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Offering a refuge in times of trouble

Thanks to funds raised on Radio Christmas and the support of Global Care UK we have been able to keep the Casa Alexis Children´s Home open in Guatemala City.

The Protection Home was opened to offer a safe place of refuge for children and families at great social risk. The home has been used to protect children who have had death threats from gangs, families in great need or homeless and children and youth who need times of protection, love, care and support.

This past week these three sisters were able to be with us due to some challenging family situations.  The girls loved the experience of being cared for able and sleep safely while arrangements were made for their longer term care.

Your support really impacts lives and helps us be there when children need us most.

THANK YOU


Breaking rules for Street Kids Direct!

Street Kids Direct began receiving a large number of donations for 50p, £1 and £2 all of a sudden and wondered what was happening as the messages said "Let´s break those rules!" and we wondered what was going on!

After some investigation we discovered that the donations came from parents of the children at Elangeni School in Amersham who had decided to organise a fundraising event when they returned to school this year.  Hannah Wittich from the Elangeni School Council wrote to us this week to explain what they did.  

We loved the idea so much and think it could be a fantastic fundraising opportunity for other schools as it easy to setup and raised so much more than they had planned.  

THANK YOU ELANGENI SCHOOL FOR YOUR SUPPORT.


 

Break RulesREPORT BY HANNAH

By Hannah Wittich

On Friday 19th January, Elangeni School had an amazing ‘Break the Rules Day’ to raise money for Street Kids and Radio Christmas. It was organised by the school council who came up with 6 rules that could be broken by the pupils.

The rules suggested were: Hair not tied up, shirt untucked, own choice of t-shirt, colourful socks, non-regulation footwear and bringing a toy to school. For each broken rule children were charged 50p and there was a great sense of excitement around the school (from the pupils not the teachers!!)

Our target was to raise £250 for this amazing charity but we actually smashed the target and raised £624 which is a HUGE amount.

My favourite rule to break was having my hair down however wearing funky shoes was also very exciting. This was a fun day where we got to help others and have lots of fun!!


They Shoot Children, Don´t They?

In 1991 the BBC broadcast its popular Sunday evening Everyman documentary programme and one programme in the series has impacted the lives of thousands of children in Central America. 

The programme was called `They Shoot Children, Don´t They?´and highlighted the torture and killing of children on the streets of Guatemala City, in Guatemala, Central America.

That dark Sunday night Duncan Dyason was on his way home from running a youth group at his church in Amersham and turned on the TV not knowing the programme was to be screened and could not believe what he was watching.

The programme and the plight of the children living on the streets changed his life and the following year Duncan moved to Guatemala City and began to work on the streets with the organisation that was featured in the TV documentary.  The rest is history!

The full programme is now available to watch on our YouTube channel and on VIMEO thanks to Judy Jackson who directed the programme and gave us permission to share the video.  Her commitment to bringing the desperate situation of the torture and killing of street children to the world stage led to the reduction of children living on the streets and the establishment of many programmes to help the children.

Today Guatemala does not have any children living on the streets and we are thankful to Judy for the hard work she and her team did to make this documentary.

WATCH THE FULL VIDEO HERE


Go Guatemala plans to open a school

One of the projects that Street Kids Direct has supported for over 10 years is the Go Guatemala ministry in Guatemala City.  The dedicated team of volunteers work in the notorious zone 18, which is infamous for its gang membership, kidnappings, extortions and gang warfare.

Pastors Alex and Evelyn, together with their children and a huge team of volunteers reach out to around 120 at-risk children and youth and provide them with a support structure that helps them thrive, stay in education and make good decisions about not going into the gang.

Street Kids Direct are committed to helping Go Guatemala and will continue to provide funding that will cover the rent of the building they are using for their outreach. Thanks to funds raised on Radio Christmas we have been able to make this possible.

This year Go Guatemala will be extending their work thanks to being given a licence from the Guatemalan government to establish a school on their premises.  The school will offer two shifts for local children, a morning shift for fee-paying children and an afternoon shift for children in their programme who won´t need to pay.

Alex is adamant that the children get the very best education and get the support they need to cope with the trauma they live with on a daily basis.  “So many of the children see family members go into gangs and die at an early age”, Alex explained.  “We talk to the children about what is happening in their lives and how to cope with abuse, violence and the daily threat of the gang” he added.

We are hopeful that we can help raise further funds to convert part of the building Go Guatemala are using into school rooms.  Street Kids Direct are excited to partner with this innovative project and we hope that this year we will see the establishment of its specialist school for at-risk children in zone 18.