Street to School

International Day for Street Children

The International Day for Street Children is on 12 April. It provides a platform for the millions of street-connected children and their champions around the world to speak out so that their rights cannot be ignored.

When we launched the day with the Consortium for Street Children (CSC) in 2011, 30 countries took part. Now children, NGOs, celebrities, policy makers, businesses and individuals in over 130 countries are getting involved. Our aim is that the UN will officially adopt the International Day for Street Children, because this will give the issue greater global exposure and increase pressure on governments to act.

This year we’re amplifying street children’s voices by encouraging people to #TweetForTheStreet. Here's how you can get involved:

1) Follow CSC on Twitter @streetchildren
2) Share and amplify content using #TweetForTheStreet
3) Create your own #TweetForTheStreet e.g Every #streetchild should have the opportunity to receive a quality education #TweetForTheStreet

We are also hosting events to raise funds and awareness for our charity partners, including a football match in Ireland, breakfast events in Singapore and Vietnam, and a donation drive in Canada to collect items such as toothpaste and soap for homeless young people.

For more information on the day visit www.streetchildrenday.org.

Street to School is our flagship community project. Since it was launched in 2009, we have helped more than 800,000 children in 17 different countries. 

The idea is simple – every child should have access to education, because education is insurance for a better life. Street to School is active in every country where we operate. During 2013 we shifted our focus from just being a champion for street child rights to being a catalyst. That means working with partners to develop more sustainable, lasting outcomes and helping more people work together on behalf of street-connected children.

A child runs away from home in the UK every five minutes. Last year, Samantha Cameron hosted a reception for 120 guests at 10 Downing Street with Railway Children, our long-term partner, to raise awareness of this issue. Railway Children helps vulnerable young people who are alone and at risk on Britain’s streets. Find out more about our partnership with Railway Children below.

We also held a pioneering round table in South East Asia in partnership with the UN and Consortium for Street Children. Read our case study for more information.

Railway Children

Mumsnet It’s a startling statistic. In the UK, a child runs away from home every five minutes. This is an issue that’s very close to the heart of our Street to School partner, Railway Children. To raise awareness of the issue amongst policy makers, in December, we held a parliamentary policy briefing with Railway Children. Former Children’s Minister, Tim Loughton MP, said that the issue had until recently been “a largely unappreciated problem” and argued that the child-protection system must become more child centric.

As part of our ongoing partnership with Railway Children, at the beginning of 2013 we set up a dedicated online space at Mumsnet. The space was somewhere parents can find out more about the reasons children sometimes run away. In March, the campaign received a boost when Samantha Cameron, wife of the UK’s prime minister, hosted a reception at 10 Downing Street to raise awareness about the issue.

The site included expert tips about how to talk to children, and how to spot and deal with the early signs of a problem. It also gave advice about how to give them the independence they crave, while helping them stay safe. We donated £2 every time someone uses social media to like, share and post on the site. During the campaign Aviva helped to raise more than £195,000 to support Railway Children.

Twinkling Stars

Twinkling Stars The rapid industrialisation and urbanisation of China has seen millions of people move to urban areas in search of employment and prosperity. Twinkling Stars, our Street to School project in China, gives some of the 61 million children left behind with other family members some much-needed educational, emotional and welfare support.

Care Houses in rural primary schools create a safe, positive environment where the children can learn, play, thrive...and dream a little. Through emails, adverts, an online video and social media activity, hundreds of volunteers from inside and outside the company have been attracted to teach at the schools, run summer camps and organise drawing competitions to draw attention to the needs of left-behind children.

We helped organize for key government organisations and academic experts to write a research paper and attend a conference on the psychological health of left-behind children in Beijing.