Posts Tagged ‘International Day of Street Children’

Street child is a term used for a homeless child residing in the streets of a city (typically in a developing country). In most of the cases they have no adult supervision or care. They are often subject to abuse, neglect, exploitation, or in extreme cases, murder by “cleanup squads” hired by local business or police. (Refer to Wikipedia).

In every developing country the rights of the children is well respected, but the same does not apply when it comes to street children. This clearly indicates how they are ignored, not only with their families, but also by the government policies.

A group of street children and youth at where they sleep and spend most of their time

The general community has the perception that street children are lazy individuals who depends on handouts. But this is not the reality as most of them stay awake at night until the streets are clear and soundless.If they are lucky to close their eyes, then their minds have to stay alert, to dodge the police who come battering at night or the older street youths who take advantage of darkness to sexually molest them.  When it rains at night they cuddle themselves together, or sleep standing with their feet soaking in the cold water.  Before they can take a nap, the sound of the hooting cars wakes them up at 4am. Soon they grab their rucksack and head to the garbage to look for something to eat or sell.

The rising sun doesn’t give them hope to realize their dreams. It only enable them to watch helplessly as other kids go to school, while their own lives erodes by every single shot of harmful drugs that are taking.

One of the mentors, with the street kids at FIKISHA during anti-drug session

At FIKISHA we are changing this. We are rehabilitating from a lifestyle of drug abuse through anti-drug education and supporting the abandonment of any harmful substance. Besides, we are reconnecting willing street children and youth with stable family members. Our core focus area is to assist towards a sustainable future by providing education opportunity.

We desire to spread love and care to as many street children as possible, but we can’t reach this goal without your support.

We are asking you to:

–          Support a street child to go back to school. (Through the Street Scholarship we have supported 19 children from streets and    back to school)

–          Support the Drug Addiction Recovery Program.

–          Support the Family Tracing and Reintegration Program.

–          Donate food, clothes, soaps and detergents.

–          Volunteer or be an Intern for as long as you desire.

–          Commit to prayer the needs of this organization and how they might be filled

For more information, please get in touch with us at fikishakenya@live.com  (Kenya) or fikishusa@gmail.com (USA)

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By Moses Aboka

 

On 12th April 2012 we and other street children actors within Dagoretti to join the rest of the world to mark International Day Street of Children at The District Commissioner Ground.  We held peaceful procession within Kawangware to inform the community about the plight and rights of the street children. The Administration Police who for the last years have been like worst enemies with the street boys worked hand in hand with us, from leading and protecting  through the procession to serving during the open event held at the District Commissioner Ground.

Thanks to the support and coordination of Maisha Poa Centre, Fida International, KITO International, Mainstream Sports Academy, Undugu Society, EARYN, KARDS, X-Change Perceptive, Mary Faith Children Centre, The Administration Police, City Council of Nairobi, Different Media Houses, former and current street youth/children who all participated.

Below are the days activities in pictures.

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More stories from the event:

Street Children: Does not Hurt to care. By Consolation in East Africa

Restoring Hope in Kawangware: X-Change perspective

It’s few hours before we will be joining the rest of the world to mark International Day of Street Children. The Day is celebrated every year on 12th April. It provides a platform for millions of children around the world – and their champions – to speak out so that their rights cannot be ignored.

Luckily, the Kenya Broadcasting Corporation Channel 1 TV have joined hands with us to enable the voices of the children be heard louder together. Today they visited us to make a documentary which will culminate the main event on 12th April, please be tuned tomorrow to KBC TV 7pm and 9pm Prime News to get a glimpse of what happened during the day. The event is organized courtesy of the Street Actors within Dagoretti.

During the video shoot outs, the street children and youths pleaded relentlessly for their rights with the faith that their voices will reach the far end of the world. Here are some pictures of the making of KBC Channel 1 News

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In 2012 the theme for the International Day for Street Children is ‘challenging perceptions’ – we are encouraging people to question what they think they know about street children. Challenge your perceptions by reading about some.

There are a number of common misconceptions about street children, from who street children are, to how many there are around the world, to why children take to the streets in the first place. Increase your knowledge by reading our ‘myth busters’ below. 

Definition

Myth: Street children are children who live on the street
Buster: Street children have many connections to the street – some live on the street, some work on the street. Some street children maintain relationships with their family whereas others break all contact.

Numbers

Myth: There are 100 million street children in the world
Buster:  UNICEF estimated there were 100 million street children in 2005. However, it is not known how many children worldwide depend on the streets for their survival or development. Numbers vary by country and by city because of different socio-economic, political and cultural conditions. Additionally, counting street children can be difficult due to their elusiveness and lack of permanent location.

Street children in the developing and developed world

Causes leading children to the streets

Myth: Children connect with the street because of family breakdown
Buster: There are many factors which can push children onto the street including poverty, family breakdown, violence, war, natural disasters and forced marriage. However, there are also factors which pull children onto the street such as financial independence, friendships, adventure and city glamour. It is through a combination of such push and pull factors that children develop strong connections with the street.

Street children as victims

Myth: Street children are victims
Buster: Although street children are vulnerable to the dangers of life on the street, they are also resourceful and resilient. Street children actively make connections with the street – they build homes, friendships and earn a living on the street. These connections are vital to their everyday survival.

Street children as criminals

Myth: Street children are criminals/delinquents and add no value to society
Buster: Street children adopt many tactics necessary to survival on the streets, such as begging, loitering and rough sleeping. In criminalising these survival behaviours, society alienates street children and stigmatises them. Street children see themselves as able to make a positive contribution to society despite often negative attitudes towards them.

Street children and substance abuse

Myth: Street children who take drugs do not deserve society’s support
Buster: Some street children engage in substance abuse as a way of coping with the daily reality of life on the street – this can cause street children to be viewed as delinquents. Society needs to understand the reasons for street children’s behaviour and provide specialised support.

Violence

Myth: Street children do not experience violence
Buster: Street children often experience direct exposure to violence. It can be a factor in pushing them onto the street, perhaps through family violence or war. Once on the street, violence is also a challenge – street children have repeatedly reported suffering violence at the hands of adults, the police and other street children.

Street children as rights-holders

Myth: Street children have access to their rights, just as any other child
Buster: One of the greatest challenges faced by a street child is being recognised and treated as someone with rights. Although street children have rights under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in the same way that all other children do, many government policies do not reflect this.

Courtesy from Consortium for Street Children: http://www.streetchildrenday.org