Hearing so many different statistics and figures about street children can be overwhelming. We must never forget that behind every statistic there is a real young person with real memories, stories and pain.
Pokemon. Fanas. Sechaba. Suliaman. Ashley. These are the names of just some of the street children with whom the trustees have worked in Africa.
When we hear about the violence of the streets, we think of Pokemon who was stabbed to death at age seventeen. When we think of street children turning to prostitution, we think of Fanas. When we hear of former child soldiers, living on the streets we think of Suliaman. When we hear of children turning to the streets because of violence at home we think of Sechaba. When Sechaba was eight he witnessed his father killing his mother in a fit of rage. He then fled to the streets to escape the wrath of his father. This list could go on and on and on…..
We would like to say thank you to all the inspirational young people living on the streets with whom we have met. They were the inspiration for Laughter Africa. Pokemon, Ashley, Suliaman. Sadly, the list of names goes on and on….. It is you who sowed the seeds for Laughter Africa. Although sadly some of you may no longer be with us rest assured that your legacy will live on through our work. Without you, Laughter Africa would never have existed.
When you accept our help you become part of the Laughter Africa family; you are not just another statistic. Like any family we will take lots and lots of photographs and put them up around the house; up on the wall and even in the family photo albums – a sign of true belonging.
We invite each child who has been able to turn their life around, with a little help from us, to contribute their stories to our online book so that they will always be a part of the Laughter Africa story. Every street child has their own story to share – how they ended up on the streets, what their experience of the streets was like and their hopes and aspirations for the future. We will post updates to their stories so that you can follow their progress – if they find a job, if they have a family. In so doing, the child moves beyond being seen only as a “street child”; you will learn to know each child by their name.
Click here to visit our online book to see some of the young people with whom we have worked and to read their stories. Visit our YouTube channel so that you can listen to the children tell you their stories in their own words.