Girls on the Street

Girls on the Street

I eventually got used to the street life, so I decided to leave home.

I eventually got used to the street life, so I decided to leave home.

Anne-Bernice and Charlene are 13 and 15-years-old. In many ways, they are like any other teenage girls. They have worries and hurts, but they also have hopes and dreams. Where they are different is that they live on the streets.

This wasn’t how they would have planned their lives. Charlene’s story is particularly tragic. She was offered a job in the city. For a poor rural family this seemed an attractive opportunity, so she moved to the city. It turned out they had misled her, and the ‘job’ was in fact to be part of a begging gang. After working with them, they’d send her back home with less than $1. 

“I told my mother about the situation, but she seemed not to care too much. I eventually got used to the street life, so I decided to leave home.” That was 10 years ago. 

Anne-Bernice moved to the city to live with a family but was led astray. “I started wandering the streets once I reached Bujumbura…I got into the wrong circle of friends. I became quite close to them and got to know that they lived independently on the streets, so I decided to do the same.”

The girls come to a regular street outreach operated by New Generation, whose model is to reach out to as many street-connected children as possible. In their rehabilitation programme, children live in a house with peers alongside house parents. They go to school, are provided with all that they need, and even get the opportunity for work or university when they reach 18-years-old. 

As you can imagine, this is expensive.

Sadly their limited resources mean that only a relatively small number can be accepted into their rehabilitation programme. 

Some of the New Generation team have lived on the streets themselves, so they have a passion to support as many street-connected children as possible. They organise outreaches for children and teenagers like Anne-Bernice and Charlene. These sessions usually consist of sports, a time of Biblical encouragement and giving of essential items such as clothes and food. It’s also a great time to build relationships. 

From these relationships, they can discern which children have a desire to turn their lives around and who might be suitable candidates for the rehabilitation programme. 

In the future, Anne-Marie would like to become a pastor. Charlene’s desire is that she can start a business and escape life on the streets.  She hopes that a better future will allow her to help other children “who have gone through the same journey and struggles that I have.” 

In a society where street-connected children are often looked down on and abused, New Generation’s love and service make a big impact. Charlene is filled with gratitude: “You have helped us with clothing, food and teaching – I appreciate all of this so much.” This is what has inspired her to help others in the future.

Do pray for these young ladies, and the many young people like them, that they can escape life on the streets and build a new life for themselves. Pray also for the New Generation team as they seek to help as many street-connected children as possible.

If you’d like to support New Generation’s worked, you can do so here:


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I pray that God continues to bless you abundantly as you restore smiles on the faces of these children

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