Ipusukilo Children’s Trust
Street children - who are they?
They are children who have run away from home or been forcibly thrown out, due to conflicts with parents, broken homes, ill treatment by family members, or attracted to the city life. Many are orphaned as parents have died of HIV/AIDS.
Where do they live and eat?
Having run away from an intolerable environment, they are forced to live on the streets, under bridges or make-shift shelters, eat from dustbins, or obtain food by begging or stealing.
What do they do?
They are begging, stealing or doing any odd jobs as a means of eking out a living. Many of them do not attend school. Few have good health and future prospects are very slim. Their way of life is tough and so do not live long if nobody comes to their aid.
Where are they found?
We see them every day on the streets of urban centres in Zambia; at markets, railway stations and bus stops-alone and ignored, shunned by society and considered to be a nuisance. They are often abused and neglected. Most will eventually grow up to be social misfits and criminal elements created by an uncaring society.
What do they really lack?
Somehow they manage to get food, shelter and clothes, by begging, borrowing, stealing or even selling their frail bodies (especially the young girls). What they cannot obtain is love, affection ... and security for the future. With love and affection their problems are almost solved, and they quickly begin to act like the normal children they really are.
Is there any help available to them?
Unfortunately, they are the most ignored members of our society. Though they are small children, they suffer from almost all the social problems in our uncaring world in which we live. They are constantly abused, hungry, sick and malnourished, have nowhere to sleep, and are exploited. And so end up using narcotic drugs to dull the pain of suffering. IPUSUKILO CHILDREN'S TRUST is some how providing love, food, clothes, opportunities for formal education and sometimes medication. We aim to provide the children a Christ-centered, structured, disciplined, and Christian lifestyle.
Many children are malnourished and unable to go to school due to lack of funds for fees, uniforms and books. It is our priority to support them and to resource some of the already established schools. We organize feeding, games, spiritual and social instruction. Some of these children need to be healed, delivered and to be made free from the problems of drink, drugs and immorality.
Street children need allies, they need friends and guidance, they need to feel accepted and ultimately they need a way off the streets. Some are able to go back to their families but for some, due to home situation, this is impossible. Part of our work on the street is to identify the children, reunite them with their families or come up with a new alternative. This is where the residential care facilities come in and play a vital role in the rehabilitation and rescuing of street children. There is always the temptation to give up on the children or say that they are a lost cause. However, there is hope and it comes from the great giver of hope himself - Jesus Christ.