Support Program for Homeless People and Street Children Project is one of the projects that SDE has been implementing since 2002. The project focuses on those people and children living on the street. The objective of the project is to improve the socio-economic conditions of homeless people and street children through capacity building and rehabilitation programs.
This project had been implemented through four sub-projects since the second year of the fourth extension project. Namely: Homeless Men, Homeless Women, Street children and Old & sick elders. The project has been receiving homeless females together with their kids because most of them are mothers even at very young ages.
SDE involved in this project owing to the existing sever problems in the area. The latest report of Population Census Commission (December 2008) reveals that the total number of population of Addis Ababa is 2,738,248 which comprise 23% of the country’s urban population. Despite Ethiopia has planned to attain holistic growth and development and to stand along countries with middle-level income in 2020, problems such as street life, drug, and alcohol addiction and beggary mainly exist in the city.
The major causes of the problem are poverty, poor work culture, and dependency. Moreover rural to urban migration, lack of social security, youths who would be supporter of elderly infected by HIV/AIDS, loose in extended family attachment, family breakdown, family imposition (in relation with early marriage, child labor, family conflict, and physical, psychological and sexual abuses), street-born children, peer pressure, illegal human trafficking, and man-made and natural disasters are among the major causes. In addition, misconceptions about physical disability as inefficiency to work, attraction by the glittering urban life, and immaturity and psychological capacity to recognize the consequences of street life contribute a lot to the problem.
Owing to these causes, different studies show that more than 5 to 10 thousand people live in street in the city; of which 90-93% are male, 7-10% are female and about 3% are elderly people. Hence the alarming increment of such social problems in Addis Ababa has exposed the victims to severe hunger, cold, disease, illiteracy, and other sufferings, leading to economic, social and psychological crises, which in turn adversely affect the images and development efforts of the country at large. It is in this situation and in line with the government’s policy and strategy that SDE initiated a prompt deliberation in the sector.
What do we do on this project?
This project tries to provide full packages of services that are believed to be helping the working age group of beneficiaries not to go back to street life. These include short-term technical skill training in which their standards, implementation, and certification will be undertaken according to the government’s Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) Agency strategy for such training. To this end, the homeless people stays for one year and are trained on tailoring, shoemaking and weaving whereas the street children stay in the project for two years; in the first year they will learn scouting and circus training and in the second year they will be transferred to the second house where they learn wood and metal work skills. Before they are graduated, both groups will be sent to factories for a cooperative training program for two months where they will mostly get job opportunities. They will be certified after government’s competency examination.
The project also facilitates psychosocial empowerment programs in various areas using professionals and internal human resources. Owing to the life history of homeless people and street living children, technical skill training only may not help them to go back to normal way of life or to bring about the project’s intended results. Therefore, individual and group counseling; life skill training focusing on improving self-esteem, positive behavioral change, improving communication skills, conflict resolution, preventive health education, family planning, HIV/AIDs related issues, saving and entrepreneurship e.t.c training are given on regular bases. The training are provided based on annually scheduled programs. Moreover, they undertake scheduled coffee ceremonies mainly designed by them and comprises debates on selected issues, questions and answers contests, poems, jocks, and dramas.
Moreover, they will be given the opportunity to pursue evening class in public schools. The project also continues to pay school fee for some time for those who continue their schooling after they have been graduated from the project. During their stay in the project, those who scored better class results (ranked 1-3 in the class) are used to be encouraged through recognition or awards.
Owing to the skill training and psychosocial interventions that the project undertakes, the target groups eventually will have some sort of income generating means and potentials. Therefore, after graduation, they are expected to generate income and start individual self-dependent life mainly through their efforts. To encourage this effort the project also supports house rent for three months provides sleeping pack ups (mattress, bed sheets, blankets, and pillows) and buys packages of cooking & home utensils. From the start of their enrollment to our center the project, additionally, enables the beneficiaries to have them pocket money, to save the portion of it in a bank account in order to help them having saving habits and use it as seed money after graduation. Those children who used to save more money will be awarded prize during graduation. Moreover, the project highly endeavors to create networks with those organizations that provide cooperative training and have employment potentials for our beneficiaries. Therefore, our target groups who choose to stay and train at least in one skill will have 100% employment opportunities.
In addition to the skill training, the project has been providing the following services to the homeless men, women, and children:
Food, shelter, and cloths
Recreation and entertainment
Creating access to reference and other reading books
Additionally, the project supports Old and Sick Elders (above 60 years old) through providing a daily meal service in collaboration with an enterprise called “Hope Enterprise”. 120 old and sick elders are included in this service. The project provides pocket money twice a year for cloth to these old and sick people. In this program, there are also 54-58 elderly women who are with a monthly financial support of ranging from Birr 100 to 350. SDE is highly proud of its achievements and created impacts in this project provided that working with street children and homeless people is so challenging.
The current three years project profile of Homeless People and Street Children Project
Project Title: Support Program for Homeless People and Street Children
Objectives: To improve the socio-economic conditions of homeless people and street children
Number of beneficiaries:
78 Homeless Men
110 Street Childre
174 old and sick elders
362 Direct Homeless People and Children
Family members, the concerned organs of the government and the community at large
Area of Operation: Lideta and Gulele Sub Cities of Addis Ababa City
Duration of the Project: Three Years (June 2016 to May 2018)
Implementer: Siddartha Development Ethiopia
Donor: Different individuals in Belgium through Siddartha Belgium and domestic supporters
Budget:Total = Birr 14,224,508
Direct project Cost= Birr 10,348,168 (73%)
Administrative Cost =Birr 3,876,340 (27%)