When I grow up I am going to build a very big house for myself'' we hear this often at Salaam Baalak Trust. Every street child dreams of a home - safe. secure filled with warmth and love. We at Salaam Baalak Trust, Delhi reach out to more than 5000 street children every year. While funding for education and food for children we do find takers, what we are stretched for is core funding. Resources to 'build a home to fulfill the dreams of 'Street Children' is what we are reaching out to you for.
Creating child friendly space where children live in dignity and focus on education, skill building and rehabilitation. This includes infrastructure such as bunker beds, study tables, and dining facilities. Every year thousands of children leave their homes in search of a better life. Bright city lights are a magnet that kids often reach out to with dreams in their eyes, sadly the twinkle in their eyes dulls very fast once the harsh realities of street life loom upon them. Children staying on the streets bear the brunt of dust, ignorance, hunger, abuse and poverty. They are extremely vulnerable to crime, disease, and sexual abuse. It, therefore, becomes imperative to provide them a space they can call home.
Apna Ghar: a drop in point to catch on dreams
Apna Ghar has been my home to play pranks on teachers and cricket on the terrace. I am proud that I am earn an honest living now. I am also pursuing my graduation.
SBT stood by its promise to remove me out of rags and abuse to a world I would sometimes dream about. I started slowly. The home gave me non- formal classes to begin with. They got me enrolled into vocational courses to build my probabilities of securing employment.
I agreed to go to school. There were helping hands to ensure I take my breakfast and pack my bags for school. There were special meals to fit the school timing. The volunteers coming to the home showed me their world, their stories and I made some friends too.
The counselor was my sounding board. I vented out all my pain and problems to him. It helped me build my confidence, a sense of assurance and helped me smile. Our Trustees visited us every Saturday. I was hesitant initially to walk up to them, but as I began meeting them every month, especially in the Children's Meeting where I realised how loving and open they were to us children, I felt comfortable to just walk up to them - have a chat, get some extra play time, show my dance moves or sometimes just play with them!
Established in 1999, Apna Ghar is open to boys between the ages 5 and 18 years. Reaching out to more than 400 boys each year, the shelter provides a platform for children to access basic human rights and feel the dignity of life. Here each child will have the opportunity to hot cooked meals, medical attention, education and learning life skills including full time access to a counselor .
Keeping in mind the growing number of children on streets we at SBT wish to expand the capacity of Apna Ghar and strengthen quality of services. We look forward to your support to provide bunker beds and educational infrastructure for these young lives.