Alternatives to street Life

Daniela

FUN was the order of the day at the Hero’s Welcome beach event held in honour of the director of uMthombo Street Children SA, Mpendulo Nyembe, who undertook a 400km cycle from London to Paris to raise funds for local street children and youth.

On the day of the event, a multi-sports festival was held on the beach at which street-connected children, the youth and public took part in various sports which was followed by a prize giving and celebration of life. The publicity generated by this event resulted in the organisation receiving over 42 calls from young street-connected individuals and families seeking help.

uMthombo Street Children SA’s team is a fusion of social work professionals, community workers and childcare-trained former street-connected children and youth, focus on teenagers. uMthombo has a unique understanding of the dynamics of the street-connected child experience through its multiple years of involvement.

uMthombo’s holistic model leads children and youth out of street life towards alternatives. In many cases, this means reintegration back into their communities.

In cases where there is nowhere to return to, uMthombo refers children and youth to appropriate alternative care, and those older than 16 are supported to develop independent living, integrated into their communities. Due to complex multiple trauma, getting children and youth off the streets is a careful process. There are no quick-fixes, but children’s lives can be – and are being – transformed.

“Despite the calls for help, not a single person has yet come forward to offer financial help. uMthombo needs more resources to be able to respond effectively to these cries for help,” said Nyembe.

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