Street Child is a global federation of integrated education and child protection nonprofits which provide catalytic funding and support to local grassroots organizations in communities experiencing an education crisis, empowering and strengthening them to design and deliver rapid re-entry programs, and build systems-strengthening sustainability solutions which underpin access to and success in school. Long-term, our goal is to develop local communities and organizations to create their own systemic solutions to chronic disenfranchisement.
Operating at the humanitarian-development nexus and working exclusively through local partners, we have over the past decade designed, delivered and adapted for context a multitude of innovative, data-driven interventions aimed at accelerating education access and quality, and fast-tracking educational outcomes, for most-marginalized groups including refugees / displaced children, children living in extreme poverty, adolescent girls, and children affected by disease, disaster and conflict.
We have fundraising offices in the United Kingdom, United States, Italy, Germany, Spain and the Netherlands, and all offices work closely together to fund the same programs.
Sustainable change at scale is only possible if local solutions are mainstreamed into formal systems, so building networks of stakeholders locally, regionally and nationally and connecting solutions is a critical element of our work. Similarly, sustainability on the individual level can only happen if each individual is connected to an entire ecosystem of social, cultural, economic and legal structures necessary for a productive and secure future. We build and facilitate access to employment, health and hygiene, citizenship and voting, and address systemic discrimination through advocacy and sensitization with stakeholders e.g. employers, families and influencers.
Our work is always delivered by a local actor with links, history, experience and trust with the target community, and based on beneficiary input. We are among very few NGOs to push beyond a simple partnership to intentionally support the development of each local partner to widen their reach and impact. By putting our partners at the forefront of implementation and management, enabling meaningful community participation in program design and delivery, and bolstering links with influencers and international funders, each project fosters a high level of community buy-in, ownership, and sustainability long after Street Child has left.
Since 2008 we have increased educational access for 250,000 children across Africa and Asia with a 94% school retention rate. We are recognized for an agile, rapid approach to establishing a presence in landscapes lacking in education actors and have an increasing record of responses across crisis contexts, including community-centered education for displaced/returned populations in Afghanistan; reconstruction and disaster-risk resilience for 80,000 children in earthquake-affected Nepal; education and protection for 25,000 conflict-affected children in Nigeria; plus driving a first-ever Education in Emergencies curriculum in the latter.
Our work has spanned Sierra Leone, Liberia, North-East Nigeria, Uganda, DR Congo, Nepal, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Afghanistan, and our integrated interventions have included the following:
Economic empowerment via sustainable livelihoods: Cash grants, leadership and business skills training, mentoring, and access to a savings program to families with out-of-school children, to create and sustain a small enterprise. The program has an 84% success rate. The condition is that recipients must use profit to send at least 1 child to school.
School repair/construction. Schools in conflict or disaster zones are often unusable, and many rural villages have never had a formal school structure. We build and repair formal structures for year-round learning, to improve learning outcomes and normalize education in regions where it is not prioritized.
Teacher training. Many teachers have poor literacy or numeracy skills. As well as delivering a lower standard of education, they are unable to achieve a government salary so pass on teaching costs to parents. Informal fees are a huge barrier to education, so we provide funded training programs which upskill teachers and act as a formal pathway to accessing government payroll.
Child protection. We reunite children with immediate or extended family and strengthen the bonds between child and caregiver through mediation and parenting classes. We also offer trauma counselling and health and safety education, and safe spaces for play.
Community advocacy & sensitization for the benefits of education (especially for children marginalized by disability, gender, or refugee status) and to promote tolerance and reduce violence against women.
Self-esteem building and rights awareness. Workshops and safe spaces where disadvantaged groups can share experiences e.g. of prejudice, develop skills necessary for independence including resilience and coping mechanisms, and learn about their rights and how to access them.
Emergency relief. Our networks provide for people’s emergent needs during a crisis e.g. food, water, shelter.
Our Liberia school provision was evaluated by Innovations for Poverty Action in October 2017 for our role as one of 12 school operators in the Public/Private Partnership School program with the Liberian government. We were found to be among the top three operators making a 'statistically significant' difference to children's education: every six months in a Street Child classroom is equivalent to two years' learning in a standard government classroom. We were also found to be among the three lowest cost operators, and the only organization to place in both categories.
Our funders rate us highly and we have received A or A+ ratings for all programs funded by the UK Government’s Department for International Development (DfID).
To find out more about the impact of our projects, read our global financial reports.
To find out more about Street Child US specifically, visit our Governance page.