Street Children Learn for an Independent Life

In the street children's shelter Pikin Paddy, we give boys and girls a perspective through various projects so that they can shape their lives independently in the future. In addition to school support, we also offer interested young people the opportunity to learn craft skills that they can use for professional purposes.

Im Straßenkinder-Schutzhaus lernen die Jungen und Mädchen unter anderem handwerkliche Fähigkeiten um diese auch beruflich einzusetzen.

In addition to skill and financial support for vocational training, we carry out practically related projects at the shelter, which are designed to keep the children meaningfully occupied, but also to strengthen and develop various skills.

These include a furniture making and gardening project.

Back in November 2021, our social worker Tina Lichtschläger did an upcycling project.
Beds and seating were built from old pallets. These were initially used to make the street children’s shelter more livable. The seating furniture is located in the courtyard of the Pikin Paddy and some built beds were used to furnish the house.

The boys and girls have acquired new skills in this project and learned to build furniture for themselves as well. Over the months, the young people’s skills have improved more and more and they have independently repaired almost all the furniture in the shelter or even replaced it with homemade ones.

Learning for a more independent life

They can not only use their technical knowledge at Pikin Paddy but also use them later for their own professional projects. For this purpose, our social workers also showed them how to make a cost calculation for each piece of furniture within the project. In addition, they had to figure out in advance what tools and materials they would need and where they would get them. The aim is to give them an understanding of how to make a profit without large amounts of capital, from which they can secure their own existence in the future. In addition, the children were able to strengthen their self-efficacy by taking on new challenges and growing from them.

Gardening project promotes self-sufficiency

In our second project, the street children have learned to be self-sufficient by growing their own vegetables.
For this purpose, raised beds were also created from Euro pallets, which in turn were planted by some young people. Since crops can be grown all year round in Sierra Leone, vegetables grow continuously in the raised beds. The produce can be used for their own meals or sold at the market, which can also be used later to build up their own livelihood.

One of our youths has now even started an apprenticeship as a carpenter after his stay at the shelter. He will be able to complete it in two years with our skill support.