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Sierra Leone Marathon 2014

Getting involved with Street Child

Thursday and Friday work

 

Today I joined the social workers in the first stage of the process of finding street children who need help. The strategy has changed slightly from what has gone before, in that the plan is more street based than centre based. Previously, children had been brought to the centre and fed and given basic care, but this approach is being reconsidered because some parents were sending their kids to the centre to benefit from the help Street Child give. This new approach is a way of ensuring help is going to the most needy street children.

 

Stage 1: street mapping; Stage 2: go out to the streets and have first contact with the children, invite them to group sessions; Stage 3: bring the kids into groups at certain locations, talk with them, discuss with them their stories and their options, generally work with them on the street.

 

The process involves assessing their situation, health and history, locating their family then establishing their needs to reintegrate them into family and school. Street mapping involved walking in and around streets and locating the areas where the street children are more likely to hang out, including cinemas (shacks with a TV screen), nightclubs, vehicle parks and market stalls. We found some good places where the team can focus their attentions when they go out next week.

 

When we finished our touring I sat in under one of the shacks selling, in this case, generators, dvds and phones, as you do. The salesman chappy was very curious about the yellow water I was drinking (water with a vitamin C tablet dissolved in it), he had a little taste and in return gave me a taste of his lunch, cassava leaf with rice. Basically a leaf like spinach, mushed up and cooked with palm oil to make a sauce- quite tasty, not sure. There is a lot of oil in the food also. Many of the country staples including cassava leaf, potato leaf and groundnut soup contain palm oil, which does not sit too well in the beginning. Medication and rehydration sachets are a must.

 

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