Ladderworks is a publishing platform of diverse picture books and an online curriculum with the mission to empower over a million kids to become social entrepreneurs. Our current series features interviews by our interplanetary journalist Spiffy with inspiring Social Entrepreneurs, Entrepreneurship Ecosystem Builders, and Changemakers who are advancing the UN SDGs.
Spiffy here with the scoop on the entrepreneurial leaders of Planet Earth. As the only interplanetary journalist stationed on this blue planet, I’m thrilled to present a galactic exclusive with Tom, the founder and CEO of Street Child. Let’s learn about what’s happening at Street Child and how Tom is making a positive impact in the world.
Spiffy: Hi Tom, thanks a million for talking to me today. Tell me, what challenge are you addressing through Street Child?
Tom: Thanks for having me, Spiffy! Did you know that 1 in 10 children worldwide don’t go to school? School is important for children to learn life skills and make friends, and, yet, because of poverty, war, climate change, and natural disasters like earthquakes and floods, they can’t go. At Street Child we help children in more than 25 countries, like Ukraine and Afghanistan, access education. We build schools, train teachers, and help parents earn money for school fees.
Spiffy: What motivates you to do it?
Tom: I believe all children should be able to access education so they can achieve their dreams in the future. Life can be difficult if you can’t read, add up, or take away so we work to make sure all children can do this, regardless of where they live. Around the world there are millions of children who still aren’t going to school or aren’t learning as much as they should. We will keep working to reduce that number as much as we can.
Spiffy: More power to you! Could you elaborate on the impact of your work?
Tom: Street Child helps children, the same age as many of you, who live in some of the world's toughest places. This includes countries where millions of people live in poverty, like Sierra Leone and Mozambique. We also work in countries impacted by war and natural disasters to make sure children are safe and have places they can play with their friends. We focus our work on children who might not otherwise receive the support they need to go to school and learn.
Spiffy: Tell me about a recent organization milestone or initiative. What impact does it make on your community?
Tom: Street Child has reached over 950,000 children with our programmes, and this year is our 15th birthday.
Spiffy: Congratulations and happy birthday! Is there anything else you would love to tell our audience today?
Tom: You can get involved with Street Child too! You could ask your school if you can fundraise for Street Child by hosting a cake sale or wearing your own clothes to school for the day. There are lots of fun ideas on our website or you can come up with your own. Our team will support you to make it happen, and anything you raise will help children around the world.
Spiffy: Thanks for speaking with me today, Tom—it’s been an honor!
Tom Dannatt founded Street Child in 2008 and has led the organization since it started 15 years ago. Tom holds a Master’s degree in Human Rights from LSE and is a qualified barrister. (First published on the Ladderworks website on October 27, 2023.)
The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the interviewee and do not necessarily reflect those of Ladderworks LLC.© 2023 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Anushree Nande. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. For the Ladderworks digital curriculum to help K-3 kids advance the UN SDGs, visit Spiffy's Launchpad: Creative Entrepreneurship Workshops for K-3 Kids and their caregivers here.