Priya* is 18 and lives in Chennai on the pavement beside an open sewer. 

She says: “It is very hard to sleep at night. I have to walk a long way to the public toilets, but they are often locked. They are not safe places anyway. I am scared because there is so much violence on the street. When my mother was alive, I felt safer. But now it’s up to me to try and look after my two younger sisters.” 

* name changed

A young Indian woman outside her house on the pavement in India.

Extremely challenging: Priya in front of where she lives on the pavement. The street she lives on was recently dug up, exposing an open sewer.
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Priya’s story

Despite her extremely challenging living conditions, Priya finds hope and kindness from our long-term partner, Karunalaya, who has supported Priya since she was 12. They encouraged her parents to keep her in school when many other girls became child brides. In addition, they provided extra tutoring to support her education, as well as practical help with books and uniforms. 

Priya started to attend Karunalaya’s activity camps, being coached in football and other sports. These camps give young people a break from their lives on the streets so they can recognise their strengths and resilience and start to develop hopes for the future. 

Paul Sunder-Singh, director and founder of Karunalaya, says: “Playing sport is a big taboo for girls — many communities think that the place for girls is in the home. But it’s a mystery to me why families think girls should stay indoors when so much abuse occurs in the home.” 

Priya continues to show incredible resilience with the support of Karunalaya. She is still living on the streets but has started a BA degree in history whilst caring for her two younger sisters. Karunalaya and Priya are now working together to support her sisters as they move into their sheltered accommodation and find a safer place to live. They hope to be involved in the Street Child Cricket World Cup in 2023 and have been practising hard to hone their cricket skills.

Priya says: “We want to use this opportunity to show our talents in sport and to speak out against the discrimination and violence we’ve experienced. Everyone is against us because we come from pavement-dwelling communities, but that needs to change.”

Karunalaya’s work

Domestic and gender-based violence is a daily occurrence for women and girls from Chennai’s pavement-dwelling communities. Many desperate parents choose child marriage to keep their daughters safe.

Our partner Karunalaya wants to show that there can be an alternative. They do this in the following ways: 

  • They address the impact of gender-based violence on girls’ lives by providing 1:1 support, sheltered accommodation and counselling.

  • They empower girls to know their rights and to change their perceptions of themselves by supporting them to stay in school and through their activity camps

  • They transform how society sees and treats girls and young women from pavement-dwelling communities by using their participation in sports and activities such as Theatre of the Oppressed.

  • They equip pavement-dwelling communities to claim their rights and to address issues like gender-based violence through community initiatives such as the women-led campaign “Niruthuda”, which in Tamil means, “Man Stop It.”  

Help us hit gender-based violence for six!
Street Child Cricket World Cup 2023

India is hosting the Street Child Cricket World Cup in 2023 and Karunalaya are reigning champions. This will give them a huge international, national and local platform to showcase the potential of the girls and young women they support. It will also help Karunalaya to raise awareness of gender-based violence and the steps needed to stop it, as well as equipping girls and young women to live the lives they dream of. 

Your donations: 

  • £8.50 could pay for a girl affected by gender-based violence to receive one-to-one counselling for a month

  • £25 could pay for a girl to attend a camp for three nights, including food, transport, accommodation and activities 

  • £30 could pay for five women to attend a women’s leadership training day (including a meal) to empower them to speak out against gender-based violence

  • £45 could pay for a girl to stay in Karunalaya’s girls’ shelter for one month, including food, shelter and schooling

  • £90 could pay for a ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ session for a pavement-dwelling community on gender-based violence

  • £150 could pay the cricket coach’s salary for one month

Thank you.

An open sewer in front of a pavement-dwelling community in India.

Two women from the UK interview young women from India on the pavement.

A young Indian women practising her cricket skills.

Top: The open sewer in front of Priya’s ‘home’ on the pavement
Middle: Katie and Karin from Amos Trust talk to Priya with two of the Karunalaya team
Bottom: Priya practising her cricket skills with friends as Karunalaya look towards the Street Child Cricket World Cup in 2023
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amos trust works all around the world

We work alongside grass-roots partners in Palestine, South Africa, Nicaragua, Burundi, India and Tanzania.

Street Justice

Reaching children on the streets, addressing their trauma, working with them and their families to reintegrate them into their homes, to realise their rights and recover their future.

Palestine Justice

Working with local and international peace activists, and partnering with grass-roots projects, to call for a just peace, reconciliation and full equal rights for all Palestinians and Israelis.

Climate Justice

Addressing the impact of climate change and the causes of extreme poverty, building sustainable rural communities and empowering them to realise their rights.

Amos Travel

Bringing people together to meet our partners from around the world, visiting the communities they work in and seeing their projects in action — building solidarity and lasting friendships.


Amos Trust
7 Bell Yard, London
United Kingdom

+44 (0) 203 725 3493
[email protected]
Registered Charity No.



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