Street Children Phenomenon

Like many African countries, Rwanda is facing the problem of street children for over thirty years.

Even if it is never the only economic factor is a key element explaining the presence of children in the streets. Situations of extreme poverty do not allow families to provide the basic needs of their children, food, education, medical care.

However, poverty is not the only factor. Children are often victims of abuse, violence or mistreatment, which grows from the street. An often trigger the violence seems to be the presence of a stepparent after a stepfamily following the departure or death of a spouse.

Despite efforts by the Rwandan government, civil society and international organizations, rural impoverishment, the influx of many people to the suburbs of the cities, the scourge of AIDS, increasing unemployment, low power purchase, continue to push many children in the streets.

The situation of children living in the streets are characterized by high uncertainty and a continuing violation of their rights: the right to education, right to health, the right to protection, right to food, right to live with their parents.

They are all out of school, often doing work difficult to earn a few pennies: carrying heavy bags, fetch water, collect and sell pieces of metal or empty plastic bottles or glass, etc.. Most experiencing malnutrition and other diseases such as dysentery, malaria, scabies, etc.. In the street, children also suffer from lack of sleep they get longer than a few hours a day on a card or in a gutter, and sleep with one eye open for fear that they steal their business or we can stop them. Many acknowledge taking drugs to forget their problems.