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Charity: Scholarships For Street Kids

Charity number: 1131559

Website: http://www.s4sk.org.uk

Description: Our work began in 2007, with the efforts of a British Quaker, John McConnell, to help a leprous mother and her baby begging on the streets of Rangoon, where he was teaching at the time. The first NFE class started in that year, and the first scholarships were awarded to two orphans to enable them to attend music college. One now works as a musician for a Burmese TV station. Scholarships For Street Kids (S4SK) was registered as a UK charity in 2009. Year on year the work progressed, and in 2013, to give ownership to the team of local staff and supporters that had by then formed, we established Hope for Shining Stars (H4SS). S4SK and H4SS now work together to bring real change to the lives of out-of-school-and-working children across Myanmar. Our vision is to improve the life-prospects of severely disadvantaged children by providing successive interventions of appropriate education. In the long term, we hope that students will play a full part as citizens, respect each other?s rights, have an understanding of democratic values and processes, and have satisfying careers. We try to reach children from very poor backgrounds who have to work to support the family income. These children cannot attend school, even when it is free, because their families cannot afford the loss of earnings while they are in school: it is often a choice between education and food. Provision of education alone is not enough. We have a combined strategy which addresses the needs of the family while providing education to the children. Our 7-fold strategy is as follows: 1. An Active-Learning approach to non-formal education (NFE) which is activity-based and requires no previous schooling. Children learn through project activities, games and quizzes, and classes are active and fun. We include handicrafts in the curriculum in order to cultivate skills which will give the children the confidence to take up vocational training when they are older. Last year, H4SS employed 32 teachers teaching 411 children in 30 regular NFE classes across Myanmar; 2. Family Support of on average 500/- Kyat for each class session attended, to compensate for the lost earnings of the child. This is paid monthly, and the occasion used to educate parents on family budgeting, hygiene, child development and of course the value of education; 3. Social work to help families resolve domestic problems before they lead to withdrawal of the child from class, cultivate good ways of living, and promote child rights and child protection. Experience has shown us that social work results in good student retention; 4. Income-generating activities within the NFE curriculum, then provision or sponsorship of vocational training for alumni. Scholarships are offered at various levels including: study guidance to help children from poor backgrounds sit public exams, a class to help NFE students transfer to formal school, vocational training, sponsored apprenticeships, and higher education; 5. Community Learning Circles to provide education to parents, raise awareness of child rights and child protection issues, continuing education to alumni of NFE classes, and to encourage interest in education in communities round our classes; 6. Specialist training in Active Learning teaching techniques to our teachers. We place much emphasis on supporting our teachers and there is a strong team-spirit among them; 7. Advocacy for better provision of both welfare and education to this very poor, marginalised section of Myanmar society.

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