Carren Morangi Onwong'a
Abstract: Street children constitute a marginalized population in most urban centres of the world. Their peer interactions, social networks, living arrangements and survival strategies are much the same all over the world. They have invariably been exploited and marginalized. As a marginalized group on the streets, street children fall into patterns of various undertakings, which ruin their lives. Despite government and NGO interventions towards alleviation of the problem of street children, there is a lack of comprehensive interventions that yield any significant impact in addressing specific challenges of street children. Therefore, this paper examines the various interventions available for street children and provided by service providers. The study utilized a descriptive survey research design which targeted street children, social workers from NGOs and officers as key informants from department of Children in Uasin Gishu County. Data was collected using questionnaires for street children, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) with three groups of street children and one FGD with social workers and key informant interviews were conducted with children officers and municipal officers. The study found that there were several service providers identified by the street children who included NGOs, FBOs, Business Community and Good Samaritans. However, some of the services provided by the business community and Good Samaritans were identified by Social Workers, as a factor that led to more children coming to the streets of Eldoret town. Street children revealed that they needed to be more involved in informing service providers on what they would want to be assisted with. It was also clear that street children would want to participate in long-term initiatives which were sustainable and would assist them to be self-reliant in the long-run. The study recommends that a sector-wide training approach for service providers should be adopted in dealing with street children at all levels be developed, by the Government in collaboration with stakeholders to provide standard and holistic services to street children in the country.
Keywords: Street Children, Interventions, Eldoret, Kenya