3971 XD Driebergen
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In Calcutta more than 100.000 children aged 4 -18, live on the streets, without adequate adult guidance and protection. The street children have little or no access to basic needs such as food, shelter, clothing, medical care and education. These children lack the opportunity and support that is necessary for a successful reintegration into society. Existing NGO's and Government Institutions working in this area have contained the problem without being able to reduce it, because of the continuing influx.
In order to reduce the number of street children substantially, large scale and economic solutions are required. Qualified Staff for working with street children are hard to find and keep because of the level of salaries that can be offered. Long-term and stable funding, required to take responsibility for a permanent shelter, is difficult to obtain from Western donor agencies.
The Partnership Foundation considers the situation of street children as a major humanitarian tragedy. In their vision, this problem requires innovative and large scale sustainable solutions.
Accommodating street children in regular schools is a solution. As the former street children live in close contact to their peer group, the process of reintegration starts immediately.
The strategy of the Partnership Foundation:
- Building a large scale and innovative project for 10.000 street children in India.
- Offering a comprehensive program: accommodation, education and reintegration.
- Co-operating with a chain of English Medium Schools in India.
- Creating a chain of comparable facilities throughout India, according to a replicable formula.
- Encouraging a partnership-attitude in all aspects of operations.
- Assisting ´hands-on´ with Planning, Monitoring, Evaluation and Reporting.
- Committing itself to maximum transparency in communication and reporting.
By the end of 2004, 371 street children - all girls - have been accommodated at three locations in Calcutta. They have been supplied with proper clothing, healthy food, and after a medical check-up they have entered a suitable educational program. The Partnership Foundation plans to have more than 500 children in the program by the end of 2005, at 5 locations.
In India The Partnership Foundation cooperates with the Loreto organisation. Loreto is active in India since 1841, runs a chain of 19 English Medium Schools, and enjoys an excellent reputation in all layers of the Indian society.
For information please contact Mr Ferdinand van Koolwijk.
Photo's by courtesy of The Partnership Organisation.