Working at Street Smart has definitely been an experience to remember! The first day I arrived at Street Smart I was greeted with so many hugs. This was the first time I had met the children so I was completely taken aback by their warmth!! Street Smart is a project that allows you to be creative and it really tests you. None of the children come from a background of any kind of formal education so keeping their attention is a task in itself. Although it is doable, I consider myself quite a big kid so my trick is to act the way I would have liked my teachers to act! I literally make a joke out of myself most of the time and the children seem to find me funny!
I am passionate about Street Smart as I know it is transforming lives. Some of these children may have come from the streets or may have been ragpickers but their attitdes and habits do not reflect that as much any more. They now enjoy being clean and those who work for us, (block printing) work hard to earn their wages. Our Head Co-Ordinator Vanditha has implemented a new rule that reduces their salary of 150rps to 125rps if they are eating tobacco. Many of the children suffer from addictions to tobacco, glue, tipex (whitener) and anything they can get their hands on to make them high. We always strongly discourage it and we hope our attitues will help them overcome these addictions.
These children are constantly learning they have the best team of teachers taking care of them. They are adored at Street Smart and as long as this continues I know they will all have future careers. They have self belief because we believe in them. Educating them is not easy but our team our committed to giving this children everything we’ve got even though now they don’t recognise the value of learning and education.
The children are characters there is no deceit in them. If they are annoyed at you they’ll tell you and I find that so refreshing as in my world everyone has an element of being false. It is rare to meet very genuine people and in my opinion these kids are the most loving and genuine I have come to know! As I was saying earlierI believe all these children have the potential to have a career. Here are some of the girls styling my hair- hairdressers? Watch this space!