Ivory Coast: Abobo Welcomes Street Children
This project provides a safe residence for children who otherwise live on the street. The children receive medical and counseling support and then are gradually placed into public schools while being reunited with their families.
This project focuses on street children between 8 and 15 years of age who have been disassociated from their families. The children are welcomed from the local area where they are found running free in the streets, often getting into trouble and running drugs. The area is a very poor area with garbage in the streets and poor shanties for the local people.
The Abobo campus consists of a series of small dormitories for 8 children and a counselor in which each student is given his own bed and closet. The children are typically here for about 3 years before they are placed back into their own homes, or homes of relatives.
The facility is set up in a village-like arrangement, with very nice dormitories surrounding a central meeting area. The grounds have facilities for soccer and other sports; a library is currently being constructed which will replace the other, smaller and dysfunctional library on campus.
The school has approximately 50 street children. Efforts are made to associate them with the families and, where possible, to place them in the public school system. When this is not possible, tutoring of the students occurs on campus.
The students are responsible for the maintenance of the property which includes helping to serve the food, keeping the floors and tables clean, working in the garden, etc. Medical attention is given to the students through the services of a nearby religious congregation of Roman Catholic sisters who are involved in medical ministries.
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