Mother & Toddler Center
A safe place
Street Children operates a 12-hour center for babies and toddlers in order to meet the great need for a place where the mothers from the street can come with their youngest and spend the day in a safe, nourishing and stimulating environment. At the center the children receive care, safety, food, quiet, routines, warm hands to be in and soft mattresses to rest on – all the important nurturing experiences a child needs to grow in a positive and healthy direction – both physically and mentally.
As all of our projects, the Baby & Toddler Center originates from our findings during social outreach work. Here we experienced again again babies lying unresponsive, malnourished and exhausted on the concrete floor of the station’s platforms and parking lot. Among rubbish, with the burning hot sun beaming down on their sensitive skin, and to the everlasting noise from the millions of people passing by. We even experienced five infant deaths over a period of three months.
We know how the first years and even months leave long-lasting traces in life and in order to provide the children with the best possible starting point for breaking with their social heritage and creating a life for themselves away from the streets, which is our main objective, we perceive it as crucial to take action at an early stage in the children’s lives.
Ever since the center opened we haven’t experienced a single death among the children in the areas where we work. The babies are quickly transformning into attentive, curious small bundles of energy. Even the mothers have undergone a drastic change. Many of them have stopped drinking and going to the city’s Red Light District and are now completely focused and invested in the well- being and development of their children. We believe that it is through empowering the children’s support base that we empower the children to a healthy, safe and caring childhood, which is of great importance for their possibilities later in life.
Moving forward, we wish to extend the day center to a 24 hour shelter where the mothers can spend the night with their babies in safe, warm and quiet surroundings free from the stress, chaos and fear of kidnappings on the streets.