SATOA's charity of choice is elected from nominations sent in by members. The charity is required to be small and personal, involved in the community, conservation or both. SATOA will hold specific sponsorship opportunities at each event for the appointed charity. All proceeds raised are then given to the chosen charity.
A bit more about our charity...Street Child is a UK charity, established in 2008, that aims to create educational opportunity for some of the world's most vulnerable children.
Our Urban Work - Creating maximum impact upon the numbers of children whose lives are controlled by the streets. We work directly with street children in their own environment towards reunification with their families, reintroduction to education and the creation of a sustainable home-life for their ongoing upbringing. Between 2008 and 2012 we helped unify around 2000 children with their families.
Our Rural Work - Bringing access to education to some of the poorest rural locations in the world. Through teacher training and the establishment of educational facilities in areas where they are needed most, we work towards ensuring that out of school children have the chance to gain an education. Between 2010 and 2013 we helped more than 20,000 children gain access to education.
Our research shows that there are close to 50,000 children that rely upon the streets of Sierra Leone for their survival. Around 3,000 of those are living and sleeping on the streets. Our goal is to help them all.
Many children suffer and, critically, do not access education because they live on the street and/or lack a supportive family environment. Some may be living at home but engaged in child labour during the day. At the more extreme end of the scale, we work with children living 100 percent of their time on the streets, for whom life is a daily struggle.
Our street teams exist to change this for as many children as possible. They find and befriend street children, becoming the safe adult that is missing in most street children's life. Our social workers then aim to unite a child with a family - usually their own - through a process of counselling and mediation.
Settled in a secure family environment, the child is safer and, most importantly ready to go to school, and build a better future for themselves. Between 2008 and 2013, our street teams reunified more than 2,500 children with their families.
Family Business Scheme
Sustainability sits at the heart of everything we do.
For so many of the families we work with, the cost of education is too high. Simple household poverty keeps thousands and thousands of children out of school, a tragic pattern which, unless broken, has the potential to self-repeat endlessly. Street Child’s Family Business Teams exist to change that.
Working alongside our street work teams, they provide families of street children with a tailored package of support that aims to enable those families to lift themselves out of extreme poverty so they are able to afford the costs of educating their children.
The teams provide business training, planning, grants, loans and incentivised savings schemes with impressive results. Between 2009 and 2013 more than 2000 family businesses have been established or supported by Street Child and over 90 percent of those families are still managing to fund education for the children that our street work teams first met on the street.
In 2010, Street Child launched a rural schools programme supporting 5 communities in the remote chiefdom of Tambakha. The project focuses on ‘first ever schools’ for some of the most remote parts West Africa, where children generally miss out on the opportunity to gain even the most basic literacy and numeracy skills.
We work with communities to construct basic schools and promote the importance of education. We then identify members of the community to undertake distance teacher training.
The project has grown over the past 3and a half years to support almost 400 teachers and has a presence in a total of 127 communities across Sierra Leone. As a result, Street Child has now created first ever access to education for over 17,000 children in rural communities.
In addition, our innovative sustainability initiatives are aimed at ensuring schools ability to fund teacher salaries and other expenses on an independent basis until the Government is in a position to take over.
Communities have been provided with agricultural grants and technical support to develop collective rice farms and seed lending schemes where the interest gained following harvest is sold to meet educational costs.
Last year, in recognition of our effective and rapid response to the West African Ebola crisis, Street Child was asked to work with local partners in Nepal to assist in re-establishing education in some of the country's worst-affected communities. Working with local partners, Street Child has constructed 40 temporary schools and 24 WASH facilities for 3,200 children in Okhaldhunga, one of the hardest to reach communities affected by the earthquake. Going forward, we will continue our support by building more permanent and earthquake resilient schools to ensure children have safe places to continue their education.
Street Child Commercial
Street Child Commercial, our innovative in-country fundraising arm, was launched in January 2011 with the opening of a shop selling snacks and toiletries to predominantly expat customers on an AML construction camp in Makeni.
Three years on, we are now operating 5 shops and 3 café bars as well as our flagship bar and restaurant The Clubhouse in Makeni. Additional Street Child Commercial initiatives include a phone credit distribution business and an agricultural project with other initiatives currently in development.
Street Child Commercial offers the charity a sustainable source of funds from within Sierra Leone whilst also creating employment opportunities and raising awareness of our work.
Amputee Project - Supporting child amputees in parnership with Elizabeth's Legacy of Hope
It is a sad reality that limited medical expertise and the often dangerous living conditions for those living beneath the poverty threshold cause many children to unnecessarily lose their limbs. It can lead to incredible financial and emotional stress for families already dealing with lives characterised by a distressing level of need.
In response to these issues, Street Child works in partnership with the brilliant UK charity Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope (ELoH), supporting more than 180 child amputees in Sierra Leone and Liberia. The amputees receive medical, psychological and educational support which enables them to walk, go to school and live active lives. It also empowers the children and gives them the opportunity to build a good future for themselves, free from poverty.
As part of the project, all children receive medical assessments and are provided with the necessary support, including surgery, fitting of prosthetics and physiotherapy. They receive medical care throughout their childhood and need new prosthetics as they grow. The growing of the remaining bones in their stumps also needs to be closely monitored as it can lead to complications that need to be addressed.
In addition to long-term medical support, the children receive psychological care. This is important as amputees often face stigma and prejudice because of their disability, which often results in the development of low self-worth and a sense of exclusion from society. To address these psychological effects, our trained social workers work closely with the children and their families, regularly providing them with individual, family and group counselling.
Another crucial element in the Street Child - ELOH partnership is to ensure all child amputees are enrolled in school. The children in the project come from very poor families who are unable to afford to sustain school fees. We therefore cover their tuition fees and provide material support in their first year, and our social workers offer emotional support to ensure the children go back to school. Furthermore, all families are provided business support in the form of grants, trainings and individualised advice. This enables them to build sustainable businesses which can support the long-term education and well-being of their children.
The child amputee project has been running since 2012 and its long-term, holistic support has proved very successful, changing the lives of many vulnerable children. If you want to learn more about the project and the situation of child amputees go to Elizabeth’s Legacy of Hope’s website. Here you can also find information about the individual projects in Sierra Leone and Liberia, and read the stories of some of the children we support.
Commercial Sex Workers
One of the saddest realities for young women living on the streets of Sierra Leone is their reliance upon commercial sex in order to survive. We are committed to offering these girls a better way of life.
Our research shows that there are nearly 2,000 underage girls overtly engaged in commercial sex work in Sierra Leone - some as young as 14 years old - but there are thousands more who are engaged in varying degrees of transactional sex.
Street Child is focused on offering these girls an alternative source of income through vocational training and a safe place to live while they acquire the skills to find sustainable employment.
Through tailored counselling, education on and screening for sexually transmitted infections, and workshops designed to prepare girls for life away from their reliance on the streets; we work towards offering former commercial sex workers all that they require for a more secure way of life.
London, EC2N 4AH
Street Child relies on supporters to ensure that they can continue assisting some of the world's most vulnerable children. If you would like to contribute to this worth cause, DONATE NOW!