Compass Children’s Charity started as Casa Alianza UK in February 1999, set up to raise funds and awareness for the Casa Alianza Latin American programmes in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. The charity was founded in response to the senseless death of one child – 13-year-old Nahamán Carmona López – a street child kicked to death in Guatemala City by four police officers who found him sniffing glue on the streets to try and combat his wracking hunger pains. The inscription on Nahaman’s headstone reads ”I only wanted to be a child and they wouldn’t let me. ”The brutal pain, torture and suffering inflicted on Nahamán because he was living on the streets shocked Latin American Rights advocates who came together, desperately wanting to end the senseless murder and suffering of children living on the streets. Since that time, we have worked to raise awareness of the plight of street children, supporting a number of programmes that have made a real difference in their lives, through street outreach programmes, education programmes, recreational programmes and advocacy programmes.
In 2016 our Trustees made the decision to apply for worldwide status to be able to campaign for the rights of street and at risk children worldwide. The name change to Compass Children’s Charity reflects this wider remit.
Latin America will continue to remain a priority region but we recognise that the issue for homeless and at-risk children and young people is changing and evolving. Homeless children living on the streets are thankfully declining; but the alternative situations they are finding themselves in are rising and are increasingly more harmful to their physical and emotional well-being.
We have seen a steady rise of children and young people globally who are both victims and survivors of trafficking, commercial sexual exploitation and domestic servitude. We are also seeing increases in the number of migrant children and young people, refugee and displaced youth and those involved in gangs.
In order to provide the best response to children and young people, we need to work globally, learning from international best practice and fostering partnerships with reputable organisations.
We are very excited and motivated to bring our expertise and connections to bear for all street children everywhere – these children deserve the chance to” just be a child” – we hope that you are able to join with us to make that possibility come true.
Our work in the UK
Compass Children’s Charity is a UK-registered charity, working to raise funds to deliver high quality and impactful programmes to support street-connected children globally. We campaign for the rights of the most marginalised children, raising awareness of the everyday reality on the other side of the globe and spurring people and governments to action.
We raise funds by means of appeals, applications to Trusts and grant givers, fundraising events, Corporate connections etc..
Latin American programme partners – Country information
Guatemala has been hit by natural disasters, decades of atrocities and state-sponsored brutality. In its capital city, our work centres around children and adolescent girls who have suffered sexual violence in all its forms – empowering them with the tools they need to turn themselves from objects into subjects.
Facing extreme poverty, chronic unemployment and currently having the highest homicide rate in the world, Honduras is becoming an increasingly lawless place. It is a country where children are tortured to death for refusing to join the gangs who dominate the streets and entire families have been murdered – sometimes for no reason at all. Life has no value here. Our role here is to reach as many children as possible, before it’s too late.
Mexico is a country of contrasts, visible every single day on its cities’ streets. Tall sky scrapers tower over the shadows of rubbish dumps where children huddle at the end of the day to sleep. Affluent businessmen rush past the limp body of a HIV-positive boy forced to prostitute himself with men all night to avoid starvation – without a second thought. For the countless Mexican children in this situation, Casa Alianza is their only hope.
Whether it is navigating the ‘death alleyways’ of Managua’s eastern market or taking first-aid essentials to the children who exist on the city’s rubbish dumps, Casa Alianza Nicaragua staff save lives on a daily basis. We help children overcome their addictions, work towards an education and training, and above all, start to see themselves as individuals who deserve their place in the world.