The situation regarded as unwelcome and unbeatable situation on street children in Africa
Accordant to calculations In 1989, UNICEF roughly calculate the value of 100 million a young human being below the age of puberty or below the legal age of majority were growing up on urban streets around the world.
14 years later UNICEF having arrived at the latest calculation put the numbers of these kids as high as 100 million above normal number. And even more recently reported:
‘The exact number of street young kids bellow legal age is very difficult to deal with to quantify, but the number about certainly arrived into tens of millions across the globe.
It is likely that the numbers adding daily every single day’. The figure is still frequently referred, but has no true basis in it.
Similarly, it is open to discussion whether numbers of street young human being is increasing globally or it is sending a signal of big number to increasing within the cities and societies at lard.
While there is comprehensible force for policies to be added or put in place, the calculation of street child populations or high number being increasing rapidly at a society and city level?
The situation regarded as unwelcome
of street kids is not restricted in size only to the Developing nations. There are hundreds of thousands of street kids running away from home and living on the streets of Kenya, Europe, Canada, and United states.
That is because the reasons for this harsh economic problem, it is a rather consisting of many different and connected parts issue that persistently to persuade to become a prevalent over a whole country harmful and needing to be dealt with and overcome for many authority in the World.
The most affecting reasons to why are:
- Child maltreatment or abuse,
- Fail to care for properly,
- peer group,
- Other family related persons.
The devotion of time and attention to gaining knowledge of an academic subject shows that homelessness does not comely means of self-decision, young kids bellow legal age given openly to: substances and drugs
- Relief from the pressures of the street
- Peer group
- To sleep easily and feel away from anything pressuring them
- To be able to endure painful environment, violence within the societies, and hunger that has become a pandemic issue
In the heart of Africa
- A investigation in Ethiopia shows: the authority calculates that 150,000 young kids bellow legal age live on the streets.
- The average age at which young kids bellow legal age first become involved in street life in Ethiopia is 10.7 years
- Around 1 million young kids bellow legal age are believed to be on the streets of Egypt, most in Cairo and Alexandria.
- Nigeria– over 95% of the young kids bellow legal age on the streets of Akwa Ibom State, have been stigmatized as “witches” by pastors and abandoned to live on the streets by their parents.
- South Africa, estimated number 10-12000 homeless young kids bellow legal age. The average age of the respondents to a investigation on street young kids bellow legal age was between 13 and 14 years.
- A similar investigation also found street young kids bellow legal age in South Africa to be between 7 and 18 years of age, with the majority between 13 and 16.
- Ghana, a ‘headcount’ of street young kids bellow legal age and young mothers in the different parts of Accra, the capital of Ghana, has categorized the numbers as 21140 street young kids bellow legal age, 6000 street babies, 7170 street ‘mothers’ under the age of 20
- Rwanda, more than half of the boys interviewed in a Rwanda investigation and more than three-quarters of the girls, including 35% of those under ten,
- admitted they were sexually active; 63% of the boys said they had forced a girl to have sex with them; 93% of the girls reported having been raped.
- Most young kids bellow legal age living on the street in Lusaka, Zambia are orphans: 22% had lost both parents, 26% had lost their father, and 10% had lost their mother.
The Young kids bellow legal age of Kenya
Providing exactly Numbers
One of the most disputed aspects of knowledge on young kids bellow legal age living and working on the streets of Nairobi is that related to their numbers.
What is the magnitude of the problem, quantitatively speaking? There are several differing statistics about the number of street young kids bellow legal age in Nairobi, Kenya.
A investigation commissioned by the Consortium of Street Young kids bellow legal age (CSC) brings some staggering numbers:
- In 1999 it was reported that there were over 50,000 street young kids bellow legal age in Nairobi, and the authority calculates that their numbers grew at 10 % per year
- In 2001 it was stated that conservative estimates indicated that 300,000 young kids bellow legal age live and work on the streets in Kenya, with over 50% of them concentrated in and around the capital Nairobi
- In 2001 another report calculates that there were about 40,000 street young kids bellow legal age in Kenya, with about half concentrated in Nairobi
- It was calculates in 2007 that there were 250,000- 300,000 young kids bellow legal age living and working on the streets across Kenya with, with more than 60,000 of them in Nairobi
The unseen Girls and the seen
Girls generally tend to be invisible in most studies on street young kids bellow legal age.
The recent investigation of street families in Nairobi’s central business district commissioned by the NCBDA in 2001 states that boys outnumber girls nine to one.
However, according to the findings of a investigation (Women Educational Researchers of Kenya (WERK) for SNV/Kenya and German Technical Cooperation (GTZ) ) that covered 12 locales in Nairobi District girls constitute on average about 25 percent of the population of young kids bellow legal age counted in Nairobi District.
In Mukuru, Dandora/Maili Saba and Mathare/Eastleigh/Pangani, the proportions are even higher (40%, 31% and 28% respectively).
Dis-aggregation of the findings by age reveals a narrower gender gap in the under-five age bracket. As many as 45 percent of the under-five young kids bellow legal age were found to be females.
While boys often survive on collecting garbage, and help load and unload market goods, earning them up to 80 KSH (US $1) a day, girls are forced to resort to prostitution in order to get clothes or food.
According to a 2004 report from The Cradle and The Undugu Society, they earn as little as 10 or 20 KSH ($0.30-0.50) for each client.
The Age Bracket: The same research reveals the dominance of eleven to fifteen year olds on the streets of Nairobi, constituting over 50 percent of some of the recorded cases.
The young kids bellow legal age below the age of five constitute 7 percent of the total investigation sample.
The Ethnic Factor: The investigation exposed that the majority of the young kids bellow legal age, regardless of gender, identify themselves as Agikuyu.
