A New Study on Street Youth Integration in East Africa

Download the study HERE  or   here
The first study on youth integration in East Africa is out. This study will help in informing the actors and various government organs on the scale and scope of the problem of reintegrating street youth fully back into the society. We believe that this study will be helpful to the many actors working with street youth in Kenya and probably East Africa; struggling to find the best way to approach the street youth integration problem- in the streets, prisons, other institutions, work paces and in rehabilitation facilities. It is hoped that this pioneer paper will lead to more studies on this issue in East Africa.
Youth unemployment is a great challenge to African governments and development partners alike. This problem is hard to tackle because of the lack of reliable data and related analysis on scale, distribution and complexity of employment, unemployment and livelihood situation as well as effective policies, programmes and approaches for young women and men.  Vulnerable groups of youth such as those on the Streets are worst hit by this problem.
This study examines the effectiveness of East African institutions in intervening to assist street youth get integrated into the society through acquisition of adequate employment skills or entrepreneurial skills. The study uses a set of data collected by Koinonia Advisory Research and Development Service (KARDS), a community development consultancy in Nairobi, Kenya. The data was collected in 2007 and in 2010. This data is based on the work-activities of street children projects in Nairobi for 122 street children institutions.
It was found out that most institutions disengage the children once they become young adults, leaving them to find jobs and to fend for themselves. Unfortunately, by the time the former street youth are disengaged from institutional benefits they may not have adequate skills for competitiveness in the job markets. This fact underscores the fact that the rehabilitation programmes have less abilities to impart adequate community and societal integration skills to the former street youth.
 There is therefore a need to develop other interventions such as work integration social enterprises (WISE) that would assist the young adults to become independent while helping them deal with barriers inhibiting their competitiveness, ability to get employed, become entrepreneurial and ultimately be able to reintegrate effectively back into the society.

1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Benson Sarago
    Jul 19, 2011 @ 13:05:44

    I have be on the prudish side you are absolutely right about the matter at hand.Its a rather dangerous situation for us who have engaged in the activities of rehabilitation of street children.
    I find no words when i meet some of the children that i once referred to some local centers at the gate of my working place trying to beg for food.Really what is going on when we initiated the social enterprises for the youths then after a short time the project just vanishes and the next thing i hear is that some of the beneficiaries have been killed by the police after the project failure?
    What happens when i go to Visit Kivuli Ndogo and find the social worker watching a movie and the children left to play on their own.Why do we have to go and get children from their homes and leave the ones that are on the streets?Are we sticking to our mandate as lifeguards?
    Why is it that there is no paperwork to address the needs of the street population in Kawangware while we have Giant organizations like Koinonia Community,Amref and Full Gospel Church Street Children project?
    What do we do now? In my own words, i have the noblest assumption that we could organize all the stakeholders in this field, exchange ideologies and come up with an affirmative action plan to end the streetism dynamics so that the same idea could be used elsewhere.This has to go hand in hand with massive demonstrations with our grievances to the government institutions that are directly involved



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