Thousands of orphans and vulnerable children live and work on the streets of Harare, Zimbabwe. This long-term problem is symptomatic of deep-rooted social and economic factors. There are strong causes for the rising numbers of young people living on the streets in these urban areas, but only weak interventions and responses.
Street children have unique needs due to their separation from family units, society and culture, which affects their development in complex ways, beyond the obvious challenges to their health and wellbeing. They therefore require specialist support to help them overcome the exclusion they experience.
Together with our local partner in Zimbabwe, CWPS, we are working to empower these young people to move off the streets, find sustainable employment, move into safe and caring homes, and build better futures for themselves. For the older youths we run Street Associations, creating supportive and economically viable self-help associations.
How we make a difference:
- We work closely with CWPS to understand the local context, to develop community-owned responses, and to share knowledge and solutions from other places in which we operate.
- We create and support Street Associations, equipping the youths with ‘life skills’ to deal with drugs and substance abuse.
- We offer street children emotional and social support, including counselling and ‘life skills’ training, to increase their resilience to cope with their situation.
- As well as providing counselling and emotional and social support, we engage the young people with fun days, football training sessions and health education workshops, to give them opportunities to interact with others in a safe environment.
- We help the street children to find safe accommodation. If there is hope of tracing their family, we carry out the research needed to reunite them where possible. If not, we help them to find alternative permanent care. In both circumstances we provide support throughout the transition to their new homes.
- We run football camps and camping sessions to help the children reflect on their behaviour, make plans and commit to change their behaviour for more positive futures.
Hear Personal stories
Personal accounts from the children, young people and communities in Africa that we’ve had the privilege of working with, show extraordinary strength and human spirit.
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We are proud to be working with 27 project partners, across 217 communities, to support and empower young people for the long-term.