Toybox: Saving Street Children in Latin America


Toybox: Saving Street Children in Latin America

The Christian charity Toybox is working hard in Latin America to bring hope to street children in Bolivia and Guatemala.

Posted: Wednesday, July 18, 2007, 14:22 (BST)

Toybox has launched a new project called Guardian Angels to bring hope to street children in Oruro, Bolivia, where there is currently no one working to help these children.

The Christian charity is committed to bringing hope to some of the world’s most disadvantaged children and building a world where there are no more street children. It works principally in Latin America where the needs are great and the challenge is huge.

"There is no protection or help for children on the streets in Oruro," says Claudia from Toy Box’s partner Red Viva team in Cochabamba. Red Viva is the Latin American branch of the Oxford-based Viva Network, a Christian charity committed to providing care for vulnerable and neglected children.

It’s a hard life for street children in Bolivia. They lack adequate shelter, are exposed to drugs, and face hunger and ill-health daily. Most have been abused, physically, sexually or both.

"The local government and people have asked Toybox and Red Viva to be part of a new city wide work with street children,” says Claudia.

“This is a great plan and there is an opportunity to make a difference immediately. The people there are praying and waiting to see if Toybox will help."

Silvia, leader of El Castillo, Toybox’s partner in Guatemala, says, "We are more shocked and afraid for the children than ever. There is an urgent need to protect them as the level of danger they face is increasing every day."

Toybox estimates that it will cost around £116 towards each child saved from the streets through Guardian Angels projects in Oruro and Guatemala this year.

Andy Stockbridge, Toybox Chief Executive, has just returned from visiting the team in Oruro. He comments, "Oruro is a poor city with significant need. But the local people together, church, projects, local authorities have a real heart and a genuine plan to work with children who find themselves on the street or working on the street."



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