“There is huge untapped potential in every child”: what makes Salaam Baalak different from other charities?
In a country with high levels of infant and child mortality, low levels of literacy, and with 50% of the population in some states living below the poverty line, it perhaps comes as no surprise that there are thousands of NGO's (non-governmental organisations: non-profits or charities as we more commonly refer to them in the UK) in the capital alone. Over the coming months we're outlining some of the unique things about Salaam Baalak Trust (SBT) and highlighting what sets us apart from other, seemingly similar, charities.
For the first part of our 'mini-series' we are putting the spotlight on the multi-disciplinary approach offered by Salaam Baalak Trust.
There are plenty of street children’s organisations that run a residential home or two, or contact points, or a night shelter. Some work more on advocacy and outreach, or run a mobile school, or have a good programme of activities in education, sport or arts. Many of them do a very good job, in what we know to be very challenging circumstances. But there are few, if any, that span all of these as SBT does.
There are huge differences between the work of, on the one hand, a contact point in a slum area or train station, with almost no facilities except for knowledge and dedication of social workers but the task of trying to reach out to street children, and on the other hand career counselling for 17 or 18 year olds who have been living in a residential home and going to school for years.
But as Salaam Baalak Trust operate both the contact points and shelter homes, it does allow for the SBT-wide programmes in education, mental health, sport and arts to reach across the different centres and to spread more widely the guiding SBT philosophy: that there is huge untapped potential in every child, which can either slowly die due to drugs or violence on the streets, or have a chance to flourish if they are given a platform.
This efficient multi-disciplinary approach allows SBT beneficiaries to flow through one system from their first point of contact on the streets to receiving guidance for living independently at 18 years old, and the many years in between, rather than being bounced from one charity to another.
Look out for our second 'What makes SBT different' feature in our next newsletter.
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