OWF IS SAVING CHILD BEGGARS ON THE STREETS OF GEORGIA
There are more than 2000 street children in Georgia, 30% of which are ethnic Roma and another 25% are migrants from Azerbaijan. Most of these children are begging on the streets of Tiblisi and Kutaisi which is the second largest city in Georgia. OWF has taken the decision to step in and extend its support to those, trying to help Georgia's street children.
OWF supported World Vision Switzerland by providing funding for their daycare center at Kutaisi where up to 300 children are living and working on the city's streets. World Vision provides child protection services to those kids as they often become victims of abuse, violence or trafficking. They also face severe discrimination and prejudices and are subject to labour exploitation, as they are forced to beg on the streets to provide daily living for their families. They attend school either irregularly or not at all, which results in illiteracy, thus increasing children's vulnerability.
The daycare center functions also as a crisis intervention center where children are taught basic hygiene habits and are health educated. They are also offered to attend various self-esteem classes and are supported to be integrated in school and reintegrated with families or foster homes. Basic literacy and math lessons are also provided.
The World Vision's holistic approach includes mobile outreach teams to identify children (a social worker and a psychologist, an administrative worker and a peer educator), daycare and advocacy work on a regional and national level.
We believe that developing a sustainable child care and systemic solutions for children living and working on the streets is essential. By providing funding to this project, we ensure that the street children of Kutaisi enjoy good health and basic education. As well as that, they become reintegrated into the society and develop vision for their future. OWF is proud to be part of the solution and we hope that other cities will implement this approach too.