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International Day for Street Children: Listening and Reacting to their Plights

Streets are home to millions of children across the world where they battle everyday to survive. They sleep under open sky in dangerous places like railway platforms, bus stations and abandoned buildings and eat from charity soup kitchens and garbage dumps. They are compelled to engage in minor jobs as cleaners and street sellers to provide for themselves.

Instead of attending school and spending time with their friends, vulnerable children are exposed to organises crime and are always worried about their survival.

A spokes person for Muslim Aid said: “Poverty, conflicts and disasters are the main causes why children are left without shelter, family and education and are often forced to live on streets. At Muslim Aid we strongly believe that children are our future. Investing in our future and giving children opportunities to enjoy their childhood is fundamental responsibility of society. We endeavour to provide a stepping stone for children in need through education, skills training and healthcare.”

Of an estimated 100 million street children worldwide, around 1.5 million live in Pakistan. Muslim Aid has taken initiative to support street children in Pakistan with the aim of giving these children a normal life through education and healthcare. The Charity has set up two care centres for children in Tarlai and Barma Town in Islamabad which run awareness campaigns to address the social issues of street children. In addition, the centres focus on providing education at primary level, quarterly health screening sessions, developing the personality and creative skills of the children, and at the same time giving mentoring and counselling services to children where appropriate.

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