However, it also suggests that the population of Gikuyus among the street young kids bellow legal age may have been grossly exaggerated in other studies.
While the Gikuyus constitute a significant proportion (46%) of all ethnic groups represented among the street young kids bellow legal age, the non-Gikuyus in the street young kids bellow legal age population, put together, are more in number.
This notwithstanding, most of the young kids bellow legal age on the streets can speak the Kikuyu language. Other than Kikuyu, knowledge of Kiswahili was found to be about universal next the ‘Sheng’ – their own street language.
Schooling: Overall, only 39.5 percent of the young kids bellow legal age counted and interviewed for the above mentioned investigation were attending school while an overwhelming number of young kids bellow legal age were not participating in any form of formal or non-formal education.
Nevertheless a total of 48.5 percent of the girls and 36.5 percent of the boys claimed to be involved in some form of educational programme. In Korogocho 56.2 percent of the boys claimed to be going to school.
The highest number of young kids bellow legal age who claimed to be going to school fell within the age bracket of 11-15 years translating to 56.71 percent of the total number of respondents.
Parental Occupation and “street families
Unemployment among parents of the street young kids bellow legal age is quite high.
About a quarter of the young kids bellow legal age claim that their mothers do not work whereas less than a tenth say their fathers do not.
Analyses of the parental occupations suggests that these are menial, poorly paying and often highly labour intensive jobs.
The implications of this may be many including inability to meet basic family obligations leading to broken homes.
high incidences of child neglect and abandonment, absentee parenthood and a tendency to encourage young kids bellow legal age to obtain employment by any means in order to supplement the family income.
This view is supported by the findings that indicate that young kids bellow legal age are sent out to the streets to earn a living for themselves and even to support other members of the family.
Most employed mothers are said to be engaged in petty trading while the fathers are reportedly doing more skilled but also unskilled manual work.
Some parents also engage in household and domestic work, farming, illicit brewing, and begging for a living.
Others do professional / managerial/technical or clerical work, proprietorship, guarding homes/premises, thievery/robbery or engaged in commercial sex work for a living.
The percentage of girls with non-working parents is higher than that of boys (6.8% of the female responses and 17.1% of the male responses for the mother’s occupation;
2.8% of the female and 6.9% of the male responses). A number of young kids bellow legal age do not know anything about their parents’ occupations.
Young kids bellow legal age ‘Of’ and ‘On’ the Streets
Many of the young kids bellow legal age claim that their parents are either deceased or have abandoned them. Abandonment by or death of fathers is found to be more common than abandonment by or death of mothers.
The implication is that there are more single mothers than there are fathers. The death of either or both parent and abandonment in turn increases the likelihood of young kids bellow legal age turning or being turned out to the streets because of limited or no resources for their sustenance within the extended family setting.
Young kids bellow legal age either orphaned or abandoned are found to be among those who have found permanent residence on the streets (approximately 14% of the total sample).
Among the young kids bellow legal age ‘of’ the streets, over 65 percent are male. Most of the young kids bellow legal age who identified themselves fully with the streets are to be found in Mukuru and City Centre.
Time spent on the Streets
About 63 percent of the young kids bellow legal age have been on the streets either on a part time or full time basis for up to 5 years.
Over 12 percent have been on the streets for between 6-10 years while another 13 percent cannot recall when they had started to frequent the streets kids.
to earn money, search for food and/or look for recreation all described in the literature on street young kids bellow legal age as “pull” factors.
These “pull” factors are symptomatic for young kids bellow legal age from economically poor families who suffer from lack of adequate attention and care at home as their parents spend most of their time and energy in securing the mere survival.
It is also not surprising that “domestic conflicts” and “domestic violence” featured as one key “push” factor for streetism.
Significantly none of the young kids bellow legal age cite ‘sex’ as a reason for being on the streets.
It is probable that of necessity rather than on their own volition, once on the streets young kids bellow legal age are introduced into sexual activity either for recreation or money or they are being forced into it and/or raped.
The Street Sub-Culture: Once on the streets others initiate the young kids bellow legal age into streetism in order for them to survive.
Young kids bellow legal age’s rights are violated constantly as they are often harassed and exploited and they exploit others in turn.
In absence of adult care and guidance they are forced to assume adult responsibilities and take care of themselves and sometimes their siblings and fellow young kids bellow legal age at a tender age.
Out of necessity they have to look for work and they are easy to exploit through meagre or sometimes no pay.
They are thrust into a bleak, harsh and depraved environment often fraught with constant and sustained danger in various forms such as:
- Violence amongst themselves and towards others
- Drug taking and trafficking
- Sexual exploitation accompanied by a high risk of contracting STIs and HIV/AIDS
- Loneliness and fear
- Physical and emotional abuse and neglect
- Exposure to the elements
- Early, unplanned and uncontrolled pregnancy and parenthood
- Poor hygienic and sanitation conditions
The Public Perceptions:
Often they are beaten and harassed for real of imagined dishonest behavior.
The younger young kids bellow legal age, especially boys identify the police as among the persons feared most because they continually harass them.
Girls fear the older street boys the most because they organize gang rapes sometimes ‘to teach them a lesson” if they decline to have sex with someone, break up with someone or as mere punishment.
The girls report that they could be taken advantage of and being gang raped if they merely visit another base and they are known to be unmarried [without a boyfriend protecting them].
Younger young kids bellow legal age expressed fears of being stolen/abducted and often feel insecure when strangers approach them.
The older girls talk of incidents of colleagues who have been sexually molested and subjected to bestiality. These experiences heighten their sense of insecurity and vulnerability.
Research by https://kenyachildrenofhope.org