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"No child should grow up alone. StreetInvest exists to invest in those that do"
No child should grow up alone. StreetInvest exists to invest in those that do

What does standing with a street child mean to you? A practitioner’s perspective

A street worker tells us what it means to him to stand with street children

Babu Dey is a street worker at our partner organisation, Child in Need Institute, in Kolkata, India. He spent time on the street himself as a child, before meeting street workers at CINI and eventually becoming a street worker himself. We asked him what it meant for him to stand with street children. This is what he had to say:


“It is not a surprise that an overwhelming number of children say that they faced acute poverty at home and were expected to earn money by their families. Many children end up on streets for various reasons - some by choice, while others separated from their parents. They have been living, for most of their childhood, amid the noise, clutter, filth and danger of the roads. But like all other children, the children living on the streets have needs and demands.

In oprder to bring smile to a child’s face, the simplest and the most valuable thing we can give them is TIME. We EMPATHISE with them, sit, talk and listen to them, share their experiences and try to better their lives in some way. Spending time to teach them how to read and write slowly, so that they have the basic skills required in everyday life, can be a great effort. 

Like any other human being, these children have some basic RIGHTS that they should be aware of. We can attempt to teach them the benefits that each right guarantees.

Even if we are not artistic types, getting the kids involved in spontaneous ‘art and craft’ sessions is a great way to get their creative juices flowing. Without throwing away old clothes and materials, we share clothes, pens, exercise books, games with children living on the streets so that they feel that they too are somebody and belong to somewhere and that other people CARE about them.

These children often do not have access to a healthy and sufficient diet. Sometimes they don’t have any food at all and go hungry. We can stop for once and buy some food for them and even sit together and eat a meal with them. That alone can make them feel special and worthwhile.

Apart from all the above mentioned initiatives that we as individuals can take, CINI, as an organization working with street connected children, should always be NON-JUDGEMENTAL towards these children and treat them as children irrespective of their vulnerable state. We should always BE AVAILABLE for these children when they need it.

 

Let us STAND UP for them, and with them and ensure their rights, protect them from abuse and make their lives worthy of living.”

  • Babu Dey

    Street worker at our partner organisation CINI, in Kolkata, India

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