Through Childhope’s banner program, the Outreach and Protection/Education on the Streets, the street children are provided protection from abuse, opportunities to develop knowledge about their rights and responsibilities and the risks encountered on the streets, develop positive behavior, gain/improve their life skills and capacities, and eventually assist them to leave the street through referral to recovery centers or to relatives who are not the child’s abusers. In so doing, the organization has advocated and established, maintained and strengthened partnerships with other groups, individuals, agencies and other sectors of society. With its multi-problems and complexities, effectively addressing the street children’s needs requires concerted efforts from everyone.
The Outreach and Protection/Education on the Streets Program currently conducts alternative and basic education, counseling and recreation among street children in about 18 areas in Metro Manila. Through sixteen (16) trained young professionals and social workers working as Street Educators and counselors, the street children, male and female, from ages 9-18 years of age, from more than eighteen (18) identified areas in six (6) major cities of Metro Manila, namely: Manila, Pasay, Paranaque, Caloocan and Quezon City are provided with direct access to basic social services. These include health and medical care, legal protection, and referral services.
Childhope is guided by the philosophy of an integrated, holistic approach to human development as reflected in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, by implementing and facilitating programs and services to address the needs of street children.
These children may belong to any of the three categories / groups of street children:
Children of the Street / Completely abandoned and neglected children – Family ties exist but in most cases have not been sustained; in some cases, their former home is visited infrequently. However, by virtue of having severed all ties with a biological family, they are entirely on their own, not just for material but also for psychological survival, and therefore require a very different approach. This group is given the highest priority attention by street educators.
Children of street families –Children in this group see the street as their home and it is there that they seek shelter, food, and a sense of family. These children literally live on the streets with their families. This group is given second priority attention.
Children on the street – the largest of the three (3) categories and consists primarily of working children who still go home daily to families. Their focus in life is still the home, many attend school, most return home at the end of each working day, and most still have a sense of belonging to the local community in which their home is situated. This group is not a target group of Childhope but is not excluded entirely.
Among the three (3) categories of street children, the children of the streets or the abandoned and neglected street-based / street-living children are given highest priority.
The children of street families are also provided assistance in many forms such as counselling and relief goods (i.e., rice, canned goods, used clothing, etc.).
The Outreach and Protection/ Education on the Streets Program will continue to include the following activities among the 1000 street children of Metro Manila:
1. Provision of alternative education sessions:
* Value Clarification and Spiritual Formation
* United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child / CEDAW
* Primary Health Care
* Drug/Substance Abuse Prevention Education
* Adolescent Sexuality
* Gender Sensitivity
* Personal Safety and Protective Behavior Against Child Sexual Abuse
* Life Skills and Life Goal Planning
* Basic Literacy and Numeracy
* Basic Computer Literacy
The Street Educators/Social Workers will continue to sustain relationships with street children in their own environment. They will then facilitate sessions among street children that will help them to reflect about life, values, their rights and responsibilities as children, plans for the future, and the effects of drug abuse. Selected children will also be able to learn how to read and write through the Basic Literacy and Numeracy Program.
2. Skills Training
Basic Computer Literacy graduates among street children (about 30) will attend Advance Computer classes to help them to further improve their computer skills and/or enable them to learn advanced skills necessary to help them relate more effectively with computers and eventually to get a sustainable job like a graphic artist, lay-out designer among others. Volunteers who have undergone training on enhancing identified creative/artistic skills will be invited/requested to facilitate said sessions among street children at Childhope office. Street children participants may also be sent to attend sessions in free workshops conducted by volunteers.
Under the skills training program, is also Sports and Recreations. Since 2009, Childhope continuous to conduct an annual sports festival among the assisted street children of Greater Metro Manila. These street children will also participate in the sports festival and/or volunteers will also facilitate sports clinic. Childhope recognizes the importance of sports activities; it helps the street children boost their self-confidence and keep them away from drug/substance abuse.
3. Provision of Psycho-Social Interventions
· Appropriate psycho-social intervention to children in distress
· Case management and documentation (completion of intake sheets, case summaries, case studies)
· Individual and group counselling
· Referrals of children to appropriate agencies for their recovery and continuing assistance
· Conduct home visits to facilitate reunification of street children with their families, if possible
· Street Children Database