No child should call the street “home” – Street Outreach appeal for Casa Alianza Mexico
Outreach programme for children living on the streets in Mexico City
Our June appeal focuses on “Street outreach”, one of the hardest aspects of work carried out by Casa Alianza Mexico (CAM).
It is the most difficult, demanding, and dangerous aspect of their work. It’s an emotional roller coaster and it takes very special, dedicated, and patient people to go out day after day into some of the most dangerous places where street children hide themselves away.
Under bridges, by metro lines, in underground drain systems… this is where many of the children reside during the day. Many are sexually exploited in exchange for food, forced to beg, resort to petty crime to survive. Night brings little sleep, as they fear becoming victims of abuse or violence. Exhausted, the only way to sleep is to hide somewhere where you are invisible.
Casa Alianza Mexico’s street outreach work is the first and most crucial step a child makes to turn their chaotic life around.
Outreach workers support them every step of the way. They provide vital first aid to children, use games and activities to develop trust and friendship. They work with the children to discover their goals and aspirations, to develop a step-by-step personal development plan to leave the streets and seek the future they dream of.
Despite the devastating circumstances in which the team work they never give up hope and continue to assist homeless and vulnerable children to make the right choices to turn their lives around.
In 2020, 100 children were reached through CAM’s street outreach programmes – the average age of these children was 14 and was made up of street, Internally displaced and unaccompanied migrant children.
Casa Alianza Mexico is their best and sometimes only chance of getting away from the streets and into a safe environment, of enjoying a future away from the devastating and debilitating effects of substance abuse. And of course, the ravaging effects of the pandemic have caused a greater need than ever for our help and services.
Early intervention via outreach work gets children off the street and out of danger. It saves lives.
Some background on our children:
The children have very diverse lived experiences, we work tirelessly to deal with these to give every child a chance to live a healthy, happy, socially included life.
On the streets, children are exposed to extreme violence & abuse; they resort to sniffing glue & more harmful drugs to numb hunger & cope emotionally with the everyday trauma they face. Their right to education, protection & health is denied by Mexican society, which largely dismisses street children as criminals & subjects them to further violence. Even the police, those in place to protect children, are perpetrators of violence.
The first step for many children is to spend a day at the CAM residential centre, exploring the alternative to the street, meeting staff and other children. This first step is daunting for children – many of whom have had no structure, safety or any sense of normality on the streets. They receive a nutritious meal, a chance to shower, put on fresh clothes, access sports and recreational activities. These activities help to develop a sense of trust and friendship with other children, building confidence and self-esteem. Children receive medical and psychological attention as well as the option to access a range of wrap around services such as HIV and STI testing and treatment, drug detoxification and prenatal and post-natal support.
Workshops are also held. This first visit builds up to several visits before children make the brave step to leave the streets behind for good.
Your donation will help us to Increase the Number of children the outreach team can rescue