Laughter Africa is a charitable organization that has been making a significant difference in the lives of street children in Sierra Leone for over seven years. The organization has supported around 4,000 children living on the streets, enabling them to fulfill their aspirations and make positive changes in their lives.
Laughter Africa‘s outreach program is an essential part of their work, as local social workers meet with children living on the streets and provide them with immediate needs, such as medical treatment, food, water, and counseling. They encourage children to leave the streets behind, but without forcing them. This approach has been successful in helping children make the decision to leave the streets and seek a better life.
The Interim Care Centre (ICC) is the heart of Laughter Africa’s work. When a child decides to leave the streets, they stay at the ICC while social workers track down their family and ensure that it is a safe environment for the child to return to. Laughter Africa provides counseling to both the child and family to resolve any issues that led to the child turning to the streets. After the child returns home, Laughter Africa continues to provide support, paying for their schooling or vocational training and offering other help to keep them off the streets.
Laughter Africa’s work extends beyond providing immediate needs and support to street children. They advocate and campaign on behalf of street children, providing survivor support workshops and launching a survivor support hotline. Additionally, the organization trains and appoints community advocates who offer a safe space for street children who have been sexually assaulted.Currently, Laughter Africa is fundraising for the rent for the ICC, which is critical to the organization’s work. The ICC serves as a refuge and a safe place for street children to heal, learn new skills, and, most importantly, be children again. Without the ICC, Laughter Africa’s work would not be possible.
Overall, Laughter Africa has been making a significant positive impact in the lives of street children in Sierra Leone. By providing resources and support, the organization enables children to leave the streets, reunite with their families, and build a better future for themselves. Their approach has been successful, and they continue to make a difference in the lives of thousands of children in Sierra Leone.