February 27th marks the 10-year celebration of World NGO Day - an international day dedicated to recognising, celebrating, and honouring non-governmental and non-profit organisations, and the people behind them.
Out of the estimated 10 million NGOs and non-profits worldwide, here at Toybox we have the privilege of partnering with 8 amazing organisations working in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.
Walking alongside street children is no easy feat. But our partners are some of the most dedicated people in the world. They know how invaluable the relationships and trust they build with children are, and that's why, whatever the challenges, they are there day in and day out – caring for children who may otherwise have no one to turn to.
This World NGO Day we want to pause and reflect on the incredible work of our partners overseas and say a huge thank you to them for their tireless work to improve the lives of vulnerable street children and families.
Meet our partners
CHETNA: Established in 1992, Childhood Enhancement through Training and Action (CHETNA) is a grassroots Indian NGO specialising in empowering street and working children, with a specific focus on child participation. Toybox has been working with CHETNA since 2015. We currently work together to deliver projects focused on education, well-being, and sports for development with street and working children in Delhi.
Pendekezo Letu: Since 1997, Pendekezo Letu (PKL) has been supporting street children, their families and communities in the urban slum areas of Nairobi and Kiambu counties in Kenya. PKL works in a holistic way to support vulnerable children, those living or working on the streets, and those in conflict with the law. Toybox have been working with PKL since 2015. Our current projects together focus on improving child protection systems, economic empowerment and vocational training, and supporting children and young people to access their right to identity and legal protection.
CONACMI: CONACMI has been working in Guatemala City since 1994, with a specific focus on prevention and assistance to children and young people at risk of violence and abuse. Education and vocational training are major components of their work. Toybox has been working with CONACMI since 2017. Today we support projects that support children and young people in street situations to access healthcare, education and birth registration. We also work with children, families, and communities to reduce and prevent violence and abuse.
VIVA: Viva El Salvador support children at risk as well as those who are already living on the streets. They deliver the educational and recreational activities of a number of local and community-based associations working with children and their families. Toybox has been working with Viva El Salvador since 2012. We currently work together to deliver projects in San Salvador focused on birth registration, education, family reintegration and child protection. Children and young people are also supported to become agents of change in their communities by learning about, and advocating for, their rights and the rights of those around them.
Fundación Alalay: Working across four of the main cities in Bolivia, Alalay has been working with street children since 1990. Their work has a specific focus on street outreach and social work, supporting children and young people who live and work on the streets as well as those who are at-risk of becoming dependent on them. Toybox has been working alongside Alalay since 2014. Our current projects together include street outreach, birth registration and advocacy initiatives. We also work with vulnerable families to help improve livelihood opportunities through economic empowerment and vocational training.
St George Foundation: Established in 2004, St. George Foundation (SGF) currently operates in five districts in Freetown and Waterloo. Their primary work is focused on supporting and working alongside street children, with a particular emphasis on encouraging young people to leave the streets behind for good, and reintegrating them back within their families and communities, where appropriate. Toybox has been working with SGF since 2018. We currently work together to deliver projects focused on education, child rights and family reintegration. We also support an innovative project working to find sustainable solutions to period poverty.
SathSath: SathSath has been working with street children in Nepal since 1998. The organisation assists children and young people to develop skills, build confidence and learn how to exercise their rights in society. SathSath’s work includes a focus on non-formal education, life and vocational skills training and apprenticeships. Toybox have been working with SathSath since 2018. Today we support projects focused on enabling children access to the rights to identity, protection and education by advocating with local government, supporting children to enrol into school and supporting them to get their birth certificates. We are also working in partnership to deliver a new initiative this year - mobile schools.
Puerta de Esperanza: Puerta de Esperanza (meaning ‘Door of Hope’) was born in the heart of a Guatemalan woman who saw the need to accompany the lives of working children in a somewhat forgotten sector of Guatemala City – the sprawling market of La Terminal. Puerta de Esperanza is a space of opportunities that gives children and young people new horizons, expanding their capacity to dream and fight for their dreams. Toybox has been working with Puerta de Esperanza since 2022. Our current project together is focused on supporting children to access education, be protected from violence and abuse, and have the opportunity for a safe and happy childhood.
Why Toybox works with partners
At Toybox we have seen over many years that local organisations are best placed to respond to the specific needs of children in street situations in their contexts. Local grassroots Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) have a greater understanding of the context in which they operate and have built strong and lasting relationships with stakeholders and communities. Many of our partners have been working in their cities and communities for more than twenty years and are fully accepted and respected by the communities. We also know that locally led development increases the effectiveness, legitimacy and cost-effectiveness of our engagement with street children while reducing the power imbalance which can occur.
To find out more about our partners around the world, keep an eye on Toybox’s social media pages @ToyboxCharity. For more information about why and how we work with partners, please visit www.toybox.org.uk/our-work/partners