Over a year ago, Street Child UK which has multiple programs to rescue street children in Sierra Leone, saw the need to send a representative to Monrovia, and establish a local body to be known as Street Child of Liberia to rescue Liberian children from the streets along with social services.
With a great deal of apprehension, Mr. Michael John Bull accepted the challenge and came to Monrovia and started Street Child of Liberia in the slum community of West Point.
Bull put together Liberian volunteers who identified and collected young boys who had made their homes in the streets in Monrovia and at the various market places. The children went through counseling, street corner education, relationship building, family tracing, mediation, and were reintegrated.
They then went through a psycho-social program where they were made to see the dangers in surviving in the streets and to date nearly 400 Liberian children had been reunited with their families. To ensure that they remain in school, Street Child of Liberia paid their initial two-year school fees.
To sustain the children at home and in their education Street Child of Liberia introduced the family business grant where at the least US$100.00/150.00 (in cases of multiple children in one family) to enable each parent to start a reasonable petty trading, with periodic SCoL supervision.
SCOL also recruited into its program forty one young amputee children that many institutions including government pay less attention to and more than 200 adult amputees are on its program for assistance.
One of its ambitious projects was developing a core of youngsters that could serve as Liberian ambassadors to expand its work. To that effect, nine Liberian children were selected, trained and last March, few weeks before the World Cup in Brazil, participated in the second Street Child World Cup. These nine boys returned to provide mentorship to their friends and to encourage them not to run away from home and live in the streets.
And when the Township of West Point was quarantined by the Liberian government, Street Child of Liberia rushed humanitarian assistance in the amount of U$20.000 United States dollars for its beneficiaries and other Liberians most affected.
The emergence of the Ebola Virus Disease claimed the attention of Street Child UK which provided support in the tone of U$20,000.00 to rescue the most vulnerable situation of children who lost both parents. This exercise has brought incredible relief to 500 orphans in the most affected communities of Liberia.
It is therefore important that Liberians, including officials of government and policy makers recognize the extreme support of Street Child of Liberia in the fight to help the most vulnerable section of our society.
Already, Street Child distributed over two hundred sanitary buckets with chlorine and soap to many communities in Montserrado and Grand Bassa Counties mainly in public and business areas in the Ebola fight.
Thanks to Street Child of Liberia and thanks to Street Child of UK and thanks to Program Director Michael John Bull and his volunteers.