IDYDC participated in a Children Living and Working in the Streets CLWS Headcount activity in Iringa urban in April 2017. The headcount is under Railway Children Africa (RCA) which is one of the partners in Implementation of Kizazi Kipya Project.
Kizazi Kipya: USAID New Generation project is a five-year project funded by the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) through the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
Street Children Headcount
Head counting is an exercise in observation. It is based on looking, listening and learning on the streets where children live, move, socialize and survive. It is an exercise wholly dependent on the headcounters’ knowledge of the street they work in and their ability to observe. it is an exercise in observation that will lead to some realistic numbers. Head counting is not an exact science nor is it a statistical exercise.
The headcounting technique advocated by StreetInvest is therefore an attempt to get closer to realistic figures. We must know what sort of numbers we are dealing with in any given city or town we are working in.
Day and Night
We divided our four teams, two in the day time and two at night. The night count is specific for getting the number of children who are actually sleeping in the streets. In the day time the number include children who are on the street part time and also those who dwell on the streets full time.
After two day training the teams were ready for the Headcount exercise after understanding and practicing observation skills. One of the important aspect of observation is looking at the streets as the child sees it. Wherever there is an opportunity for a child then the area will likely have street children.
From the Headcount exercise we have generally observed that we still have a problem of street children. Children are still sleeping on verandas, temporary business huts and bus stations. Furthermore children are doing different activities to earn a living when they are supposed to be in school.
From our street children rehabilitation program we have learned that there are many factors leading children to move to the streets. There is peer pressure, poverty, irresponsible care takers, death of parent(s) and other family problems. Also some children need psychosocial support which may not be available where they live. As long as these factors still exist it will be hard to remove all children from the streets.