There are a variety of ways in which people and organizations respond to the needs and challenges of street kids around the world. Some are positive, others less so, and still others are actually quite negative. In this article we examine three countries and the attitudes they have taken recently to the plight of street kids.
Possibly the most highly publicized event involving street kids around the world recently is the Street Child World Cup. This event took place at the end of March 2014, in Rio, Brazil. It united “some of the most disadvantaged youths from 19 nations” and enabled them to have fun with art, workshops, sightseeing etc. The street kids hailed from Pakistan, Tanzania, Brazil, etc., who all had one thing in common – trying to escape the cycle of poverty, drugs and violence that affects so many of them. One participants – who wishes to remain anonymous – explained: “football takes me away from my problems. I’ve always loved it. The Street Child World Cup is a really great opportunity. I’ve never had anything like this.”
Then there is the initiative launched in 2012 in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. According to estimates there are approximately 10,000 Tanzanian children living on the street. Around 30 percent of these live in Dar es Salaam, ironically the country’s wealthiest city.
Although San Francisco is far from being a third-world country, poverty and street kids are unfortunately not uncommon. Phillip Gibson and Kate Armstrong organized a forum on homelessness. At this – entitled “Stories of Street Children from around the Bay and Across the World,” – the discussion centered around the impact this has on street youths. Issues such as modern day homelessness and the attitude of societies around the world toward this, were discussed. One of these issues was stigmatization of homelessness and that happens everywhere around the world. But it might be more noticeable in a place where there is so much wealth like San Francisco.
Street kids, homelessness, poverty, are issues that need to be taken care of throughout the world.