Drop-in centers provide support and protection services for street involved children and children at risk. In these centers children can get a warm meal, assistance in enrolling in school, help with their homework, assistance in being able to fulfill their basic rights and the opportunity to have some quality leisure time.
Eight years ago, Save the Children joined efforts with non-governmental organizations and institutions in order to identify quality solutions for several thousand boys and girls in the region exposed to harmful work or life on the street. Initially we set up two drop-in centers for street involved children in B-H and Serbia. The work model supported by Save the Children spread throughout the region and was used by other organizations in other countries, resulting in 14 drop-in centers, which are all part of the Regional Network for Street Involved Children.
In 2015 Save the Children supported the opening of a new drop-in center in Bijeljina, a town which has a large number of children involved in begging on the street. The center provided a much needed space to provide shelter for these children and basic services for them, including food, hygiene services and a place to play. This was the fifth drop-in center established in B-H with Save the Children support. We are also running drop-in centers in Sarajevo, Banja Luka, Mostar and Tuzla. Bijelijina was in need of a drop-in center because it is close to the B-H border, with a high number of children often crossing this international border and therefore vulnerable to various forms of abuse.