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In February 2010, with a team from the Toybox Charity I visited Latin America, most of our time was spent in El Salvador where we visited various projects, which are working with street children. Toybox provides support, funding and friendship to help bring about a world with no street children.
There are numerous reasons why children end up on the streets. These include both ‘push’ factors, such as poverty or violence within the home, and ‘pull’ factors such as the lure of apparent freedom and friendship with other children on the streets.
Life on the streets has many specific problems for the children: drug addiction, sexual exploitation and abuse, work exploitation, involvement in criminal activities, and violence by other adults and rival gangs. Street work includes odd jobs, petty trading and services. There is a high risk of exploitation and abuse. Many children also make a living through illegal activities such as begging, selling drugs, petty theft, or being pulled into the sex trade.
A country of beauty and potential but filled with fear and violence. Yet hope is stirring in the form of a small network of people, striving to bring hope to street children and their families. This book shows the daily reality of the street children and families in El Salvador.