When our employees first met Emanuel and his family, they were shocked. His single mother was living on the street with her five children aged 4 to 12. Emanuel had an open wound on his leg from an accident with a motorcyclist a few years ago that had never received any medical treatment. Because of the injury and his life on the street, the leg was swollen and the wound had still not healed. The so-called Night Tracking is one of the regular measures carried out by our employees who work at the Pinkin Paddy, our safe house for street children in Freetown. Our staff seek out those children who tend to live under the most adverse circumstances with sad individual fates and are forced to live on the street, who are then invited to the safe house. Besides clothes and food, the children are also provided with psychological support to help them cope with their life situation as well as access to education.
In addition, we endeavor to find relatives of the street children. If the search is successful, our employees try to solve the problems in the family and to reintegrate the children. But our support does not end when the children have returned to their families. In the aftercare, we make sure that the children’s future prospects improve over the long term, that they attend school on a regular basis and that living on the street is no longer an alternative.
The figures illustrate how successful the project has been to date. Out of 185 children brought to the safe house in 2016, 93% have been successfully reintegrated into their families. They are still living there now and they also attend school on a regular basis. We were also able to help Emanuel and his family. His open leg wound was first taken care of by us and was later treated in the hospital. The wound has not fully healed yet, but the 10-year-old is on the way to recovery. Emanuel and his siblings are now able to attend class at their local school, because we pay their tuition fees. We also provide the family with a small flat in a quiet suburb, away from Freetown’s slums. Emanuel‘s mother is now selling groceries nearby and will presumably be able to pay the rent on her own without our help next year.
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