Child Empowerment and Protection
There are a large number of children and youths living or spending most of their time on the streets of Hawassa with many factors such as Poverty, death of parents, conflict in family, peer pressure, job searching etc. The situation for those children and youth is very harsh. Similarly, many street connected children and youth are living on the different corners of Hawassa. Relation to this, Center of Concern is concerned and implementing a project entitled “Child Empowerment and Protection” targeting street living children and youths. The main objective of the project is to prevent marginalization of extremely vulnerable children & youth & to protect and promote resilient livelihoods to ensure adequate food availability and income access across urban poor communities.
Street children face different challenges when they are leaving on the street among them meeting their basic needs like food, cloth and finding decent and secure sleeping places, lack of access to services such as health, education and recreation are some of them. Besides violence is another challenge perpetuated by older boys, members of the public and the police, sexual abuse is also one of the main problems they faced, as they are living unprotected and are highly vulnerable section of the society. Especially female street children are more vulnerable to street life than their male counterparts due to gender based violence and exploitation.
In response to this, Center of Concern with the financial support of GOAL Ethiopia is implementing this project since 2012 to assist Street Living Children and Youth (SLCY) through providing packaged services (provision of trainings like, life skill, health education, business development skill, etc, Psychosocial support, Non Formal Education, Provision of sanitary materials, conducting sport and recreational activities) in rehabilitation center named Drop in Rehabilitation Center at Hawassa City Administration to make them ready for different exit options, Such as reunification, vocational skill training and IGA in order to improve the economic and social status of SLCYs. The process of the service provision is shown in the following diagram.
Hence, this project is contributing a lot and has brought remarkable behavioral change for beneficiaries of the project and fulfilled the social and economic gaps of many street living children and youths and reintegrate them with the community in healthy manner. In connection to this, it supported them to be protected from various forms of abuses, empowered them to develop self-confidence and participate equally in the community and enables them to fulfill their basic needs (such as, food, shelter, medical etc…) and lead their life independently through generating income from their descent work environment.