Outreach Program

Photo of slums near our Delhi centre

As the name suggests, our Outreach Program involves reaching out to the community, beyond the boundaries of our centres.  We make regular trips around the usual gathering places for street-children:  the railway stations, the slums, beneath fly-overs etc. and we notice who are the regulars; who are the needy, the injured, the damaged.  We speak to the station masters; we speak to the local traders, other stake-holders, and most importantly, we speak to the street-children themselves.

Building Trust

Most street-children have had the trust driven from them by their life experiences and their current circumstances.  They live in a dog-eat-dog world, scrounging whatever they can to survive.  When we begin talking to them, they are very wary.  Rarely does a child agree to come to our centre on our first contact with them.  They have probably been betrayed and exploited many times, so they have lost faith in people and organisations like ours.  It may take many conversations over many weeks  with our Outreach Officers before a child finally agrees to give us a try.  It’s all about rebuilding their trust in their fellow humans, so that they can finally agree to help themselves by coming to our centre.

It May Take Years…

We watched on, helplessly, over the course of two years, as a young street-smart boy of 5 years of age turned into a 7 year old toluene-sniffing addict.  Whenever we would see him, the area around his nose was covered in white-coloured “Correction Fluid”, a cheap source of toluene.  The good news is that our efforts over a number of years finally paid off.  We eventually won his trust.

The children have to be ready to make the change.  We won’t force them into a centre, nor do we force them to stay.  Some street-children may join us for a few days at a time, coming and going over the course of many months, before they finally realise:

  • that there is a better way,
  • that they need our help,
  • that they can finally trust us, and
  • that they can make changes to their lives.

Working with Local Authorities

Because they know of our proven track record, the local authorities (such as the police), often refer children or parents to us.  They may apprehend a street-kid for loitering or who is sick and helpless, and rather than just ignore them which is often the case, they bring the child to us.  We always do what we can to help…


The expenses incurred by this Program include:

  • Part wages for the staff involved
  • Travel Expenses


We have an Outreach Manager based at our Delhi centre who does “scouting trips” on a regular basis, and oversees the day-to-day issues with Outreach at each of our centres, and co-ordinates the resources across all of the centres.  He also has two young assistants (former street-children) who join him on his scouting trips.

As well as this, at our Gorakhpur centre we have:

  • A designated Outreach Officer who also looks after the Lucknow area
  • Part-time assistants in Gorakhpur and Lucknow

Read about the Next Program.