As today marks the start of Child Safety Week, read how The Sreepur Village keeps children safe and off of Bangladesh’s most dangerous streets.
In 2018, we started an Urban Street Children’s Programme at our Dhaka Offices. We use the first floor for a Girls Night Shelter and Slum and Urban Community Children Education Schooling Support (SUCCESS) Project.
Approximately 12-15 girls visit our Girls’ Night Shelter, which is open seven days a week daily from 5pm to 8.30am the next day. At the shelter we provide the girls with a safe place in which to sleep, wash, eat breakfast (bread and egg), play games and somewhere where they can talk privately about their worries or fears. The street girls that attend the Night Shelter mainly come from Dhaka airport railway station.
In 2018 46 slum based 2nd category street children (who have family or extended family in slums) enrolled into the SUCCESS project with school admission (primary level) in the Nikunja and Khilkhet areas. Non-school going children or those who have dropped out of school, children in extreme poverty, and those eight years old and above are eligible for the programme. We monitor their school attendance and education progress and we also provide them with a lump-sum of 700 BDT (approx. £7) for a single child and 1200 BDT (approx.£12) for a family with more than one child to continue their education.
We plan to increase the number of children to 50 by the end of this year. We also have a Toy Resource Centre where children can play. We provide board games, watching television, and tablet games where appropriate. On average 20 children attended regularly from 2pm to 4pm. Children really enjoy coming here as there are no places anywhere else like this for children living in urban slums.
We always try to refer motivated street children to other specialised organisations for vocational training and rehabilitation. Children without parents are usually chosen for referral service. Some drug addicted street children are also referred to a specialised organisation.
This year a child named Jubair was sent to LEEDO (Local Education and Economic Development Organisation) which helps the most vulnerable Street Children in Dhaka.
The Sreepur Village offers medical services for the sick street children (especially girls now), who attend our night shelter. We have also a first aid box for primary/emergency services at our centre.
Did you know it costs 6000 TAKA (£60) for us to annually run our first aid programme. In 2018, we were able to provide ten children with treatment for minor problems and five children this year.
If you would like to donate towards this programme and help keep more children safe from harm please click here
Before we start a new week, we would like to end on another thank you to trustee, Dr.Sheila Fitzpatrick, who is also retiring from The Sreepur Village board of trustees.