Street Light, based out of the city of Cochabamba, Bolivia, is an outreach with friendship as its foundation.
This project began in January 2007 when we began working with a group of about 12 street children and adolescents near the bus terminal. Much of this time was spent building relationship and trust with these kids who have difficulty trusting that anyone wants to be their friend without any strings attached. These are girls and adolescents who either live on the streets or spend the majority of their time on the streets and do not have contact with family. The overwhelming majority of them sniff a cheap shoe repair adhesive that acts as a neurotoxin- dulling the pain and both physical and spiritual emptiness of their lives.
There are many other organizations that are working with the street children of Cochabamba; it has never been our goal to reinvent the wheel in terms of the services that are available to these children. Our goal has been and continues to be that of connecting the children to services and programs already in place to help meet their needs. We seek to be these children’s friends, generating confidence based on genuine relationship. This always leads to their seeking advice and direction, at which point we link them with the services they needed.
Through our relationships with girls living on the street in particular, we have noticed several gaps in services. Thus, we have developed a multi-phase outreach to meet those needs that remain unaddressed. In particular, individual counselling by our social worker and psychologist, allow us to work directly with the kids on planning an alternative future for their lives.
We also are seeking office space to provide informal counseling as well as opportunities to attend classes on motherhood and simple skills such as sewing and card-making.
Long-term, we will build a home for batter girls and women from the streets, that will provide a safe, secure environment where they can put their lives back together and look forward to a hopeful future.
Currently, we have put the outreach on hold as we seek funding that will allow us to guarantee several years of operations. Due to the nature of this work, being able to provide consistent, long-term support to these girls is crucial. When we find individuals and groups willing to take on this important outreach, we are excited to give it our all and see lives transformed on the streets of Cochabamba.
If you would be interested in getting involved, either as a volunteer, or through financial gifts, please use the “get involved” link above to learn how, and be sure to indicate “SL” with your correspondence.
If you would like to read the latest updates of this outreach, or see pictures of the latest events, please click the appropriate links below.
Thank you for your prayers and support!