The street Children in Africa
Children living on the street demonstrate exceptional levels of resiliency. They have a way of life that is foreign to most people in society since they live on the fringes of civilization and have to contend with a world fraught with severe uncertainty and long odds to survive.
Society can do its best for them to drive them to the edge of their ability to live. This makes it extremely challenging for them to endure the already harsh conditions in the open World, as they do not have access to a safe place to live, clothing that can keep them warm, and guarantees food, protection, or recognition.
However, if they are provided with the opportunity to benefit from community development programs like any other citizen does, they thrive. I regret to inform you that this is never the case. The well-to-do are the ones who continue to gain from such initiatives, while the emphasis is on turning a blind eye to the youngsters living on the streets who are underprivileged.
It is essential to be aware of the fact that these children have an enormous potential to become useful assets to their neglected communities, countries, and the World in which they live, whether they do it on their own or with the assistance of unfriendly authorities.
Children living on the streets are some of the most resilient individuals a person may ever meet; as a result, they would be ideal candidates for employment possibilities that need resilient individuals, should such a demand arise.
However, this does not always imply that only “risk” environments provide the greatest opportunities for individuals to make a living. They are aware that they are human beings who are deserving of the finest possible life for themselves, and they look forward to living such a life. It is sad that to discover a penny or a few coins, people must go through challenging and perhaps dangerous processes. They can purchase necessities such as food, water, and clothing for their leisure activities using the money they make.
In essence, they survive by begging, gathering scrap materials, washing cars, collecting water for small business owners, and cleaning utensils in exchange for food. In extreme circumstances, they form gangs for individual security against hostile neighborhoods and advance to stealing to make a living.
If compassion were the guiding principle in dealing with street children, then severe kinds of behavior between street children and authorities would be impossible to produce. The families they come from, the neighborhoods they live in, and the civic authorities that are obligated to safeguard them all contribute to the establishment of living standards.
There are three tiers to the violence that is committed against children, who often become homeless as a result. This alone is sufficient to train any human being in the ways of the wilderness. They are subject to prejudice and isolation from the neighborhood and local authorities, they are not part of the agenda for urban growth, and they look to be antisocial, for whom a detention facility or jail would be the most appropriate environment for them.
In spite of the fact that they are confronted with the World’s most daunting challenges and the slimmest of chances of living and thriving, society pushes them to the very edge of what they are capable of enduring. Because of this, it is very challenging for them to endure the already terrible circumstances that exist in the open World, since they do not have access to a safe haven, warm clothes, guarantees of a meal, protection, or recognition.
But sooner rather than later, and via the process of group initiation, the challenging conditions become normal, and it is this (normalcy) that gives them the strength to press on every day, to surprise or shock individuals who are not a part of their group structures.
They endure so well that eventually, they come to dominate the slum industry. They achieve success in their little company and become an integral part of the informal sector with the assistance of additional support, as is very much their own want.
At this point, the people who we formerly knew to be homeless children are really quite different people. Some participants in a survey carried out by IMI in 2019 throughout the core areas of Kampala city demonstrated that some of the youngsters living on the streets were dressed so impeccably that street life had become a thing of the past.
Despite this, they continued to enjoy widespread acceptance among the “struggling” street youngsters. Despite making such progress, they demonstrated a need to return to school in order to improve their chances of receiving better employment remits. In addition, just like the majority of young people who are unemployed, they looked for employment opportunities that paid better and were within their capabilities and skill sets.
Therefore, their socioeconomic situations may be changed so that they can join the mainstream communities as “legitimate” citizens and city inhabitants. This would allow them to join the mainstream communities.
When given the opportunity, youngsters living on the streets have the potential to become famous on a national and even a worldwide scale. In this manner, individuals even have the opportunity to work their way up into positions of authority within the nation.
They are forced to contend with the myriad of challenges and ambiguities that they encounter on the streets, even those that are brought upon them by the purportedly lawful conduct of city residents and the authorities. For the time being, they are making do with what they have.
An investigation into the “Impact of Street Children on Development of Cities” revealed that the children living on the streets had a significant potential to grow up to be resourceful citizens if they were given the same chances as those who were already succeeding in life. There was also evidence that they worked their way through the informal sector, which is famous for offering the quickest returns on investment and the most opportunities to get wealthy quickly.
They requested the right to live in cities like any other citizen in order to take advantage of the economic growth that is characteristic of metropolitan areas as both a fundamental right and a source of income. They pined away for the day when they would be acknowledged as human beings with rights that might be safeguarded by the law.
In particular, prejudice and antagonism from communities and local officials were significant obstacles in their fight for an acceptable standard of life.
Children who lived on the streets were often seen as criminals and were denied the chance to gain valuable life skills or the exposure necessary to promote their abilities, which were mostly in the fields of music and sports.
The needs were of an educational, economic, and health-related nature, and they included things like the promotion of talents, active participation in and benefit from community development programs (like grants to start businesses), talent promotion shows, vocational education, the development of language skills, business skills, life skills, and knowledge on sexual and reproductive health (or access to such services), and so on.
And while these programs for growth were taking effect, the cash appreciation for casual and half-day duties increased their self-esteem. As a result, they desired education and casual labor to be provided to them simultaneously by any support organization.
At the institutional level, there was a need for sharing field reports, research collaboration, joint interventions, and availing of equipment to support recreation and rehabilitation with a focus on Africa, through established development agencies, in order to change the stigmatized face of street children and ensure a decent future for them. In addition, there was a need to make available equipment to support recreation and rehabilitation with particular attention to Africa.