What? Why? How?
Barefeet offers outreach services directly to children still on the streets, and those most at risk of disengaging with their families and communities. Barefeet works with some of the most vulnerable youth in Zambia, many of whom are not accessing other vital services such as health care and education. Many of these young people live in some of the most challenging socioeconomic situations in the country. Street life is full of dangerous, often life threatening situations which children face on a daily basis such as; abuse, sexual abuse, prostitution, drugs, lack of food and access to medical/health care.
Many street children are bright, capable and curious people who posses a lot of internal resources, and have a great deal to share with the world. However, what they often lack are external resources and opportunities. By engaging these children on the streets and encouraging them to attend Barefeet workshops, outreach officers are able to enthuse and inspire the young people linking them with other vital services in the community.
Our Trainee Program
The final stage of our outreach is our trainee program. Young people who have come from being on the street, through our outreach, camps and interventions in the centers, and are now training to be facilitators and performers, delivering program in the very centers they grew up in, and being inspirational role models to their peers. The trainee program is for those young people who show particular talent and aptitude for performing, facilitating or working in an area of the organization. Barefeet supports them to build their capacity, take on responsibilities and develop a wide range of creative and life skills from acrobatics to maintaining the house they share at Barefeet HQ. Several of our current trainees joined the Barefeet family on our first rehabilitation camp back in 2007, have traveled to Europe as part of the performance company, and are now delivering workshops in our partner centers and working in outreach. We could not be prouder of our trainees who are the future of Barefeet!
“You know me, we were together some time back on the streets. We used to stay together sniffing stikka together. But now I have worked hard, I have come off the streets and I am in School. I have just come back from traveling to the UK with Barefeet. If I can do it, you can also do it” Chembe Mwanza, Barefeet Trainee and outreach worker, addressing an audience of young people living on the streets at the Barefeet Christmas show 2008.