014. This meeting led to a new UN General Comment on street children being developed (released in 2017), which will help to hold governments accountable for the way they are treating children on the streets and give recommendations to improve services offered.
We focus our Ugandan campaigning in Jinja around the International Day for Street Children on April 12th each year. This is a day where we work with the children to help them to campaign for their rights and to have their voices heard. It is used as an opportunity for the children to tell the community about their challenges and encourage them to treat the children on the street with the respect and dignity that they deserve.
Education and tackling poverty
One of the major factors causing children to run to the street is poverty. In Uganda, and particularly in Eastern Uganda where Jinja is based, many people live in extreme poverty.
In some cases parents will send their children to the street to try and make money for the family. In other cases, children run to the street in search of a better life for themselves, often due to hunger and lack of opportunity to go to school at home. Our Family Business Empowerment programme is working to tackle poverty by providing skills, mentoring and business start up so that families can work themselves out of poverty.
We believe that partnerships are fundamental to the success of any organisation.
We work in partnership with other organisations in Uganda and across the world who believe as we do that no child should have to call the streets their home, so that we can do relevant projects together, and share good practice and ideas to be able to have a greater impact in our work.
We also partner other organisations, trusts, foundations and businesses to work on specific projects so that we can gain the funding, skills and experience to help us to have as much impact as possible.
Please contact us if you would be interested in partnering with us in the future. We would love to hear from you.
We want to say a huge thank you to everyone who helps us with our current programmes and supports us in our mission for there to be ‘No Street Called Home’.