Giving Street Children a new start
I was all alone, my mum died and my dad was always drunk and didn’t want to look after me. On the streets I joined a gang, they helped me survive. But it was very hard – we had to steal and sometimes older kids and grown-ups treated me badly and would hurt me.
Things got better when I met Sunita [a Kidasha outreach worker]. She was kind to me and made me feel safe. Over time she persuaded me to go to their centre. Here I have somewhere to sleep, I eat good food and people look after me. They are helping me get better – when I was hungry and cold I used to sniff glue which made things feel better, but now I’ve have stopped. I am learning to cook and care for myself and I now go to school.
I used to think I would die on the streets but now I am hopeful. I’ve started visiting my dad and step-mother at the weekend. I plan to study hard and my ambition is to join the army.
“I really liked the midway home and the way it worked. The rules had the right balance and we were encouraged to go out to school, training or work. It’s from there I learnt to quit bad habits myself, not because I was forced to. I feel a much stronger person now”.
– 17 year old graduate of midway home
Thousands of children are forced to fend for themselves as a result of poverty, violence and neglect at home – often living or working on the street as their only means of survival. Exposed to violence, abuse, drugs and criminal exploitation, and lacking any positive adult guidance, many fall prey to substance abuse, sexual abuse and crime.
Kidasha’s outreach team works to identify and protect children on the street by reducing risk behaviours and changing community attitudes. Our short-term residential rehabilitation centre enables children to recover physically and emotionally and wherever possible to support them to return to their families.
For those unable to return home, we have established a Midway Home where teenagers can learn to look after themselves independently, while attending full-time education, apprenticeship or employment with the benefit of specialized guidance and support.
Over the last 5 years we have:
- Supported over 700 children with counselling and guidance in Pokhara.
- Provided temporary residential care to over 350 street children.
- Enabled 300 street children to return to their families or find a new home.