The experiences of street children at community-based home schools

Cleophas, Marcia Mirl (2001-03)

Thesis (MEd)--University of Stellenbosch, 2001.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: There are an estimated 10 000 children in and around the streets of South Africa, with the speculation that this could be higher, given the difficulties surrounding the counting of the street children. Not all street children live on the streets permanently: many spend their days there mainly for economic reasons earning an income, then spend their nights at their homes or those of friends and relatives. Others go to the street as an alternative to going to school or, in an effort to avoid parents or caregivers who show little interest in their lives, or who force them onto the street to earn money. It is particularly children that have not become permanent residents of the street and that are part of community-based home schools, that are the focus of this study. A· qualitative approach is used to establish the experiences of these children in a residential area in the northern suburbs of Cape Town. The study revealed the following: • Community-based home schools provide children with basic needs like food, clothing and importantly, a trusting relationship with an adult. • Children's lives are restored in a non-threatening environment, assisting them to regain their dignity, establish healthier selfconcepts as well as higher self-esteem. Once these basic needs are fulfilled, it became evident that children are able to return to the experience of mainstream school and in so doing face the world with renewed fervour.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Na beraming is daar omtrent 10 000 straatkinders in Suid Afrika. Daar word gespekuleer dat die getal hoër kan wees as gevolg van die probleme met die tel van straatkinders. Nie alle straatkinders leef permanent op die strate nie. Baie spandeer hul dae op straat slegs vir ekonomiese gewin waar hulle 'n inkomste verdien, en slaap snags by hul huise óf by vriende óf familie. Ander leef op die straat as 'n alternatief om skool toe te gaan. Hulle doen dit ook om hulouers of voogde te vermy wat min aandag aan hulle skenk of wie die kinders forseer om geld op die straat te verdien. Dit is veral kinders wat nie permanent op die straat lewe nie, en deel is van huisskole, wat die fokus is van hierdie studie. 'n Kwalitatiewe benadering is gebruik om die ervarings van hierdie kinders in 'n gemeenskap in die noordelike voorstede te bewerkstellig. Die studie het die volgende getoon: • Gemeenskapsgebaseerde huisskole voorsien kinders met die basiese benodighede soos kos, klere en baie belangrik, die vertroue van 'n verhouding met' n volwassene. • Die kinders se lewens word herstel in 'n omgewing wat nie bedreigend is nie en wat hulle help om hul waardigheid te herwin en om 'n gesonde selfkonsep en hoër selfbeeld te vestig. • Wanneer hierdie basiese benodighede vervul is, het dit duidelik geword dat hierdie kinders kon terugkeer na die hoofstroom-skool ervaring en op hierdie manier kon hulle die wêreld met hernuwe ywer aanpak.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/52526
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