Sahil: Advocates for street children
After researching the available organizations who advocate for street children, we found Sahil to be one of the most reputable and accomplished. We spoke directly with Sahil’s executive director Manizeh Bano, to learn more about the organization and the work they do.
Sahil is one of the few non-profit organizations that has been working on child protection since 1996. They have a special focus on the issue of child sexual abuse and exploitation.
Their work includes the capacity building of teachers, parents, communities, law enforcement agencies, government departments and CSOs. Sahil works to provide crisis intervention, free legal aid, and free counseling services for victims of violence, advocacy, research, and publications along with a help-line as well.
Sahil’s interventions have been introduced to more than 4 million people in various districts of Pakistan, directly and indirectly. These interventions have always received acceptance from the communities at large, the district administration, and local NGOs.
The issue of child sexual abuse had never been openly discussed at the community level. Sahil broke this silence and created the space through a sensitive approach which involved local government representatives, community leaders, school teachers and administrative authorities.
Sahil has formed Child Protection Networks (CPN) having membership of male and female community members. These networks are located in more than 216 villages of 42 Union Councils of 13 districts. Sahil’s approach entailed an institutional innovation which engaged local health workers, religious leaders, activists, parents, children lawyers, police officers, district administration officials and NGO representatives.
Sahil developed a partnership approach which secured the sustainable commitment of these local stakeholders by establishing Child Protection Networks (CPN) for the purpose of providing on-going support and outlining a procedure which was standardized yet accommodated local sensitivities.
The organization provides free legal aid to those who are victims of any of the following:
Procuration of minor girl
Selling person for purposes of prostitution
Buying person for purposes of prostitution
Since Sahil’s work is all done pro-bono, it is always looking for donations to help support the great work that they do. If you would like to contribute to their cause, please donate at http://sahil.org/donate-4/ .