Street Kids Direct have been involved in mapping the whereabouts of children living in the streets in Guatemala since it began and before that the charity´s founder, Duncan Dyason, was involved in identifying the places children lived on the streets and ensured records were kept since 1993.
With this in mind and having seen the numbers of children on the streets of Guatemala fall from an estimated 5,000 in 1991 to now zero, Street Kids Direct would like to expand its mapping and gapping study to other places around the world. The study will take an estimated 3-4 years and will see volunteers and project partners using technology to help count and map street-living children.
A mapping and gapping study is a geographical survey of countries that have traditionally had children living on the streets and to firstly map where they are and the numbers, then mapping charities, government agencies and others who work for the benefit of the children. As the mapping takes place one can start to see where the gaps are and where children are not being reached as well as where there is duplication.
In 2024 Duncan and others from Street Kids Direct will begin to travel, at their own cost, to other countries to begin the study. We will be looking for projects and contacts of anyone who works with street-living children only. Our focus must be to impact the lives of children living on the streets and see how the work we have done in Central America could offer some support or solutions to bringing the number of children living on the streets around the world to zero!
How our specialist database of vulnerable children impacts lives
Street Kids Direct, together with Novecom UK have created a unique database programme and app that helps staff and volunteers keep a track of the children in their care.
Most days the team need to access records of the children and often this means accessing information in times of emergency or when offices are closed.
One boy who recently was helped is 10-year-old Denis from Guatemala who felt very sick with possible Dengue Fever and was haemorrhaging blood. The SKDGuatemala team took him from the tin shack he lives in with his family and rushed him to an emergency clinic, accessing his personal and medical information on route. The information helped process him quickly and he received the attention and medication he needed. Subsequent checks (photo left & above) showed a dramatic improvement in his health and he is now well enough to return to school and normal life.
The app that was developed by Novecom now needs to expand to allow the staff and volunteers to register their progress, their personal and health development as well as track attendance and how the mentoring programme is impacting their lives.
We need extra funds to help with the development of the app and database programme and on the back of this we will be able to create a module that can be used by phones to map the locations of street-living children around the world. Furthermore, the app can then be offered to organisations that work to help this vulnerable people group.
Developing technology to help children
There are two phases to the development of the app and mapping software.
- Add new features to the existing app and database to handle impact evaluation tools, attendance, personal and health development monitoring.
- Create a new database and mapping tool for field research and for accurately identifying the locations of street-living children and who is working with them.
App and database development are not cheap and Novecom are committed to offering their help and dedicated staff to create a robust tool that will be used for many years to come.
Street Kids Direct feels that the technological advances, together with Ai, will help us identify where the children are most at risk and in need and help provide a coordinated approach with partners and local and national government to help children everywhere to not see the streets as a viable option for life.
Please do help support this huge task and we would be happy to discuss with you the funding needed for stage two. The costs of stage one are highlighted below for larger project, trust or company funding and partnership.
Do check out the NOVECOM DIGITAL website for more information.
This function will allow staff and volunteers to accurately record attendance at the mentoring centres and report concerns, monitor homework and make awards to the children.
To help measure the manner in which the mentoring programme and the intervention of staff and mentors is having on the health and wellbeing of the children.
Records of children will be defined by country and project in order to protect data and access the correct records of the children in each programme.
The final stage will be to provide accurate GPS mapping facilities to show the actual location of children in the programme and where they could go to find help and support.