To uphold the rights of children living and working on the streets, giving them emotional, social and practical support, meeting their needs and providing encouragement and assistance to those who wish to leave the streets, working in partnerships with all relevant stakeholders and others who share our vision. Aims To meet and befriend children on the streets in situ especially new comers and younger children. To help street children in the form of material assistance, legal advice, counselling, education as well as training in and development of skills that may help them to become productive members of their communities.To promote the social development of street children by enhancing their ability to participate constructively in the communities in which they live. Where appropriate, this should be achieved by persuading them to leave the streets and reunite with their families and/or communities and by encouraging linkages with local communities and/or agencies. To improve knowledge and understanding of children on the streets through careful study and occasional research, and to disseminate this understanding.
HISTORY: In the late 1980s, a group of concerned individuals met to try to do something to support the growing number of children appearing on the Streets of Harare, and established a Welfare Organisation, Streets Ahead. Prominent in the initial group were Celine Gilbert and Monica Munro, with Sally Nyandiya-Bundy and Michael Bourdillon from the University of Zimbabwe, and Patricia Swift from the School of Social Work. We started operating from a small backroom off Samora Machel Avenue, with the late Maxwell Rupondo as an effective outreach worker, making good contact with the children on the streets. The room on Samora Machel became unavailable and we found offices in Mbare, from where we operated for several years. For a short while, we squatted in the disused beer hall behind the Railway Station, but the area proved unsafe for staff. Then we found a house to rent in Eastlea. This provided a useful drop-in centre, until the landlady wanted it back. We operated for a while from offices in the avenues, where there were no drop-in facilities. Over the years, we made several attempts to obtain municipal property for a drop-in centre, but without avail.