What is STREETS?

STREETS is a non-profit, non-Governmental, community based, developmental organisation, specialising in addressing both the immediate and long term needs of children and youth living on the streets, their families, and their communities. STREETS is a registered welfare organisation, and a section 21 non-profit making company.

Why was STREETS formed?

The need for STREETS grew out of the experience of a small group of concerned people working in various youth projects, who saw the need to develop an organisation which provided a holistic and long term approach to the problem of children and youth living on the streets. STREETS realised a new and innovative approach. Incorporating community, family and government was needed to deal with the burgeoning population of young people on the streets. STREETS began a voluntary association, and was launched on June 1, 1992.


  • To eradicate the phenomena of children and youth living on the streets by seeking long term solutions that reach to respective families and communities.
  • Mobilise communities from which the children originate in order to foster active involvement and participation in the development of their children and their community.

STREETS' objectives

STREETS aims to empower children and youth living on the streets by reintegrating them into their respective communities, and making them productive members of society. STREETS seeks to eventually eradicate this phenomenon.

The objectives are:

  • Help children take responsibility for their own lives. Develop their self-esteem and self-confidence.
  • 'The objectives are' (continued)
    To raise awareness about this social dilemma, through Drama and workshops designed to stimulate discussion within communities, towns and cities.
  • To heighten community involvement and participation in the development of HEALTH, EDUCATION, COUNSELLING, VOCATION and TRAINING programmes for families, youth and community groups.
  • To run and develop resource centres accessible to children and youth living on the streets, their families and their communities.
  • To establish 'drop-in' centres where youth and children from the streets are able to receive food, clothing, medical and legal assistance 24-hours a day; and where daily programmes are run for entertainment, growth, education and overall development.
  • Create opportunity for the children to develop a new perception of life.
  • Where children are of a school going age, to facilitate their return to school, providing school fees, uniforms and books where necessary.
  • To actively engage youth and children in programmes designed to empower them, and unite them with their families and communities.
  • Resettle with family, extended family and follow-up contact. Reintegrate into community by linking with community support structures, and counselling services where needed.
  • To advocate for the rights of children and youth living on the streets.
  • To propose research to expose the root causes of children and youth living on the streets.
  • Seek viable alternatives for those who are unable to return home.
  • To lobby government in an attempt to change policy in regard to youth.
  • To create a working model, of a long term solution to the problem of children and youth living on the streets, to be taken into communities and around the country.
  • STREETS hopes to eventually act as an advicory body for all communitoes who wish to start similar projects.
  • How is STREETS Structured?

    STREETS operates on several levels:

  • STREETS engages 'street workers' to work directly with children and youth living on the streets; giving them information on services available to them (this includes all services, not only those provided by STREETS), and cultivating trust and friendship.
  • Community workers liase between children and youth and their families and communities in an attempt to resettle the children. They also link with other community based organisations who provide services in the communities. STREETS aims also to empower the families of the children on the streets.
  • Resource workers at the 'STREETS centre' provide services for the children, youth, and their families. There is currently one resource centre based at NY 22 Gugulethu, with further centres planned for the Western Cape. Services include:
    • Linking families, women and children to available services.
    • Assisting communities in their development initiatives by providing: resource networking in connection with Civic Structures and other bodies; proposal writing; managerial and financial structuring; fundraising advice; programme development.
    • Counselling and life skills
    • Identity documents
    • Education
    • Job creation and referrals
    • Health care
    • Workshop facilitators run various programmes which teach life skills, enhance creativity and encourage growth.

What are STREETS' workshops?

Workshops are special eight week programmes aimed at the children and youth living on the streets. They are orientated around specific projects such as; theatre, art, dance, sewing, leather work, camps, sports and music. They help to build self esteem, self confidence and foster trust and sharing.

They also stimulate creativity and thought. Workshops also incorporate intensive counselling aimed at resettling the children and youth. Reintegration into families and / or communities, if possible, is the desired goal.

How does STREETS see its relationship with government?

STREETS believes that the government of the day must be primarily responsible for the children and youth on the streets.
STREETS sees itself working independently of government agencies, but in co-operation with them.
STREETS aims to place children's rights and children's issues on the national agenda by developing a specific policy to be implemented in the new constitution.

130 Victoria Road
Box 23
Ph 021-447-9191
or 021-447-9126
Fax 021-447-7192
Fundraising No. 08 800 899 000 0
Welfare Reg. No. 07 01 00005
Section 21 Co. Reg. No. 93/054/23/08
Banking details: First National Bank
Branch: Woodstock
Acc. No. 5000016691
Clearance Code 202109
Branch No. 013, Acc. Name: STREETS

Activities of the core staff
* Fundraisng
* Networking with other NGS's and CBO's and government agencies
* providing for daily needs of children
* Facilitate workshops
* Logistics and Administration
* Advocacy and policy work
* Fundraising
* Creating a data base of children and youth living on the streets
* Community mobilisation and development facilitation
* Linking children, youth and their families with available services
* Counselling and Intervention
* Press and Publicity

This page is maintained by a CAB volunteer < e-mail >