Outreach (Street Work)
Outreach or Street work is the base of the street children program to establish initial contact and foster relations with children living or working in the street. During this period, social worker provides information about the risks of street life, ways of protection and about the VOC's Drop in Center (Welcome Center) and services available for them. Through different awareness activities, children are made aware about the importance of family, education, personal hygiene, HIV/AIDs, crime, risk of drug abuse, sexual abuse etc. This engagement of the social worker with children encourages and motivates them to visit Drop in Center if they are interested to get services from the center.
How do we work?
Identifying or mapping possible meeting points: The best way to connect with children on the streets is to get out on the streets with them. There are few places where the concentration of street children is comparatively high. Social workers identify the meeting points and coordinate with like-minded organization before intervention to avoid overlapping.
Street visits: The outreach team visits the streets regularly. The team develops a bond with these children by talking and listening to them. The team talks to children about health, risks of street life, preventive measures, and the services available at the Drop in Center if they decide to go there.
Update data/information: To update on the situation, the number of children on the street is reported & updated in a daily basis by street educator (social worker). It is compiled on monthly, quarterly and yearly basis report according to the age, education, address and street living period of the children with visited location and awareness session provided to them. Furthermore, problems and challenges in the street are also recorded for further analysis.
Formation of street children clubs: Social worker motivates street children to form children's club. With a support of social worker, such club organizes special events and activities. The main objective of the club is to involve them into actions, make them responsible, and feeling them they are heard and to build a connection between the street and the Drop in Center. This club is also a forum for discussion, to conduct awareness sessions and to develop their ability for making decisions and accepting the changes.
Coordination and Networking: Street Field Worker Forum has been established among the street worker. This Forum organize regular meeting to share and update the situations of the children in the street of Kathmandu valley. Sometimes Forum organize joint street visit to provide such information to the street children in the spots. Besides it organize some workshop to develop the capacity of the street worker.