WHERE THE MONEY GOES
Radio Christmas is a project of Street Kids Direct, a Registered UK charity. The charity is unique in that it is an online charity run entirely run by volunteers. This means we can guarantee that 100% of all our donations go directly to the projects we partner with in Central America.
Our focus has always been to help rescuer children from the streets and work to prevent more children taking to the streets. The work is often very challenging, but seeing the impact that your donations make in the life of a child is heart-warming. We hope you will have time to read one or more of the stories below.
CHILDREN ON THE STREETS
When the charity's Director and Founder, Duncan Dyason MBE, moved to Guatemala in 1992 there were an estimated 5,000 children living on the streets (statistic from Casa Alianza). After 27 years working on the streets on Guatemala City, there are no longer any children living alone on the streets. The boy in the photo on the right is called Jonathan and he was the last child we rescued off the streets in 2017. Most of our street work today is focussed on surveying the streets for new children and rescue them before they become acclimatized to street life and to help those adults who are living on the streets to leave or stay alive.
The majority of our funding is focussed on keeping vulnerable street-connected children off the streets. We do this by identifying those most at risk and offering them the support of a caring mentor in their life, the opportunity to go to school, medical support and access to a mentoring centre.
STORIES OF CHANGED LIVES
Sergio is in his early 20’s and is currently living in a drug rehabilitation home. He has been alone in this world since his mother died when he was just 10 years old. As a teenager he ended up living on the streets of ‘La Terminal’ in Guatemala City and began taking drugs. It is unclear which came first but the two go hand in hand quite often.
As a charity we became involved in his life over five years ago and have seen him leave the streets and return there more than once.
Despite all he has suffered Sergio is a delightful and caring young man. He wants to study and learn and has dreams of becoming a pilot. However, the draw of the drugs and streets have repeatedly had a strong hold over him. Our SKD Guatemala street team has supported him and been consistent in his life through several stints in rehab and several relapses. Last time he left rehab the team found him a good job and a room of his own, they supported him and helped him, but unfortunately a few drinks after work with friends lead to him spiralling and back on the streets.
Thankfully this is not the end of his story as the street team were able to place him in another rehab and he is doing fantastically well. He is finally getting the psychological help he needs to find the root of his addiction and work through the trauma in his past.
The street team is already working on a plan for when he leaves where he will continue to be supported throughout his recovery. It is through your donations that the street team can be so present in the lives of people like Sergio and continue to support them and help them leave the streets.
Damaris is a lovely 14-year-old girl who has been transformed through the work of SKD Guatemala.
Damaris is the oldest of five children in her family and when we first met her over four years ago she was very shy, with next to no self confidence and low self-worth. She, along with her younger siblings, was often subjected to a father who would drink and then come home and beat their mother.
Street Kids Direct have been able to support her and her family in lots of ways, including rest bite in the "Casa Alexis" Protection Home. Through the SKD mentoring centre and mentoring programme Damaris and her whole family have been helped and supported. All five of the children are in school or nursery and are doing really well.
Just four years ago Damaris could not read or write and now her school grades are consistently in the high 90’s-100%. She used to shy away from people and would say ‘I can’t’ a lot when new activities or experiences were presented. Since then, we have seen her come out of her shell, laughing with her peers and taking on leadership roles in the centre. We have also seen her learn to ride a bike and take on challenges like high rise obstacle courses. This year Damaris achieved her dream of being in the school band and did a great job. As a charity we have even been able to help her father seek help for his drinking problem. Transformations like these can’t happen without your support and donations, so thank you.
Juan Carlos is 14 years old and lives alone with his mother. This past year has been a difficult one for him. His mother suffers with depression and they have very little in the way of material wealth.
Earlier in the year Juan Carlos stopped going to school and decided he didn’t want to have a mentor anymore. His attendance at the centre dropped and we were all very concerned for him. Thankfully through persistence and hard work from our team Juan Carlos started to come back to the centre and even started to help out with activities and the younger children. The team were able to encourage him back into regular school attendance and get him the help he needed to catch up. His servant heart and desire to help others is evident and there has been an obvious transformation in his life over the past few months.
His home situation has not changed but his attitude has. He has matured and been able to grow through the genuine love and consistency of positive adults in his life through the work of SKD Guatemala. We were so pleased in October this year when he graduated from primary school. This was a great achievement due to ther fact thatearlier this year he was barely even going to school! The support of organisations like Global Care and individuals who donate make these amazing life transformations in children here in Guatemala possible.