Vision for Sierra Leone - Town Day Centre or Hostel

Town Day Centre/Hostel

In the town, we plan a Day Centre/Hostel which will act as a safe haven for those children who are serious about coming off the streets. The hostel will offer friendship, counselling, food, shelter and First Aid. Small teams will be based here to outreach into the local area identifying those most at risk and in need.

Those identified children that choose to come off the streets are encouraged to come daily for food, a wash, clothes, friendship and counselling. They can be taught basic literacy skills, introduced to Jesus and his Kingdom and maybe even start to learn a trade.

An introduction to Christianity, prayer and worship will be an integral part of life in the hostel for all those involved.

Meanwhile, while the children are readjusting, attempts will be made to seek out their parents and relatives with a view to reuniting them with family. If they are integrated back with family we will look at what is needed in order for that child to continue in schooling. Part of this will be looking to see how we can help the parents or guardians earn enough themselves to support the child’s schooling.

For other children who show satisfactory progress during their time at the hostel and demonstrate commitment after a period of time they are invited to come permanently off the streets and live in the hostel.

This is the most challenging aspect of the work as these children will find it difficult to adjust to a new way of life. Staff working here needs to be able to offer much love and grace, and yet more grace as they seek to be the hands of Jesus to these kids. Over a period of time, as these children lose their street ways and adjust, they are offered a place in one of the permanent homes in the Children's Village Hub, to be part of a real family having brothers and sisters and full-time schooling.

The Children's Village Hub is situated on the outskirts of the town, far enough away from the influences of streets.

If space allows, the hostel can also be a place were vocational training can be offered to street girls as well as friendship, counselling, food, First Aid and an introduced to Jesus. Those girls showing commitment to the programme and abstaining from their previous lifestyle will be offered the use of the workshop facilities based at the Children's Village Hub where they can use the equipment there to produce items for sale, paying a small token for the use of the equipment. A start-up micro-loan can also be offered to pay for the raw materials needed. The basis of this type of work has been successfully pioneered in the past in nearby Kenema, sponsored by FHMI.

Prevention is always better than a cure. We plan to provide dedicated ministry and skill teams will be sent out to identify children most at risk in the poorest areas. They will be working to help prevent vulnerable children becoming street children. They will run street activities, training and offer emergency help and work generally with these vulnerable communities to help them prevent a slide into hopelessness.

In summary children and vulnerable adults begin a process of re-adjustment preparing them for a full life in Jesus and for the children a move to a permanent home in the Children's Village Hub.