Rainbow Rescue is unique in that the home caters for no more than fifteen children. This avoids the problems associated with large institutions. In addition, the children are brought up as a family with mutual respect, understanding, and love. In this family environment, they learn a range of both practical and emotional skills that a child would learn in a family.
The reasons children end up on the streets are many and have been enumerated by the various articles that have been published on the subject.
‘The United Nations Report’ estimates that there are over 150 million street children, between the ages of 3-18 worldwide and the numbers are increasing daily. With very few programs available to us, these children remain on the streets, hungry, dirty and both physically and emotionally vulnerable, and as a result, become easy prey to the underground world of drugs and crime.
We each ask- “who is responsible for these children?” We state categorically, “It is not my child and it is not my problem” but children living on the streets are everyone’s problem.
The United Nations defines them as Community Children, as they are offspring of our world.
It has been said that – “In every child who is born under “no matter what” circumstances and of “no matter what” parents, the potentiality of the human race is born again.
Over the years, government agencies have left the plight of these children to NGO’s who are doing the best we can with limited financial and qualified human resources.
Thus, Rainbow Rescue fulfils a very urgent need for facilities for the displaced youth of Trinidad and Tobago.
Our objectives are to provide the disadvantaged youth with more than just shelter and clothes but also with dignity, pride, self-respect, moral values and an education:
- To encourage them to refuse to be defined by the dictates of their current reality:
- To carve a new and better path for themselves;
- To give them a sense of their individuality and uniqueness;
- To inspire trust, build good character and restore a proper sense of self;
Create a future of hope and nurture a creative, intelligent, law-abiding citizen.
Rainbow Rescue has been used as a mechanism to deter problematic young men from turning to crime in order to survive, has raised the expectation among those who are severely marginalised and elevated the standard of living in Trinidad and Tobago, as befits a developing nation.
At this point in time, the majority of children in Trinidad and Tobago are unable to realise their maximum level of achievement. Only a very few, talented youth have been able to accomplish any degree of success in their lives, the rest are barely able to earn a living. A minority, resorts to crime and exploitation to survive. Soon these may become the majority.
The members of Rainbow Rescue believe that every child has a purpose for being in a specific place at a specific time. If allowed to reach their full potential, the country in which they live will be greatly improved. If however, as in many cases we have experienced, their growth is stifled, they become a most destructive force.
Research shows, however, that not enough homes or programs are set up for the adolescent or young male, who is perceived as a problem by…teachers, business owners, the law and society at large. But these are the ones who need the most help. It is an established fact that adolescence is the most difficult period in a child’s life. The transition from being a dependent child to that of an independent adult is frequently a traumatic experience and if not carefully managed, causes untold distress for the individual, the caregivers and ultimately, the society.
Our children’s needs are more than just “Bed and Breakfast”. They need help to get off the street and into programs which will prepare them to lead productive lives. Our children should not be left alone on the streets of Trinidad and Tobago feeling unloved and unwanted.
Our children are our future and our legacy. “No child is disposable.”