We made a plan! For the upcoming 5 weeks we have scheduled a variety of tasks ranging from producing an image video to writing a convincing proposal for a project that requires 25.000€ funding – each year.
Our working plan for the first week said: Get to know the organisation and their work. And this is exactly what we did. We met all the employees and visited several projects LEEDO runs to help children on the streets. We spoke to different people explaining us the situation street children face and the current challenges LEEDO faces saving the children from the streets.
Adjusting our Plan
The next steps were then adjusting the previously made concept to the current situation of this organisation. The understanding of LEEDO’s work with the children was the foundation to plan out the upcoming five weeks. Next to improving website and social media channels we have identified further aspects of LEEDO’s work we can be helpful with . Our conversations with street workers have helped us understand what exactly LEEDO is lacking at this stage. We are going to create photo- and videocontent for the upcoming benefit dinner (Iftar), produce small videos for LEEDOs social media channels and the new website and write a detailed proposal to allocate a new source of funding for ‘SETU’ – a transitional shelter implemented by LEEDO.
Out in the field with Street Workers
The street workers spend almost every day in the areas where many street children live. These are busy places like the ferry terminal Sadarghat or the main railway station Kamalapur. In these environments it is easier for the the children to blend into the crowd and find food or little money. LEEDO’s street workers talk to the children and try to build up a relationship. This is of utmost importance for being able to help the children, only if you have earned their trust, they will accept your help. But it is far from easy building a trustful relationship since many children have been mislead and abused or held as slaves. Since trust isn’t built in a day or two, LEEDO has come up with a great concept to rescue children from the street. The transitional shelter ‘SETU’ (bangla = “bridge”) close to the ferry terminal plays an important role in LEEDO’s approach. The children can eat and sleep in the shelter, as long as they agree to register themselves at a local policestation. Well, they would – due to a lack of funding the shelter has closed.
‘SETU’ (bangla = “bridge”)
Like a bridge this shelter has functioned as an important link between the street workers day to day work and the orphanages. Streetworkers brought the children off the street to the shelter to investigate the reason why the child is living on the street. Most children are traumatized by their experiences but many still have family they could return to. With the help of the local police, LEEDO tries to reunite these children with their familes, as long as they agree. If there is no family or the situation at home is unbearable, LEEDO cooperates with different organisations and the government to find a permanent accommodation for the child.
The 360-degree approach
LEEDO is proud to offer everything necessary to rescue a child off the street and make a new life possible. Streetwork with mobile schools attached, the temporary shelter and an orphanage called ‘Peace Home’ are the three pieces that together form the 360-degree approach. Since SETU closed in march this year, the important bridge between the street work and the Peace Home is missing. Children willing to escape the dangerous streets of Dhaka have no shelter to go to. For this reason, we have made the search for funding for the shelter our highest priority. We have five weeks remaining to prepare a convincing proposal and reach out to a large number of foundations to find suitable funding. If we can succeed, we have helped changing the future for hundreds of street children – this is a huge motivation for us!