Thursday and Friday work
Today I joined the social workers in the first stage of the
process of finding street children who need help. The strategy has
changed slightly from what has gone before, in that the plan is
more street based than centre based. Previously, children had been
brought to the centre and fed and given basic care, but this
approach is being reconsidered because some parents were sending
their kids to the centre to benefit from the help Street Child
give. This new approach is a way of ensuring help is going to the
most needy street children.
Stage 1: street mapping; Stage 2: go out to the streets and have
first contact with the children, invite them to group sessions;
Stage 3: bring the kids into groups at certain locations, talk with
them, discuss with them their stories and their options, generally
work with them on the street.
The process involves assessing their situation, health and
history, locating their family then establishing their needs to
reintegrate them into family and school. Street mapping involved
walking in and around streets and locating the areas where the
street children are more likely to hang out, including cinemas
(shacks with a TV screen), nightclubs, vehicle parks and market
stalls. We found some good places where the team can focus their
attentions when they go out next week.
When we finished our touring I sat in under one of the
shacks selling, in this case, generators, dvds and phones, as you
do. The salesman chappy was very curious about the yellow water I
was drinking (water with a vitamin C tablet dissolved in it), he
had a little taste and in return gave me a taste of his lunch,
cassava leaf with rice. Basically a leaf like spinach, mushed up
and cooked with palm oil to make a sauce- quite tasty, not sure.
There is a lot of oil in the food also. Many of the country staples
including cassava leaf, potato leaf and groundnut soup contain palm
oil, which does not sit too well in the beginning. Medication and
rehydration sachets are a must.