The life experiences of street children in Harare’s Central Business District, Zimbabwe.
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The present study sought to explore the life experiences of street children highlighting their vulnerability to sexual and physical abuse as they navigate their lives on the streets. The current study investigated street children’s activities and experiences as they participate in a street culture due to increased poverty and destitution, the challenges they face on the streets and the survival strategies they employ. The proliferation street children in the CBD of Harare have been seen in the light of a socio-economic crisis which was marked by the persistence of poverty, high unemployment rates and the HIV and AIDS pandemic. The research objectives were to explore the challenges that children are exposed as they participate and engage their lives on the streets, to examine street children’s vulnerability and susceptibility to sexual and physical abuse and the coping mechanisms that these street children indulge in as they address their challenges. This study was informed by the conceptual framework of social navigation and child resilience which makes an exposition on the mechanism that street children engage as they navigate life on the streets. A qualitative research methodology was used in this study and paid more attention on the phenomenology which gave a full picture on the life experiences and the identities of street children. The study managed to interview twelve in-depth interviews with street children that included children of the streets and children on the streets. The major findings from this research elaborated on the adversities that confront street children such as issues of abuse, neglect and increased poverty, they also alluded on the concept that street children are social actors with the capacity and competence of coming up with survival strategies.
Additional Citation InformationMwanyekondo, A. (2017). The life experiences of street children in Harare’s Central Business District, Zimbabwe. [Unpublished masters thesis]. University of Zimbabwe.
University of Zimbabwe
SubjectLife experiences of street children
Sexual and physical abuse
Children in difficult circumstances