The project aims at establishing a rehabilitation centre for about 5,000 vulnerable children living in the streets and slums. It will provide shelter, care, psychological support and nurturing of talent. This also involves creating an awareness on substance abuse which will ensure that the children understand consequences of drug abuse, including violence and unhealthy sexual behaviours. Helping steps will ensure that children receive the help that they need by building families to take care of them and shape their future, while at the same time developing and strengthening the surrounding environment such as caregivers, community members as well as social systems like schools.
The children are also trained to become active and productive members of their own communities by encouraging them to embrace their culture, religion and personality. This includes strength, weaknesses, feelings, thoughts and beliefs, in order to enhance their self-confidence, self-reliance and personal identity. Furthermore, the children will be able to recognise and also express their own individual abilities, talents and interests. The program will provide education and skills training so that not only can they positively contribute to the society, but they will also have the necessary knowledge and skills to be successful in their future lives and careers.
The final outcome of this project is to develop and strengthen the community in which these children live in. As noted, most of these children run to the streets due to various challenges they face in their communities and homes. As such, it is important to ensure that the grassroots or the base of the problem is taken care of or effectively solved. One of the main ways of doing this is by sharing the community life and responding to some of the most important social needs of the community, especially for the young people. Facilities and programs are established in order to strengthen families so as to prevent abandonment and running away from home due to lack of basic needs. Additionally, we join hands with community members in supporting self-reliance, education and healthcare initiatives.
Sustainability and Achieving Outcomes
In order to achieve these outcomes, helping steps has come up with various strategies which will ensure sustainability of the project. First, our team identifies existing social groupings of street children and then commences a transformation mechanism for these groups, as they are brought into the rehabilitation centre. This involves interacting with them and working with them to develop a code of conduct which governs how the children interact with one another and also with members of the public. The process further encourages capacity building as the children are encouraged to identify their own problems while generating solutions to them. Moreover, the children are empowered to remove other children from the streets and refer them to the rehabilitation centre since they are more familiar with the streets.
The other strategy involves building families within the charity home. This is done by dividing the children into groups of six and then assigning them to two mentors who will also act as their guardians. They are then raised in a family setting and given all the necessary needs they may require including food, clothing and support. Apart from families within, the children may also be placed in foster homes where they are raised appropriately. They are also enrolled in schools while their performance is strictly monitored. For young adults, they may either be given a job or enrolled in training programs. Community participation is an important aspect of this project. The charity works with schools and local organisations in order to offer special support and understand the unique situation that street children face or the psychological transformation they have to undergo.