Growing up on the Streets is a participatory research project that seeks to improve the lives of vulnerable and marginalised street children and youth. The team worked with hundreds of street children and youth in three African cities: Accra, Bukavu and Harare. The research at the heart of the project aims to understand youth’s capabilities on the street in their daily lives, to improve policies and practices that transform the lives of street children. Led by Research Directors Professor Lorraine van Blerk and Dr Wayne Shand, the team members are Researcher Janine Hunter and three Project Managers in Ghana, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe: Selassy Gbeglo, Shaibu Chitsiku and Thomas D’Aquin Rubumbura.
A key success was the engagement of the Growing up on the Streets network of 200 street children and youth who formed the African consultation for the United Nations General Comment on Children in Street Situations (2017) in order that it reflect their genuine experiences and needs. Tying into the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) but specifically addressing the needs of street children, the UNGC will have a profound impact on how street children are perceived and treated worldwide. In addition, the Growing up on the Streets Knowledge Exchange Training pack was also used [worldwide] by hundreds of NGOs and street children in the global consultations for the UNGC.
Research team: Lorraine van Blerk, Wayne Shand, Janine Hunter
Collaborating civil society partner: StreetInvest
Co-researchers: 18 Street youth from Ghana, DRC and Zimbabwe.
Participants: over 400 street children and youth, NGOs, Governments and policy-makers.
Funded by the Backstage Trust and ESRC (knowledge exchange)