Classified as street children they are regarded as trouble makers, criminals and not welcome as part of society. They have found themselves mixed up in all sorts of bad behaviour and the victims of crime almost daily. When we first meet them they have very little faith in adults and very little faith in themselves. From the word go we start helping them find themselves again.
Simple things make a huge difference; not having to fight for food or protect themselves takes a huge stress from their shoulders. Daily routines are a shock at first but quickly lay down a structure so they know what to expect from a day. Rules set the limits and boundaries and this helps the children modify their own behaviour as they realise the rules act in their favour.
Having had little structure beforehand and too much time on their hands, we get them busy.
We organise a lot of games and sport, and the boys are football crazy. We sing a lot and dance is a major activity for both boys and girls. These are really great sources of self discipline and they help the children to bond into a unit and feel part of the St George family; we encourage them to consider themselves brothers and sisters.
They notice the change in themselves and start to feel pride in their achievements and the act of returning to school is a huge boost to their self esteem and a major step to their future lives.
With a mix of Christian and Muslim children we encourage them to explore and actively pursue their original faiths, and to build their own relationships with God and to learn to trust in his support.
It’s a very exciting year for the children and one in which everything changes for them for the better. Within months these stressed and violent recruits are charming, intelligent and passionate about life again and fun to share time with.