StreetInvest and Consortium for Street Children announce merger

StreetInvest and the Consortium for Street Children are thrilled to announce that we are formally coming together to create a stronger platform to advocate with and for street-connected children. The combined organisation will be able to fight for street children’s rights both on the street and in the corridors of power and ensure these children’s voices are heard at the highest level.

Context

Children turn to the streets for survival for many different reasons, which leaves them vulnerable to violence, abuse, and exploitation. Many struggle to access the rights that they are entitled to – the same rights as every other child. 

Existing solutions are not well suited to the complex challenges faced by street-connected children – government responses are too complicated or too slow, where they exist at all. In spite of the extraordinary work being done by members of our network, overall the sector is fragmented, with disconnected solutions dividing resources and limiting effectiveness. 

Compounding this, too often street-connected children are not active participants in the solutions provided for them. Where best practice is demonstrated by small, grassroots organisations and frontline workers, they often lack the resources, voice, influence, and access to learning to do their work effectively. 

 

Working from the top-down and the street up

Together, CSC and StreetInvest are better able to connect solutions and progress change for street-connected children. We can now do this by working both to ensure that States meet their legal obligations to street-connected children and advocating for meaningful changes in policy and practice from the ’top down’, while also working to ensure that civil society plays an active role in developing and modelling practice that is most effective from the ‘street up’. 

Why now?

This is a critical time for street-connected children. Growing inequality, COVID, conflict and climate change means that the number of children developing connections to the street is growing. 

By coming together now, we can do more to ensure that street-connected children are supported both on the streets and through the corridors of power. With our network of over 200 members worldwide, and a combined 45 years of experience, by coming together now we can build on and extend our track record of collaboration, which includes facilitating over 1,000 children to share their views with the UN, resulting in General Comment 21 on Children in Street Situations. 

Taking StreetInvest’s work to the next level

This bold step will greatly increase StreetInvest’s reach and potential impact – from 60 organisations in three core countries to 200+ organisations across four continents. StreetInvest’s work, developed and refined over 14 years, will have the opportunity to be taken to scale, and reach many more street-connected children across the globe.

 

 

StreetInvest’s trusted regional coordinating partners Glad’s House in Kenya, MFCS in Ghana and CINI in India will continue, with our partnership, to transform the lives of street-connected children in Mombasa, Kumasi, Kolkata and beyond – and share their learning and approach with a new, much larger pool of network partners. 

This is in fact the logical next step in StreetInvest’s work, as CSC and StreetInvest have collaborated closely for many years and our respective work has become increasingly aligned. To further embed StreetInvest’s work in the new organisation, Siân will become CSC’s Director of Programmes for Network, Practice and Children’s Participation, two StreetInvest nominees will join CSC’s board and Duncan will continue as advisor to CSC’s CEO during the transition phase.

Moving forward

As we move forward in this new partnership, both organisations will come together under the Consortium for Street Children brand, and we will continue to progress through CSC’s refreshed 5-year strategy which maps strongly into StreetInvest’s own This allows both organisations to work together as we move into  plotting our next 5-year strategy together in 2023. 

We welcome any questions and comments about this announcement. Please get in touch by emailing Siân Wynne, CEO of StreetInvest, on sian@streetchildren.org or direct more general enquiries to communications@streetchildren.org.