Life for girls and young women on the streets is particularly hard and the support they need is challenging to provide. Our aim is to help teenage girls and young women on the streets of Tanzania, South Africa, Burundi and India to rebuild their lives and realise their rights.
Our research shows that it is up to seven times harder to work with girls on the street than boys. This is because of the levels of trauma and violence they have experienced, as well the immense challenges the girls face in going back home to their families.
We focus our street justice programme on work with girls and young women on the streets. There are no quick fixes and quite often it feels as though it is one step forward and two steps back. As other funders pull up the drawbridge on girls work because it is simply "too risky", we support the organisations and staff who make daily sacrifices to reach out to extremely vulnerable street-connected girls. Our projects all have one thing in common; to educate women and girls of their rights.
Gaining the trust of street-connected women and girls can take months, if not years. However feedback from individuals shows that the work our partners do is remarkable and life-changing: "The staff always treated me like a human being, like a girl. Not an object, not a wrong-doer or a sinner. I am beyond grateful to them for this. Thinking about the future gets me excited. I can see myself in the next year with another business under my arm." - Service user at Cheka Sana.