DOST - Pakistan - 2015
Night shelter for street children
Reaching out to people living on the margins of society in Pakistan and bringing them back into the mainstream. DOST works with street children, drug addicts, destitute women, prisoners, refugees, youth and the general public.
Numbers of street children in Pakistan have been growing rapidly over the last few decades. The ongoing armed conflicts and other natural disasters in Pakistan have further intensified children’s problems in the region. Recent estimates show that there are more than 12,000 children on the streets of Peshawar.
‘Street wise’ as early as four, these children spend their days scavenging rubbish tips or industrial waste sites, beg or take on menial jobs. Be it economic or social factors, the majority of street children leave their homes between the age of 8 and 14 for an uncertain future expecting to fend for themselves or their families doing different jobs; but after arriving in the city, they discover that the streets are not paved with gold.
Dost Welfare Foundation established a children’s Day Care Center named Guloona (“Flower” in Pashto) in September 2009 at Haji Camp in Peshawar. Haji camp is a high risk area for street children, with the largest bus terminal where travelers converge from all over Pakistan, Afghanistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Federally Administered Tribal Areas where the war on terror is on-going as well as a social conflict between the ideology of the locals and the Taliban.
The Guloona night shelter and Day Care Centre will be a reference point for children, their families and DOST’s network of community stakeholders. The night shelter will be operational 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, with staff to provide access to the basic services of night stay, food, counseling and reunion with families. The children will have access to all facilities and activities of Guloona DCC. The staff of the night shelter includes a medical technician, housekeeper, security guard and cook. The shelter has the capacity to accommodate 20 children at a time. The intervention will take place through the Out Reach Mobile Teams (ORMT) for children on the streets to provide them with better life choices by setting up a service delivery mechanism which is Needs based and Rights based.