LIVING IN THE STREETS AND THE MENTAL WELL BEING OF CHILDREN: AN ETHNOGRAPHIC STUDY OF MLANGO KUBWA IN MATHARI SUBCOUNTY.BRIAN OCHIENG OGALLO16M03DMCP005AFRICA NAZARENE UNIVERSITYDEPARTMENT OF PSYCHOLOGYM.A IN CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGYCONCEPT PAPER FOR THE PARTIAL FULLFILMENT OF A MASTERS DEGREE IN CHILD AND ADOLESCENT PSYCHOLOGY.
BACKGROUND TO THE STUDY.“Poverty has many faces. As a developing country embarks on a pathway towards modernization and urbanization, one form in which poverty expresses itself is in the outgrowth of street children”. (Dybicz, 2005). According to the United Nations, a street child is “any boy or girl for whom the street in the widestsense of the word has become his or her habitual abode and or source of livelihood, and who is inadequately protected, supervised, or directed by responsible adults.” United Nations International Children Education Funds (UNICEF) provides a definition that, a street child is a child who merely realizes his or her daily activities on the street be it working, begging, stealing, hanging out, etc. is in the street – the street is her/his social place. The Kenyan constitution on the other hand defines a child as any individual who is below the age of 18 years.In Kenya, street children are usually known as “chokora” and are very synonymous with their forms of dressings and behaviors. Majority if not all are usually of poor hygiene going from dustbin to dustbin looking for their next meal or what to sell as some earn a living by collecting garbage, metals and plastics for sale. As per the joint report between Government of Kenya and UNICEF for 2013, they estimated thatthere were 109,763 street children in Kenya with Nairobi County hosting 10,000 of them.STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM.The problem of street children began possibly in the 1950s when the colonialist disintegrated families through imprisoning the men who are the father figures and symbols of authority in a very much patriarchal Kenyan society. Street children are basically in all major cities globally with a major