street children & trafficking Cambodia & India

Street Children Drop-in Shelter

Grassroots Asia has supported World Vision’s street children drop-in shelter, located at the Phnom Penh market, where children receive shelter, hot meals, counseling and medical aid.

Phnom Penh City Dump 

Grassroots Asia’s first project was the Phnom Penh city dump project, which is still successful. The children working in the Phnom Penh city dump, living in 11 surrounding villages, established a muffin-baking business that helped them earn more than they made at the dump and allowed them half day off to attend morning school. The school was also funded by the program. 

Rescue & Rehabilitation of Child Sex Workers

Grassroots Asia has participated in the rescue of young Cambodian girls who have been kept as sex slaves in red-light districts. Photographs from Grassroots Asia documentary work were featured in the Sunday Edition of the New York Times and at the Agenda 2000: Convention on the Rights of the Child, hosted by ECPAT (End Child Prostitution in Asia).


Bhubaneswar, Odisha

ASHRA: More than one hundred mentally ill, destitute women reside at ASHRA's resident home in Bhubaneswar, India where they receive medical care, vocational training, counseling and housing. Many have been abused, rescued from being trafficked or were abandoned. ASHRA has been in the forefront of Odisha’s progressive mental health care. Grassroots Asia initiated a paper-making vocational training unit for the women in 2004. The women have not only made this a big success, but have expanded the program to include note cards that exhibit their own artwork, chalk making and bamboo house products. They have become a shining example of what a little help can do. The building of the vocational training unit at ASHRA paved the way for the State of Orissa Women & Child Development to purchase products from the women, insuring product sales. Several women have developed bank accounts and are saving for a new life.


Helpline: Helpline began as a joint partnership between the State of Odisha Women and Child Development and Ruchika Social Services. When it was in danger of being cut due to a shortage of funds, Grassroots Asia partnered with the State and Ruchika Social Services to insure the continuation of Helpline. Helpline provides an emergency hotline for women in distress, offering emergency response 24/7. Many of the women who work at Helpline receives an average of 500 calls per week. All women and children who require medical services, shelter, food or counseling are given access free of charge. For those women who need longer-term housing and additional care, Ruchika's Shraddha Bhaban was developed to give them shelter and many free services. (See “Ruchika Shraddha Bhaban” under “Resident Homes & Schools”)


Kolkata, W. Bengal

Samvav ('Possible') Center for Teens : Serves four red light districts in S. Kolkata and provides a shelter, light snacks, games, education and safe harbor for more than 100 young teens looking for new opportunities in life. Tailoring classes, computer training, tutoring and counseling are also provided. Teens develop their own programs. Grassroots Asia and Samvav initiated this project in 2003 and it is currently managed by Sanlaap, a Kolkata-based NGO.


The Red-Light School Bus : Grassroots Asia funded the purchase of a school bus to pick children up from red light districts and transport them to the new Samvav ("Possibility") Youth Center where young teens can receive tutoring, computer training, counseling and vocational training. The bus was placed in operation in July 2005 and is being used throughout the Red-Light Districts in Kolkata to serve rehabilitation and prevention programs. The bus has more than doubled the attendance at health and care centers for children.

School bus

Education Scholarships for Red Light Teens: In an effort to curb second-generation prostitution and trafficking, including boys who are being groomed for pimping, Grassroots Asia and Sanlaap, a Kolkata-based NGO, teamed to provide grants to youth who prefer to continue their education but have no resources. Books and tuition are provided to qualified students who have received good grades and show leadership skills. The program also includes counseling, computer training, a study center, and youth leadership programs designed by the students.