Understanding streetism from the street children's perspective : a qualitative approach
Mashicolo, Gladys Nomusa
MetadataShow full item record
Streetism is a worldwide phenomenon. A number of studies have been conducted on streetism and street children yet little is known about the views of street children on streetism. Studies that focused on streetism explored what adults said about streetism, and not what street children said. This is where I located my study. The aim of my study was to understand streetism from the street children’s perspectives. This study was qualitative in nature and the draw-and-write technique was used to collect data. The draw-and-write technique involves the use of drawings accompanied by narratives that explain the drawing. The study involved 12 boys and 12 girls classified as children-on-the-street. Children-on-the-street typically “work” on the streets and return home in the evenings. I asked them to make drawings that depicted streetism and to write narratives in which they explained their drawings. After a thorough examination of the drawings and the narratives, the following themes were derived: street children were dealing with loss or the death of loved ones; they were experiencing lack of safety and security in their communities; they were experiencing violence and abuse in their families; they had future hopes, which help them cope with poverty; and they had religious faith. The literature that I studied mentioned some of the foregoing themes as risk factors to streetism, and some are referred to as resilience resources. To the participants, streetism entailed risk and a measure of well-being. Therefore, these findings contribute to theory and practice. The findings also suggest future research opportunities. Government, schools, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO), communities, psychologists and social workers can use these findings to help children at risk.
- Education