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Where we work

Toybox works in seven countries around the world. We adapt our work and programmes by working alongside our local partners who understand the unique challenges of each country.

El Salvador

The smallest country in Central America, El Salvador, has a history deeply rooted in violence with one of the highest crime rates in Latin America. According to the UNICEF report ‘Hidden in Plain Sight’, El Salvador is now the most deadly peacetime country, with more children murdered per capita than anywhere else in the world. As always in situations like this, it is children, especially those without the protection and care of a home or family, who suffer the most.

Children living and working on the streets are some of the most vulnerable to the daily onslaught of the brutality that gangs impose and many are targeted by gang members who recruit them to traffic drugs or carry out violent crimes.

We are currently partnering with Viva El Salvador and work throughout San Salvador.


Guatemala’s history is one plagued with violence, civil war and natural disaster; the results of which have left hundreds of thousands displaced, with children accounting for a large proportion of those living and working on the streets. Guatemala City itself is a place of contrasts. It has areas of beauty and opportunity but it’s also a highly dangerous place to live – especially for a child without an official existence.

There are an estimated 700,000 children who don’t have a birth certificate and are therefore not recognised by official statistics, so they are not protected by the state. This means they can be used, neglected and abused by gangs and criminals, and are at significant risk of being trafficked.

We are currently partnering with CONACMI as they deliver services across Guatemala City.


There are approximately 850,000 children living and working on the streets in Bolivia. The legal age to work is just 10. Bolivia is one of Latin America’s least developed countries, experiencing one of the highest levels of income inequality in the world.

With almost half of the population aged under 18; children withstand the most poverty and deprivation. The country’s lack of a formal child protection system means there is an ever-increasing level of vulnerability among young people.

We are currently partnering with Alalay, working across La Paz and El Alto.

Sierra Leone

Civil war, epidemic disease and natural disasters have left thousands of children alone in Sierra Leone over the last three decades. There are an estimated 50,000 street connected children across Sierra Leone, with around half of these in Freetown and surrounding areas such as Waterloo. Whilst the country’s economy has grown during the peacetime from the end of the civil war in 2002 the World Bank estimate that over 52% of the population live below the poverty line.

Environmental challenges pose huge risks to those living in the country and with an estimated 61 slum settlements in Freetown alone there is little safe protection against the elements when the rainy season comes.

We are currently working with St George Foundation in Freetown.


Despite strong economic growth in recent years, 40% of Kenyans still live below the poverty line. The majority of children living in the city’s slums come from socially excluded and marginalised families with little or no access to basic services. Levels of unemployment are high and for those who do find work, most are employed in informal and unskilled jobs, where wages are often low and unstable. An estimated 80% of women aged 15-24 in slum settlements have no form of income generating activities.

This lack of earnings also pushes children out onto the streets to supplement household income. An estimated 33% of 5-14-year olds in Kenya work in informal employment; from scavenging in dumpsites, breaking rocks in quarries, or through risky and illegal activities including commercial sexual exploitation.

We work with Pendekezo Letu across Nairobi.


With levels of extreme poverty in the surrounding rural areas, many children migrate to the streets of Delhi, lured by the idea and excitement of city life. Others escape to the street after suffering from neglect and abuse at home. There are also a significant number of children who are born into so-called ‘street families’, where second and third generation children face life on the streets from birth. Others may still live at home but are forced to work on the streets to support their families.

Street children in Delhi earn income either by begging and rag-picking or shoe-shining and trinket-selling. Working on the streets means they do not have the time or support to go to school and therefore grow up without an education. Currently 50% of street and working children in Delhi are illiterate. Growing up illiterate seriously inhibits their chances and opportunities for the future, resulting in a cycle of poverty that leaves some children no choice but to spend the rest of their lives on the street.

We are working with CHETNA across New Delhi.


Over 85% of street children in Nepal are illiterate and more than a third of 10–14 year olds are working, which means they are unable to attend school. The average life expectancy for those who are living or working on the street is considerably lower than country’s average. For females it is just 30 years and for males, it is 40 years.

Street children have limited access to safe sanitation, so hygiene standards are very low. Many street children in the capital will work collecting and sorting scrap to earn money. This is incredibly dirty work, which they are often too ashamed to do during the day, so will only work once it’s dark. This means that the children are acutely vulnerable to accidents and infections.

We are working with SathSath and CWIN throughout Kathmandu.