Georgetown, GINA, December 5, 2006
Children at the Drop in Centre for street children on Hadfield Street, Georgetown are currently involved in several training programmes aimed at building self-esteem and equipping them with life skills.
According to Administrator of the Centre Jacqueline Wilson, the children are being prepared to face the challenges of society. At present there are 19 children at the centre, 13 of whom are attending school while the others will start next month.
Wilson disclosed that for the month of November, seven children, ages 15 and 16 were reunited with their families. This she said is one of the aims of the centre. Dozens of street children have been reunited with their families since the establishment of the centre.
She explained that ten of the children now at the centre are participating in an ongoing computer training programme being offered by Red Thread Organisation.
“I should also tell you that the much older boys at the centre have been participating in skills training,” she said.
She also noted that 15 youths recently concluded a conflict transformation and attitudinal change programme conducted by the American Peace Pilgrim University.
The programme has been of great benefit to the children since most of them are from families persistently in conflict.
Wilson said too that formerly only boys were at the centre, “but recently we have noticed that girls are coming to the centre. We started off with one and now we have three.”
The children are provided with food, clothing and shelter on a daily basis. They are also given regular medical checks, including visits by a dentist.
She explained that during school vacation the children participate in skills training sessions such as masonry, welding, carpentry and joinery.
Established on June 1, 1999, the Drop in Centre for Street Children aims primarily at generating responsibility in children for living in a harmonious family unit.
Upon entering the programmes, each child is exposed to counselling and a personal goal plan created for him. He/she is also tutored in basic literacy and given the opportunity to learn life skills that would enable him to be gainfully employed or enter the regular school system.