We are really excited in our office in Beckenham as we have launched our first Crowd-Funding campaign!
Some of you contributed to this appeal on the back of our Christmas newsletter and we thank you for that, but we need you to help us again as we are still some way off of our £80,000 total target.
Here at Sreepur Village, Bangladesh we have been forced to make difficult choices about where to divert our funding and one of the choices that saddens us most is our lack of night time provision for vulnerable young girls living on the streets.
It’s stories like 15 year old Chadni’s that reinforce our need to act urgently. Chadni and her mother were abandoned by her father when Chadni was just a few years old. They were left destitute. Chadni’s mother remarried but her stepfather was violent and abusive towards Chadni and when the abuse eventually became unbearable she fled to the streets. At the tender age of 10, Chadni became 1 of over 450,000 street children living in the nation’s capital, spending her days picking through litter and searching for plastic to sell for a few pennies.
At age 13 Chadni’s luck changed when she was introduced to the Sreepur Village street children project where for the first time in her young life she felt safe. Chadni, in her own words, ‘loves the centre’ and visits regularly. She knows she will always receive a warm welcome from our kind and professional staff who offer support and guidance, nutritious meals and literacy and numeracy classes. And like all of the children, Chadni enjoys visiting the centre to use the washing facilities and toilets, watch TV, play and take shelter from the heat and commotion of city life.
We’ve always rented buildings for our street children project. Frustratingly landlords place restrictions on our opening times, preventing us from providing these children with the full care they deserve. Our current centre is open from 8am-4.30pm – this simply isn’t good enough. Life on the streets is tough beyond measure and street children often fall victim to exploitation and abuse. Girls are particularly vulnerable to physical and sexual abuse; at age 15 Chadni fell pregnant and we are now supporting and preparing her for motherhood.
We simply can’t be there for girls like Chadni every moment of the day. But next year, with your support we intend to purchase land and build a new centre – a safe haven with outside play areas that will be open 24hours a day, 7 days a week, every day of the year. Crucially a new and bigger centre will allow us to provide an urgently needed night shelter for our girls, as well as our boys.
Please make your pledge here and share, share and share again our request with your friends, family, colleagues, EVEN enemies! Help us to help children like Chadni be safe of a night.