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International Day for Street Children 2024: Belonging

Updates • Apr 2024

12th April marks the International Day for Street Children. Together with our partners, Toybox commemorates this special day every year to acknowledge the strength and resilience of millions of street children worldwide. This year, the main theme of events and activities organised to acknowledge this day was ‘belonging’.

Belonging might mean different things to different people around the world. To street children, the lack of a sense of ‘belonging’ is often rooted in the deprivation of family love, community care and state protection. This important day provided an opportunity to understand what does belonging mean to street children and what can we do to help them strengthen their sense of belonging.

Our partners in Asia, Africa and Latin America organised a series of events and activities to raise awareness about the challenges of those around the world who are living, working, and depending on the streets for survival and help them to feel like they belong within their local communities.

What Does Belonging Mean to Street Children?

Ahead of, and during this special day, our partner organisations organised group discussions with street children focused on the theme of ‘belonging’. These discussions, held in a friendly environment, helped children express their diverse ideas, perceptions and experiences on what belonging means to them and to other children in their communities, what makes them feel like they belong and what makes them feel excluded.

“Belonging means a sense of identity. Within our community, this means being seen as one of their own, being spoken to with love and being treated as equal.” - Sharan, India
“I don’t feel like I belong when am on the streets, especially during this rainy season. One is rained on, and the beddings are also rained on…and you wonder where else to go to sleep. Also, the police and county council officers come and beat us up. Clothing is also an issue. Again, some people do not love us, they hate and despise us. Also, as a street child, I don’t go to school.” - Kwambai, Kenya
“The idea of belonging involves the forming of friendships and taking part in community activities. This is what belonging means to me.” - Khushi, India
“To belong is to feel that I am someone and that I have something.” - Betty, El Salvador

How We Celebrated International Day for Street Children Around the World


In Nepal, our local partner SathSath organised a week-long celebration to strengthen voices and demand equal rights for street children, including the following activities:

A Cultural Programme: Children attending the project performed indigenous cultural dancing, singing and a Taekwondo demonstration. These activities not only teach discipline and how to deal with hurdles in life but also help children connect with their customs and traditions of their local communities, fostering a sense of belonging.

Graduation Ceremony: Young graduates of the programme were awarded certificates titled ‘Champion of SathSath’ to celebrate their fantastic progress and achievements and mark new life chapters.

Raising Awareness: Team members at SathSath ran a social media campaign and attended a TV talk show to raise public awareness and foster empathy for the unique challenges faced by street children. As during the previous years, they also delivered a letter to the government of Nepal to advocate for the rights of street children to legal identity to ensure they belong to the state.


In India, our local partner CHETNA marked the day with various activities and celebrations.

Cutting the Cake: Children celebrated by cutting a cake and offering it to each other. This celebration helped to commemorate this occasion and spark a sense of community. Children also enjoyed arts and crafts activities, including a photo selfie booth and visited a science museum where they learnt about water treatment plants.

Discussion with Police Officers: CHETNA has a long history of working with local police personnel who joined the children on this day to educate them on approaching the police when needed. Being able to ask for help if necessary is important for belonging as it helps children feel safer and recognised.


Keeping to last year’s tradition, our partner PKL in Kenya spearheaded the planning of this special occasion and organised a joint activity with 31 partners working with street children in Nairobi. In total, 36 children from Toybox-support projects attended a series of activities, including an awareness-raising rally, creative cultural presentations and art displays, and a medical camp. The medical camp provided essential medical services and information about health and nutrition to street children.


In Guatemala, our local partner CONACMI commemorated this important day by gathering project participants together to enjoy a meal together and share a moment of companionship. Together, 33 young people along with educators and representatives of CONACMI attended a film forum in a movie theatre and assembled a jigsaw puzzle that represented images allusive to the life on the streets.

Our second partner in Guatemala, Puerta de Esperanza, organised a series of sports events, games and colouring to spark creativity and sense of belonging among street children and young people, together with a workshop on the dangers and prevention of street life. Later in the day, 77 participants gathered to have a dinner around a bonfire where they cooked marshmallows and s’mores and sang songs of childhood together.

El Salvador

In El Salvador, our partner VIVA organised an educational day in markets and schools to raise awareness about street children and challenges they face and created a video summary of the identity project where children expressed what belonging means to them. VIVA also ran a radio campaign and television broadcast to raise awareness about the International Day for Street Children.

Here at Toybox, we believe that every child should feel they belong in their families and communities. We appreciate activities and events our partners around the world organised during the 2024 International Day for Street Children to strengthen street children’s sense of belonging and we are grateful for the work they do everyday to change the world for street children.

You can support Toybox and our local partners in our journey of helping street children belong through a one-off or regular donation here.

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