“You must be the change you want to see in the world” Mahatma Gandhi
It is estimated that 40% of India’s 440 million children are in need of care and protection and, sadly, children between the ages of 5 and 12 are the most likely to suffer abuse and exploitation. Thankfully, many organisations and charities are being set up both nationally in India and globally to combat the exploitation of children in India. One of the most recent projects to form is Street-Heroes of India (SOI).
SOI aims to help children overcome any trauma they may have experienced by offering psychosocial aid. This is achieved by offering training to counsellors, mentors, teachers and social workers that usually work in an environment with children, with the hope that this training will make them more confident and assertive when approaching the issues of trauma and abuse.
The training given to participants involves lessons on non-verbal communication, listening skills, how to ask questions in order to ‘activate’ emotions, and how to encourage children to empower themselves. More practical lessons are covered too, such as ‘the trust walk’, which illustrates the importance of a bond of trust between any child and mentor.
SOI’s ultimate aim is to equip professionals who work with children with all necessary theory and intervention techniques in order to assist in rehabilitation. The counseling skills taught by SOI can then be used to help children heal and overcome any difficult or traumatic experiences. Thanks to programs like SOI, children can hopefully begin to recover and establish a sense of self-worth.
For more information visit the SOI website: www.street-heroes.org