Toybox is a UK charity with a mission to end the injustice of street children, one of the world’s most vulnerable groups.
We work in very challenging contexts where street children are subject to extreme poverty including no food, shelter and clothes alongside suffering with abuse, abject violence and neglect. We are focused on supporting these children on a daily basis. Although reliable figures are hard to obtain, the UN estimates the number of street children around the world to be in the hundreds of millions. Toybox works in urban environments across Latin America and is currently helping more than 11,000 street children annually.
Your support will help Toybox:
- identify children who are at risk of making the street their home or workplace
- connect with children who already live or work on the street with a view to assuring their safety and wellbeing for the future
- where possible, to reintegrate a street child back into their family or another loving, supportive home
Toybox in the News
A new truce for the gangs of El Salvador? – Tuesday 2 September 2014
Hardly six months since El Salvador’s Police Chief, Rigoberto Pleites, announced that he considered the previous two year old peace truce between two rival gangs in the country to ”technically exist no more” it would seem that a new truce may be on the horizon.
Reports coming out of El Salvador suggest that leaders of five of the country’s most dangerous gangs are requesting ‘negotiating facilities’ and have promised to cease attacks on civilians, police and the military with a view to resurrecting the previous truce.
Ian Gray, Toybox’s International Programmes Director says: “Toybox works with thousands of street connected children in El Salvador and so we cautiously welcome the news of a possible new truce. We’re particularly pleased with the commitment to not harm any more civilians as part of this offer. So many innocent children and families have been living in fear of these gangs who have subjected them to violence and extortion. This has resulted in many children making the treacherous journey from El Salvador through Central America to the United States of America seeking safety. We look forward to hearing more and hope that this will represent the start of a journey towards peace and security for the people of El Salvador.”
Toybox echoes the comment of its Chief Executive, Lynne Morris, at the beginning of the year when the previous truce was said to be over.
“The children we work with talk about their communities being ‘taken’ by the gangs and of the constant threat of kidnap, gang involvement, rape and murder that make up their daily lives. Defeat is not the answer for these children. We can’t simply say “It hasn’t worked” and walk away. These children can’t, don’t and won’t give up – and neither will we. We don’t presume for a moment that resolving these issues will be easy – but we do believe that ‘difficult’ and ‘impossible’ are not the same. So we will continue to be courageous in speaking out and we will continue to teach children how to ensure they are not – and do not appear to be – vulnerable to recruitment by the gangs. ”