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Centre of African Studies: Research


Paper Details

Author: Madeleine Dunford

Title: Tracking the Symptoms or the Causes? An Examination of Programmes by NGOs for Street Children in Nairobi, Kenya

Year: 1996

The number of children on the streets of Nairobi increases daily, with the city now facing its third generation of street children. Traditionally, Government and NGOs have focused their efforts on institutional, child-centred approaches. However, this dissertation will argue that such efforts can do no more than scratch the surface of the problem. Furthermore, instiutionalism is financially unsustainable, promotes the child's dependency, whilst promoting their participation in the process. Thus, it is argued that if there is to be a long-term, sustainable appraoch to the problem NGO will have to start addressing its causes rather than its symptoms. To do this, NGO programmes will have to re-emphasise their focus on supporting and developing family, communiy and national approaches. To enforce this argument, interviews were conducted with relevant NGOs both in the UK and Kenya, with the findings incorporated into this dissertation. The conclusion is made that to overcome the problem of street children, all sectors of society need to unify in an integrated onslaught against its causes.