April 12th was International Street Children Day.
Easy for it to pass most of us by as we return back to work, and university, and to our families at the end of the day, after a long Easter bank holiday weekend with our family and loved ones. It’s also just as easy to pass these children by on the streets, in the UK, on holiday, or when flicking past an advert about them on tv.
However, it is estimated that there are around 100 million street children all over the world. Whether it’s the streets of London, Paris, New York, Rio or Dhaka, their struggles and vulnerability are the same.
Launched by the Consortium for Street Children- an international network dedicated to realising the rights of street children in 2011- the campaign works tirelessly to ensure that together their voices can be heard. Calling on street children, NGO’s, policy makers, celebrities, corporates and individuals across the globe, the April 12th is a day to celebrate their rights and question your existing perceptions of street children.
However, one day just isn’t enough.
It was the seemingly hopeless case of the street children in Bangladesh that first motivated Restless Beings to launch their Rehabilitation Centre and Home in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 2008. The key feature of the Restless Beings Rehab Centre and Home was to provide holistic care to the marginalised street children, providing shelter, rehabilitation, education, as well as creative nourishment. As a natural consequence, the need to help more and more children has grown and so to must our facilities.
Now with the success of the 100kids campaign, Restless Beings are expanding to build an RB Village. This village will consist of a school building with classrooms and offices, an accommodation building to house up to 100 children, a playground area in the middle of the village complex and a garage to one side too. To enable the Restless Beings village to be more self-sustainable and taking advantage of the land available we hope to also build and maintain a fishery. This is also a project that all the children should they wish can get involved in maintaining.
‘’Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.’’
This is essentially the premise that Restless Beings works by. Your money doesn’t just pay for a one off meal or a one time wash and clean shirt. We work for consistent change, ensuring that every day we can offer these children everything that every child deserves, educating and enjoying their childhood and preparing them for adulthood.
All too often street children all over the world are subjected to our ignorance or our fear as they sleep rough, or are sometimes forced to resort to begging or crime just to get by.
Every street child has a story, a voice and they deserve for their voice to be heard and to have the same opportunities as any other child.