According to UN estimations, more than 2.000 kids do currently live on the streets of Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. In order to survive, these kids take little jobs, start to steal or beg or even prostitute themselves. It is a dangerous live, with a too early dead for too many of them. For this reason we founded the “Pikin Paddy” a shelterhome for homeless children in the heart of the city. How do we actually work with the kids from the streets in Sierra Leone?
Our five phases program:
The Cap Anamur-Team in Freetown has developed an effective five-phases-program to get kids away from living on the streets and reunite them with their families in the long term.
- Tracking: Tracking means spotting the kids on the streets of Freetown and inviting them to the Pikin Paddy. Nowadays the house is already known among the homeless kids, so sometimes they even get in contact themselves and ask for shelter.
- Family Tracing: In the shelterhome the kids do not only get a real bed, good food and clothes, but also the right education suiting their actual age and situation. Meanwhile our social workers are looking for their families and try to get in contact with them.
- Mediation: Once the kids family members are spotted, our social workers try to get a connection to them. The children keep staying at the Pikin Paddy during mediation. We will examine why the kid needed to leave its family for a life on the streets.
- Reunification: After a detailed screening of the families through our Cap Anamur-socialworkers, we will work on the right solution approach together with all family members. Finally the kids will be able to return to their home.
- Follow-up: In regularly intervals we will visit the kids in their families and adapt the support accordingly. In case of stable domestic circumstances we will reduce the frequency of our visits.
In total 80 kids – 60 boys and 20 girls – where given shelter from the Cap Anamur-staff in the Pikin Paddy this year. Of which 59 could be led back successfully to their families and 17 are still at the Pikin Paddy. The families of four kids could not be located and unfortunately five kids went back to the streets after being reunited with their families.
This results in a success rate of 91,5 %.