Street life is tough and most kids are on the streets because they have been abandoned there, live there with their parents or are runaways from abusive and dangerous home situations.
Duncan and the Mi Arca team visit the kids on the streets, offering first aid, love and hope. We work in partnership with other agencies to offer support, training and opportunities to the children on the streets.
Please consider making a donation to help our work, it is vital and we are making a difference.
Over the last 20 years that Duncan has been working on the streets of Guatemala he has seen a dramatic reduction in the number of children on the streets and a decline in the abuse and killing of street children.
Working to prevent more children taking to the streets is an urgent priority for us and this is why we help fund projects that work with the most vulnerable children and young people from some of the most dangerous areas of Guatemala City.
So many of the children we help come from very dysfuncional and often violent families. They live in poverty and have to cope with abuse, neglect and gang violence on a daily basis. Since these are some of the push factors that propel children towards street life we help provide a network of caring adults and links with specialist organisations that can help prevent children living on the streets.
The Manuelito Children's Home offers safe refuge for nearly 50 children, all of whom have been rescued from the streets or situations of high risk and neglect.
Your donation makes a massive difference. Watch a short video here from one of the volunteers about their visit to the home.
Maria (photo right) is the newest and youngest member of the Manuelito family. She and her little brother were rescued from a very dangerous situation and took a while to adapt to the love and security of the home. For many, it takes years to begin the process of understanding how their early years of neglect and abuse has impacted their education, health, body and well-being.
The couple in charge of the home are Mauricio and Helga Pinto who moved to the home 2 years ago with their 2 young children. They made a great sacrifice to give up well-paid jobs in the capital but would not trade their new life for the life they used to live.
We are very confident of their work and the care the children receive. Duncan visits the home regularly and stays there to help work with the children and support the staff.
Your gift this Christmas will mean so much to the children. Often food is in short supply and so any gift you can give will make a massive difference and give these kids a memorable Christmas. Thank you.
KIDS ON THE RUBBISH DUMP
Life is tough for the 250 children who work daily on the rubbish dump for as little as $1 per day.
It is dangerous work and we still miss 7-year-old Kevin who died earlier this year when he was dragged under a rubbish truck.
For many children each day starts at 6am when they get up and prepare for their day on the dump. Soon after 7am they have climbed the hill to the top of the vast mountain of rubbish and work unrelentingly under the blistering sun until it begins to get dark.
There is not just danger on the dump from rubbish trucks, buldozers, broken glass and all manner of chemicals and waste products, there is a major problem of child abuse, child prostitution, drug abuse and where children just seem to "disappear"!
Street Kids Direct has been working with our Honduran partner, AFE, for over 10 years. During this time we have seen the number of children on the dump decrease mainly due to the school we have helped build for them. The AFE school is situated literally across the road from the rubbish dump and now educates and feeds up to 160 children a day.
This year we had the joy of seeing our first group of 8 students graduate from the AFE School and begin college and university. One of the boys who started university this year used to spend every day on the dump and his only dream was to be the driver of one of the rubbish trucks. He is now studying to be an engineer.
Thank you for your support of our work, it makes so much difference.