Operation Friendship

This programme is for the children living in the street. The team of staff who work with these children are in constant contact with them and are very aware of the dangers and the problems they face.

The activity called ‘Operation Friendship’ involves the educators taking hot chocolate and buns to the children during the night and early morning, when they are alone in the streets in doorways; under bridges; under rubbish; on sheets of cardboard and offering them not just something to eat but the security of knowing that someone cares. Many of these children are involved with drugs; some with violence. Others have been abused. Most are emotionally and psychologically damaged. All this means that great skill and care is needed in dealing with them. Fortunantly, Funvini’s educators have this in abundance.
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Much work is being done to help the children overcome their addictions and some have been reunited with their families. Others have shown an interest in education and now go to school. They do their homework at Casa Walsingham.
An extention of this programme now means that these children can come to Casa Walsingham each day and has been very successful in improving their physical image, their language and general demeanour  so that they no longer look or behave like street-children. This means that they are less likely to get into trouble in the street and are in less danger. At Casa Walsingham they can shower and change their clothes before eating breakfast. Then there are various leisure, craft and educational activities on offer, during which time problems of all sorts—physical, medical, emotional, psychological, can be dealt with. A recent development has seen the introduction of normal school lessons, the aim being to give the boys and girls a basis on which they can build if they decide they want to go to school. Even if they don’t, they will still have been given some degree of basic education.
Lunch is always provided and is an important meal for these young people.

Funvini’s staff try to persuade at least some of these children to agree to let them find a place in a residential home for them, or to try to find their families. Others need help to give up the drugs to which they are addicted.  At the moment a group of approx. 30 young people are making good progress—-and when you remember that Funvini is a charity of Last Resort then 30 indicates a good level of success.