The Kavli Trust recently entered into collaboration with the organization LittleBigHelp and their project Open Shelter. Open Shelter is a temporary shelter for 25 boys who are living on the streets or on the railway tracks of Howrah Station, Kolkata India. Open Shelter aims to provide the street boys with protection, support, education, nutrition and basic medical care.
‘Nobody can help all, but everybody can help some’
LittleBigHelp is a Danish NGO established in 2010 by the Founder Lisbeth Johansen. After working several years as a Sales Manager, Lisbeth realised that she had a burning desire to help other people who were not afforded the same opportunities in education, health, and access to basic human rights as in the developed world. Living by the motto “nobody can help all, but everybody can help some” LittleBigHelp is now registered in India and has several projects led by Programme Director Kristine Alsly Hansen, Lisbeth Johansen and a Team of 14 local people.
The LittleBigHelp team runs projects such as: the Open Shelter, a Pre and Primary School and also an Adult Learning Centre for women. In October 2013 Boys’ Home, a new orphanage for 45 boys will open for those street boys from the Open Shelter who have no parents and themselves want to move there for a safe home, education, health care and protection – and a brighter future with opportunities.
Open Shelter offers protection to street boys
LittleBigHelp runs an Open Shelter near Howrah Station (the biggest train station in Kolkata) for boys living on the street and on the platforms of the station. The rough everyday lives of these young boys consist of collecting bottles and other goods left on the trains to sell and earn a few Rupees to survive. An estimated 100.000 children are living on the streets of Kolkata and many of them live around the station.
Life on the station is very rough and the children struggle to get food every day and must sleep on the platforms. These vulnerable children enjoy no protection whatsoever, no access to medical care, and no education. Most of them are orphans. To make it through the tough day, many of the boys are sniffing glue which is highly addictive and adds to their health problems.
With the daily capacity of 25 boys, the Open Shelter offers them a 24/7 shelter, protection, food, basic medical and health care, basic informal education, and a place to simply just be a child. The aim is to get the boys off the street and eventually admitted to school. The Kavli Trust is proud to support Open Shelter and their important work.