News / Asia

Non-Profit Helps Street Children Get on Their Feet

Children walk with social workers at the Puericultorio Perez Aranibar children's home in Lima, Peru, March 9, 2012.
Children walk with social workers at the Puericultorio Perez Aranibar children's home in Lima, Peru, March 9, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Faiza Elmasry
Some 210 million youngsters around the world, according to UNICEF, are orphaned or live on the streets, forced into a precarious life by war, poverty or illness. Among the organizations working to help them is one prompted by a chance meeting on a New Delhi street. Help for Orphans focuses on teaching street children the skills they need for a better future.

In 2004, Sarah Ehrlich was on a trip to India with her husband, an art dealer. One day, as she waited in their car while he bought artwork at a store, a small boy approached her.

“He was about 8-years-old and he was holding a baby," said Ehrlich. "This baby couldn’t have been more than a week old. He was standing next to the car, by my window. He kept pushing the baby, head forward and saying, ‘feed the baby, feed the baby’. Every time he would come forward, the baby’s head would hit the back window of the car.”

That moment changed her life. She said, "I just wanted to make it my life work at that point to help street children, orphan children. I couldn’t see children living like that.”

She began by donating money to charities working with orphans in India. A year later, in 2005, she founded Help for Orphans. The non-profit group takes a comprehensive approach to helping street children.

“It teaches these kids job skills, getting them on their feet and making them these citizens that actually give back to their community,” she said.

Help For Orphans now works with organizations in Latin America, Asia and Africa. In Kisii, Kenya, it helped build a school. Forty-five orphans are among its 150 students.

“We are getting them the knowledge - primary school through secondary school. After that we’re helping those kids to go to universities,” said Peter Mageri, the principal of the Kisii School.

Mageri said  the curriculum includes vocational training like "farming, small scale farming, growing some local food. He said, "We also teach them carpentry, how to build houses and train [them] on computers.”

Sarah Ehrlich said the job-training programs vary from one country to another. “For instance, we had a survey done in Honduras. And the skills that we knew that the children would get a job, those skills were being an electrician or an auto mechanic for boys, and for women they are seamstress or nurse,” she said.

In Haiti, for instance, Help for Orphans is focusing on poultry farming in partnership with SOS Children’s Villages International. Its spokesman in Port au Prince, Laguerre Reynald, expects about 40 children to participate in the training when it begins in September.

“They are going to learn how to feed the chicken, take care of [the chicken]. Also the eggs, they’re going to learn how to cook and take care of themselves,” said Reynald.

Sarah Ehrlich is excited about the project. She said, it basically sets up "an 8,000 chicken coop that throws up to 7500 eggs a day. So it creates a lot of jobs.”

The program could become a model for other places, she said, helping more orphans and their communities.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid