Street Programme

Butterflies with its unique non- institutional approach endeavors to empower street and working children in various situations in the city of Delhi. The street project interventions are rooted in places like bus terminals, railway stations, market places, parks and so on, where the children live and work. Butterflies works in 20 contact points and reach out to more than 1,800 children on a daily basis. 

The Street Programme of Butterflies has a team of qualified educators designated as Child Rights Advocates who are placed in the contact points and night shelter either in the morning, afternoon or evening. 

Dimensions

1.    Education:  Our endeavour is to provide quality education even if it has to be on the street. So, we follow the formal/ national syllabus but an informal and interesting methodology. We are also accredited to the National Institute of Open Schooling (NIOS) with several NGOs registered with us as part of NIOS. Life skills education is a vital part of the education programme. Sports and cultural activities are also used as a tool to educate the children. 
 
2.    Restoration of Children: Once an educator establishes a rapport s/he would find out why is the child in such a situation. The educator(s) would then try to find a family link. If the findings and analysis say that the child could return to the family, s/he is immediately restored back to the family following the legal procedures. Follow up is done to see that the child has a support system. 

3.    Engaging Children in Programmes: Those children who live and work on the street and fend for themselves and support their families become the prime focus of Butterflies programmes and the challenge of the educators is to engage the children in the programme activities. The major task is to ensure that the children become part of the education programme and also participate in activities viz. Child Health Cooperative, Children’s Development Khazana, Children’s Media {comprising radio(BBC), video, newspaper and theatre}, sports and cultural events. 

4.    Engaging with Community and Others (Stakeholders): It becomes very important for the educators to establish a good relation with employers, parents of children (if applicable), market association people, religious leaders, security guards, municipal authorities, hospitals and the police. The main purpose is to create a protective environment for the children and then to garner support so that the children are able to participate in the activities. 

5.    Children’s Participation: Children’s participation is a core value of Butterflies. We ensure that children are consulted and their views taken seriously while developing programmes. We have facilitated two children’s forums, which are: 

  • Bal Sabha (Children’s Council) - The objective is to provide a platform for children to meet, discuss, and decide on issues concerning them. Small Bal Sabha’s are conducted in all contact points at least once a month. And we have a Big Bal Sabha every month in which child representatives from all the contact points come together to discuss and resolves issues. In fact we consider the Bal Sabha to be the soul of Butterflies. 
  • Bal Samiti - One child representative from each contact point meets with the Director of Butterflies every six months. It provides a platform to the children to apprise the Director of the situation in the contact points and also share their issues and concerns. 

The Bal Sabha and Bal Samiti meetings give us directions to introspect, make adjustments or take decisions in the interest of children. 

6.    Dealing with Crisis: Street and working children are vulnerable to police beatings, abuse by authorities, employers and others. There are umpteen numbers of cases of beatings by law enforcement agencies, employers not paying wages to the children, older boys beating the young ones, accidents or medical emergencies. On a daily basis we are dealing with cases of child rights violation and ensuring child protection. 

7.    Night Outreach: Recognizing vulnerability of children to exploitation and abuse in the night and the need to access children who are otherwise unreached during the day, Butterflies conducts night outreach every fortnight. Small teams of trained Butterflies staff reach out to vulnerable children while exploring areas of the contact points, handle emergency situations, interact with employers and parents of children and identify areas for intervention.

Check out our YouTube Channel and view some inspiring videos on this programme and several other initiatives.

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