Street children are a commonplace phenomenon in Argentina and especially in the north-west part of the country which is a zone of significant instability. In Puerto Piray, frontier town of Paraguay, women are often illiterate, are unemployed, don’t have any social assistance and are frequently alone… Consequently, many children are left to look after themselves, live on the streets and sometimes suffer from malnutrition.
Prevent early school leavers and the danger in the streets
Faced with the phenomenon of street children, BICE takes action in Puerto Piray since 2011. The project is conducted in partnership with ” les Soeurs de San José de Cuneo “.
The goal: help children quit the streets and place them back at school, re-establish family and social ties and alert mothers and children to the rights of the child.
Activities for street children in Argentina
Children from 6-12 years old are received in Six centres of Popular Education (CEP) spread across Puerto Piray. These CEP have been recognised by the Argentina Ministry of Education.
Daily, children go to the centre where they meet with educators who aim to strengthen family and community ties for the benefit of the children.
The educators supervise the children in their leisure activities: games, music education, crafts, gardening… They organise educational workshops and offer tutoring.
Every day, the children can eat lunch on site. This meal is sometimes the only one they have during the day. The mothers cook the meals in order to recreate a connection with their children.
The mothers also attend workshops conducted by a professional nutritionist so they can acquire the basis of a balanced diet.
They also receive advice on hygiene and health. Finally, the CEP team inform children and their mothers on their rights and help them to rediscover the path to school and succeed in the long term.
Key figures of the project in Argentina
- 300 children from 6 to 12 years old
- 50 accompanying adolescents and young educators, aged between 12 and 17 years integrate with the project team and are paid so they can continue their studies.
A testimonial from Véronique Peterbroeck, Manager of the Jean-François Peterbroeck Foundation
I left Puerto Piray both satisfied with the work done and enthralled to note the way in which people in such a state of instability have been able to pick themselves up again, find their dignity again and have a vision for the future while at the same time, helping those that are the most impoverished within their community.