LettuceBee Kids is a sustainable solution to enrich the lives of street children and reintegrate them into society with dignity. The underlying aim is to establish human ties that are inviolable by race, culture, religion or politics.
Our goal is to create a scalable and sustainable environment as a transition space for street children before entering formal education. After three years of mentorship and guidance and when participating children are ready to take second-grade exams, LBK works to enroll them in formal education.
By establishing long-term partnerships with public and private schools. LBK aims to ensure that the children stay in school and continue on a path towards a better future.
Evidence shows that the chances of retention for a 'displaced' child placed into a regular school are alarmingly low. A universal reason is the child's low self-esteem; a feeling of not belonging. The program provides an inclusive physical space to improve the confidence and self-image of the children through four research-proven methods of self-exploration: music, arts, digital literacy, relationship with nature and respect for elders.
We involve our children in therapy through art sessions. Art helps children in developing motor skills, visual learning, and decision-making.
Studies show that children who are actively involved in music do better in reading and math, are better able to focus & have higher self-esteem. LBK children are taught music to form a band and play together which helps them gain confidence to perform in front of large audience.
The process of sowing a seed and reaping the fruit teaches children patience, responsibility and careful watchfulness. A vegetable garden is maintained at LBK and cultivated by the children under adult supervision.
Close interactions or bi-monthly intergenerational programs for old retired people and children can be a win-win situation for both the age groups. It not only eradicate the "social isolation" faced by the older generation but also help the children to have peer interactions on a personal and emotional level.
Street children are minors who live and survive on the streets. They often grow up in public landfills, train stations, or under the bridges. Most survive by picking trash from large, unhygienic rubbish dumps, sort and sell the waste product to assorted dealers for a pittance. Often, they just beg for money.
Evidence shows that retention rates for street children placed in the formal education system are alarmingly low. Even after joining their peers in the classroom, street children lack the self-esteem and sense of belonging needed to thrive.
The sustainable LBK business model capitalizes on design and product development inspired by artwork of participating children. The artwork developed during LBK education activities is converted by in-house designers into lifestyle products for children. These products--for children, by children--establish ties between the street children and their more fortunate counterparts. LBK aims to become a curious and conscious brand that raises awareness, empathy and gratefulness among privileged children through visual storytelling, thoughtful packaging and to build human connections that are inviolable by culture, creed or religion.
Process for change and analogy for children: Transformation from raw to refined by focusing on the best traits
We sell our joyful products online and hope to establish long term partnerships with retailers around the world. With every sale, we are a step closer to creating a financially and environmentally sustainable system for our children that can be scaled. 50% of all profits go towards creating the first pilot space in Islamabad, Pakistan.Diagram
LBK model also addresses one of the greatest challenges to support at-risk children. In order to encourage the parents to allow their children to be educated, a replacement of the family income they would have otherwise generated (begging on the streets) is needed. To meet this need, LBK involved the mothers of the children in an economic empowerment activity that also utilizes design to provide revenue generation. A design lab called Sammaan (“trust” in English) was established in 2014 to meet this need.
LettuceBee Kids is a labor of love and research by the founder, Sarah Adeel. After dedicating her thesis project at Rhode Island School of Design to explore how a prosperous social structure takes physical form through design and architecture, Sarah moved back to Pakistan and laid to the foundation of LettuceBee Kids in 2012.
Sarah's hope is to create a dignified and sustainable system of inclusion for street children through a conscious brand that raises awareness in our coming generations and builds bridges through empathy and a more connected world.
Sarah Adeel, Faraz Ahmed Khan, Haseeb Shaikh, Mustafa Saeed, Aliya Mohsin, Nausheen Javed
Board of Advisors
Saad Amanullah, Asad Jamal, Sasha Dichter, Aly Khalifa