Shine a light recognizes that real solutions to youth homelessness emerge not from ivory towers or bureaucratic offices, but from grass roots organizations in São Paulo, Bogotá, and Mexico City. SAL supports these programs and provides the tools with which they can share their cost effective, culturally appropriate models. We are the medium that makes local solutions international.
Latin American civil society has developed extraordinary solutions for street children, from mobile high schools to top-notch ballet troupes, from national political movements to community programs offering alternatives to gangs. Unfortunately, institutional and national barriers have long prevented these programs from learning from each other: when a street based high school wants to begin an arts program, it must begin from scratch, and when a dance troupe wants to work with families, it doesnt know where to begin. The problem is not a lack of solutions, but a lack of communication.
SAL uses digital technology to democratize this invaluable intellectual capital, connecting community based programs with each other so that no one need reinvent the wheel.
To begin this process, Shine a light linked 230 NGOs in 49 cities into a collaborative network, providing each program access to the knowledge and expertise of the others. You can see the activities of the network on this website, from essays that describe each program to analyses of the lessons learned in twelve different countries.
Meeting personally with each of the 230 NGOs provided the raw data with which Shine a light assessed the needs and strengths of these programs and the children they serve. This research clarified, on an international basis, what works in services for street children.
SAL Board of Directors
SAL Annual Reports, 2003-2007