The Non-Governmental Organization Saathi was registered under the Societies Registration Act in January, 1997, with the mission to: Reach out to homeless youth and children in order to better understand their psychological, social, economic and other pressures; Address their daily issues of survival, protection and growth; Encourage their participation in the process of their own rehabilitation; Advocate on their behalf and represent forums of such youths to the general public; Push for changes in government policies and programs; and Network with other bodies working on similar issues locally, nationally, and internationally.
These lofty goals are successfully being met through several projects within the organization by a dedicated team. Centers are maintained while staff members also do outreach work to reach youths and girls in their own environments. Non-formal education is brought to the doors of the pavement communities. Conferences are regularly attended to raise awareness about issues, learn from other organizations' work, and to share one's own learnings. Saathi believes in being a dynamic organization continuously trying to learn and to share and to take part in building and participating in networks.
The Youth Center is located in Kamathipura and works with teenaged boys living on the street and train terminuses. They can come to the center for a wash, nutrition, camaraderie, non-formal education classes, counseling, and vocational training. Several have also been sponsored for formal education. Those that wish to return home are given assistance through the Home Placement project; others are given the opportunity to work on socialization and integration by staying in the group homes.
The Girl Child Center is located in Agripada and works with runaway teenaged girls. Health care and nutrition is provided along with non-formal education, counseling, recreation, and vocational training. A night shelter is also provided. For those that wish to return home, assistance via travel, escort, family counseling, and follow-up is lent through the Home Placement Project.
Quality Institutional Care for Children and Alternatives is a nationwide initiative with which Saathi is involved as a resource organization for the State of Maharashtra. This initiative is working to ensure minimum standards for children in institutions as well as finding positive alternatives to institutionalization.
Project Aasmaan works within a pavement community taking non-formal education to the children, vocational training and health information to the women, and building groups within the community that are able to then act as animators for the community. This project is conducted in partnership with CCDT, a fellow NGO.
Project Nilambur works as partner organization in a collaborative effort in the Nilambur region in Kerala. Saathi lends insight into community development issues as well as conducting vocational training and program development, focusing especially on reformed poachers and locals.
Saathi was one of the first NGOs to respond to the 2002 violence in Gujarat working in the refugee camps to rebuild communities and work with children traumatized by the events. Saathi is still actively involved as a mentoring organization to NGOs located near the Vatva region.