Putting Children First
In South Africa, David Fortune is getting children off the streets by reconnecting them with their families. Through his 16 year-old organization, STREETS, Fortune and his team of field workers help hundreds of street children avoid the pitfalls of neglect and abuse by giving them the skills to transition into adulthood.
Unlike the broken system of shelters and prisons, STREETS’ Drop-In-Centers in urban areas provide vital resources such as food, shelter, plus counseling and medical assistance. STREETS workers take on an intimate role, mediating between both the child and the family to create a more harmonious home life for children to return to. Through community education and original plays addressing the plight of street children, STREETS is the first collective approach to child protection in South Africa. http://ashoka.org/fellow/2404
For siblings separated by the foster care system in the United States, Camp To Belong (CTB) is the summer event to look forward to. The camps, begun in 1995 by Lynn Price, helps siblings reconnect and make lasting bonds with other children affected by the system. Camp counselors coordinate activities such as birthday parties for siblings to celebrate together, and even offer career planning for older campers – a critical support for those about to “age out” of foster care. CTB camps are popping up all over the US, with each local chapter advocating for state laws that prevent the division of family. http://ashoka.org/fellow/3685